New Delhi [India], Jan 13 : The All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel chaired the annual General Body Meeting (AGM) at the Football House here on Monday, where they discussed among other things the future roadmap for the development of football in the country.
Besides AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das, Senior Vice-President Subrata Dutta, KMI Mather, Manvendra Singh, AIFF Executive Committee Members, all members from Member Associations barring Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan attended the meeting.
FIFA Development Officer Prince Rufus, AFC representatives Purushottam Kattel, and Dinish De Silva, ID Nanavati from the Indian Olympic Association, and Nikunj Aswal from MYAS attended the meeting as observers. 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.”
“The number of programs, especially at the grassroots level has 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,” said the AIFF president.
“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,” added Patel.
AIFF General Secretary 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 junior NFC, sub-junior NFC, as well as women’s Junior NFC 2018-19.
The General Secretary highlighted the increase in participation in the Golden Baby Leagues. “The Golden Baby League focuses on enjoyment and interaction. It was a big success last year and is even bigger this year. While 11 states took part last year, it has increased to 21 this year. The number of League operators has increased from 83 to 120 while the number of registered kids have surpassed 30,000 this year. The 21,471 kids participated last in the League last year,” Das said.
He also made a mention of the Indian women’s senior team playing 32 international matches in 2019, an increase of 300 per cent 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 Football Associations.