The small amounts collected from the Indian footballers as fines for minor breach of discipline are being put to use for a noble cause as the team decided to donate Rs 50,000 to the Indian Blind Football Federation.
The fines were collected from the national team members over the past few years for breach of discipline like arriving late for training sessions, carrying mobile phones for meals, and wearing the wrong attire.
This money donated by the ‘Blue Tigers’ will be used by the IBFF to buy footballs.Head coach Stephen Constantine said “it’s important to give it back to the community”.
“The footballs which the blind footballers use cost USD 50 each. So, we are helping them buy some balls,” he said ahead of India’s Asian Cup group match against hosts United Arab Emirates on Thursday.
“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.”
Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said the players “support the noble cause wholeheartedly”.
“We love this concept of helping others with the money,” Gurpreet said.
“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.”
IBFF sporting director Sunil J. Mathew thanked the Indian team 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 said.
“We would like to especially thank the entire AIFF coaching staff and the national team for their support. We wish the entire team the very best for the Asian Cup.”