Hundreds of residents in mourning, teen footballer laid to rest

With the crowd demanding the doctors’ arrest, heavy police security was deployed for the final rites. A pair of shoes and a football were kept inside the coffin, tearing up her friends, classmates and teammates.
Screengrab from the video
Screengrab from the video

CHENNAI: A pall of gloom ascended at Vysarpadi, as hundreds of mourners gathered for R Priya’s final funeral procession on Tuesday at Dr Ambedkar College road in Vyasarpadi.

With the crowd demanding the doctors’ arrest, heavy police security was deployed for the final rites.

A pair of shoes and a football were kept inside the coffin, tearing up her friends, classmates and teammates.

Screengrab from the video
'Despite revision surgery, multi-organ failures led to Priya's death'

“Earlier, Priya was trained at her school. I’ve been her coach only for the last 6 months,” said J Joel, Priya’s coach, who runs the Viyaana Sports Academy in Vyasarpadi. “She was a sportive player. While practicing for a university match, Priya slipped and injured herself. Even after the initial surgery, she was positive about returning to the academy. She was looking forward to playing for the university.”

Adding that surgery was not usually required for ligament tear, he stated: “The doctors at Periyar Nagar hospital told her parents that it was necessary and even assured them she’d play again. I cannot believe she’s gone.”

In 2021, Priya participated in national level tournament in Gujarat, and received Form 2 to get a government job). She had played in division, state and national level tournaments and had won several certificates and medals.

“Priya was a positive girl. She was sure to make a come-back and play for India in the future. Even after the surgery, she made a video call to my sister. She also made sure that her parents and friends were happy. It’s still a shock that we lost her today,” said one of Priya’s schoolmate.

The deceased athlete, born in a poor family, was buried at the Kilpauk cemetery.

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