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AIFF Statement on Jamshedpur FC Striker Gourav Mukhi Only Adds to Age Confusion

The AIFF statement said that Mukhi – who came off the bench to score Jamshedpur FC’s first goal against Bengaluru FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) match on Sunday, thus supposedly becoming the league’s youngest ever goal-scorer – has now submitted documents to prove that he is, in fact, 16 years old.

News18 Sports

Updated:October 9, 2018, 1:33 PM IST
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AIFF Statement on Jamshedpur FC Striker Gourav Mukhi Only Adds to Age Confusion
The AIFF statement said that Mukhi – who came off the bench to score Jamshedpur FC’s first goal against Bengaluru FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) match on Sunday, thus supposedly becoming the league’s youngest ever goal-scorer – has now submitted documents to prove that he is, in fact, 16 years old.
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As Jamshedpur FC striker Gourav Mukhi faces allegations of age fraud, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has released a statement that only serves to further muddy the waters in what is being seen by some as a blatant case of flouting the rules.

The AIFF statement said that Mukhi – who came off the bench to score Jamshedpur FC’s first goal against Bengaluru FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) match on Sunday, thus supposedly becoming the league’s youngest ever goal-scorer – has now submitted documents to prove that he is, in fact, 16 years old.

“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 AIFF said.

The statement added that the CRS, or Centralised Registration System, did not exist in 2015 – the year Mukhi confessed to age fraud – but that the matter will be investigated.

“The CRS which registers in-detailed information of every single player for AIFF was not implemented for the National Championships and the State Associations in 2015, but later. The discrepancy in the DOBs will be referred to the relevant committee for further appropriate action.”

While the federation did the right thing by addressing the issue head on, it’s also fair to say that the statement raises questions.

In 2015, Mukhi was part of the Jharkhand U-15 side that won the Sub-Junior National Football Championship title, beating Goa 8-3 in the final.

Subsequently, Jharkhand were stripped of the title and fined one lakh rupees by the AIFF as five players – including Mukhi – confessed to age fraud.

The question from this entire situation is this: what documents have been submitted to prove that Mukhi is 16-years-old just at the time when the issue of his age began to gather steam?

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das stated on Tuesday that the issue stems from the fact that Mukhi’s passport has his birth year listed as 2002.

"The discrepancy is regarding his passport which shows that he is 2002 born and a statement he issued in 2015 which stated that he is 1999 born," Das told PTI.

He did also promise to investigate the matter. “We will pass on the matter to the relevant committees - the players status committee first or the disciplinary committee to look into the discrepancy regarding his age.”

According to a report in ESPN, the ISL say that it is the responsibility of the AIFF central database, just like any other tournament or championship. "It seems like the central database should have red-flagged him during registration this season, but didn't," said the official. "It is the AIFF that needs to look into this, and I hope there would be some course correction."

Jamshedpur FC's media manager Souptikk Daas told Scroll that the allegations are "all very speculative."

"We needn't react to each and every story that's out there," he said. "He has the proper documents. He went abroad for the pre-season training, so his passport and other ID proofs have the same age. If there was anything wrong, it would have been set right then itself."

| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
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