AIFF all set to recommend Subrata Paul for Arjuna Award once again

Subrata Paul sweats it out in practiceNew Delhi: The AIFF is all set to recommend Indian national team goalkeeper Subrata Paul for the Arjuna Award to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. If the 29-year-old makes it through to the final list, he will become the first goalkeeper to win this award since Brahmanand Sankhwalkar won it in 1997.

The AIFF had recommended Subrata Paul's name for the Arjuna Award last year as well, alongside the likes of Climax Lawrence, Bembem Devi and Mahesh Gawli, but he did not make it to the final list. According to, the AIFF has already shortlisted the former East Bengal and Mohun Bagan custodian's name, although AIFF secretary Kushal Das has refrained from revealing them at the moment.

"I can't take any names at the moment but we will send a few recommendations for the Arjuna award. I hope we will be able to inform you all in the next few days," Kushal Das was quoted as saying by

It will be difficult for any of the Indian footballers to make it to the final list though, considering 80 percent weightage is given to performances in international tournaments. The Indian footballers had a disappointing World Cup Qualifying campaign, and that will gravely affect their chances of making it to the list.

In fact, only two Indian footballers – Sunil Chhetri in 2011 and Deepak Mondal in 2010 – have won the award since 2004. Subrata Paul, who has made 64 international appearances, started out his footballing career with Mohun Bagan, before joining their rivals East Bengal in 2007. Spiderman, as he is known , has been India'sNo.1 since making his debut in 2007, and it is only now that he is facing competition from young Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.