SC East Bengal are inching closer to signing India youth international Anwar Ali in an effort to reverse their fortunes in the Indian Super League (ISL). The 20-year-old was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease in 2019 following which, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) prohibited him from participating in competitive football.
Subsequently, he had moved the Delhi High Court against AIFF and had managed to get clearance to play till the time AIFF makes a final decision on the matter. And now, it seems like he might get a chance to turn out in the ISL for SC East Bengal with rumours circulating that the Kolkata side has asked for a no objection certificate (NOC) from the AIFF and Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) with a view towards roping him in.
The youngster rose to national fame following his exploits in the 2017 U-17 World Cup. He then scored a brilliant free-kick against the Argentina U-20 side in the 2018 COTIF Cup following which a number of clubs clamoured for his signature. Spells at Mumbai City FC and Mohammedan SC followed but AIFF’s intervention has meant that he hasn’t played at the top level for more than a year now. He last turned out for Techtro Swades United in the Himachal Football League and is currently training at the Minerva Punjab Academy under the supervision of Ranjit Bajaj.
With SC East Bengal’s defensive frailties this season, Anwar’s signing can prove to be a major coup for the Red and Golds. Robbie Fowler has had to play Indian players like Sehnaj Singh and Surchandra Singh out of position to somehow paper over the side’s defensive cracks. If and when they do get the NOC from AIFF and FSDL, having a naturally talented defender like Anwar might prove to be a major turning point for them this season.