NEW DELHI: All India Football Federation President Mr. Praful Patel announced iconic National team striker Sunil Chhetri as the AIFF Men’s Footballer of the Year 2018-19 at the AIFF Executive Committee Meeting in the Capital on Tuesday.
This is the 6th time Chhetri bagged the prestigious Award having earlier won it in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, and in 2017. Chhetri was voted the winner on basis of votes from all Hero I-League, and Hero Indian Super League club coaches.
“The fact that this was voted by the Hero I-League and Hero ISL Coaches makes it all the more special. I am grateful to my club members, coaches, fellow players, the National team staff, and the fans for their support, love, and affection,” Chhetri said, moments after declared the winner.
On being reminded about winning the Award for the 6th time, he added: “I never play for Awards. But yeah, it feels nice when your hard work gets recognized. This is an added motivation to do better.”
Apart from Chhetri, the others who have won the Award multiple times include IM Vijayan (thrice), and Bhaichung Bhutia, and Joe Paul Ancheri (twice each).
Meanwhile, Abdul Sahal was declared the AIFF Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year 2018-19. Sahal who was dubbed as the “next big thing in Indian Football” by Chhetri some days back, was also voted the winner by all Hero I-League, and Hero ISL club coaches.
Among the women, Ashalata Devi was declared the AIFF Women’s Footballer of the Year 2018-19, while Dangmei Grace won the AIFF Emerging Women’s Footballer of the Year 2018-19.
The AIFF President met, and congratulated both of them. “Congratulations to you both,” he stated. “You deserve the Award. You have made us proud. I wish you best wishes for your future endeavours,” Mr. Patel added during his meeting with the Indian Senior Women’s National team in the Capital.
The AIFF Award for the Best Referee 2018-19 was won by R Venkatesh (from Tamil Nadu), while Joseph Tony was declared the winner of the AIFF Award for the Best Assistant Referee 2018-19.
The 2018-19 AIFF Award for the Best Grassroots Development Programme went to the Jammu & Kashmir Football Association.
“I congratulate all the winners.,” Mr. Patel said. “They serve as an inspiration for all budding aspirants, and their colleagues. We are extremely proud of all of them.”
2018-19 AIFF AWARDS AT A GLANCE
AIFF Men’s Footballer of the Year 2018-19: Sunil Chhetri (He was voted the winner by all I-League, and ISL Club coaches).
AIFF Women’s Footballer of the Year 2018-19: Ashalata Devi (from Manipur).
AIFF Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year 2018-19: Abdul Sahal (from Kerala -- He was voted the winner by all I-League, and ISL club coaches).
AIFF Emerging Women’s Footballer of the Year 2018-19: Dangmei Grace (from Manipur).
AIFF Award for the Best Referee 2018-19: R Venkatesh (from Tamil Nadu).
AIFF Award for the Best Assistant Referee 2018-19: Joseph Tony (from Karnataka).
2018-19 AIFF Award for the Best Grassroots Development Programme: Jammu & Kashmir Football Association.