When Jamshedpur FC’s Gourav Mukhi scored against Bengaluru FC from the bench, he was dubbed as the youngest goalscorer in ISL at the age of 16.
83' It took Gourav 10 minutes to go from being the youngest ever player to becoming the youngest ever goal scorer in the history of the #HeroISL! What a way to make your debut 👏
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) October 7, 2018
An Indian player getting his ISL debut at the age of 16 and scoring against a team like Bengaluru FC on his debut would have been such an amazing story to tell, if it would have been true.
When people saw Gourav Mukhi, suspicions were raised over his age. He sports a handlebar mustache with blonde hair and body shape which for a 16-year-old to achieve would have to hit the gym at the age of 13.
The All India Football Federation decided to launch an investigation in this matter and Gourav Mukhi was found guilty for age fraud.
He has been handed a 6 months suspension and his existing registrations in Central Registration System (CRS) and Competition Management System (CMS) have been revoked.
So What Is His Real Age?
Although the exact number cannot be pinned down, Gourav Mukhi is definitely not 16.
In an interview with a journalist from Telegraph, the author of the article states Gourav Mukhi’s age as 28.
Previously, he was caught for a similar age fraud when he represented the state of Jharkhand for Coca-Cola Cup in the U-15 category in 2015. If he was not 15 in 2015, he is definitely not 16 in 2018.
Jharkhand was stripped off their title and Gourav Mukhi was handed a suspension.
However, Gourav Mukhi is not the one to blame here as football and age fraud in India usually go hand in hand.
Age Is Just A Number In Domestic Football:
When Gourav Mukhi was confronted by the AIFF regarding the recent age fraud for Jamshedpur FC he submitted a statement which addressed his previous fraud too.
Before any competition is hosted under AIFF’s banner, the players have to undergo a medical test. He passed the medical test while representing Jharkhand in the U-15 category in 2015 twice.
Gourav Mukhi even has a passport to support his birthdate of April 1999 on basis of which the manager of Jamshedpur FC Souptikk Das defended his player.
I personally have seen overage players carrying a fake ID proof to participate in events not made for their category. In our colleges too, students who have passed out, come play at the university level and coaches encourage them to do so.
From personal experience, age fraud if not encouraged, but is definitely ignored at the domestic level and this incident is just a reflection of problems at the root level.
This case will die out in a matter of months as the disciplinary committee has not taken any serious action against the player and the club still remains to face any action against the age fraud.
Believe it or not, Gourav Mukhi can still hold the title of the youngest goalscorer in ISL despite the suspension as after 6 months he can register in the system with the same passport which shows his age as 16.
Image Credits: Google Images
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