The Football Players’ Association of India (FPAI) awards were handed out in a gala ceremony in Mumbai on Thursday night. A number of Bollywood celebrities along with the Indian football fraternity graced the occasion.
Haroon Amiri, the Mumbai FC defender bagged the prestigious ‘Fans’ player of the year’ award for the recently concluded season.
“I am very happy today. When I walked to the stage to receive the trophy, I felt on the top of the world. There were a number of fantastic players who had also got nominated. I feel proud to win the award going past all of them. I would like to thank all the fans who had voted for me," said the Afghan international shortly after winning the laurel.
The other nominees in the category included James Moga (Pune FC), Lenny Rodrigues (Churchill Brothers), Arata Izumi (Pune FC), Lalrindika Ralte (East Bengal), Lalkamal Bhowmick and Carlos Hernandez (Prayag United).
Amiri also hailed his team and his coach Khalid Jamil for their co-operation. “On a football field, you can’t perform alone. My coach and the club management have played a key role in my success,” he told Goal. The defender has been a part of the Mumbai FC squad since 2011 and was an integral part of their squad last season.
He also conceded that he had problems with settling down at first, after coming to India. “It was hard in my first season. The coach couldn’t decide which position is ideal for me. Also Indian football demanded more technique and physical strength. This season has been much better and I have played in my most comfortable position. Things have been good since then,” Amiri remarked.
The Afghanistan stopper also informed that he has not decided anything about his future. “I have fixed nothing. I am a free agent now. There are a number of good clubs in India and I am waiting for an offer. Let’s see what happens,” he signed off.