The All India Football Federation president Praful Patel chaired the AIFF’s Annual General Body Meeting at AIFF Headquarters – Football House, Dwarka, New Delhi on Monday, January 13.
Besides AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das; Senior Vice-President Mr. Subrata Dutta, Mr. KMI Mather, Mr. Manvendra Singh, AIFF Executive Committee Members; all members from Member Associations barring Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan attended the meeting.
Furthermore, FIFA Development Officer Mr. Prince Rufus, AFC representatives Mr. Purushottam Kattel and Mr. Dinish De Silva; Mr. I.D. Nanavati from Indian Olympic Association, and Mr. Nikunj Aswal from MYAS attended the meeting as observers. Ms. Priti Srivastava represented FSDL in the meeting.
Welcoming all, the AIFF President said: “In 2020 we host FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup which will provide global recognition to Indian Football. You need to go back to the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 to understand the impact which it had in Indian football society, and also among FIFA and AFC,” he stated.
“The number of programmes, especially at the Grassroots level have increased by manifolds in the last 10 years. Grassroots, training and development, coaching courses have been working in tandem. New academies, facilities in schools, basic grooming and conditioning are some aspects which we’re working on relentlessly. It’s not an overnight process,” the AIFF President added.
“We have encountered many challenges and have come a long way. But we have to do much better. We need active support, cooperation from each State Association, the associate members as well as the support of parent body FIFA and AFC to scale to newer heights. Moreover, we’re working closely with our commercial partners FSDL who have actively supported Indian Football until now,” Mr. Patel maintained.
Meanwhile, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das lauded Arunachal Pradesh for their significant results in the National Championships across different age-groups in the last season. The state finished runners-up in the Hero Junior NFC, Hero Sub-junior NFC, as well as Hero Women’s Junior NFC 2018-19.
The General Secretary highlighted the increase in participation in the Golden Baby Leagues. “The Golden Baby League focuses towards enjoyment and interaction. It was a big success last year and is even bigger this year,” he informed. “While 11 states took part last year, it has increased to 21 this year. The number of League operators have increased from 83 to 120 while the number of registered kids have surpassed 30000 this year. 21,471 kids participated last in the League last year.”
He also made a mention of the Indian Women’s Senior Team playing 32 international matches in 2019, an increase of 300% from last year, while the Grassroots leaders course – currently rechristened as the AIFF E License course, have been organised 33 times in 2019.
The AIFF also organised a workshop with the State Associations over decentralisation of National events, and empowerment of the State FAs.