Foreign football coach gets death threat in J&K


Srinagar: For four years, Argentina-born Juan Marcos Troia has battled all odds in his mission to teach football to Kashmiri youth and channelize their energies away from violence. He has brushed aside visa problems, an indifferent state government and even the killing of his two dogs. But now, after receiving death threats, the celebrated coach is thinking hard about packing his bags for good.

Marcos, as he is popularly called, has been credited with popularizing the sport in Kashmir and giving ‘stone-pelting’
youths a dream of making it big on the football field. In the process, Marcos-—who now identifies with Brazil where he trained and got sponsors for the project—seems to have upset many vested interests in the Valley.
“I have had no support from the state government beyond promises but things are now more serious. Last Friday I got a midnight call from someone who identified himself as a local politician’s son. He said I should leave the state within four days, ‘otherwise you know what will happen’,’’ Marcos said. Marcos suspects vested interests

Football coach Juan Marcos Troia met Union sports minister Ajay Maken during Maken’s tour of Srinagar and has been assured of the Centre’s support. Marcos wants “some sort of agreement” within a month that would take care of his security as well funds and proper infrastructure to run his academy—the International Football Academy Trust (ISAT), which incidentally was the subject of a documentary, Inshallah Football. Despite repeated attempts and text messages, J&K sports minister R S Chib could not be reached for comments.
The threats, Marcos and his wife feel, may have been because their work has hurt “vested interests”. They refused to speculate on whether these included the state’s football administration.

Source: The Times of India

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