Jeakson Singh Thounaojam created history by erecting his name in the history books, becoming India’s first ever goal scorer in FIFA World Cup when his U-17 team pitched against Colombia in their second FIFA World Cup match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi on Tuesday.
Despite his team eliminated from the equaliser, while Columbai and Ghana from their pool division gain entry into the quarterfinals. Nevertheless, the 17-year-old midfielder from Thoubal district, Manipur won all the praises and stole the limelight of Indian football.
Thounaojam, who is also a cousin brother of India Under-17 captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam is currently enrolled at the Minerva Punjab FC Academy, after switching from Chandigarh Football Academy (CFA) last year.
According to All India Football Federation guidelines, it restricts football players below the 18 years of age from joining any professional clubs or signing contracts. Without professional clubs endorsement, the chances of earning salary money are very limited or null.
From his state government of Manipur, he earned Rs 5 lakh and another Rs 10,000 donated by Sports Minister Letpao Haokip. Chief Minister Biren Singh, who was a former national footballer himself, announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh each to all the eight footballers from the state who played in the FIFA under-17 World Cup.
Until he signs a professional contract, it’s not certain enough to evaluate his estimated gross earnings through salary and corporate endorsement deals. But as time goes, when he turned 18 next year, we can all expect every Indian Super League clubs throning and betting some good money to be able to sign him up.