It is a major compromise as far as safety of under-16 inter-school footballers is concerned.
On Wednesday, St Lawrence High School, Borivli striker Tanishq Shetty injured his nose during an U-16 Div I tie against St Stanislaus, Bandra in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school football tournament at Azad Maidan.
Play safe: St Lawrence’s Tanishq Shetty (centre) during their match against St Stanislaus at Azad Maidan on Wednesday. PICs/Shadab Khan
However, a ward boy from a nearby hospital, Jagan attended to Tanishq.
Tanishq (14) started bleeding profusely trying to score a goal. Fortunately, the impact was not serious. It was the second time Tanishq injured his nose in the span of four days.
The injury serves as an eye-opener given the number of matches played throughout the year at MSSA.
Referee Stephen Fernandes informed MiD DAY that matches are being conducted without the presence of a doctor since a few days.
St Lawrence coach Louis Fernandes was furious. “The organisers (MSSA) should at least keep a doctor on duty. But nobody seems to be bothered. If anything serious would have occurred, MSSA would have put the blame on us (the school),” said the coach.
MSSA football secretary Xavier Faria held an NGO responsible for the lack of medical facilities.
“We have a tie up with them to provide medical help. Despite contacting them, the concerned person hasn’t reported. That is why we have made a stop-gap arrangement for morning matches. We managed to get Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) attendant Shankar for afternoon matches,” said Faria.
Meanwhile, Tanishq has been advised complete rest. “The doctor (Dr Ramnathan Iyer at Bhagwati Hospital) said that the injury is not serious, but I have been advised not to play for a week,” he said.