The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will be recommending the name of India captain Sunil Chhetri for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. When it comes to Arjuna Award, the football body would put forward the name of Bala Devi.
"We will be proposing the name of Sunil Chhetri for Khel Ratna. We are yet to submit the documents. We will also put forward the name of Bala Devi for the Arjuna award," sources within AIFF told ANI.
During the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, Chhetri had surpassed Lionel Messi in the number of goals scored in international football. However, Messi has now again gone ahead by scoring consistently in the ongoing Copa America.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had earlier decided to extend the last date of submission of application for the upcoming National Sports Awards 2021.
Earlier, the last date for submitting applications was June 21. The nominations/applications from the eligible sportspersons/ coaches/ entities/ universities were invited for the award and they were to be e-mailed as per an official statement from the ministry.
Manika Batra, Rohit Sharma, Vinesh Phogat, Rani Rampal and Mariyappan Phangavelu were awarded the Khel Ratna Award last year and it was the first time that five athletes received the honour in the same year.