Updated: July 28, 2019 9:04:05 am
At least two India under-19 footballers have severely injured themselves following a freak accident in Kartepe, Turkey, where they are on an exposure tour. Sarvan Kumar Chaudhary, the father of 15-year-old left-back Manish, said his son has broken his ribs and also fractured his leg after jumping off a cable car that malfunctioned on Friday. Chaudhary added the team’s physio informed him that forward Rohit Danu, 17, too has suffered a serious knee injury.
The players were left out of the team that lost 1-0 to local club side Kocaelispor under-19 on Saturday. They will return to Delhi on Monday, where they will undergo further examination. Chaudhary said he spoke to his son briefly on Saturday morning and was given sketchy details of the incident. “They had free time so were out somewhere. Manish said he was in a lift with Danu. The lift suddenly stopped working and they tried to escape by jumping out of it. In the process, they hurt themselves badly,” Chaudhary said. “Manish has broken ribs and fractured leg while Danu has also injured his knee.”
These claims were corroborated by three All India Football Federation (AIFF) officials. “It was a ski lift, which malfunctioned for some reason. It was dark and foggy, and the lift was 10ft from ground level. The players panicked and jumped, and landed awkwardly which led to these injuries,” a senior official said, requesting anonymity, adding that Manish and Danu were taken to a hospital immediately where the doctors put a cast on the fractured parts. The duo is an integral part of India’s youth team set-up.
Manish, a left-back, plays for the Bengaluru FC academy and was a part of the club’s squad in the junior I-League. Danu, meanwhile, is considered to be one of India’s rising stars. He plays for the Indian Arrows, a developmental team floated by the AIFF, in the I-League and scored a couple of goals in the last campaign. In fact, Danu was the scorer of India’s only goal in an upset win over Oman under-19 last Monday. Chaudhary said he did not get any call from the AIFF and team management in Turkey did not share details of how the accident occurred. “We were just told that they suffered an accident and are injured. Naturally, we got extremely tense. When we asked for details, the team’s manager and physio said they will tell us after reaching Delhi on Monday,” Chaudhary said.
The AIFF official, too, said they were unaware of the seriousness of the injuries or if there were any other players who were there. “Right now, even we do not have the details. The information we have is what the players have shared with the team management. We might ask for a report once the team returns to understand what exactly happened,” the official said. The 22-member team lost one and won one match against Oman U-19 in Turkey. The third match against Jordan U-19 was abandoned due to poor weather conditions. They ended the tour on Saturday with a 1-0 defeat to Kocaelispor under-19.
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