All India Football Federation comes up with an application called ‘AIFF Golden Baby league’ to monitor age frauds in Indian football. Anyone who wants to get his/her kid enrolled in any academy affiliated to the AIFF, or in the academies of different I-league teams, will have to get the player registered at the age of 6 through the app.

The app will help AIFF to create a database that will contain information regarding of all young and upcoming players. The database will be maintained whether they remain in football or not to pursue football in the future.

Indian football has been recently rocked by several age scandals at junior and sub-junior level. Footballers from Aizwal FC, Shillong Lajong, Neroca FC and Minerva Punjab failed the TW3 bone age determination test during the All India Football Federation (AIFF) U-13 Youth League in April this year.

Before this, Jamshedpur FC Striker Gaurav Mukhi was suspended for six months in December 2018 for signing as a 16-year old in the Indian Super League(ISL). Mukhi was announced as ISL’s youngest-ever goal-scorer when he scored against Bengaluru FC. However, everyone found it hard to believe that Mukhi, sporting a heavy moustache, was indeed 16 years old. He was later found out when his social media page indicated that he was born on April 5, 1999.

Age frauds in Indian football is lot more common than one can expected. In 2012, an alarming 72% of the probables selected by AIFF for the U-17 World Cup team were found to be overage.

The CEO of I-league, Sunando Dhar commented to Times of India, describing the Golden Baby League App, “This age fraud is an issue. It is an issue for many developing countries. It is huge problem in India. We want to have control over age cheating. We want to nip it in the bud. It is difficult to fudge your age at the age of six. People mostly fudge their board of school certificates and gain undue advantage.

“All players are getting registered through the app. A kid getting registered at the age of six will get a unique number. There is no way the age can be fudged in the later years. The unique number is like a passport number or an Adhaar number which doesn’t change every year. It will be much easier for us to track the kid. So, 10 years later, whether he is 16 or still showing his age as 13 will easily found out. The app will also help us to have a greater data base of footballers who are actively playing the sport in the country.”

Source: Times of India


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Aspiring journalist working for and exploring the juncture of sports, business and technology. Interested in sports economy and logistics of sports policy-making.

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