The youngster had earlier pleaded with the AIFF to permit him to take part in sporting activities.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has recommended to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that young defender Anwar Ali should be restricted from all competitive sporting activities due to his worrying heart condition.
The chairman of AFC’s medical commission, Dato Gurucharan Singh, has given a stern warning that Ali’s condition could aggravate if he’s allowed to play competitive football on a regular basis. The AIFF will take its final decision on the matter after having called a meeting of its Emergency Committee.
Mohammedan Sporting, who recently signed Ali, have made it clear that they won’t register the youngster for the upcoming I-League Qualifiers which are to begin on October 8. Speaking about the AFC’s recommendation, an AIFF official told the Indian Express, “AFC has warned that the condition Anwar is suffering with, can cause cardiac arrest and hence, they have recommended these players should be restricted from competitive sports activity.”
“Anwar can, however, play the sport as a leisure activity as the level of exertion will be less. This is the same observation the AIFF’s medical commission and leading doctors in India made as well. We have now called a meeting of the Emergency Committee to take a decision.”
Ali, however, has made a plea to the AIFF to allow him to make a personal representation in front of the committee to plead his case. While the Federation are likely to accept that, it’s still unclear whether or not Ali will be present in the emergency meeting or in front of the Federation’s medical panel.
Meanwhile, Dipendu Biswas, Mohammedan’s sporting director, confirmed that Ali’s name won’t be registered for the upcoming matches, but they will ensure something in the future for the youngster, so that he doesn’t have any financial struggles. He said, “As things stand, he will not be eligible to play in the tournaments conducted by the AFC and AIFF.”
“Anwar Ali is training with the squad right now, but his name will not be registered for the I-League Qualifiers. We will check if he can play the Calcutta Football League since his contract with us is year-long. Ultimately, a coaching course or a government job will ensure he does not have any financial struggles, so we will try to help him with that,” he added.
Ali was recognized as one of brightest young defenders in the country after breaking through as part of the India U-17 side that played in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017. But, the young defender was diagnosed with a rare condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where the heart muscles become unusually thick and affect the pumping of blood. He agreed to terminate his contract with Mumbai City FC with mutual agreement after he was advised by doctors to give up the sport.
He recently made an emotional post on social media, where he indicated that his disqualification would ‘be “a death sentence for me and my family.” Anwar Ali made it clear that he’s ready to take the risk of continuing to play at the highest level. But, it remains to be seen what decision the AIFF comes to after being given a stern message from the AFC.