Mr. Praful Patel, President, All India Football Federation chaired a physical cum virtual AIFF Executive Committee Meeting held earlier today (Friday, August 27, 2021).
While some members attended the meeting physically at Football House, others joined the meeting via video conferencing. Senior Vice President Mr. Subrata Dutta, AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das, and a host of other members attended the meeting in person.
Leave of absence was granted to Vice-Presidents Mr. Subash Chopra, Mr. Larsing Ming, Mr. KMI Mather; and members — Mr. Gulab Chauhan and Mr. Jessiah Villavarayer.
Mr. Chirag Tanna, General Manager, FSDL attended the meeting as an invitee.
The Committee condoled the demise of former Olympians, footballers and administrators, and observed a minute’s silence bowing their heads as a mark of respect for the departed souls.
“Indian football will miss them as they were all stalwarts who inspired several generations and played such a huge role in scripting a golden age for Indian Football. May I put on record our gratitude, sympathy and condolences to all their families. Our prayers are always with them, and we pray for the departed souls to rest in peace,” Mr. Patel averred.
The President also put on record his congratulations to the AIFF administration for “having done some exceptional work during these difficult times.”
“We have had our Leagues which were run simultaneously and successfully in a bubble. Unfortunately, we could not afford multiple venues as we had to follow safety protocols. But, we managed the competitions successfully,” he stated.
Referring to the forthcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, Mr. Patel explained: “Though we always like to broad base such tournaments across the country, unfortunately due to the pandemic situation as we were in the danger of losing the hosting rights for the tournament, we planned to host it within the bubble in and around the Mumbai region. That allows us access to an adequate number of training pitches, and the three stadiums in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Pune.”
Mr. Abhishek Yadav, Deputy General Secretary, AIFF, also Director National Teams apprised the committee about the calendar of the several National teams. “The Senior women’s team have also kicked-off their preparatory camp for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 in Jamshedpur with support from the Government of Jharkhand,” Yadav informed.
Mr. Abhishek also updated the Committee about the ongoing National Centre of Excellence, Kolkata, the first phase of which is to be completed by the end of this year, followed by a soft launch.
Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO Leagues, informed that the Hero I-League will kick-off in December. “The number of matches have increased and the League will get over by first-week of April 2022,” Mr. Dhar said. “The Hero I-League Qualifiers will kick-off under the bubble in Bengaluru from October first week. We have had 29 teams from 19 states contesting for the 10 spots in the HIL qualifiers.”
The committee also congratulated Gokulam Kerala FC for being the first Indian women’s club to qualify for the AFC Women’s Club Championship pilot project to be held in Jordan. “The qualification to the Hero IWL will be through the state leagues, and State Associations are supposed to complete their state leagues by January 15, 2022.”
Meanwhile, the inaugural AIFF Club Futsal Championship is to be held from November 1-13 in Shillong.
The committee, in unison, also ratified the implementation of a minimum criteria for all State Associations to nominate teams for the subsequent 2nd division/HIL qualifiers, and also the HIWL.
Based on the recommendation of the AIFF Medical Committee, the Ex. Co have asked former junior Indian International footballer Anwar Ali to produce an affidavit claiming full responsibility, along with details of the medical precautions to be taken by him, and his prospective club to make him eligible to play competitive football.
The Committee also lauded the efforts of the AIFF Secretariat to implement the training compensation, which will financially reward the clubs/academies nurturing talent between the age of 12-21. There will also be a share of the admin fee to the state and districts.
Meanwhile, owing to the pandemic situation, the competition calendar of 2020-21 has been brought forward to 2021-22. The National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy zonal rounds will be held from November 21, 2021, while the final round is slated to be held from January 5, 2022 onwards.
In addition, the Women’s Senior National Football Championship will be held from November 2021 onwards.