FIFA U-17 World Cup captain Amarjit Singh finds peace in farming

Amarjit Singh is one of India’s most promising young footballers. The Manipuri comes from a family of farmers.

By Utathya Nag

Be it the football pitch at Delhi’s Nehru Stadium or the rice fields of Manipur, Amarjit Singh Kiyam plays his role to perfection. 

In spite of his sporting status, the captain of India’s 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup squad, once again touched base with his family to find “peace”.

With international and domestic football on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 19-year-old Amarjit is keeping himself busy by cultivating the family’s paddy fields in Manipur.

Back in his village on the outskirts of Imphal, Amarjit is helping out his family with farming. 

“There’s no shame in going back to your roots and help your family on the paddy fields. My family has been farming for generations,” Amarjit Singh said in an interview with All India Football Federation.

The youngster admits that his involvement on the farmlands have been limited owing to his football career, which mostly keeps him away from his home, but admits that he finds “peace on the fields.”

A homage to family and past

Coming from a farmer’s family, Amarjit Singh rose from humble beginnings and is aware of how his family’s hard work got him to where he is today.

“They (my family) had given me so much and sacrificed so much to help me become a footballer. The least I can do is help them out on the paddy field.

“It also gives me the opportunity to bond with my father. It makes them happy to see their son helping out on the farm. This is my way of showing that I have not forgotten the hardships we faced together,” he said.

“Since I’m not always here it’s mostly my parents or siblings who are doing all the farm work. Now that I do have the time on my hands, it does feel great to give something back to them,” the youngster added.

A welcome change

Over the past three years, Amarjit Singh’s rise through the ranks of Indian football has been nothing short of astonishing.

Shortly after captaining India in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the youngster joined Indian Super League side Jamshedpur FC and made his ISL debut last season.

On the international front, Amarjit Singh marked his senior India team debut at the King’s Cup in Thailand in early 2019 and is already highly regarded by head coach Igor Stimac and his senior teammates like Sunil Chhetri.

Amarjit Singh Kiyam made his senior India debut back in 2019

Farming with his family, Amarjit Singh says, has been a welcome change in pace.

“It’s always nice to have some sort of activity as a hobby - something that helps keep your mind off football for a couple of hours every day. I think farming has done that for me,” he said.