Mumbai: A football player whose shin bone was broken during the inter-collegiate university football tournament organised by University of Mumbai, was left helplessly yelling on the ground for half-an-hour as there was neither stand-by doctor, physiotherapist, ambulance or even a simple stretcher to carry the injured player which is pre-condition to start a football match. Injured player is identified as Ajay Jaiswal (19), a student of second year Bachelor of Commerce (SYBA) at Dnyan Sadhana College, Thane. He is in the intensive care unit (ICU). His condition is reported stable but needs a surgery. Doctors are waiting for his swelling to normalise.
With FIFA U-17 World Cup scheduled in 2017 with all the money involved with the leagues like Indian Super League (ISL) one must have thought that the sport is getting a major boost in our country but this incident proved it to be wrong. Annual inter-university football matches are organised by the University of Mumbai and three local colleges – Thakur College (Kandivali), Somaiya College (Vidyavihar), and CK Thakur College (Panvel). On Thursday morning, as usual second round of inter-university football tournament started at 10.50 am, 20 minutes behind the schedule. It was the third match of Dnyan Sadhana College its player Ajay was on defending position. He took the ball and led toward the goal post. Before he reached the goal post, he was accidently kicked by a player from the opponent team.
The kick was like any other kick in the football match as it looked prima facie. Ajay fall down on short distance and he did not get up. He was yelling. Coach, who rushed to the injured player, waved his hand for medical assistance but there was no response from the organiser. In a short span of time, all team members and audience gathered around the injured player. His leg had heavy swelling and he could not move his leg and was yelling due to unbearable pain.
Dnyan Sadhana College coach Taposh Ghosh said, “There was no doctor, physiotherapist, ambulance or a simple stretcher. Few students got a wooden bench without handle. Then someone got a ladder to lift injured player.”
He added, “After a while, someone got a rickshaw which was not fit to carry an injured player. For more than 35 minutes, the player was yelling on the ground.” He alleged that the tournament co-ordinator has a car but he did not offer to ferry the patient. Instead, he pretended to be calling to hospital. Prof Vinod Naik who was co-ordinating the tournament at CK Thakur College justified “From 150 years, tournaments are happenings like this (without doctor and ambulance).”
He said, “It is very costly to keep an ambulance stand-by and university does not pay the bill.” However, he boasted that his college trust has a hospital and fleet of six ambulances in Panvel city.” When asked why did not one of the six ambulance was called, Prof Naik said, “We called but driver was absent.” Again, when asked why the college did not borrow a makeshift stretcher from their medical trust, Naik blamed the university. He said, “It is a job of the university to arrange it. There is a mess in the university as there is no post of Physical Education director who is responsible for carrying out tournaments.”
‘Take note of it’
Souter Vaz, secretary of Western India Football Association (WIFA), said, “Ambulance and doctor are imperatively needed before the start a football match. Starting a match without basic medical amenities is equivalent to a crime against the player and their life would be jeopardised in absence of doctor and ambulance. We request the university to take a serious note of the incident.”
-Inputs from Ronald Chettiar