Indian Football Team’s star striker Sunil Chhetri has become the 23rd footballer to win the coveted Arjun Award. Chettri said that the award will spur him to do better in future. Arjun Award is conferred on 29th August on the birthday of legendary Indian Hockey player Dhyan Chand. The day is also celebrated as the National Sports Day.
“It’s an inspiration to do better as I am now in the same league with so many legends,” he said after receiving the award from President Pratibha Devisingh Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Monday.
“The award comes with more responsibility and I cannot let others down. I need to punch myself and go that extra mile.”
The Delhi-based Indian striker dedicated the award, which according to him, was beyond imagination at the start of his career with Mohun Bagan, to his folks.
“It has to be dedicated to my family. Other than their support all this wouldn’t have been possible. Over the years, all my coaches and my teammates have contributed a lot to shape my career. I can never forget their contribution and help. But this award is solely dedicated to my family,” he was quoted as saying by www.the-aiff.com.
Dhyanchand Award for Shabbir Ali
Legendary former striker Shabbir Ali, an equally successful coach, was awarded the Dhyanchand Award for his contribution to Indian football on the same day.
Ali, a former Team India Captain said after receiving the Award from the President of India Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhawan:
“I’m happy my services to the sport have been recognised at last,” Ali said. “I thank the All India Football Federation, the Indian Football Association, the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Government of West Bengal for supporting me all throughout.”
“I have a special corner for Kolkata as I have played all my football in the City. I can never forget the love and affection I received from the fans,” he added. “I’m extremely honoured to have received the Award.”
Ali who Coached Salgaocar to the National Football League and the Federation Cup coached Bengal to two successive Santosh Trophy triumphs in the last two seasons.