New Delhi [India], November 13 (ANI): All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel congratulated India captain Sunil Chhetri after the latter was conferred with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award on Saturday.
The President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday conferred National Sports Awards to the athletes.
"Congratulations! No one deserves it more than Sunil. He has been the flag bearer and a role model for Indian Football, having won so many laurels for his country and all his clubs over the years. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours and look forward together to him leading us to unprecedented glories in near future," said Praful Patel in an official AIFF release.
For the record, Sunil is the first Indian footballer to have received the award -- the highest award for a sportsman in India.
Meanwhile, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das also praised Chhetri and called him a 'living legend'.
"My heartiest congratulations to him. The Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award is the pinnacle of all sporting awards in the country and Sunil deserves the award. He is a living legend and the icon whom all fans look up to. I wish him all the best in his professional and personal life. You have been a true flag-bearer for Indian Football," said Kushal Das.
Neeraj Chopra (Athletics), Ravi Kumar (Wrestling), Avani Lakhera (Para-shooting), Mithali Raj (Cricket), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing), Sreejesh P.R (Hockey), Sumit Antil (Para-Athletics), Pramod Bhagat (Para Badminton), Manish Narwal (Para Shooting), and Manpreet Singh (Hockey) are other athletes who were conferred with the prestigious award.
The specially organised award function is being held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. National Sports Awards are given every year to recognise and reward excellence in sports. (ANI)