Indian football’s leading goal scorer, Sunil Chhetri, will be recommended by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for India’s fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri. Apart from him, his teammates Jeje Lalpekhlua and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu have also been recommended for the Arjuna Awards.
Making his debut with Mohun Bagan back in 2005, Chhetri has come a long way, earning 97 caps for Team India and scoring 56 goals so far. In his 13-year-long career, Chhetri has played for Kansas City, Sporting CP B, Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC.
Though the AIFF hasn’t clearly named the player, whom they are recommending for the honour, PTI has reported that sources close to the Indian football body
“If there is one name in Indian football who deserves to be recommended for such a huge honour, it is undoubtedly Chhetri. The AIFF recognises his contribution and has already looked at the criteria,” a well-placed source said.
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das, when contacted, has revealed that the federation has also recommended striker Jeje Lalpekhlua and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s names for the Arjuna Awards. Though he denied naming the Padma Shri recommendation, he didn’t shy away from praising the 33-year-old star striker, which gave away as reported by PTI.