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Anwar Ali fails to turn up before before AIFF Medical Committee

05:07 BST 27/09/2020
Anwar Ali India U17
The defender chose not to turn up in front of the AIFF Medical Committee...

Anwar Ali chose not to appear before the AIFF's (All India Football Federation) Sports Medical Committee on Saturday morning, Goal can confirm.

This was after the defender submitted a plea with the AIFF, seeking a hearing to contest his case and explain why he should be allowed to play despite being diagnosed with a congenital heart disease.

Though the federation granted him an audience, he could not present himself before the committee at such 'short notice.'

The Medical Committee comprises of Dr Vece Paes, Chairman, Dr GD Gandhi, Deputy Chairman, and five other members in Dr Harsh Mahajan, Dr Nisha Alvares, Dr Nisith Chowdhury, Dr PSM Chandran, and Dr Pralay Majumdar. 

It is the same committee that recommended to the AIFF not to allow Anwar Ali to engage in any competitive or physical sports, particularly football.

AFC's (Asian Football Confederation) Medical Committee Chairman, Dr Dato Gurucharan Singh, was also ready to be present at the meeting and hear what Anwar had to say.

It was Dr. Singh who had earlier told AIFF that it was a risk to allow Anwar to play. He had said that 'competitive sports activity is associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiovascular death (SCD) in adolescents and young adults with clinically silent cardiovascular disorders.' 

The AIFF's Emergency Committee is expected to take a final call soon on whether Anwar will be allowed to play competitive football in India or not.

But it is likely that the Emergency Committee will stick to the advisory provided by the in-house medical committee and AFC's chief medical officer.

It is understood that Anwar is mulling legal options in case the AIFF decides not to allow him to play professional, competitive football.

Even, when Ali travelled to France in 2019, to be examined by Dr Francois Carre, chief of the medical department of sports medicine at the University Hospital of Rennes, he also opined that the “practice of a competitive sport in competition presented an excessively high risk of a serious cardiac accident." 

In August 2020, the defender went for further investigation at Sonoscan Healthcare Kolkata under cardiologist Dr Ashfaque Ahmed. The medical practitioner opined that the player may engage in physical (contact sport) activity but there is a small risk of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD).

In September 2020, Anwar visited Apollo Gleneagles in Kolkata where he was examined by Consultant Cardiologist Dr Shankha Surbha Das with all the past reports. He confirmed the diagnosis of left apical ventricular hypertrophy and stated that Anwar was not fit for competitive sports.

Then, another Cardiac MRI scan was conducted at Amri Hospital Kolkata by Dr Hirak Ray Chowdhury. The report found Apical Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) and the player was sent to Dr Harsh Mahajan and Dr Nisha Alvares for their opinions.

Dr Mahajan's report stated that the player cannot participate in high impact sports, like football. Similarly, Dr Alvares also concluded that competitive football exposes Anwar to substantial risk to his life which the federation (AIFF) ideally should not take.  

It is highly unlikely that the Indian FA will go against the recommendation of medical experts.