New Delhi: Indian national football team captain Sunil Chhetri today received the 2013 AIFF Player of the Year award from national coach Wim Koevermans.
Chhetri, currently the highest Indian goalscorer in international football with 43 goals, had earlier received the award in 2007 and 2011. Besides the trophy, he was presented with prize money of Rs.2 lakh.
“It’s a huge honour to be receiving it in front of such an audience. I need to thank AIFF for the gesture and want to dedicate it to my family. It’s for them what I am today,” Chhetri said.
“Sometimes awards can make you complacent and if you become so, then it doesn’t take time for your form to dip. All these years, I have learnt to deal with adulation and criticism in a normal way. Honestly, I’m still learning.”
2013 Woman Footballer of the Year award went to Bembem Devi.
AIFF technical director Robert Baan, AIFF vice president K.M.I. Mather, and Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgil, former chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, presented her with the trophy and cash prize of Rs.1 lakh.
Jeje Lalpekhlua was awarded the 2013 AIFF Emerging Player of the Year. He was presented prize money of Rs.75,000.
The AIFF also presented the 2013 AIFF Award Best Referee to Pratap Singh and the 2013 AIFF Award for the Best Assistant Referee to Biplab Poddar.