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Aizawl defender Masih Saighani set to miss NEROCA game due to immigration issues

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The state police department say the centre-back does not have the necessary paper-work to remain in Imphal.

Aizawl FC defender Masih Saighani who has been a stalwart at the back for the reigning I-League champions this season has faced some unpleasant circumstances. The Afghan player was with his Aizawl teammates who were travelling to Manipur to play against NEROCA FC. But, at Imphal airport, the 31-year old centre-back was heckled by officials.

The Afghani defender had all the documents required along with the passport and he even had a letter from the AIFF authorizing his presence but all that was not enough to permit him in the state of Manipur. It was later revealed to the player and the club officials that citizens from China, Afghanistan and Pakistan are required to bring a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit Manipur, despite a relaxation in the procedure earlier.

It was later revealed that the Aizawl FC officials were completely unaware of this and hence all the trouble came upon their Afghani defender, Masih Saighani. The 31-year-old however saw it as harassment and was not at all happy with the situation.

"It's strange that some days ago I represented Aizawl in the AFC Champions League Playoff in Iran and the temperature there was very cold -5 degrees, but still I tried to give my best for Aizawl and for India. But, now, this is a kind of situation, where the Manipuri Police want me to leave tomorrow taking the first flight in the morning."


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Saighani also claimed that he was taken to the police station where he was told to stay for a night and then take the first flight out tomorrow morning. "I have to leave tomorrow morning, today nothing will happen anymore," he said. 

Much to his relief, the defender was escorted to the police station and after discussions, he was allowed to stay with his teammates at the hotel for the night. The defender was furious with the unexpected events as he told Khel Now, "It's a shame for Manipur and for Indian football and especially for the I league."

Aizawl FC confirmed they have indeed applied for a PAP for the Afghani defender last night

However, after the unexpected occurrence on Wednesday night, Aizawl FC officials immediately contacted NEROCA FC owner Naoba Thangjam, Chief Minister of Manipur Nongthombam Biren Singh and All India Football Federation for assistance into the matter. Later last night, the Club confirmed on social media that they were in the process of applying for Protected Area Permit and asked the fans to hope for the best.

 

Published: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:58 AM IST

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