Gourav Mukhi was the youngest ever goal scorer in the Indian Super League — until it emerged that he wasn’t. (Twitter: @FTalentScout)
When a teenage sensation on Tim Cahill’s Indian Super League team became the competition’s youngest ever goal scorer, the Socceroo legend lent in and told him: “This is the best moment in your life.”
Though, as it turns out, there was slightly more to that life than Cahill and the league had been led to believe.
Some 12 years, give or take.
For Gourav Mukhi was not the 16-year-old tyro breaking scoring records, rather a 28-year-old veteran with less of his future ahead of him.
He has now been banned for six months for falsely claiming otherwise.
Gourav Mukhi has been suspended for six months for failing to prove his stated age. (Twitter: @3red)
It was in October this year that Mukhi scored the equaliser in Jamshedpur FC’s 2-2 draw with Bengaluru FC that got Cahill and others so excited.
In light of his clerical error he is now barred from playing and has had his club registration pulled for failing to provide evidence to back up the original claim as to his true age.
“The AIFF Disciplinary Committee found the player Gourav Mukhi guilty on the basis of the evidence presented by him, his admissions and the statements of Manager of U-16 AIFF academy in 2015,” reads a statement from the All India Football Federation.
“The AIFF Disciplinary Committee also observed that the existing registration of Gourav Mukhi, both in the Central Registration System (CRS) as well as the Competition Management System (CMS) shall stand cancelled and revoked with immediate effect, with liberty upon the player/his appropriate club, to submit original valid appropriate documents for fresh registration under CRS and CMS.”
In retrospect the clues were there.
Most visibly in the form of a luscious moustache he has been sporting all season.
But also, a quick review of his social media accounts would have been enough to cast doubt on the veracity of his claim to still being in his teens, his personal info on his Facebook page stating he was “born on April 5, 1999”.
And even an uplifting feature, published earlier this year, on the actually-not-so-young star’s journey from modest beginnings to the top of the domestic game in the Telegraph of India told a “story of sheer tenacity and passion for the 28-year-old striker”.
A tenacity that he clearly failed to employ during the business of official form filling in the off-season.