ISL 2018-19: AIFF to probe discrepancy over Jamshedpur FC striker Gourav Mukhi's age
The Indian Super League's (ISL) haste in declaring Gourav Mukhi as the league's youngest ever goalscorer at the age of 16 could come back to haunt the Jamshedpur FC player. The All India Football Federation (AIFF), the sport's governing body in the country, is set to investigate whether Mukhi, who has submitted documents to the federation claiming to be born in 2002, is actually 16.
Gourav Mukhi hogged the limelight on Sunday when he came off the bench in the second half of the ISL game against Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium and struck JFC's first equaliser in the 81st minute against the Blues. Much to his chagrin, his actual age dominated headlines rather than the goal he beautifully scored.
ALSO READ: How old is 16-year-old Gourav Mukhi?
The ISL commentators, and even the league, wasted no time in declaring him the youngest goalscorer of the tournament, oblivious to the fact that he was found overage in 2015 after the Sub-Junior National Football Championship.
The ISL went by the AIFF's database for players, Centralised Registration System (CRS). But if Mukhi of Jharkhand was over the age of 14 in 2015, could he have just turned a year older in 2018, three years on?
A day after the controversy erupted, the AIFF has referred the matter to its Players Status Committee to resolve the discrepancy over Mukhi's age.
"Jamshedpur FC player Gourav Mukhi who had earlier given a declaration that his DOB was 04/05/1999 has now submitted documents to the CRS system referring that his DOB is 04/05/2002," the AIFF said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The Centralised Registration System (CRS) which registers in-detailed information of every single player for AIFF was not implemented for the National Championships and the State Associations in 2015, but later.
"The discrepancy in the DOBs will be referred to the relevant committee for further appropriate action."
If one goes by the earlier declaration submitted by Mukhi that he was born on May 4, 1999, the '16-year-old' lad is a 19-year-old man. As for his other declaration, one cannot disregard logic.
Three years ago, Mukhi struck five goals in Jharkhand's 8-3 thrashing of Goa in the Sub Junior National Football Championship final. He was subsequently summoned to try out for the squad for the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup and that's where he was found out.
Mukhi and four of his Jharkhand teammates confessed to being overage and were handed a two-year ban.
According to Ghulam Rabbani, the secretary of Jharkhand Football Association, Mukhi was 15 in 2015. “He was around 15 when we won the Championship in 2015. So by that logic, he should be 18 right now," Rabbani told the Indian Express.