From 2004 to 2014, striker Bineesh Balan was a household name in Kerala and Goa. Having graduated from the Tata Football Academy in 2008, Balan was signed by Goan club Churchill Brothers in 2009 following a string of consistent performances. Balan's first season with the club saw him make 12 appearances and score in 6 matches, which was a good record in the I-League at the time.
Bineesh Balan was also a part of the Churchill Brothers side that went on to win the I-League in the 2012-13 season. He would remain at the club till 2014, making a total of 49 appearances, scoring 14 goals. However, following his departure from the club, Bineesh Balan's career began to go on a downward spiral.
He played for Pune FC in the 2014-15 season before his contract was terminated. The club itself would shut its doors the following season. Balan registered himself in the 2015 ISL draft, only to go unsold.
Coming from a poor family, Bineesh Balan chose football as his career path and even came close to realizing his dream to play for the country. His father was a baggage porter.
'Now I am working as a daily-wage laborer at different places': Bineesh Balan
“I don’t have any work right now. My situation is very bad at the moment. Now I am working as a daily wage laborer in different places. My father worked as a coolie (porter), but he is too old to work now; my mother is a homemaker. I have a wife and a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and my family is dependent on me. Now with the coronavirus pandemic, the situation is even more difficult.”
“My father and I have tried to approach the government. I tried for jobs and met several officials. We even went to the Kerala sports ministry with my certificates, but they did not take it seriously.”
Kerala FA secretary Anil Kumar, who received Balan's request, said that he is hoping for some positive development soon. He explained:
“It is an unfortunate situation and we have forwarded his appeal to the state sports council with a request that it be brought to the notice of the state sports minister (EP Jayarajan). We are hopeful of a positive development soon.”Published 28 Oct 2020, 11:21 IST