Mumbai, 9GNS) : The Indian Football Awards 2013 were hosted by the Football Players Association of India along with The Bombay Gymkhana.
The exhibition match was played by the senior and current national team payers like Baichung Bhutia, Sunil Chettri, Renedy Singh, Gouramangi Singh, Climax Lawrance, Subrata Paul, Lenny Rodriguez, Abhishek Yadav to name a few.
There was a celebrity match played where avid footballer Mark Robinson led the brigade, Dino Morea who was slated to play could only join the awards later due to an injury.
But actor Abhishek Bachchan who was the guest of honour for the evening alongwith Praful Patel in true sportsman spirit mesmerised the audiences and football fans by performing on a few lines of his famous “Ek Main Aur Ek Tu Hai” on stage. Abhishek spoke about his passion for the sport and urged that if 1 in 6 people in the world are Indians he would really be proud and happy when 1 in 6 Indians are football fans.
Baichung Bhutia – President, Football Players Association of India and former captain of the Indian Football Team expressed his gratitude to all present and for their support. Being the torchbearer of Indian Football, Baichung spoke about several initiatives like collaboration with international Footballs associations but most importantly stressed the need to take the sport to the grassroot levels. Says Baichung, “We are taking various initiatives to popularise the game in India be it the I-league or organising camps at various locations in the country. We want to tap all the potential that exist in our country and give all an opportunity to discover the sportsman in themselves.”
Adding to Baichung’s commitment, Praful Patel – President, Football Federation of India said, “The unfortunate part of our country is we are stuck to one sport and worship it so much that it has led to all that is happening today and it leads to such disappointment for millions of fans. However, in sport like football even today its all about the game and the passion for the sport. And with personalities like Baichung and the continuous efforts that he is putting in, the popularity of the game and the fanfare will surely level any other sport.”
The winners in various categories were Young Player of the Year- Alwyn George (Pailan Arrows), Most Organized Club Venue – United Sikkim FC, Foreign player of the year -Ranti Martins (Prayag United FC), Coach/Manager of the year -Derrick Pereira (Pune FC), Fans Player of the Year- Zohib Amiri (Mumbai FC), Indian Player of the year -Lenny Rodrigues (Churchill brothers), Special Achievements in Football Award was given to Churchill Alemao.
The sponsors for the event were Media & Communication partner Bubble Communication, 90 Minutes as magazine partner, Goal.com as the web partner, Audi as mobility partner, Big FM as radio partner, Asian football development project (AFDP) as CSR partner.