New Delhi:Local lad Sunil Chettri pipped Dempo duo of Mahesh Gawli and Climax Lawrence to emerge as the AIFF Player of the Year for his excellent performances for his club and country.
The JCT forward, one of the heroes of India's title run in the Nehru Cup football tournament on home ground, was named for the award after All India Football Federation's annual general meeting on Sunday.
Apart from scoring three goals in the Nehru Cup and two in the World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon, Chettri emerged as the highest Indian goalscorer in the 11th edition of the National Football League.
Meanwhile, in its 70th anniversary, the Federation also inducted five distingushed individuals as honorary life time members.
These include former legends Sailen Manna, P K Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, former national player and coach Syed Nayeemuddin and Santosh Mohan Deb, a former FIFA referee.
"They will now be eligible to attend all AIFF annual general meetings, but without voting rights," AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said.
The AGM also ratified that Delhi will have its own city league from 2008 as part of the Vision India project and Sikkim and Karnataka were approved for the next stage of Asian Football Confederation's 'Goal' project.