Dhyan Chand Award for former Indian football captain Shabbir AliJuly 26th, 2011 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) For former Indian captain Shabbir Ali it was better late than never as on Tuesday he became the first footballer to get the prestigious Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement.
A prolific scorer in both club and international football, Shabbir has 35 goals from 100 international matches. He is the only footballer after P.K. Banerjee and Syed Nayeemuddin, both Arjuna Award winners, to have excelled as a player and coach.
While Banerjee is among the few footballers to be conferred with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, Nayeemuddin is the only to get both the Arjuna and the Dronacharya awards. Ali, however was never considered for either the Arjuna or the Dronacharya Award.
Shabbir was elated after being selected for the Dhyan Chand Award.
“It is a great honour for me. I always had faith in the government that my contributions to Indian football would be recognised one day. I thank Allah for the award,” Shabbir told IANS over phone from Kolkata.
“There are regrets but I don’t want to think about them. This is a momentous occasion for me and I think this award will be an inspiration for the next generation of Indian footballers,” he said.
Hailing from Hyederabad, once a power-house in Indian football, Shabbir started his career with Abbas Union Football Club and then went on to represent Hyderabad Arsenal Club and the famous Andhra Pradesh Special Police, which produced many star footballers.
Shabbir then went to Mumbai, where he played for the Tata Sports Club for a brief period before shifting to Kolkata, where he achieved stardom with East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting.
“Today, football has gone down but I think the federation is working hard to take the game to where it belongs. But the onus is on former footballers like us, who have to play a major role in contributing to the development programme,” he said.
Shabbir’s international career spanned from 1974-84, during which he played in four Merdeka Cups, the 1982 Asian Games and the 1984 Asian Cup, for which India had qualified after 20 years.
The Hyderabadi led the junior Indian team to joint champions at the Asia Youth Soccer in 1974, scoring five five goals, and also captained the senior team in the 1981 Merdeka Cup.
As a coach, his credentials were equally enviable. Shabbir guided Salgaocar to become the first Goan club to win the National Football League, now christened at the I-League, in 1998-99. During his tenure with Salgaocar, who are also the current I-League champions, Shabbir led them to victories in the Rovers Cup and the Durand Cup and twice in the Super Cup.
Shabbir also guided the Bengal team to win the Santosh Trophy in 2010 after a gap of 11 years.
He has also been a technical director of the national team and has a B license from the German football association which is equivalent to Asian Football Confederation (AFC) B coaching certificate.
- Nayeemuddin still sore with Bhutia - Aug 24, 2011
- President confers Narang with Khel Ratna, Arjuna for 19 athletes - Aug 29, 2011
- 19 Arjuna Awards to be conferred this year - Aug 18, 2011
- Nayeemuddin appointed new Mohammedan Sporting coach - Jul 16, 2010
- Salgoacar's Bencherifa is I-League's best coach - Oct 18, 2011
- Bhutia has no hard feelings over Nayeemuddin's 'misunderstanding' - Aug 25, 2011
- Kashmir has talent but no infrastructure: Footballer Ishfaq Ahmed - Oct 23, 2011
- The 107 caps of Bhaichung Bhutia (Career statistics) - Aug 24, 2011
- Holders Salgaocar eye win against relegated Chirag United - Apr 28, 2012
- Depleted Salgaocar face Mohun Bagan challenge - Apr 13, 2012
- I-League clubs agree to release players for Caribbean tour - Aug 08, 2011
- Saina to get Khel Ratna, Arjuna for Chettri and Sandeep (Roundup) - Jul 30, 2010
- I-League win with Salgaocar was sweetest, says Bencherifa - Jun 01, 2011
- Pune FC sign defender Ralte - Jul 30, 2012
- Salgaocar are I-League champions - May 30, 2011
Tags: arsenal club, east bengal, football captain, footballer, footballers, indian captain, indian football, international career, international football, lifetime achievement, mohammedan, momentous occasion, p k banerjee, padma shri, power house, prolific scorer, shabbir, special police, sports club, union football