Pakistan hockey hero seeks heart transplant in India; Afridi announces to fund treatment

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Former Pakistan hockey player Mansoor Ahmed has appealed to the Indian government to grant him a visa so he can travel to the country for a heart transplant.

His plea came even as flamboyant cricketer Shahid Afridi announced that he will fund the treatment of the hockey legend.

Veteran cricketer and star all-rounder Shahid Khan Afridi on Saturday met Olympian and Hockey Legend Mansoor Khan and assured him of full support. Shahid Khan Afridi shared the news on official account of Instagram and announced to take full care of Mansoor Khan while terming him national hero.

Ahmed, 49, who is considered a hockey legend in Pakistan, is reportedly suffering from complications due to a pacemaker in his heart. “Today I need a heart and I need the support of the Indian government,” he said in a video posted on YouTube on Monday. 

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He was a goalkeeper in Pakistan’s national team and represented his country in more than 300 international matches. Pakistanis can apply for medical visas to India despite the strained relationship between the two countries.

“When I played hockey as a young man, I broke many Indian hearts,” Ahmed told the news channel Sports Tak, which published the video on YouTube.

He then directly appealed to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, asking her to grant him a visa as early as possible. Ahmed won a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics and was part of the team that won the hockey World Cup in 1994 in Sydney.

He added that he would like to return to India, where he had played and won many matches, and that he looked forward to meeting former India hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay, who he competed against.