The annual Football Players Association of India (FPAI) Indian Football Awards 2019 was presented in a grand manner at Paljor Stadium in Sikkim capital Gangtok on Sunday.
The event was hosted by Football Players Association of Sikkim (FPAS) for the first time in Sikkim.
The event had the Governor Ganga Prasad as the chief guest and the chief minister P S Golay was present as the guest of honour.
Indian football team skipper, Sunil Chhetri was conferred with the Indian Player of the Year for the second consecutive time.
As Sunil Chhetri could not make to the award function so the award was received by FPAI president Rennedy Singh on his behalf.
Likewise, FPAI award for Foreign Player of the Year was presented to Ferran Corominas of Goa FC, Young Player of the Year to Lallinzuala Chhangte of Delhi Dynamos, Coach of the Year to Eelco Schattorie of North East United FC and Fans player of the Year to Shahal Abdul Samad of Kerala Blasters.
On the occasion, FPAI also honoured the former Indian football team skipper, Bhaichung Bhutia with a special award for his contribution towards football.
On the occasion, FPAS has felicitated former international footballers, HT Basi (Jerry Basi) and Bhaichung Bhutia, first international woman footballer from Sikkim, Puspa Gurungh, Sikkim women team coach, Palden Bhutia and former footballer and coach, Thupden Rapgyal.
The main highlight of the event was a friendly match between FPAI XI and Sikkim Stars.
FPAI XI consisting of professional footballers of the country was led by Bhaichung Bhutia, while Sikkim Stars consisted of professional footballers of Sikkim playing in and outside the State and was led by Nirmal Chettri.
Sikkim Forest Minister Karma Loday Bhutia played from Sikkim Stars.
It was a rare opportunity for the people of Sikkim to witness the game of professional footballers of the State and the country together at Paljor Stadium.
The full time of the match ended 1-1 draw. Sikkim Stars finished the first half with 1-0 lead with the help of a goal by Sanju Pradhan.
Surchandra Singh scored the equalizer for FPAI in the last minutes of the match.
In the tie-breaker, FPAI converted four shots into goals while Sikkim Stars managed to score just one goal.
Finally, FPAI won the match in the tie-breaker.
The event was witnessed by cabinet ministers and other dignitaries and football lovers of the State.