Aizawl FC footballers forced to sleep near toilets in train? Club official explains

They were travelling back from Goa where they participated in the coveted Nike Premier Cup

When will our sportsmen get the attention they deserve?

Recently, pictures of the Aizawl FC U-15 squad sitting on the floor of a Guwahati-bound train went viral. It was shocking to see such young, brimming footballers having to travel in such pathetic conditions. Going by the pictures, one can easily make out that they were tired and understandably so. They were in Goa for the coveted Nike Premier Cup.

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It is utter shame that the young players got no reservation and had to spend their night beside the toilets while 18 other players remained scattered here and there. Seeing the pitiful plight of the players, a few co-passengers offered seats to some of the players but they refused as most of their teammates would not have seats to sit. It seems the Indian Railways prioritises seats only for ministers and VVIPs and overlooks our sportsmen.

In an exclusive conversation with inUth, Aizawl FC’s General Secretary said,

“Let me clarify it is the U-15 team, which was travelling from Goa to Guwahati via Kolkata after their finals. So when they were at Kolkata, half the team’s tickets were not confirmed. But after waiting for an hour, some of them got accommodated. So you must have seen the pictures of them when they were seated in the floor of the train as they were tired.”

This is not the first such incident. From blind cricketers to Paralympics squads, we have witnessed such harsh behaviour towards our sportsmen in the past as well.

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This again raises questions on the Football Fraternity of India, although it is not clear about who is to be blamed — the government or the football teams management. But, the sour fact is that if such young players are treated in this manner, then the future of football in the country is at stake.