Mumbai City's Anwar Ali. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Oct 1 : Budding footballer Anwar Ali (20), who has represented the country at various international tournaments and was an integral part of India's campaign in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017, has approached the Delhi High Court challenging the decision of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to prohibit him from practicing with his club as he suffers from a rare heart condition.

The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on October 20, after the AIFF said that Ali can appear before its medical committee and produce experts' opinion and videos on his medical condition and the meeting shall be convened in the next 10 days.

Anwar Ali through his counsel told a single judge bench of the high court comprising Justice Navin Chawla that he came from a poor background and football was his only livelihood. Ali has been diagnosed with a rare heart condition known as apical hypercardio myopathy (HCM).

Advocates Amitabh Tewari and Abhinayu Tewari, while appearing for the 20-year-old defender, submitted that their client is a highly rated footballer who has represented the country internationally at the U-15, U-17 and U-19 levels, and played every minute in India's campaign at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

"We have challenged a September 7 direction by the AIFF to Kolkata's Mohammedan Sporting Club to not allow Ali to train with the team, thereby violating his fundamental right to earn his livelihood and practice his profession due to the diagnosis of a congenital heart condition called apcial hypercardio myopathy (HCM)," Ali's legal team said.

Appearing for the AIFF, advocate Premtosh Mishra said that Ali is a fantastic player but the AIFF is in a difficult situation as if the boy is allowed to play, it may a pose a big risk to his life.

Mishra also informed the court that Ali has been examined by various doctors and after going through the opinions of the medical experts, a prima facie view has been taken not to allow him to play, but it is not a final decision as further inquiry is on.

The plea has challenged the AIFF letter and the proceedings pending before the committee, contending that it has been done in a bid to take away the right to earn his livelihood in a complete opaque, whimsical and arbitrary manner without following any rules, regulations or due procedure.

Ali's counsels also requested the court to allow their client to rejoin the team so that he can play if the decision comes in his favour.

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