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Ashique Kuruniyan clarifies his comments on India-Argentina friendly

Published at :July 8, 2023 at 4:27 AM
Modified at :July 8, 2023 at 4:30 AM
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Alen Philip Mathew

Ashique Kuruniyan has said that he would love to see Lionel Messi play a game in India.

In a recent interview with a Kerala news channel, India international Ashique Kuruniyan expressed his views on the invitation extended to the Argentina national team to play a friendly match in India. However, after his words garnered attention and were misinterpreted by some on social media, Kuruniyan took to the same platform to clarify his comments.

"I would like to clarify some of my comments in a recent interview which is somewhere misinterpreted in the social by some. I said what I said from the heart, and I would say it again if necessary. I have no qualms about admitting that I was not a very good football player in my youth. However, I was lucky to have the right circumstances, which helped me reach this stage."

In his social media post, Kuruniyan began by acknowledging the presence of more talented players in his youth, but stressed that they lacked opportunities due to insufficient facilities, training, and support. As a result, injuries, lack of improvement, and forced abandonment of sports occurred. He emphasized the need for improved facilities and infrastructure to prevent such outcomes.

Kuruniyan highlighted the disparity in sports grounds in Malappuram and their insufficient year-round suitability, emphasizing the importance of ongoing maintenance, "I know that there are many grounds in Malappuram. However, how many of these are eligible for year-round training? If these grounds are prepared for a tournament, they are often left to deteriorate afterward. This is the reality."

The footballer emphasized the need to invest in long-term growth of Indian football, without targeting any specific government. He urged wise resource allocation for long-term projects. "I personally have no problem with the governments in power today or in the past. However, I believe that we should not spend a lot of money on things that are not good for the long-term future of Indian football," he wrote.

Ashique Kuruniyan stated that it is preferable to focus on developing local talent rather than organizing an Argentinian friendly match. He emphasized the importance of enhancing facilities and creating opportunities for coaches and players. His ultimate objective is to increase the number of young individuals from Kerala who represent India, "I would love to see Lionel Messi play a football match in India. However, I would rather see kids from my state playing for the national team. The best way to do that is to improve our facilities, provide better sports fields, and give coaches and players more opportunities."

Kuruniyan clarified that his comments primarily addressed the imperative of well-maintained training grounds. He expressed his excitement at the prospect of the national team visiting his city and other districts of the state for training, believing that this would serve as an inspiration for more children to engage in sports.

"My comments were about the need for well-maintained training grounds. I am excited to accompany the national team to my city and other districts of the state for training. This will encourage more children to take up sports."