Eminent sports commentator and football expert Novy Kapadia is no more
New Delhi, November 18, 2021
Veteran sports commentator and football expert Novy Kapadia is no more.
Kapadia, 68, died here on Thursday afternoon, after a prolonged illness.
A very popular professor of English, who taught at SGTB College of Delhi University, Kapadia suffered from motor neurone disease, a rare condition that causes the nerves in the spine and brain to lose function over time. He had been on a wheelchair for the better part of the last two years and on a ventilator for the past one month.
He covered nine FIFA World Cups and also did commentary for the Olympics, Commonwealth and Asian Games. He was called the encyclopedia of football for his knowledge of the sport.
His book on Indian football, "Barefoot To Boots, The Many Lives Of Indian Football" has been described as the seminal work on the sport. He also wrote "The Football Fanatic's Essential Guide Book" in 2014.
He was left bed-ridden for the last couple of years and was most recently in the news due to issues with his pension, prompting former Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to intervene and provide him financial aid of Rs 4 lakh.
He founded the Ashoka Club and played active football in the local league, and was held in high esteem by the players, officials, scribes and everyone else associated with Indian football and beyond.
Veteran sports journalist Vijay Lokapally described the death of Kapadia as an irreplaceable loss to sports journalism. "He was genuinely sincere and committed to the sports and it was heart-wrenching to see him bedridden.
"'I miss the microphone,' he remarked when I met him at his home a few months ago. Nothing could keep Kapadia away from football. He was an unmissable figure at the Ambedkar Stadium during the season and was busy travelling to various television studios as an expert. Having known him for four decades, I can’t recall Kapadia ever losing his temper," Lokapally wrote, recalling his last meeting with Kapadia.
For Kapadia "football was life. He was the voice of Indian football,” recalled fellow commentator Ghaus Mohammad, who grew up in the broadcasting world with guidance from Kapadia.
"An ideal guide in life,” said Harpreet Kaur Lamba, a sports journalist who was once a student of Kapadia.
"Shortly after Partho Rudra (sports journalist, who passed away last week), we lose Novy Kapadia. Another huge chasm, never to be filled," said sports journalist Jaideep Ghosh.
The Indian football fraternity was devastated by the news of his death.
“We are saddened by the demise of Novy Kapadia, eminent journalist, commentator, and football pundit. May his contribution shine through everyone he has touched through his coverage of #IndianFootball #RIP," said All India Football Federation (AIFF) in a tweet, condoling his demise.
“Novy was a legend in many respect, his passion and dedication for football can’t be expressed in words. Indian football has lost a legend, who was married to football and his connection with football was very deep-rooted. I haven’t come across a second person in Indian football who commanded such an authority and respect," said Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran.
"Novy was our inspiration, his writing, commenting, expert opinions, etc were greatly inspiring to each of us in Indian football. His departure is a big loss to Indian football in general and Delhi football in particular. My homage to Novy, may his soul rest in peace," he added.