New Delhi: All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel on Thursday said that strict action would be taken against those who are found guilty of negligence after a local football player died on the pitch during a game due to lack of medical attention in Bangalore.
"It's unfortunate that something like this has happened. We will definitely look into it and take action," said Patel.
"We don't know the cause as yet as to what exactly happened. Basically, all major matches and all the tournaments do have medical facilities available on stand-by like in any other game. In any tournament, there are some standard procedures that are there. If for some reasons, something has gone wrong we will take action," Patel told NDTV.
D Venkatesh, a 27-year-old striker from Bangalore Mars, had come on as a late substitute in the home A-league match against South Western Railway on Wednesday. Within minutes, he collapsed on the ground. But because of the absence of an ambulance, he had to be taken to a hospital in an auto-rickshaw. Unfortunately, he died on the way to the hospital.
Patel said to solely blame the AIFF for the unfortunate incident is "ridiculous".
"It's unfortunate ... but to attribute it only to the football management would be absolutely, I would say ridiculous," he said.
"AIIF is an overall body which looks after the affair of football in the country. There are state associations which actually conduct the football. There are guidelines which need to be adhered to. I am not saying that if something like this has happened we should overlook it, certainly not, we will not only look into it, correct the shortcomings but also take action," said Patel.
Asked whether the incident would cast a shadow over India's bid to host the prestigious 2015 Club World Cup and the 2017 U-17 World Cup, Patel replied in negative.
"... certainly, the incident will be known and it should be known. The incident does not dent our chances, in fact, one of the reasons why we are hoping to have the 2017 World Cup is to put some timetable before us so that India gets moving. If India does not get moving in 5 years when is it going to move," questioned Patel.
Dhanraj, Venkatesh's father who took his son to the Hosmat hospital, said, "We don't want anything ... leave us alone. We had to carry him in an auto-rickshaw."
In 2005, Dempo's Brazilian footballer Cristiano Junior had collapsed after an injury during the Federation Cup match and died on the field on December 5 in Bangalore.