Indian Super League (ISL) side Jamshedpur FC have rubbished reports of age fraud involving striker Gourav Mukhi after a huge uproar over the teenager's "actual" age on social media.
Mukhi grabbed eyeballs when he scored in Jamshedpur's 2-2 draw against Bengaluru FC at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday, October 8.
The former Tata Steel striker came on as a second-half substitute and helped Jamshedpur pull one back in the 81st minute just when it looked like Bengaluru were running away with three points following a Nishu Kumar strike in the first half.
The teenager displayed excellent temperament as he slotted one past India's No. 1 goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
ISL's official website and social media handles claimed the 16-year-old had become the youngest goal-scorer in the league history.
However, quite a few on social media began debating Mukhi's "actual" age soon after the first equaliser was scored.
THREAD: On Gourav Mukhi, the champion 16-year-old forward who plays for ISL franchise @JamshedpurFC and who scored against @bengalurufc today in the 2-2 draw. He becomes ISL's younger ever goalscorer (which, of course, will be repeated once every 17 mins on avg. the rest of ISL). pic.twitter.com/dyppvWJw2Z— Akarsh Sharma (@Akarsh_Official) October 7, 2018
Does no one realise if Gourav Mukhi was actually 16 years old, he should have played for India in the recently held AFC U-16 Asian Cup. He is clearly wayyyy older, there is also a Hindustan Times article claiming he's 28 years old. Jamshedpur FC is a diagrace— Spandan Roy (@SpandanRoy17) October 8, 2018
An U-17 footballer in 2012 went on to play U-17 football for India in late 2017. His age proof details are with the Maharashtra Directorate of Sports and the School Games Federation of India. Both refused to release the same in response to repeated RTIs. He isn't the only one.— Bhargab Sarmah (@BhargabSarmah) October 7, 2018
Mukhi sports a mustache and a goatee and his well-built physique don't give the impression of a typical 16-year-old footballer's.
It's all very speculative: Jamshedpur FC
"He has the proper documents. He went abroad for the pre-season training, so his passport and other ID proofs have the same age. If there was anything wrong, it would have been set right then itself."
Moreover, social media users pointed out media reports from 2015 that said Mukhi was part of a Jharkand U-15 team that was suspended and fined by the All India Football Federation over age fraud.
Notably, Mukhi was reportedly one of the five players who had confessed to being overaged during the sub-junior tournament in 2015.
Questions are also raised as to why Mukhi hadn't played in India's youth squads over the years.
Nonetheless, Mukhi has been in fine form in the ongoing season. He scored a brace against Mostoles Balompie in Jamshedpur's pre-season trip to Spain.
He also scored six goals in I-League second division for Jamshedpur FC reserves and was promoted to the first team ahead of the ongoing ISL season, according to goal.com.