Mr Praful Patel, President, All India Football Federation Chaired AIFF’s Annual General Body Meeting which was held at AIFF Headquarters, Football House, Dwarka, New Delhi.
Besides Mr Patel, AIFF General Secretary Mr Kushal Das, Vice-Presidents Mr Subrata Dutta, Mr KMI Mather, Mr Subhash Chopa, Mr Manvendra Singh, AIFF Executive Committee Members, and members from Member Associations also attended the Meeting as did the two affiliated units – SSCB and RSPB. Rajasthan State Football Association was granted leave by the Chair.
Furthermore, Mr Prince Rufus, FIFA Regional Developmental Officer also graced the occasion, while Mr Purushottam Kattel from AFC was present as an observer.
The AIFF AGM observed one minute’s silence in memory of former AIFF President Mr Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi. “He was a very tall leader who led AIFF for many years. He laid the bedrock for a professional structure for Indian Football. His contribution to Indian Football has been immense,” Mr Patel stated.
The AIFF President also paid his respect for former Asian Football Confederation General Secretary Mr Peter Velappan who passed away earlier this year. “He was a great administrator and a visionary,” Mr Patel said.
Wishing luck to the Blue Tigers for their forthcoming campaign in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, Mr Patel recollected the upward journey of the National Team from 173 to 97 in the FIFA Rankings.
“The Indian Football Team have been doing well and have stitched a string of victories. I wish them good luck in their campaign in the forthcoming Asian Cup,” Mr Patel said. “We have been drawn in Group A and there are tough matches ahead. Nonetheless, we will definitely hope that team comes out with flying colours.”
Referring to the Blue Tigers unveiling their new skin on Wednesday (December 19, 2018), the AIFF President informed: “The new kit will be supplied by Six5Six. It’s a nice partnership which we have entered.
The Indian Team will be donning the new colours in the Asian Cup.”
“The interest in Football in India is growing and that’s visible from the interest among Clubs, and teams to play — starting from the youth leagues. That is such a healthy sign as we need participation from all over, and not just from certain pockets,” the AIFF President felt.
“Sports have always been a great leveller. The Hero I-League matches in Kashmir have been greeted with great enthusiasm, including the Baby Leagues in Ladakh, as well as the rest of the Country,” he echoed.
“The FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 was a huge success, with its record-breaking attendance all throughout making it one of the most attended FIFA Youth World Cup ever. The U-17 World Cup also brought in a significant upgradation of the infrastructure along with the Hero Indian Super League.”
“To build up a strong Footballing structure, it’s important the youth teams do well. Our U-20 Team beat Argentina U-20 and also held current FIFA U-20 World Cup runners-up Venezuela to a draw. Our U-16 boys also reached the quarters of the AFC U-16 Championship Malaysia 2018 which was a win away from a direct qualification for the U-17 Peru World Cup,” the President mentioned.
“The AIFF is also in the process of developing a state of the art National Centre of Excellence in Rajarhat, Kolkata. The land is in the heart of the city and work is slated to begin soon. It will cost us Rs. 200 crores and we are in talks with some corporates.”
Mr Kushal Das also thanked the Government of Odisha for their support and signing the MoU for the development of the youth teams. “I also congratulate the Indian Women’s National Team for qualifying to the second round of the AFC Women’s qualifiers for the first time ever,” he said.
The house applauded AR Khaleel’s long-standing contribution to Indian Football. Mr Khaleel recently resigned from his position of Member, South Zone from the AIFF Executive Committee.