SRINAGAR: Footballers Basit Ahmed and Mohammed Asrar Rehbar are all set to play Sociedad Deportiva Lenense Proinastur – a third division professional club from the Spanish La Liga – for the next six months, making them the first Kashmiris to represent India at such a level.
“Based on the results of the trials, we are proud to announce the selection of Basit Ahmed for Centre Forward and Muhammed Asrar Rehbar for Winger, a statement issued by CRPF said
The duo will be playing in the Spanish La Liga 3rd division for the team,” the spokesman added.
Both players were chosen by a special committee formed by the CRPF to pick footballing talent from the Kashmir Valley as part of its “initiative to engage with the youth.”
“These boys were shortlisted on the basis of their performance in the football talent hunt conducted by CRPF,” it added.
A three-member selection committee was formed to conduct trials for this selection, consisting of Anit Ghosh, Ishfaq Ahmed and Hilal Rasool Parray.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader Mohammad Asrar Rehbar, who plays on the Right wing position, said when my name was announced as one of the selected player, I got emotional and couldn’t control my emotions as tears of joy came out of my eyes.”
The 18-year-old Rehbar, who hails from uptown Srinagar, said “star players from valley Ishfaq Ahmad and Mehraj-u-din Wadoo are his mentors and after watching them playing I get inspiration from them
Rehbar said that he has played in the Santosh Trophy, Durand Cup and I-league and various national tournaments in various age groups.
He added “we are leaving for Spain in the last week of January.”
Rehbar, a 12th class commerce student, has played for Local clubs like J&K Forest Team, Lone Star Kashmir Football Club and currently playing for Real Kashmir Football Club
“It is for the first time that any Indian player will be seen playing for a Spanish La Liga club. The Ops Kashmir Sector, CRPF was given the responsibility of identifying this talented player,” the spokesman added.
“Kashmir has produced top class players who have gone on to play at both National and International level like Abdul Majid Kakroo, Ishfaq Ahmed and Mehrajuddin Wadoo,” a CRPF spokesman said.