AIFF to felicitate Asian Games' heroes

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will felicitate the surviving members of the gold-medal winning 1951 and 1962 Asian Games teams on the occasion of the federation’s 75th anniversary next week.

“We will felicitate the living members of the 1951 and the 1962 Asia Games gold medal winning teams. It is unfortunate that several members of the two teams are not alive.

“The AIFF’s 75 years also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the 1962 gold winning feat. So, the AIFF has decided to honour the heroes who have given so much to Indian football,” an AIFF spokesperson said.

The Indian football team, led by the late Sailen Manna, won the gold medal in the inaugural Asian Games here in 1951. It was on a solitary strike by the legendary Mewalal that India beat Iran 1-0 at the National Stadium here to win the gold medal.

Eleven years later, the team led by PK Banerjee won the gold medal beating South Korea 2-1 in the final of the Jakarta Asian Games.

Karnataka’s T Shanmugam, who turned 93 recently, was a member of the Indian team that took part in the Helsinki 1952 Olympics.

List of players to be felicitated: 1951 Asian Games: Ahmed Khan (Bengal), T Shanmugam (Karnataka) and TM Verghese (Mumbai).

1962 Asian Games: Prodyut Barman (Railways), O Chandrasekhar (Mumbai), Arun Ghosh (Bengal), F Franco (Mumbai), Prasanta Sinha (Bengal), PK Banerjee (Bengal), Chuni Goswami (Bengal), Tulshidas Balaram (Bengal), Arumanayagam (Bengal), Ethiraj (Services), DMK Afzal (Andhra Pradesh).

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