An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury has ended Indian striker Farukh Choudhary’s SAFF Championship campaign and to make sure that the youngster does not feel left out, the national football team dedicated its win over Maldives to him.
India defeated Maldives 3-1 in its final league engagement to make the summit clash with an unbeaten run. The match saw star striker and captain Sunil Chhetri score a brace and go past the legendary Pele in terms of number of international goals.
In its moment of triumph, the side remembered the 24-year-old Choudhary, who suffered an ACL injury in the match against Nepal that ruled him out for the rest of the Championship. He has played just 14 matches so far in his India career.
The entire contingent posed with a jersey of Choudhary saying in chorus “We love you, Farukh.”
The team also placed his jersey no. 12 on the bench throughout the match. And, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu even wore it jersey at the post match flash interview.
“This is for Farukh,” Gurpreet stated, pointing to the jersey.
“Unfortunately, he sustained a bad injury and he did have a very valuable assist in the match against Nepal. It was extremely harsh that he had to go out. We want to dedicate it to Farukh and make it worth it,” he added.
Chhetri said the team wanted to win the game against Maldives to bring a smile on Choudhary’s face.
“Here is the guy who went through this (injury) so that we can win the game against Nepal, if there is any moment in the game (against Maldives) where we lose motivation we are going to do it (win) for him because it may bring a little bit of smile on his face,” he said.
“All of us understood his pain. Losing a match, losing a tournament, losing 5-0, all these things are bearable but getting injured is the worst. No person should go through it.”
The Indians will take on Nepal in the final on Saturday.