Shillong, Jul 22: Kamala Devi and Sunil Chhetri were chosen by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) as the best footballers for the year 2017.

Devi (pictured left during this year’s Indian Women’s League (IWL) in Shillong) plays for Eastern Sporting Union (ESU), while Chhetri is of Bengaluru FC.

The news of the awards was released by the AIFF on its website today as part of a news item on its executive committee meeting held in Mumbai.

Anirudh Thapa and E Panthoi Chanu (also of Manipur and ESU’s goalkeeper in the IWL) were adjudged the Emerging Player and Woman Emerging Player respectively.

In another bit of news for the North East, Sumanta Datta of Assam won the Best Assistant Referee award.

Meanwhile, despite its efforts in grassroots development, Meghalaya missed out on the Best Grassroots Development Programme award, which went to the Kerala Football Association.

The executive committee strongly condemned the Indian Olympic Association’s decision to debar football teams from participating in the forthcoming Asian Games scheduled to be held in Indonesia. The committee also unanimously ratified the 2018-19 club licensing regulations.

Meanwhile, in a further effort to curb age-fraud, the TW3 test, which has been accepted by the Supreme Court as an age verification test and has been used extensively in Indian cricket, has been implemented by the committee for all age-group competitions, including club competitions, state tournaments and even national team competitions. The cost for the tests will be borne by the respective clubs and state associations.

Age-group competition in the country will now see the possibility of five substitutions per game and an extra substitute if the match goes to extra time, which is in accordance with FIFA regulations.

Full list of the 2017 AIFF awards:
Best Grassroots Development Programme: Kerala Football Association
Award for long-time contribution to Indian football: Hero Motocorp
Best Assistant Referee: Sumanta Datta
Best Referee: CR Srikrishna
Emerging Woman Footballer of the Year: E Panthoi Chanu
Emerging Player of the Year: Anirudh Thapa
Woman Footballer of the Year: Kamala Devi
Player of the Year: Sunil Chhetri


(TSR file photo)

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