Weeks after 27 sports stars were conferred the prestigious Arjuna Award, Mizoram CM Zoramthanga on Monday expressed shock over Indian footballer Jeje Lalpekhlua’s omission from it. The CM, in a tweet, highlighted Jeje’s achievements and contribution to the sport and compared it with his fellow teammates, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and defender Sandesh Jhingan.
Gurpreet received the award in 2019, and Jhingan was awarded the same on August 29 this year.
Zoramthanga, a former guerrilla leader turned politician, tweeted: “ Shri @KirenRijijuji, due respect to past & future awardee of the prestigious #arjunaaward; I stand with the people of #Mizoram in their dreams, their contribution towards the upliftment of the #IndianFootball, the pain felt by a sidelined recognition we all yearned #FactsMatter.”
Shri @KirenRijiju ji, due respect to past & future awardee of the prestigious #arjunaaward; I stand with the people of #Mizoram in their dreams, their contribution towards the upliftment of the #IndianFootball, the pain felt by a sidelined recognition we all yearned#FactsMatter pic.twitter.com/dlvUEr5Hv8
— Zoramthanga (@ZoramthangaCM) September 14, 2020
Meanwhile, the state football association (MFA) have also written a letter to the sports ministry, seeking clarification in this regard.
Jeje, on the other hand, is unperturbed with the omission and is happy for his teammates, whom he claims to be his “good friends.” Speaking to The Print, the 29-year-old striker also said that he takes the omission as a challenge.
“Everything has happened for football. The guys who got the trophy are my good friends, and I am really happy for them, but when I heard the news, I was really shocked. Last year, I did not get the trophy and this year I thought my time would come. Nevertheless, I take this as a challenge, ” he said.
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