This Kashmiri Football Club Is Fighting for a New Beginning

Real Kashmir Football Club, which represents the valley, is struggling with a new identity.

2 min read

It’s been more than a month and the players of Real Kashmir FC have not been in touch with their families. It was on the day of Eid that their owners had specially arranged for the players to speak to their families and since then the boys have been travelling and playing games across the nation without really knowing if their families are safe or not.

We have talked only once or twice with our families. Our owner made some arrangements. The VIPs have access to working phones there. So he made arrangements for us on Eid. I don’t have any information about them right now.
Khalid Qayoom

When asked about the amount of change that has come in their game due to the lock down of the valley, the players were firm on the fact that when they are on the field they ensure that their entire focus is on the game.

It is tense over there, so playing feels like we are playing for Kashmir. We just went to the Durand Cup. The situation was very tense, but we will still manage it because we are professionals and we know our jobs.
Khalid Qayoom, Player, Real Kashmir FC

The team comprises players and staff not just from Kashmir but from all around the world. The coach David Robertson from Scotland believes that the players are really strong and nothing can come in between their game.

Having been in Kashmir for 2-3 years, the players coming from there are really robust. They have had to deal with a lot of things and this one obviously is the most difficult part for them. Being away and not being able to contact their families.
David Robertson, Head Coach, Real Kashmir FC
Whenever I’m about to play a game, I call up my parents. My mother and father, and tell them that I’m going to play and they would give me blessings. So, when we played Durand Cup, I was missing that a lot and I was missing my family before every game. Although, the coach would motivate us in the dressing room by telling us that we are like your family.
Danish Bhat, Player, Real Kashmir FC

The team played the Durand Cup after the abrogation of Article 370 and made it till the semi-finals of the cup. They lost to Mohun Bagan in the Semi Finals of the cup.

Editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan
Producer: Bilal Jaleel

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!