All India Football Federation on Thursday (December 1, 2016) 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.

AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel collected the Award from Mr. Ali Kafashian, Vice President AFC.

“I need to thank AFC for recognising our efforts. Indian Football is headed in the right direction,” Mr. Patel told

The prestigious award is given to a Member Association in recognition of its professional administration and governance as well its exceptional contribution to the development and promotion of the game at all levels within the country.

Member Associations are assessed and awarded points on various areas encompassing the association’s activities such as the organisation of courses and seminars, competitions, grassroots and youth development, women’s programmes, social responsibility and special projects.

Points are also given for an MA’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.

In 2016, AIFF has conducted 20 AIFF Grassroots Leaders Courses while 600 Grassroots Coaches were trained with 12 States implementing the AIFF Grassroots philosophy by setting up Grassroots Centres.

In an effort to increase the number of AFC Licensed Coaches in the Country, the AIFF conducted 29 AFC Courses inclusive of 2 AFC A License Courses, 5 AFC B License Courses, 20 AFC C License Courses and 2 AFC Goalkeeping Level 1 Courses. In the process, 210 Coaches received their AFC certification through the above-mentioned Coaching Courses.

Furthermore, JSW Bengaluru FC created history when they became the first Indian Club to reach the AFC Cup Final only to narrowly go down to Air Force Club, Iraq in the Final in Doha.

AIFF is also the sole Sporting Federation in the Country to have launched an overseas online scouting portal for NRIs over the World but with a valid Indian Passport.

However, this is not the first time that AIFF has received an AFC Award at an AFC Awards night.

It was in 2014 that AIFF had won the AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football while the previous year in 2013, AIFF was also nominated in the top three for the AFC Grassroots top three along with eventual winners Japan Football Association and Vietnam Football Federation.

In addition, in 2014, AIFF was adjudged 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.