The Sports Medical Committee (SMC) of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is likely to recommend that Anwar Ali should refrain from playing professional football due to his ‘congenital heart condition’, Goal has learnt.
The committee, led by Dr Vece Paes, deliberated on the matter on Sunday and after going through his medical reports arrived at the conclusion that playing football professionally constitutes a health risk for the youngster who had represented India at the 2017 U17 World Cup.
The Executive Committee of the AIFF is expected to take a final call on the matter now. However, they are highly unlikely to deviate from the SMC's recommendation. That would mean, Ali cannot be registered in any competition under the aegis of AIFF.
It is an unfortunate turn of events for the talented youngster who was earmarked as one to watch out for. After impressing for Indian Arrows in the 2018-19 season, Ali was roped in by Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Mumbai City FC who first identified his health risk.
He was advised not to play by experts in Mumbai, following which the club and India head coach Igor Stimac helped him to fly to France for expert opinion and treatment.
In 2019, the Minerva Punjab academy graduate travelled to France to be examined by Dr. Francois Carre, chief of the medical department of sports medicine at the University Hospital of Rennes, who opined that the “practice of a competitive sport in competition presented an excessively high risk of a serious cardiac accident."
However, he came back to India and started training in Adampur, Punjab. A couple of months later, he got himself a fitness certificate from a cardiologist based in Jalandhar. He was subsequently roped in by Mohammedan Sporting who are set to ply their trade in the upcoming I-League 2nd division.
His new club also consulted a Kolkata-based cardiologist who in his report, stated that there is a 'small risk of SCD (sudden cardiac death)'. Although his condition showed an improvement, the report suggested that he was not ready for professional competitive football.
Mohammedan sent his latest report to the federation to be inspected by its SMC. But as mentioned earlier, the committee decided that it would be a risk for Ali to participate in a physical sport like football.
The 20-year-old was a regular in India's campaign at the U17 World Cup in 2017. He also scored the winner Argentina U20 during a friendly match in the COTIF tournament in Spain. The centre-back was even named in the probables by Stimac for the King's Cup in Thailand in 2019. But the test reports from France prevented him from joining the camp.