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India's U-17 Women's WC Probables Struggling With Dietary Needs Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

News18 Sports

Last Updated: June 08, 2020, 16:03 IST

File: India U-17 Women's Football Team (Photo Credit: AIFF)

File: India U-17 Women's Football Team (Photo Credit: AIFF)

The Jharkhand FA claimed that they were unable to trace the players in their state.

The hosting right of Women’s AFC Asian Cup in 2022 brought a lot of cheer among Indian football fans. However, in Jharkhand, some of India’s footballers from the U-17 Women’s team, who will play the FIFA World Cup in India next year, are in quite a spot due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sent home after the preparatory camp in Goa disbanded due to the lockdown in March, the players were struggling with their dietary needs, according to a report in Gaon Connection.

Among the players is Sumati Kumari from Jharkhand, who has scored a record 17 goals in the National Football Championship and is all set to participate in the World Cup, but is presently surviving on a meal of rice and daal; that too, procured from the PDS (Public Distribution Scheme) dealer. She lives in Gumla district of Jharkhand, 110 kms from Ranchi.

While Sumati received some help from the assistant coach of the team Alex Ambrose, another player from Gumla, Sudha Ankita Tirki’s (a defender) had to seek help from the villagers to feed her after her father passed. Chief Minister Hemant Soren took cognisance after a report appeared in a local newspaper on May 26. He ordered the district administration to provide her help. The next day, ration was delivered to her house. The CM has also asked the Simdega district magistrate to help out the players in that district.



There are eight players from Jharkhand among the 24 probables in the camp.

The AIFF, who initially passed on the buck to the state association (Jharkhand Football Association), eventually stepped up with monetary aid for the players.

“All India Football Federation has taken an initiative to support the dietary regime of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup probables by paying a stipend of Rs. 10000/- per player for the months of June, and July, 2020. The AIFF will take a stock of the situation later as and when the preparatory camp in Goa can resume as per Government directives,” the AIFF said in a statement dated June 4.

However, according to the report, the Jharkhand FA claimed that they were unable to trace the players in their state.

Ghulam Rabbani, the secretary of the Jharkhand Football Association, said: “We were able to help the players who were living in Ranchi. We could not reach put to others because of the lockdown. We don’t have their addresses. As far as the government is concerned, no department or any officer from the government has spoken to them in this regard.”

Anil Kumar the director of the Jharkhand Sports Department, said: “Help has been provided to needy sportspersons. But the department does not have any information about how many have been helped such because the district sports officials are still engaged in disaster management. During the lockdown, letters were written on behalf of the Department to all the district magistrates that if a player seeks help, they should be helped immediately. However, no separate arrangement was made for the sportspersons.”
first published:June 08, 2020, 15:05 IST
last updated:June 08, 2020, 16:03 IST