Sahal Abdul Samad, the brightest spark of Kerala Blasters season so far, had also agreed to play a match for Hitachi Thrikaripur, who also has former Kerala Blasters forward Mohammad Rafi playing for them. However, the young talent pulled out of the squad hours before the game, allegedly due to pressure from the Kerala Blasters management.
Sahal's absence from the lineup was publicly announced at the venue of the game by the organizers. "Sahal is not here because Blasters management denied him permission to play tonight."
The Malappuram-born midfielder is the latest addition to a list of professional footballers playing Sevens football games during their off-season or breaks. Anas Edathodika and Ashique Kuruniyan had played Sevens football last
Sevens football matches
The scores were level between Al Shabab and Usha FC even after a penalty shoot-out and a coin toss declared the Thrissur-based Usha FC as the winner. The winning team featured former Gokulam Kerala player Ashik Usman whose contract was terminated by the I-League club recently.