It was not an ideal beginning for the boys drenched in blue. The Indian Under-23 football team that reached Incheon on Saturday the 13th, had a full day to practice, get acclimatized and prepare for the match against UAE. Surprisingly for India, it was UAE who snatched victory out of India’s grip, by thrashing the boys 5-0 in a ‘really close encounter’.
The post match press conference was attended by Win Neverman and the Indian team management and captain. It did not take long for Neverman to inform that the whole team was unhappy about the fact that UAE decided to play underage players. The UAE team was actually u-21 instead of u-23, as expected in the tournament. He expressed his unhappiness and said such tactics shouldn’t be used football tournaments.
“The team couldn’t take the game seriously; we felt it would be unfair to play kids who were under 21”, said Neverman. He added that the team had problems concentrating on the field because the UAE players kept teasing them and calling them names. “It’s part and parcel of football, but it’s really hard to concentrate on your game, when your opponent calls you ‘uncle’ or makes coughing gestures with their hands.” explained the Indian captain.
When asked about the lack of planning during preparations, Neverman responded by saying, “We didn’t need any more practice, we’ve been together as a team for 3 months now. AIFF has done a brilliant job by providing the best facilities any team could have asked for. The boys are used to playing in difficult conditions, no other team can play on a pitch without grass like the way we do”.
The Indian domestic circuit is filled with such under aged players. Coaches play underage players just to act cute and win trophies. Kids as young as 12 years old, who grow substantial amount of facial hair, are put into Under-19 teams. A quick survey at www.IsSheLegal.com (a site that keeps national records) shows that most players in the Indian National Team are actually three years younger than what their official
This article is a work of fiction, resemblance to real life incidents would be shocking.