What’s the story?
Bengaluru FC front man CK Vineeth has been relieved of his duties from his job at Kerala AG’s Office because of low attendance. The Kerala striker was kicked out of the company for which he had been working for two years.
A source close to the 28-year-old from Kannur told Sportskeeda: “The problem was that his priority was always Indian football and playing for the national team whereas their priority was getting work out of me. He joined through the sports quota so he made it very clear that his priority was sports. Still, they kicked him out.”
Vineeth is set to lead Bengaluru’s attack in their Federation Cup semi-final against Aizawl FC in the absence of talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri, who pulled up in the previous game.
Bengaluru will look to reclaim the Federation Cup which they last won in 2015.
The heart of the matter
Vineeth has been juggling his on-pitch duties with work off the pitch for the past two years, and the unceremonious removal is a sign of the fact that Indian footballers don’t command the same level of regard as their cricket counterparts.
Despite joining on sports quota, Vineeth was expected to attend office hours regularly, which was impossible for an in-demand player like the Kerala Blasters striker.
The sorry state of affairs with one of the top Indian footballers is a cautionary tale. The national team has recently made great strides to reach the top 100 of FIFA rankings, and should the rate of progress be maintained, cases such as the Vineeth one will be things of the past.
For the player that he is, Vineeth should never face such issues. This further highlights the state of football in India, although things stand to change in the future. Vineeth is one of the most popular footballers in India, hence his issue will serve to shed more light on how footballers are forced to do office hours despite their unabated commitments with both club and country.