Jeje Lalpekhlua, the gifted footballer from Mizoram, has been nominated by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for this year’s Arjuna Awards.
The Arjuna Awards are given by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, government of India to recognize outstanding achievement in National sports. Instituted in 1961, the award carries a cash prize of ₹ 500,000, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll.
Other footballers nominated for the awards are goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu and Oinam Bembem Devi.
Jeje has been in form this season and he scored two goals for Mohun Bagan in the team’s match against Minerva Punjab in the I-League.
The 26-year-old sportsman was recently named AIFF Player of the Year and he has been in the Indian national squad.
Born in the humble village of Hnahthial, friends said Jeje’s family had always been a “football fanatic family”. Both his father and brother used to play for local Mizoram club – The Model Sporting Club.
Despite initial hesitations from his parents in pursuing football professionally, Jeje came to light after a spectacular performance at the Wai Wai Cup held in Mizoram. On account of his impressive form in the field, Jeje made it to the Mizoram U-19 team and has never looked back since.