In a gesture to light up blind football in India, the Blue Tigers have decided to donate a sum of Rs. 50,000 from monetary sanctions gathered for breach of discipline to the Indian Blind Football Federation to buy footballs to them to play.
The sanctions which have been prevalent over the past few years in the form of monetary fines have been collected for breach of discipline like arriving late for sessions, carrying mobile phones for meals, wearing the wrong attire, etc.
Head Coach Stephen Constantine felt “it’s important to give it back to the community.”
“The footballs which the blind footballers use cost $50 each. So we are helping them busy some balls,” he said. “We collectively agreed among everybody within the National Team -- the players, and the staff that any money collected from fines or any misdemeanours will be donated for a good cause. It's just a very small gesture, but it shows that we can."
National Team Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu stated the players “support the noble cause wholeheartedly.”
“We love this concept of helping others with the money,” explained Gurpreet. “The sanctions are there to impart discipline amongst us. Although nobody wants to be fined, this initiative makes us believe in the larger aspects of life. If we are able to contribute for a cause or help, why not. It helps us be better individuals.”
Meanwhile, Sunil J Mathew, Sporting Director, IBFF, thanked the Blue Tigers for their initiative. "This is to acknowledge and thank you for the donation towards helping cover the stay & kit expenses at the National Blind Football Academy at Kochi,” he commented. “We would like to especially thank the entire AIFF Coaching staff & the National Team for their support. We wish the entire team the very best for the Asian Cup.”