It has been the rumour of the week, when some sources published the news that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is at the verge to persuade Dutch international Luciano Narsingh to play for the Indian national team. But the reality is that Luciano won’t play for India…
SC Heerenveen winger Luciano Narsingh is a Surinamese footballer of Indian origin and he was part of the Netherlands squad for the UEFA EURO 2012. The 21-year-old PIO is still eligible to represent India, as Luciano is yet to play an official senior international match for the Dutch team. But his eligibility to play for the Indian team would have been terminated, if Bondscoach Bert van Marwijk took the decision to field Luciano in the UEFA EURO 2012.
Footballers may represent the country of their origin according to the FIFA Statutes, but they need to fulfil certain criterias. You’ll find a link to the FIFA criterias at the end of this article.
But why do I think that Luciano Narsingh won’t represent India? There are a few reasons, but here are the most important ones:
1. Reputation & Future
Luciano is a young player who has been termed as the future star of the Dutch national team and the winger is expected to become a regular player in the “Elftal” soon.
One has to seriously question, why such a player would turn down the chance to represent one of the best footballing nations in the world to accept an offer to play for India.
Luciano could play for India without giving away his Dutch citizenship according to the FIFA Statutes. But the Government of India has made it mandatory that anyone interested to represent India must hold an Indian passport. A PIO or OCI Card wouldn’t be enough! So Luciano would need to obtain an Indian citizenship.
Luciano is playing his professional football in Europe and he is tipped to join a major club in the near future. But his dream to join a club in one of Europe’s top leagues could be hampered with an Indian passport due to visa and work permit problems.
These are just two of the reasons, why I don’t expect Luciano to do a shirt-swapping!
I would love to see PIO’s and OCI’s playing for India one day and I’ve been working on this with my colleague Arunava Chaudhuri for so many years. But we need to face the reality and go ahead with the given circumstances e.g. the rules by the Government of India.
I need to criticise the way many people publish news nowaday with the only aim to create some hype. And I need to honestly say that I’m even more shocked to see people believing such “news” again and again and again without cross-checking reliable sources!
Many of the readers, viewers and followers believe these wrong information and spread the same on places like Facebook and on their own blogs to further worsen the situation. Numbers of other fans read the posts and take it for granted.
I would like to appeal to everyone to recollect our human ability to challenge the news we read and to relearn the ability to differentiate the quality and reliability of a source.
We live in a world with access to the internet and other media and it an ease to use e.g. Google to cross-check the information we get.
We have become comfortable nowadays and prefer to get the news of the last 24 hours ideally in just one sentence on our Facebook wall. But let’s reactivate our instinct to learn and to use our brains once again in the aim to communicate proper information!
I know that all of us have the dream to see India playing the FIFA World Cup one day and that we prefer to believe news which may help us to reach our goal. It would be a major surprise to see Luciano in an India shirt. But who knows… The future will tell us the story!
What do you think about the PIO issue, the way news is published nowadays, the power of Social Media (e.g. Facebook), etc.?
Please post your thoughts in the COMMENT BOX below!