AIFF fail to keep U-17 star Dheeraj Singh, ends I-League stint with Indian Arrows

first_imgDheeraj Singh rested speculations and rumours regarding his future with All India Football Federation’s developmental team and confirmed that his match against Mohun Bagan as his last for Indian Arrows (he was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his performance).Arguably the breakout star of the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the hosts, Dheeraj shone with stellar performances for his I-League club too. At the historic tournament, India’s first ever FIFA tournament, Dheeraj conceded eight goals. Three against the United States, one against Colombia and four in the last match versus Ghana. He made 25 stops from the three-matches and if not for him, the scorelines would have been humiliating for the hosts.WATCH VIDEO HEREUnlike his peers, the Arrows goalkeeper decided against signing a three-year contract extension that the AIFF insisted on. His initial contract ends on Sunday (December 31, 2017) and the football body wanted the youngster to sign an extension for three more years, rather than till the end of the I-League season, something Dheeraj was keen on.  “It didn’t make sense for Dheeraj to be tied down by another contract for three years (by the AIFF). He wants to trial abroad and try his luck on foreign soil,” his agent, Anuj Kichlu was quoted as saying by TOI on Saturday. The AIFF, on the other hand, said they couldn’t make an exception for Dheeraj, especially since all other players had signed long-term contracts.”We were offering Dheeraj the same contract which we offered to the rest of the team. We are not a club, so cannot differentiate,” said a AIFF official.advertisementDheeraj took to Instagram to confirm that he indeed would be leaving the Indian Arrows, saying that his time with the club was “memorable”.”Shared points against the mighty Mohun Bagan day before yesterday. This was my last match with the Arrows and a memorable day to finish off the year.Like always it’s been an honor to play alongside such a wonderful & talented bunch of boys in Indian Arrows. Finally, I would take this opportunity to thank my coach and the officials for giving me the opportunity and making me grow and mature as a footballer that I’m today.Cheers!”The keeper has been linked with a move abroad with English clubs West Ham United and Charlton Athletic Club and Toronto FC  in the USA, being possible teams. But as of now his most likely destination can be Scotland, with Motherwell FC showing interest.Dheeraj is expected to leave as soon as he gets his visa.last_img read more