Hyderabad: Muhammad Yousuf, a former State footballer, has become a victim of the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to Covid-19, Yousuf, who represented the State at the Nationals, has lost his job and is now forced to open a chicken shop to earn a living.

The 28-year-old footballer was part of the State team that participated in the Dr BC Roy junior National tournament in Kolkata 2010. He represented the State for three more years before representing Osmania University for two years in the inter-State university games. However, with no regular source of income, he had to quit his football career at the age of 21 and find a job. He joined a school as a physical education trainer.

Having worked in a couple of schools as trainer for over five years, he pursued his Masters in Physical Education from Kodi Rama Murthy College of Physical Education, Bobbilli last year. He then joined a reputed school in Hyderabad as the physical trainer on contract in June 2019.

However, he was asked to quit in April, 2020. “I was on a one-year contract with the school and it was renewed in January. But by April end I didn’t receive my salary and approached the school authorities. I then received an email which said I was relieved from my post along with other teachers. It hurt me. I was suddenly without income and could not find any job anywhere. There are no recruitments anywhere because of the pandemic. This forced me to open a chicken shop,” said Yousuf.

Yousuf, who represented the clubs like Bolarum FC and RTC, feels there is no security for athletes in sports. “There are not many openings in any government or private sector for sports persons. As far as my new business is concerned I don’t know how long I will take to settle down,” he said.

“The lack of steady source of income is a major drawback for many athletes. I wanted to play for the State in senior level as well but the financial crisis forced me to take up a job at a very young age. I now practice whenever I get time,” said Yousuf who was a right back but also played as left back for the teams he played.

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