Indian Football: Syed Shahid Hakeem wins Dhyan Chand Award

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India team 1960 Rome Olympics
The former Olympian has been honoured by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for his outstanding contribution in the field of coaching...

Syed Shahid Hakeem has become only the second footballer to win the prestigious Dhyan Chand Award for Life Time Achievement in Sports and Games in 2017.

The Hyderabad-born former footballer represented India at the 1960 Olympics in Rome where the country finished sixth.

He has served as the Chief Project Director at Sports Authority of India (SAI) for the last decade or so. 

In a playing career spanning nearly 25 years, Hakeem took on to refereeing from 1970 and successfully officiated 33 international games till 1989, including the 1988 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar.

Post that, he turned to coaching, following the footsteps of his father, Late Syed Abdul Rahim who was regarded as one of India's best coaches, having won three Asian Games gold and reaching the semi-finals of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.

According to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, to be eligible for the Dhyan Chand Award, a sportsperson has to, "have not only good performance at international level but also should have continued to contribute to promotion of sport in his/her individual capacity even after his/her career as a sportsperson is over. A sportsperson should also have shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, and sense of discipline."

Associated with the Indian Air Force for nearly half a century, Hakeem became only the second footballer to win the Dhyan Chand Award after fellow Hyderabadi Shabbir Ali won it in 2011.

Another footballing gem of the city, Syed Naeemuddin remains the only footballer to win the Dronacharya Award, conferred for excellence in the field of coaching.

Hakeem, who will be felicitated by the President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 29 August, will receive a statuette, certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs.