A day after India’s dour draw against Afghanistan left Indian football fans slightly exasperated, delight has engulfed the country courtesy the nation and its players’ inclusion as nominees for the AFC Annual Awards Hong Kong 2019. The ceremony is set to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on the 2nd of December.
Indian women footballer, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi has been earmarked as one of the top three contenders to take home the AFC Women’s Player of the Year prize alongside the likes of Chinese footballer, LI Ying, and Japanese skipper, Saki Kumagai.
Devi enjoyed a wonderful 2019 as she powered India to the 2nd qualifying round of the Olympic 2020 qualifiers whereas she was also a vital component of the Indian side that laid its hands on the 2019 SAFF Championship title.
Additionally, she helped her club, Sethu FC emerge victorious in the Indian Women’s League.
Elsewhere, in another promising announcement, the All India Football Federation was chalked out as one of the three Asian football associations to have excelled in its Grassroots development programme.
India were shortlisted for the AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football (Developing) and would compete with the Hong Kong Football Association LTD and the Football Association of Singapore for the accolade.
The nomination of the AIFF and Ashalata Devi is sure to fill each Indian’s pride with heart, especially as the country strives to carve out a niche for itself in the footballing fraternity. And, the aforementioned selections surely portray that India are on the right path.Published 15 Nov 2019, 11:50 IST