India is a big relief for Under-17 World Cup footballer Anwar Ali, who has a congenital heart condition, after the Delhi High Court on Tuesday allowed him to play until the National Federation makes its final decision. The court stayed the recommendation to prevent the Medical Committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) from playing competitive football.
Ali’s lawyer Amitabh Tiwari told PTI that the High Court ruled in favor of the footballer who challenged the AIFF directive to Mohammedan Sporting not to train him with the Kolkata club. “HC ruled that Ali could play until AIFF’s final decision. Tiwari said that a September 7 letter by AIFF (Mohammedan Sporting) could not in any way prevent him from playing.
He said that after the AIFF makes its final decision, Ali may again knock the doors of the court in the future.
The AIFF Executive Committee is yet to take a final decision on the case.
The 20-year-old approached the Delhi High Court on 1 October, challenging the AIFF’s decision to bar him from playing, saying it had “taken away his livelihood as the sole bread earner of the family”.
In the petition, Ali contended that by not allowing his club Mohammedan Sporting to train him, the AIFF was violating his fundamental right to earn a livelihood, despite the center-back advancing from a doctor at the famous post graduate . Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh.
Ali was diagnosed with a heart disease called Apial Hypercardio Myopathy (HCM) last year when he was with Mumbai City FC of the Indian Super League.
As a result, he was kept out of the national camp of the Indian team.
Ali is a highly rated footballer who has represented the country at the U-15, U-17 and U-19 levels internationally and was part of India’s squad at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, where he served as the center Behind the team that started all the matches.
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das had said that AFC Medical Committee chief Dato Gurucharan Singh, who was consulted by the Medical Federation of the National Federation, has advised against continuing Ali’s game.
In keeping with Singh’s advice, as well as reports from other consultants and hospitals investigating Ali, the AIFF’s medical committee unanimously advised youth to refrain from playing football. With the court ruling him in his favor, Ali has now become a free agent who is eligible to sign for any club even after the end of the transfer window. Coming in support of the player, prominent UK-based cardiologist Drs. Sanjay Sharma had stated that most individuals with HCM have a good prognosis with an annual mortality rate of 0.4–0.8 percent. “Anavar has no obvious risk factors, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, syncope, family history of severe left ventricular hypertrophy or exercise-induced arrhythmia or sudden death from non-persistent ventricular tachycardia on a Holter monitor.”
After being prevented from playing by the AIFF last month, Ali sought the advice of Sharma, chairman of the FA Cardiology Consent Panel, a leading authority on the subject of HCM and sudden cardiac death.
Sharma had said that Anwar would have been cleared to play in England, as his position is completely odd and there is no apparent disqualification like family history.
He also stated that many players with similar and worse degrees of HCM are currently playing in the top competitive leagues in Europe and the UK.
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