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Indian football stars come together for a charitable cause

852   //    03 Jun 2016, 15:14 IST
Rennedy XI before tomorrow’s game. Image via Gouramangi Singh

We have seen several examples of how sport can help uplift the lives of a community. Several global icons of football like David Beckham and Thierry Henry regularly organize charity matches for the benefit of the less fortunate. recently spoke to two of India’s footballing heroes Rennedy Singh and Gouramangi Singh who are very committed to the cause of helping the underprivileged through football in India.

Rennedy has played for the best clubs in the country and was also a crucial player for the Indian National team. After retiring from Professional football he is now the president of the Football Players Association of India.(FPAI)

The FPAI was founded by Indian football icon Bhaichung Bhutia in 2006 with the sole purpose of representing the interest of Indian footballers. The organization was inducted as a member of the FIFPro in 2009.

Rennedy and Gouramangi frequently take part in the training of several underprivileged kids in rural areas of the country. One such training session led to Rennedy meeting a 22-year-old boy named Rohit. Rohit is himself a footballer and has played for several clubs like Kakching Popular Sporting Club(KPSC) and also for Eastern Club.

The youngster won several tournaments with Kakching where he was on loan. He lifted the Winners Cup, CC Meet and the DFA Trophy with the team. Rennedy met Rohit during one of the training camps in Manipur. 

The former international spoke to about Rohit and the touching story of how he came to know about his misfortune.

“I was in Tentha to help train kids in a football clinic, which was arranged by the club officials. As Gouramangi Singh way away on official work he was unable to attend the workshop, and hence, I requested additional help for the 3-day training program.”

“So they suggested a boy named Rohit who was a young footballer. He was very enthusiastic about volunteering for the camp. Rohit helped me conduct the training session and seemed like a really good person.”


“Two weeks later I was traveling from Kolkata to a conference in Malaysia when I got a call from a friend of Rohit’s. He told me that Rohit had been diagnosed with cancer and I was overwhelmed by the news.”

“We decided that something should be done to help him and his family, and we contacted other former Indian footballers with the thought of organizing this Charity football match. All the money that will be raised will be used to fund Rohit’s treatment.”

Several Indian footballers have come forward to be part of this wonderful initiative and Rohit Singh and his parents have been invited to the event. The match will be between Rennedy XI which will consist of past and present Indian footballers including Rennedy and Gourumanji and I-League 2nd division team Neroca FC who have been kind enough to take part in the match.

The FPAI association will be the primary organizers of the event with the help of Neroca FC. All proceeds from the event as mentioned before will go to help Rohit’s treatment. The match will take place tomorrow in the Main Stadium Khuman Lampak at Imphal.

So if you live in or around Imphal make sure you do your bit and go cheer them on!

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