Gourav Mukhi, the boy who was the talk of the town after scoring an important goal for Jamshedpur FC’s in the last game, has gotten himself into trouble with All India Football Federation (AIFF) as questions are being asked about his real age.
The issue came into light after the Indian Super League declared Gourav Mukhi as the youngest goalscorer ever to play in the competition at the age of 16.
In fact, just three years ago in 2015, he was declared overage by AIFF. He led his state Jharkhand to Sub-Junior National Championship that year and they defeated Goa by a mammoth scoreline of 8-3.
AIFF stripped Jharkhand’s title after getting evidence that five players had submitted a fake age certificate. One of them was Gourav Mukhi and the rest four were Sayad Bin Abdul Kabir, Ashish Mukhi, Laxman Sardar and Vikash Balmuchu.
Now, the real query is that if Mukhi was over the age of 15 in 2015, how can be only 16 in 2018.
The commentators and the league without double-checking their stats declared Gourav to be the youngest goal-scorer, and this puts Indian football in a bad light.
Gourav Mukhi sports a fully-grown moustache and has a muscular body. A boy of 16-years of age is not going to have that kind of physique or facial hair.
“They had cleared age verification tests at multiple levels. Only when they were called up for the national U-17 team selection trials, they failed the test. That shows how hollow the system at a lower level is, He was around 15 when we won the Championship in 2015. So by that logic, he should be 18 right now.” were the words of Jharkhand Football Association’s secretary Ghulam Rabbani as he spoke to the Indian Express.
AIFF released a statement saying, “Jamshedpur FC player Gourav Mukhi who had earlier given a declaration that his DOB was 04/05/1999 has now submitted documents to the CRS system referring that his DOB is 04/05/2002. The discrepancy in the DOBs will be referred to the relevant committee for further appropriate action”
This problem has existed in Indian in other sports as well where the age of some cricketers and wrestlers have come into question. Raising these issues and giving them the spotlight might help in banishing such acts from this point forth.