India’s national football captain Sunil Chhetri has been conferred the first ever Football Ratna honour by Football Delhi. The governing body for football in the Capital conferred the honour on India’s leading international goal scorer at a glittering ceremony at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran, himself a former footballer of repute, presented the Delhi boy with the award.
Sunil Chhetri, who was conferred the Padma Shri on the Republic Day this year, stressed the need to continue focus on developing talent in India.
“I am honoured by the kind gesture of Football Delhi and recognizing me with the Football Ratna award. My support will always be there for the development of football in Delhi and I am sure the current management is working hard to develop football in Delhi and make Delhi a model football State in India. My best wishes to everyone associated with football in Delhi,” Chhetri said.
Speaking at the occasion, Shaji Prabhakaran, President Football Delhi said, “We at Football Delhi are inspired by the spectacular achievements of Sunil Chhetri. His professionalism, dedication, discipline and passion, on and off the field, is an example not only for the Indian football fraternity but also for every Indian to dream big and achieve something spectacular in life. It is a great honour for us to confer first ever Football Ratna to Sunil Chhetri and we express our gratitude and thanks to Sunil for his time and inspiration to develop football in Delhi”.
On this occasion Football Delhi also honoured Shubham Sarangi, youth player from Delhi who is currently the player of Delhi Dynamos squad for ISL. Shubham was part of AIFF Youth Academy since the age of 12 years and represented India in U14 and U17 youth national teams.