Shilji says: “It’s disappointing to miss AFC event. Mentally I’m with the team. Go out there & play to your strength”.
AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: India international and attacking midfielder Shilji Shaji was discharged here today after five days of hospitalisation due to viral pneumonia. Shilji will remain in Delhi at a private care for next few days, until full recovery.
The 16-year-old had fallen ill in Indore a night before the India Under 17 women’s team were to leave for Bhiskek, Kyrgyz Republic to play the AFC Women’s U17 Asian Cup Qualifier Round 1 tournament.
Shilji was brought to Delhi for further medical tests and treatment, under the supervision of All India Football Federation’s medical team.
Later today, Shilji called upon AIFF Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran at the federation headquarter.
“I wanted to express my gratitude to AIFF for looking after me,” said Shilji adding, “My parents were scared but once they knew that AIFF have made arrangements and flown me to Delhi for further treatment, they were calm.”
Speaking about her not being with the team, Shilji said, “It’s disappointing to miss the first round of the AFC qualifier. It’s my bad luck. I had started preparing the games in my mind. I had a good tournament at Jordan and Dhaka and was looking forward to it. Nevertheless, I want to tell the girls that mentally I’m with them, go out there tonight and play to your strength.”
Federation Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran said: It's so unfortunate for Shilji to miss this competition. But she is one of the brightest talents we have in women's football. And I'm sure she will soon come back after a full recovery. Wishing her all the good luck from AIFF. The Federation will definitely take the best care of her so that she realizes her potential and grow as a big star of India’s women’s football in near future.
Nishima Kumari of Jharkhand was announced replacement to Shilji hours before team’s departure to Bhiskek. The 23-member squad led by coach PV Priya will play its first of Qualifier Round 1 Group F fixture against host Kyrgyz Republic tonight at 7.30 pm IST, and Myanmar on 28th April.