Mohammedan Sporting Club bestowed the honour of the Shan-e-Mohammedan to former India International Latifuddin Najam for his overall contributions towards the 126-year-old club.
The Shan-e-Mohammedan is the Lifetime Achievement Award of Mohammedan Sporting Club, which is awarded annually to respect and laud indispensable contribution of football players to the club.
“It is a great feeling that your services to the club have been recognised. I have always played for passion, and it was such a pleasure and joy to be able to do what I did,” Latifuddin said after receiving the award and a sum of Rs 1 lakh at their Iftar Party.
“I never think of any awards while playing but today I felt honored to receive this award from Mohammedan Sporting Club. I wish this award will serve as an inspiration to the younger generation to do their best for the club.”
Son of 1952 Helsinki Olympian Syed Khaja Moinuddin, the Hyderabadi winger was one of the most skilled players ever to step foot in Kolkata Maidan and helped the club to win many accolades during his 10-year-long stint.
“The greatest memory was to score the equaliser for India in the final of 1974 Asian Junior Championship. Going into the final against Iran, not many people gave us a chance but we had self belief and fought hard to earn a 2-2 draw and crowned joint winners,” Latifuddin said.
“I don’t think there was any low points in my career. However, there was few moments when I felt disappointed. One of them was not being able to win the Calcutta Football League for Mohammedan Sporting Club in 1975. I thought we had the best team that year and all of us were in good form but one bad match finished it all.”
Asked about the decline of Hyderabad football, he said: “I think there are a lot of issues tied in there. We have administrative problems in Hyderabad football. Even players themselves may not be as focused as they should be.
“I suppose complacency would be a factor as well as the fact that we thought because we have always produced great players over the years, we don’t have to do much and they will keep turning up and by the time we realised that it’s not so easy, we were already on our way down the ladder. Hyderabad football have been the architect of it’s own decline, we really can’t blame anybody else.”