Indian national team captain Sunil Chhetri has been declared the 2014 AIFF Player of the Year. Chhetri was chosen the winner on basis of votes from coaches from all I-League clubs.
Chhetri, who had also won the award in 2013 will be presented a prize money of Rs. 2 lakh besides a trophy. This is his third AIFF Player of the Year Award in four years and his fourth in overall. In the process, he overtook IM Vijayan’s feat of winning it three times.
Chhetri had earlier won the award in 2007, 2011 and 2013 while Vijayan had won it in 1992, 1997 and 2000.
In 2014, Chhetri finished as the highest Indian goalscorer in I-League with 14 goals and also stays the highest ever Indian goalscorer in international football.
Besides, Manipuri striker Bala Devi was declared the 2014 AIFF Women’s Footballer of the Year. In 2014 Bala Devi scored 16 goals to help India retain the SAFF Women’s Championship crown in Islamabad. The 24 year old Bala Devi would be presented Rs. 1 lakh besides a trophy.
AIFF also declared Sandesh Jhingan as the 2014 AIFF Emerging Footballer of the Year.
Furthermore, the Western India Football Association (WIFA) bagged the “Award for the Best Grassroots Development Programme”. In 2014, WIFA conducted 19 Grassroots Festivals and five GR Courses besides training 128 Grassroots Leaders.
The “Award for long time contribution to Indian Football” has been awarded to ONGC.
Furthermore, Kerala’s Santosh Kumar was declared the 2014 AIFF Best Referee, while Manipur’s Sapam Kennedy was declared the 2014 AIFF Best Assistant Referee.
All the awards would be presented to the winners at an Awards Night early in 2015.
2014 AIFF AWARD WINNERS AT A GLANCE
2014 AIFF Player of the Year
2014 AIFF Women’s Footballer of the Year
2014 AIFF Emerging Player of the Year
2014 AIFF Best Referee
2014 AIFF Best Assistant Referee
AIFF Award for Best Grassroots Development Programme
Western India Football Association (WIFA)
AIFF Award for long time contribution to Indian Football
(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)