They have killed my son, fumes dad

They have killed my son, fumes dad

Dashed dreams: Timely medical aid would have saved Venkatesh, says crestfallen Dhanraj

Sitting in the stands at the Bangalore Football Stadium and watching his son Venkatesh play gave immense pleasure to R Dhanraj. Little did he imagine that one of such ‘happiness visits’ wou­ld turn extremely tragic. That is exactly what happened on Wednesday, with Venkatesh collapsing on the ground and dying in front of him during the ‘A’ Division game.

cruel blow R Dhanraj is inconsolable after his son Venkatesh was pronounced dead at the hospital. dh photo

“They (the Bangalore District Football Association) have killed my son,” said an inconsolable Dhanraj, who played for 515 Army Base Workshop. “If there was an ambulance on the ground with proper medical staff, I am confident my son would have been alive now.

“After he collapsed on the ground, I knew something was wrong. The referee noticed it and called for medical attention. But, I saw no one. Forget an ambulance, it’s a luxury for football players in Bangalore, there was no stretcher and no doctor. I don’t think I even saw a physio which the BDFA claims to have.

“He was carried out by his team-mates At that moment, if they had treated him properly, he could have been alive. The players took him in an autorickshaw to Hosmat hospital. All the while the administrators were just mere spectators. They always take us for granted and have scant regard to our needs,” added Dhanraj.

Saying that his son had big dreams, Dhanraj lambasted the BDFA for not having learnt its lessons despite the on-field death of Cristiano Junior in 2004. “Nothing would hurt a father than watching his son die. Probably I’m cursed and I had to see it. He loved football. He had big dreams and had aimed at making a move to the Super Division this season. ‘A’ Division was a window to his dreams.

“I still can’t fathom he would meet his end on a football pitch, the place he loved the most. I am completely shocked. The organisers have killed another footballer. Post the Cristiano incident, I hoped they would have learnt their lessons. But, it’s evident they have not. I hope someone makes them pay for their sins. I don’t want another parent to lose their son.”

Dhanraj also said what hurts him badly was the callous approach from the BDFA and KSFA officials. “You see, not a single administrator is here in the hospital. It’s been three hours since he passed away and not a single person from the association is here to express their grief. Shouldn’t they be looking after this. Aren’t they responsible for this. Moreover, they are saying my son had vomitted in the afternoon and the manager should not have played him. All I can say is he was fit and fine. They can’t be more inhuman.”