Kerala Blasters: Zakeer Mundampara plays Sevens football, Sahal Abdul Samad pulls out

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Kerala Blasters' midfielders Sahal Abdul Samad and Zakeer Mundampara agreed to play Sevens football during the international break...

Kerala Blasters midfielder Zakeer Mundampara took the field in a Sevens football match for Al Shabab FC against Usha FC on Thursday at Mankada in Malappuram.

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 season and the latter's participation had not gone down well with FC Pune City, the club he is professionally contracted to.

Sevens football matches offers plenty of excitement for the fans but the participation of professional footballers in amateurish tournaments is not a risk worth taking, particularly due to the possiblility of picking up an injury during the high-octane games, of which some don't even require the players to wear protective football gear.

 

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.

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