Ex-footballers to play charity match for late Dhanarajan

Radhakrishnan Dhanarajan died of a cardiac arrest on December 29 last year while playing in a Sevens football tournament in Malappuram, Kerala.

Dhanarajan died while playing a seven-a-side match for FC Perintalmanna in Perintalmanna, Kerala, after reportedly suffering from cardiac arrest.   -  Twitter

Former international players including the likes of ex-India captain Arnab Mondal will turn out in a charity football match in Kolkata to help late Radhakrishnan Dhanarajan’s family.

Dhanarajan, a former Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting player, died of a cardiac arrest on December 29 last year while playing in an All India Sevens tournament at Perinthalmanna in Malappuram district of Kerala.

Mondal, Mehtab Hossain, Rahim Nabi, Denson Devadas and several other members of Players Forum, along with Indian Football Association (IFA) and Income Tax Recreation Club have decided to organise the charity match at the Mohammedan Sporting ground on February 19.

The entire gate revenue from the match will be handed over to Dhanarajan’s family.

“Obviously, we can’t get Dhanarajan back to his family. But, this is what we can do from our end. He played in the Kolkata maidan for long and the football-loving crowd of Bengal will never forget him. It’s the time to show your support for him, for football,” former India captain Mondal said.

READ | Chhetri, Jinghan, Gokulam Kerala lead fundraiser for Dhanarajan

In an event in Kolkata, Jaydeep Mukherjee, president of IFA, unveiled the two team jerseys for the charity match.

“It’s a joint venture by the Indian Football Association, Income Tax Recreation Club and Players Forum. Dhanarajan had also represented Bengal in Santosh Trophy. It’s our responsibility to stand by his family in this tough period. The entire ticket sales as well as the sponsored amount, whatever we can put together, will be forwarded to his family,” Mukherjee said.

Previously, Gokulam Kerala FC had donated INR 5.6 lakh, the entire ticket sales from its I-League match against Churchill Brothers on January 26 to the late footballer’s family.

National team skipper Sunil Chhetri, Amrinder Singh, Sandesh Jhingan and living legend IM Vijayan bought a bulk number of tickets to serve the cause.

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“It’s a small step which we can take. It’s a collaborative effort which would probably help his family to some extent. One of our fellow players was affected by cancer and we tried to help him as well. It’s our moral responsibility and we look forward to lending a hand to anyone whoever needs it,” midfielder Hossain said.

Normal tickets will be priced INR 50 and there will be a special ‘guest card’ worth of INR 500 which will be available at the Mohammedan Sporting ground, IFA office from Thursday.

In order to reach out to more fans, IFA has plans to put more outlets over the next few days.

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