Former football Olympian Ahmed Hussain loses battle against COVID-19

A well-known face of Indian football’s golden generation, the centre-back represented the national team that finished fourth at the 1956 Olympics.

By Naveen Peter

Former Indian footballer Ahmed Hussain breathed his last on Friday in Bengaluru shortly after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 89.

Ahmed Hussain, who represented India at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, is survived by his wife Ayesha and son Imtiaz.

“(Ahmed Hussain) had mild heart problems and was down with dementia for a few years,” Imtiaz told the Times of India. “A few days back, he was unwell and we got him admitted on Tuesday night after he tested positive for COVID-19.”

Ahmed Hussain belonged to the golden generation of footballers from Hyderabad which rose to prominence following their Santosh Trophy win in 1956.

Coached by the legendary Syed Abdul Rahim, the defender was an integral part of the Indian football team in the 50s and the 60s, a period when the national team didn’t play too often.

Making his debut against Bulgaria on December 7, 1956, Ahmed Hussain went on to make only 11 appearances for the Indian team.

While Melbourne 1956 was the highlight of Ahmed Hussain’s career, the Hyderabadi was also a member of the Indian football team that finished fourth at the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo.

At the domestic level, Hussain played for the Hyderabad City Police before moving to Kolkata where he turned out for Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting. Ahmed Hussain won three Durand Cups and six Rovers Cups.

He was also a part of the Mohammedan Sporting side that won the 1960 Aga Khan Gold Cup in Dhaka, a first by an Indian side.

Following his retirement, the Indian footballer took to coaching. After getting a national coaching diploma and another one from West Germany,, Ahmed Hussain was posted at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) South Centre in Bengaluru.

He served as a SAI coach until his retirement while occasionally dabbling into officiating a few local matches in the Garden City apart from the Stafford Cup, a national-level competition hosted in Bengaluru.

Lead image: AIFF Media