New Delhi, Dec 20 IBNS | 2 years ago

Indian National Team Captain Sunil Chhetri is the 2013 AIFF Player of the Year. The announcement was made by AIFF President Praful Patel at the Annual General Meeting held at AIFF Headquarters, the Football House in Dwarka, New Delhi on Friday (December 20). Chhetri was chosen the winner after voting by Airtel I-League Coaches.

Sunil will be presented a prize of Rs. 2 lakh besides a Trophy.

Chhetri, presently India's highest-ever goal-scorer in International Football on 43 goals had earlier won the Award twice, in 2007 and then in 2011. In the process he joins IM Vijayan to have won the Award thrice each.

All India Football Federation also instituted three more new Awards along with re-instituting the AIFF Women's Player of the Year.

Oinam Bembem Devi was adjudged the 2013 AIFF Women's Player of the Year. Bembem Devi was the only recipient of the Award the sole time it was announced in 2001. The 33-year old Bembem Devi will be presented a prize of Rs. 1 lakh besides a Trophy.

AIFF also declared Jeje Lalpekhlua as the 2013 Emerging Player of the Year. The 22-year striker from Mizoram has already donned the National jersey 43 times scoring 14 goals so far.

Jeje will be presented a prize of Rs. 75000 besides a Trophy.

Patel congratulated the trio for the achievement. "My heartiest congratulations to Sunil, Bembem Devi and Jeje. All of them are worthy recipients of the Award," he said.

The last two Awards instituted on the day were the Award for the Best Grassroots Development Programme which was bagged by Mizoram FA while the Award for long time contribution to Indian Football was awarded to Tata Football Academy.

"This is a token of appreciation to the good work they have been doing. We expect others to follow the path," Mr. Patel added.

All the Awards would be presented in an Awards Night in February organised by FICCI.

Awards at a glance:

2013 AIFF Player of the Year: Sunil Chhetri

2013 AIFF Women's Footballer of the Year: Oinam Bembem Devi

2013 Emerging Player of the Year: Jeje Lalpekhlua

Award for Best Grassroots Development Programme: Mizoram FA

Award for long time contribution to Indian Football: Tata Football Academy

Previous winners of the AIFF Player of the year:

1992: IM Vijayan

1993: VP Sathyan

1994: Jo Paul Ancheri

1995: Bhaichung Bhutia

1996: Bruno Coutinho

1997: IM Vijayan

2000: IM Vijayan

2001: Jo Paul Ancheri

2002: Deepak Mondal

2003: Tomba Singh

2004: S. Venkatesh

2005: Climax Lawrence

2006: Surkumar Singh

2007: Sunil Chhetri

2008: Bhaichung Bhutia

2009: Subrata Paul

2010: Gouramangi Singh

2011: Sunil Chhetri

2012: Syed Rahim Nabi

(Posted on 20-12-2013)