FPAI Awards: Mehtab Hussain Walks Away With Dual Honours In Gala Indian Football Awards Ceremony In Kolkata

The Football Players Association Of India’s Indian Football Awards 2011 took place on the sidelines of the Federation Cup at the ITC Sonar Bangla in Kolkata...

Mehtab Hussain ended up walking away with the dual crown of the Fans' Player Of The Year and Indian Player Of The Year in a memorable night for the midfielder, while Karim Bencherifa won the Best Coach Award.

Brazilian Beto was awarded as the Best Foreign Player last year while Indian ace Jeje Lalpekhlua won the Best Young Player award. Subrata Paul’s efforts in the Asian Cup 2011 were recognized as he was felicitated as the Best Indian Player Of The Tournament while the show’s host Sunil Chhetri and Bhaichung Bhutia were given special awards in recognition of winning the Arjuna Award and service to Indian football respectively.

The Award ceremony’s Chief Guest was the Governor of West Bengal, Mr. M.K Narayan and the event was attended by several big-wigs of Indian football such as All India Football Federation's (AIFF) vice-president Subrata Dutta, Lajong General Secretary Larsing Ming, Churchill Brothers SC patron Churchill Alemao and Mohammedan Sporting's president Sultan Ahmed, as well as Indian film industry stars like Raima Sen, Rituparna Sengupta, Swastika Mukherjee alongwith India’s tennis ace Leander Paes.

Indian football Icon and FPAI President Bhaichung Bhutia was a notable absentee as he was busy helping out in Rehabilitation programs in earthquake stricken Sikkim.

The ceremony began with a minute’s silence to pay respect to the victims of the recent earthquake in the North-East after which the Chief Guest of the gala event, Mr. M.K Narayan addressed the gathering who then also announced the FPAI team of the year.

                            Beto Felicitated By Rituparna Sengupta And Leander Paes

After a performance by noted singer Sandeep Vyas, the award in the Category of Best Foreign Player was given out by Tollywood actress Rituparna Sengupta and IMG-Reliance CEO Ashish Jindal. Churchill Brothers’ Beto, who was part of the Dempo squad last year won the award, beating competition from Odafa Okolie and Ryuji Sueoka.

After a fashion show dominated by Salgaocar players, the Goans coach Karim Bencherifa then walked out with the trophy in the Best Coach category in which Armando Colaco and Trevor Morgan were also nominated.

                                          Sunil Chhetri Receives A Special Award

The host of the event, Sunil Chhetri was also then given a special award for winning the Arjuna Award last month while a bit later Bhaichung Bhutia too was felicitated for his services to Indian football.

Subrata Paul was then recognized for his brilliant performances during the 2011 Asian Cup and was awarded as the Best Indian Player Of The Tournament.

His Pune FC teammate Jeje Lalpekhlua, who finished last season as the top-scorer amongst Indians in the I-League then edged out competition from Raju Gaikwad and Lenny Rodrigues to win the Best Young Player award.

After another round of fashion show in which footballers walked the ramp, the award of Fans' Player of the Year was given away. This category was won by East Bengal’s influential Central Midfield Mehtab Hussain.

The Indian International was soon back on the stage, making it a memorable double for the midfielder, as his professional colleagues shared the same view as the fans and voted for him as the Best Indian Player last season in a category in which Climax Lawrence and Mahesh Gawli were the other nominees.

A memorable award ceremony then ended with a special tribute being paid to the late Debanjan Sen, an active member of the FPAI who passed away tragically earlier this year.

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