I-League 2017/18: Jeakson Singh's Minerva Punjab academy batchmate Sahib Malik loses battle with cancer
What's the story?
Minerva Punjab academy 16-year-old product Sahib Malik passed away on Monday after a tough battle with cancer.
In case you didn't know...
The Minerva Punjab Academy has become one of the best football academies in the country, producing talented young players. A number of India's FIFA U17 World Cup heroes like Jeakson Singh and Nongdamba Naorem have come from the club's academy, and have gone on to mesmerise football fans across the country.
The heart of the matter
Sahib Malik also hails from the same batch of players as that of Jeakson and Naorem, but did not come to the forefront of the Indian football scene at the junior level, as he had been fighting a battle against cancer.
The Minerva Punjab Football club tweeted the news about this teenaged player's sad demise on Monday night, saying, "We deeply mourn the sad demise of our Academy Cadet Sahib Malik who lost his life battling to cancer."
Club owner Ranjit Bajaj also took to Twitter to mourn the death of this talented player. Bajaj even went on to state that Malik was from the same batch as that of Jeakson, and was as good as India's only goalscorer in the FIFA U17 World Cup.
A football player losing his life at such a young age is a sad event indeed. However, the show must go on, as they say. Minerva Punjab are on a dream run in their ongoing I-League campaign and are perched at the top of the table, as they look to win their first title ever.
Any death is a sad event, and it becomes all the more tragic, when the deceased person is as young as Sahib Malik. Minerva Punjab should now put all their energy and effort into winning the I-League and dedicate it to their young academy player, who is no more.