Indian Women football legend Oinam bembem Devi set to receive Arjuna Award

Former Indian women’s football captain Oinam Bembem Devi is set to become only the second women footballer to receive the Arjuna Award.


Oinam has scored 32 goals for the national team

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India included the name of recently retired 37 year old Indian woman footballer Oinam Bembem Devi in the list of 17 athletes recommended for the prestigious prize.

In an international career spanning across two decades, Bembem has won two SAFF Championships, two South Asian Games and has been an integral part of the Indian team in various international events like Asian Games, and the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. Earlier this year, she captained and managed the Eastern Sporting Union, which won the inaugural edition of the Indian Women’s League

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Bembem made her international debut in 1995 as a 15-year-old and retired in February last year after guiding India to a gold medal in the South Asian Games in Shillong. She had lamented early in the year that woman footballers are not considered when it comes to recognition from the government. Out of the 24 Indians who have received this prestigious award, 23 of them have been men with only women in the list being the legendary India captain Shanti Mullick back in 1989.

Bembem has played 85 times for the country scoring 32 goals. In 2014, Bembem joined a Maldivian club New Radiant and dazzled the tournament single handily taking the team to victory in the final. She scored 6 goals and 4 assists in just three games as she was awarded Player of the tournament for her excellent performances.

The list of Arjuna Awards recommendations: V J Surekha (Archery), Khushbir Kaur (Athletics), Arokin Rajiv (Athletics), Prasanthi Singh (Basketball), L Devendro Singh (Boxing), Cheteshwar Pujara (Cricket), Harmanpreet Kaur (Cricket), Oinam Bembem Devi (Football), SSP Chawrasia (Golf), S V Sunil (Hockey), Jasvir Singh (Kabaddi), P N Prakash (Shooting), A Amalraj (Table Tennis), Saketh Myneni (Tennis), Satyawart Kadian (Wrestling), Mariyappan Thangavelu (Para-Athlete) and Varun Bhati (Para-Athlete).



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