Two young men from Kashmir will be playing football at a club in Spain, thanks to the efforts of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). This is as a result of a tie-up between CRPF and Sociedad Deportiva Lenense Proinastur, which is a third division team playing in the prestigious La Liga in Spain.
Basit Ahmed and Mohammed Asrar Renbar are the two 18-year-old footballers who showed themselves to be worthy of playing for the international side. This would be the first time a player from India, let alone two, will be playing for this Spanish club.
The duo was selected after a prolonged talent hunt by the CRPF and will be at the club for at least one season (which is about six months).
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
Speaking to the portal Greater Kashmir, a CRPF spokesman said, “Football is a very popular game in Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir has produced top class players who have gone on to play at both National and International level like Abdul Majid Kakroo, Ishfaq Ahmed and Mehrajuddin Wadoo.”
This is particularly good news for those living in the valley as the region has been marred by unrest lately and that has resulted in no sporting activity in the last four months. Both the teenagers stand on their own merit, having played national juniors. As part of the deal struck with CRPF, all expenses for the duo would be taken care of by the club. Basit would be playing as a Centre Forward and Muhammed would be a Winger for the club.
This is part of a larger initiative by the force to recognise and encourage sporting talent in the Jammu & Kashmir region, and to make it happen, they have partnered with Football Next Foundation. The boys for their part are ecstatic, deeming this opportunity a “dream come true”.