On 1st December All India Football Federation (AIFF) won the AFC Developing Member Association of the Year Award at the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Annual FC Awards 2016 at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
AFC Vice President Mr. Ali Kafashian gave the award to AIFF President Praful Patel.
This distinguished award is given to a Member Association in identification of its professional leadership and governance. And also assesses the Member Association’s exceptional contribution to the evolution and promotion of the game at all levels within the specific country. They are further assessed and given points on diverse areas encircling the association’s bustles such as the organisation of courses and seminars, competitions, grassroots and youth development, women’s programs, social responsibility and special projects. Points are also given for a Member Association’s hosting of AFC qualifying and finals tournaments as well as their national and club teams’ placing in AFC and FIFA competitions throughout the year.
Patel said, “I need to thank AFC for recognising our efforts. Indian football is headed in the right direction”.
AFC conducted 29 AFC Courses inclusive of 2 AFC A Licensed Courses, 5 AFC B License Courses, 20 AFC C Licensed Courses, and 2 AFC Goalkeeping Level 1 Courses in an effort to increase the number of AFC Licensed Coaches in the country. Through the above mentioned coaching courses 210 Coaches received their AFC certification.
An overseas online scouting portal for NRIs over the world has been launched by the AIFF and it is the only Sporting Federation in the country to have done so. NRIs only need to provide their valid Indian Passport as proof to apply.
Nevertheless, this isn’t the first time that AIFF won an AFC award at an AFC Awards night. In 2013 AIFF was nominated in the top three for the AFC Grassroots along with eventual winners Japan Football Association and Vietnam Football Federation. And in 2014 AIFF had won the AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football. In addition to this, AIFF won the Best National Sports Federation by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at the India Sports Awards Night at the FICCI Federation House in New Delhi in 2014.
Moreover, history was made when JSW Bengaluru FC became the first Indian club to reach the AFC Cup final in Doha. They lost to Air Force Club, Iraq by a whisker.