Amid FIFA U17 World Cup celebrations in India, senior top-flight players struggle for wages

DSK Shivajians played in the I-League last season
DSK Shivajians played in the I-League last season

India has been celebrating the glories of the recently-concluded FIFA U17 World Cup, which was conducted successfully. FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Jaime Yarza, Head of events at FIFA, had praised the hosts for their organizational skills and thanked the fans saying that "India is a footballing country now".

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had announced their flagship project, the AIFF team in the I-League which consists of players who were part of India U17 team for the U17 World Cup. The team named Indian Arrows has been trying to tie down the U17 player on long-term contracts with the team in the face of interest from other clubs.

As the young players are getting huge offers from clubs across India and abroad, here is a team whose players are struggling for almost a year as they have not received any payment for the last eight months. The complaint was raised by the players of the I-League club DSK Shivajians, which will not play in the top division league next season after folding.

DSK Shivajians started playing in the I-League since 2016 and because of a direct entry into the top tier, were immune from relegation till 2018. They are the first club in India to have ties with a top European club in the form of Liverpool.

Last season, Shivajians had the likes of Subrata Paul, Gouramangi Singh, Nirmal Chettri, Sanju Pradhan, Holicharan Narzary, Sumeet Passi, Soram Porei, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Seityasen Singh and Milan Singh on their books who have had senior Indian team appearances.

They are among the players who are unpaid for the last eight months. The information was shared by Football Players Association of India (FPAI) through a Facebook post. The post also says there has not been any communication from the team officials even after the players' representatives tried to contact them.

The issue was raised by the players earlier this year to the AIFF and the club had agreed to pay the pending salary of the players. But this 23rd October Facebook post shows that no action has been taken by the club to pay the salary of the players until now.

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Edited by Abhijit Bharali
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