Mohammed Yousuf Khan in 1962 had helped India beat South Korea in football during the Asian Games. Khan two years before that had also represented India during the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Yousuf Khan (Top, third from left) SportsKeeda
Khan lost his life in 2006 due to heart attack, but for over 40 years not only was he ignored, but thanks to government’s apathy, the current generation is not even aware of the contribution.
While we all know the condition of football in India, people who have actually been part of the Indian team could have used a person like Khan to campaign and promote the sport and generate more interest in the game.
File photo of the Indian football team that took part in the 1960 Olympics. New Indian Express
During the event, India’s chef-de-mission had criticised the hosts for excluding teams from Israel and Taiwan for political reasons.The move had not only made India unpopular in the games and but they had to face a hostile crowd right from the beginning of the Games.
These were a breed of Indian footballers who belonged to tougher times and playing football was a matter of life and death for them.
The Hard Tackle
In this lot, Khan stood out from the rest as he was the midfield maestro for the Indian team. Even today Khan is considered one of the best all-round players to come out of India.
He used to gallop like a horse when he used to play and his ball control in midfield was a thing for the legends.
The country and the government though didn’t give him anything more in return.
But despite that his determination never lessened and he continued to push on and never give up.
The legs that once created magic in few years could not even support Khan. They were so swollen that at times one could see the struggle and pain on his face while he tried getting up.
It was a tragedy as Yousuf Khan was being forced to live on the Rs. 3500 monthly pension which he got by virtue of retiring from the Police Department and an additional Rs.2000 a month that the Central Government gave as a monthly grant.
To make matters worse even the Rs. 50,000, that was presented to him by Mr. H. J. Dora, former DGP and president of AP Olympic Association, was later blocked in a private finance firm, thus when Khan needed the country the most the Indian Government took a backseat and did nothing for the legend.