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AIFF to look into Mukhi's age fraud controversy

Gourav Mukhi

Bengaluru, October 9: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will initiate a probe into the allegations of age "discrepancy" against Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Jamshedpur FC's Gourav Mukhi, who was recently declared as the youngest scorer of the ongoing cash-rich tournament.

The ISL claimed that Mukhi, at 16, was the youngest ever to score in the tournament's history when he found the net against Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium recently.

Bengaluru were leading 1-0 with 19 minutes left on the clock, when Mukhi, who came in a substitute for Jerry Mawihmingthangato produced a moment of brilliance to bring Jamshedpur back into the game.

Mukhi outmuscled Serran as he raced into the box to receive Maria Arques' chip and slotted the ball past Gurpreet Singh for the equaliser.

The debate over the forward's age began instantly, thanks to his moustache and well-built physique.

His effort against Bengaluru had won Mukhi the best emerging players of the match award as well.

"We'll pass on the matter to the relevant committees - the players status committee first or the disciplinary committee to look into the discrepancy regarding his age," said AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das.

"The discrepancy is regarding his passport which shows that he is 2002 born and a statement he issued in 2015 which stated that he is 1999 born," Das added.

The player was caught for age-fraud in 2015 during a national championship, after which the AIFF suspended the Jharkhand coach for one year and slapped a fine of Rs one lakh on the association.

Back then, Jharkhand thrashed Goa 8-3 to win the national title, where Mukhi had scored a hat-trick. But Jharkhand were stripped of the title after it was found that five of the seven players who were picked as the Under-17 World Cup team prospects were overage.

At that time, reports had mentioned Mukhi as one of the overage players, which meant he was at least 16 years old then. Three years later, he was introduced as a 16-year-old in the ISL.

The Central Registration System (CRS) was introduced in India in 2016, and Das said Mukhi's background was updated on it based on the supporting documents provided by the player, which is the norm.

The CRS which registers in-detailed information of every single player for AIFF was not implemented for the National Championships and the State Associations in 2015, but later in 2016.

(With Agency inputs)

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    Story first published: Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 14:42 [IST]
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