Jamshedpur FC's Gourav Mukhi made headlines and raised more than a few eyebrows on Sunday when he came off the bench to score the first equalising goal against Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday. The match ended 2-2.
The forward, who is 16 years old according to the ISL website, became the youngest-ever goalscorer in the history of the league, something the commentators continued to mention for the remainder of the game.
However, many remained skeptical of his age at first glance. The fact that he doesn’t feature in any of India’s youth squads also raised a few questions.
Soon after the match, social media dug out various details regarding the forward’s age including an AIFF suspension for Jharkhand in an U-15 tournament. 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 by the AIFF as five players confessed to age fraud.
Jharkhand were subsequently fined one lakh rupees after it was revealed that up to five of the team's players were overage. Mukhi was one of the players who confessed to being overage at the time in 2015.
An article in the Telegraph earlier this year profiling the forward stated that he was 28 years old, further casting doubt over the validity of his age.