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Can’t get over being ignored for Padmashree,rues Balaram

In an emotional moment at the National Sports Day function at Town Hall on Saturday,Olympian Tulsidas Balaram simply broke down in tears just as he was being given a cheque as lifetime achievement award by West Bengal Sports Minister Kanti Ganguly on a starry evening.

Written by Sudeep Pakrashi | Kolkata |
August 30, 2009 3:24:00 am

In an emotional moment at the National Sports Day function at Town Hall on Saturday,Olympian Tulsidas Balaram simply broke down in tears just as he was being given a cheque as lifetime achievement award by West Bengal Sports Minister Kanti Ganguly on a starry evening.

While the sports minister handed over a Rs 1 lakh cheque to Balaram,the Olympian candidly gave vent to his feelings,lamenting that he was ignored for the Padmashree award despite being nominated for it back in 1989.

“I remember,the police verification process was done,and I was nominated for the award. But somehow,my file was suppressed and a Bengali footballer was given the award that year,” Balaram lamented.

Recalling those days of humiliation,the seasoned campaigner of yesteryears said: “That wasn’t the end. I received a greater shock when I found that there was no one around to support me in Bengal,not even the media. I am among very few players who settled down in Bengal after coming down from another state. Others who have represented Bengal from outstation have duly returned to their respective states after quitting football. But I stayed back even after my playing days were over.

“I also remember giving my best efforts in bringing the Santosh Trophy to Bengal several times. There was one such occasion when even Chuni Goswami wasn’t available,but we managed to win the title. Looking back at those days today,what I have gained?”

All eyes on top Senegal club

TOP Senegal club AS Douanes (Dakar) will be in the city on Sunday to take part in the IFA Shield. The club’s most fearsome player,Malik,is out with injury and will miss this championship. The 16-member squad boasts of five national players.

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