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Baichung Bhutia inducted to Asian Football Confederation's hall of fame

"It's a great honour for me. I need to thank AFC for finding me competent enough. I also need to thank AIFF for their continuous support," Baichung said.

IANS

Updated:October 22, 2014, 1:16 PM IST
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Baichung Bhutia inducted to Asian Football Confederation's hall of fame
"It's a great honour for me. I need to thank AFC for finding me competent enough. I also need to thank AIFF for their continuous support," Baichung said.

New Delhi: Former Indian football team captain Baichung Bhutia has been inducted to the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) Hall of Fame, the continent's football governing body confirmed on Wednesday.

"It is my pleasure to announce that India's legendary player Baichung Bhutia has been selected to be honoured as an inductee to the AFC's Hall of Fame," Dato Alex Soosay, general secretary of AFC, wrote in a letter to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Wednesday.

Besides Baichung, nine other legendary footballers of the continent will be inducted to the elite list. The awards are being instituted for the first time and Baichung is the sole Indian to be recognised.

"The AFC is celebrating its 60th anniversary in the Philippines Nov 30 where a joint event will take place to celebrate the occasion as well as reward Asia's finest at the AFC annual awards," Soosay wrote in the letter.

Baichung thanked the AFC for the honour.

"It's a great honour for me. I need to thank AFC for finding me competent enough. I also need to thank AIFF for their continuous support," Baichung said.

"It wouldn't have been possible without the support of all my team-mates, coaches and the clubs I have represented. A special thanks to all my fans. This award is more for you than mine," he said in a statement Wednesday.

AIFF president Praful Patel and general secretary Kushal Das congratulated the Sikkim-born striker.

"Baichung has been the flag-bearer of Indian football in over 100 international matches. My heartiest congratulations to him. Post retirement, he has been closely associated with AIFF and we expect to work closely for the development of the sport in the country," Praful Patel said.

Kushal Das described Baichung's achievement as a huge honour for football in the country.

"Being an inductee into AFC's Hall of Fame is recognition of all his hard work and commitment. We at AIFF are very proud of his achievements and look forward for his involvement as we move ahead," Das said.

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