The ace forward was also awarded the Padma Shri in January by the Government of India.
Indian football team ace and Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri was conferred the first ever Football Ratna on Friday by Football Delhi, the governing body of football in Delhi state, at a glittering ceremony at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. He was presented the award by President of Football Delhi, Shaji Prabhakaran.
At an event that saw dignitaries from the corporate world as well as key stakeholders from the sports world including Football Delhi Executive Committee members, Sunil Chhetri, who was a recipient of the Padma Shri in this year’s Republic Day list, stressed the need to continue focus on development of talent in India.
Chhetri said “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”.
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 recognized 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.