Gourav Mukhi went from being celebrated as the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Indian Super League to being suspended for six months after authorities found that he wasn’t actually 16-years-old, but 28.
Mukhi’s troubles started back in October when the Jamshedpur FC striker scored a “historic goal” against Bengaluru FC. Not only was it a crucial equaliser for his team, but it made him the youngest scorer in the history of India’s soccer league. He was only 16 at the time, or at least that’s what his documents showed, but all the attention made people look at him more closely, and some started expressing doubts about his age online.
It didn’t take long for evidence of his deceit to come out, as only three years prior, he had been suspended from the National U16 Football Championship, for being much older than he claimed. So if he was older than 16 three years ago, how could he be 16 now?
“Given that Mukhi sports a full-grown moustache and has developed enviable biceps, it is hard to believe that he is 16,” Sportskeeda wrote back in October. “Even if one doesn’t judge him by looks and goes by the record, there’s no way that Mukhi can be 16, the youngest ISL player or even the youngest goalscorer in the ISL. For, three years ago itself, Mukhi and four others were found to be “considerably overage” by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the sport’s governing body in the country. This pertains to the 2015 Sub-Junior National Football Championship and Mukhi, representing Jharkhand, led his state to the title after thrashing Goa 8-3.”
The debate around Gourav Mukhi ‘s age became so heated that the Indian Football Federation had no choice but to demand clear proof of the player’s age. When he couldn’t show documents proving he was 16-years-old, the striker’s club registration was revoked and he received a six-month suspension. According to Telegraph India, this teenage prodigy is actually 28-years-old.