AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: The Federation has announced the awards for the Hero I-League season 2022-23. The landmark season saw RoundGlass Punjab FC crowned champions, and earn themselves promotion to the Hero ISL — subject to fulfilling club licensing criteria. RoundGlass Punjab’s haul of 52 points was the first time in a decade that the half-century mark was breached in the Hero I-League — Churchill Brothers were the last to do so in 2012-13.

Federation President Kalyan Chaubey, who was present at the champions’ crowning ceremony at their home ground Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula, said that their performance merited not just a championship but also individual accolades for many players in the squad.

“While it is true that football is a team game, sometimes individual performances can galvanise teams to greater heights,” he said. “That has been the case with RoundGlass Punjab, and it is no surprise that the club has had some outstanding individual performers this season.”

The biggest star of RGP’s star-studded cast was Slovenian striker Luka Majcen, who won the Hero of the League award with a prize of Rs 5,00,000 and was the league’s highest scorer with 16 goals (Rs 2,50,000). The club also wrapped up three more individual awards, Kiran Kumar Limbu won the Best Goalkeeper award (Rs 2,50,000), Juan Mera won the Best Midfielder (Rs 2,50,000) and head coach Staikos Vergetis was awarded the Syed Abdul Rahim award for Best Coach.

The Jarnail Singh award for Best Defender went to Gokulam Kerala FC’s Bouba Aminou for the second year running, and the Emerging Player award was given to TRAU FC’s Salam Johnson Singh. Both came with a prize of Rs 2,50,000.

“It was very heartening to see this season played outside of Covid restrictions and consequently it was also good to see many clubs produce some thrilling performances through the season,” Federation Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran said. “Off the field, clubs have done a lot to ensure that this season was conducted without a hitch, and I would like to commend and thank them for their service to Indian Football.”

TRAU FC won the AIFF Fair Play award for the season. Mohammedan Sporting Club were awarded for the Best Match Organisation in the League (Rs 1,00,000) and Rajasthan United FC won the award for Best Media Operations (Rs 1,00,000).