Gangtok, 18 Jul:
Football Players Association of Sikkim [FPAS] has appealed to sportspersons and football lovers of the region to become part of the Football Players Association of India Indian Football Awards 2019 to be held here at Paljor Stadium on Sunday. The event is being hosted by FPAS and is coming to Sikkim for the first time.
Among the highlights for the day will be an exhibition match between FPAI XI and Sikkim Stars.
This will present a rare opportunity for football lovers and people of Sikkim to watch the game of Indian international footballers and leading professional footballers of Sikkim at Paljor Stadium.
Indian Football Awards in different categories - Best Indian Player of the Year, Indian Emerging Player of the Year, Fans’ Player of the Year Best Coach of the Year and Best Foreign Player of the Year - will be presented during half-time of the match.
Addressing a press conference here today, FPAI president Nirmal Chettri informed that FPAI XI will feature Sunil Chettri along with Deepak Mandal, Md Nawaz, Anwar Ali, Nagen Tamang, Nadong Bhutia and others Indian professional footballers.
Likewise, Sikkim XI will have professional footballers from Sikkim playing in different ISL and I-League clubs and local clubs of Sikkim.
He mentioned that Bhaichung Bhutia has also given his confirmation to play in the exhibition match but has not picked his team yet.
“We have been trying to bring as many Sikkim footballers playing with different clubs of the country a possible for the event,” Mr Chettri said.
He also expressed his disappointment on not getting the expected moral support and participation from senior and ex-footballers of Sikkim.
He stressed that there was need for support and motivation from senior and ex-footballers for further development of football and the welfare of footballers.
FPAS vice-president, Bikash Jairu, informed that preparation for the event was progressing well and mentioned that the ceremony will also include felicitation of former footballers and individuals of the State for their contributions towards bringing football to this level.
FPAS general secretary, Nim Tshering Lepcha, added that FPAS has been providing green donor cards to former footballers of the State and a separate section in the stadium has been earmarked for them.
He stated that expect a few galleries in the stadium reserved for guests, entry was free for all. He appealed to all to be the part of this historic event.