AIFF to recommend Sunil Chhetri for Khel Ratna award
Indian football legend Sunil Chhetri is set to be recommended by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. However, the relevant documents for his nomination are yet to be submitted, an official told ANI. The Indian football team captain has been an inspiration and has carried the team with his consistency. Here's more.
Earlier this month, Chhetri netted a brace for the Blue Tigers in their 2-0 win over Bangladesh in the FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. This was India's first win in the group stage. In their final WC qualifying match against Afghanistan, the Indian football team drew 1-1 to book a berth in the next qualifying round of the Asian Cup in Doha.
On Tuesday, the Odisha government recommended ace sprinter Dutee Chand for the Khel Ratna award. Apart from Dutee, the Odisha government also sent five other recommendations to the sports ministry. Last week, Dutee broke her own 100m national record, clocking 11.7 seconds at the Indian Grand Prix 4 in Patiala. She missed the automatic Olympic qualification time by 0.02 seconds.
With 74 goals under his belt, Chhetri is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo (109) and Lionel Messi (75) among active international goal-scorers. Chhetri needs four goals at the moment to get past legendary icon Pele, who had netted 77 goals for Brazil.
The BCCI forwarded the names of R Ashwin and Mithali Raj. "We had a detailed discussion and it was decided to send in the names of Ashwin and women's Test and ODI skipper Mithali's name for the Khel Ratna. We are recommending Dhawan again for the Arjuna while we will also suggest the names of Rahul and Bumrah," a source told ANI.
Meanwhile, the BCCI has also recommended the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, and Jasprit Bumrah for the Arjuna award respectively.