Football Federation recommends former captain IM Vijayan for Padma Shri
The 51-year-old former professional footballer and the striker had scored 40 goals in 79 matches for India. IM Vijayan was awarded the Indian ‘Player of the Year’ in 1993, 1997, and 1999.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to recommend former Indian caption IM Vijayan for the Padma Shri award, which is the country’s fourth-highest civilian award.
The 51-year-old former professional footballer and the striker had scored 40 goals in 79 matches for India. IM Vijayan was awarded the Indian ‘Player of the Year’ in 1993, 1997, and 1999. He was also honored with Arjuna Award in 2003.
IM Vijayan is one of the most skillful footballers that the country has ever seen. He formed a prolific strike partnership alongside Bhaichung Bhutia which helped the team in scoring various goals in the international tournaments.
IM Vijayan: Key Highlights
• IM Vijayan was part of the victorious Indian football team in the 1999 South Asian Football Federation Cup. He scored one of the fastest international goals in history during the game tournament, where he managed to find the back of the net in just 12 seconds.
• He also finished as a top scorer with four goals in the Afro-Asian Games event that was held in India in 2003. He formally retired from international football after Afro-Asian Games 2003.
• At the club level, some of IM Vijayan’s best performances in the early stage of his career came in a Kerala Police Football Club, which was his first team.
• During Quilon Nationals 1987, he gave brilliant performances for Kerala Police and impressed the National Football fraternity with his impeccable skills and highly aggressive style of playing the sport.
• IM Vijayan had also played for Kolkata heavyweights Mohun Bagan and towards the end of his career, he also donned the East Bengal Jersey.
• After football, IM Vijayan started his career in acting and played a lead role in the movie ‘Shantham’. He has acted in more than 20 films in both Tamil and Malayalam.
National Sports Awards Nominations:
On June 3, 2020, the Sports Ministry announced that it has decided to extend the deadline for the submission of applications for the National Sports Awards till June 22. The sports ministry had also earlier allowed the sportspersons to file their nomination by self-application.
The decision was taken because of the difficulties faced by them in getting the recommendation from prescribed persons/authorities due to the nationwide lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.