Tag Archives: AIFF

Football: Gurpreet, Sanju named the AIFF players of the year

Harpal Singh Bedi

2019-20 AIFF Women’s Player of the Year-Sanju

New Delhi: Ace goalkeeper  Gurpreet Sandhu, and  mid-fielder Sanju  have been named the AIFF  man and woman players  of  the year (2019-20)  respectively.

Gurpreet is the second goalkeeper after Subrata Paul in 2009 to be named the AIFF Player of the Year while Women’s team midfielder Sanju had  an excellent season; Midfielder Anirudh Thapa and Ratanbala Devi were  declared emerging  man and woman Footballer of the Year Award.  Gurpreet and Anirudh Thapa were  elected winners on the basis of votes from Hero Indian Super League and Hero I-League club coaches.

2019-20 AIFF Emerging Women’s Footballer of the Year-Ratanbala Devi

Sanju and Ratanbala Devi  were selected by Women’s National Team Head Coach Maymol Rocky in consultation with AIFF Technical Director Isac Doru Gurpreet said he was thrilled  to win this award .“There was always a desire to reach this point and this is an Award which I have always looked up to. Chhetri-bhai (Sunil Chhetri) has won it so many times and I have always thought when I can be worthy enough to win it.” “Huge thanks go to AIFF and everyone who has supported and helped me relentlessly to help me achieve this today”.

The 28-year-old who received the Arjuna Award last year, added “Garnering the all-important draw against Asian Champions Qatar in Doha, eleven clean sheets in last Hero Indian Super League edition, winning the Golden Glove award could not have been possible without the team.”

2019-20 AIFF Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year-Anirudh Thapa

Anirudh  described the news  as ” a breath of fresh air for me and my family — especially whatever we have witnessed so far in this year. I would like to thank AIFF, all my teammates and coaching staff to help me achieve whatever I could.

“We have garnered some fantastic performances at the club front as well as for the National team last year but we need to push harder to raise the bar and we can surely do that,” Thapa said adding  “That fact that I was voted by coaches from the clubs makes this all the more special

Reacting to the announcement Sanju  said  “Personally, it’s a big milestone for me. This Award is the proof that all the hard work that we have been doing over the last few years has indeed paid off. I would like to thank AIFF for all the exposure that we have got to grow and to improve ourselves. I’d also like to thank the seniors in our team. All of them have been an immense help to me and have helped me cope with the rigours of international football.

Ratanbala  said, “This is a happy moment in my life, indeed. I’ve seen some of my teammates bag this award in the previous years, and it is really nice to win it myself this time round. The way our team has grown over the last couple of years is simply phenomenal. I would like to thank the AIFF, my coaches and all my teammates for helping we win this award. This will provide further motivation for us to push ahead in the future.”

AIFF Award for the Best Referee was won by L. Ajit Kumar Meetei from Manipur, while P. Vairamuthu from Tamil Nadu was named the winner of the 2019-20 AIFF Award for the Best Assistant Referee.

“I extend my heartiest congratulations to all the winners. We are really proud of them. They are surely an inspiration for the entire football fraternity in India,” AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel averred.

The 2019-20 AIFF Award for the Best Grassroots Development Programme went to the Indian Football Association (West Bengal).HSB

AIFF extends support to CPSFI to promote grassroot football

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: In an effort to  promote grassroots football across the country, the All India Football Federation (AIFF),on Saturday organised a webinar for representatives from the Cerebral Palsy Sports Federation of India (CPSFI) as well as members from the International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football (IFCPF) .

“It is a milestone event, and the AIFF deserves kudos for organising it” said CPSFI president Rajesh Tomar adding “sports is a way of life and we in collaboration with AIFF are  going to make a concerted  planning to get  younger people suffering from  Cerebral Palsy to get involved in sports”

Besides  Rajesh Tomar, others who participated in the webinar were, Ms. Kavita Suresh, CEO, CPFSI; . Sam Turner, CEO, Secretary-General, IFCPF; . Tom Langen, Technical Director, IFCPF; . Craig Carscadden, Chief Executive, CPISRA and . Chokey Nima, FIFA Regional Technical Consultant, South Asia.

Representatives from Cerebral Palsy Sports Federations from  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka also joined the webinar.

“The AIFF has been very kind to support us through the movement. In the journey, I reached out to Mr. Kushal Das (General Secretary, AIFF) and since then, we have met quite a few times. CPSFI is working closely with the AIFF, who have already assured us all sorts of technical support including logistics, coaching, training, equipment etc,” Tomar said. 

“There are over 2.5 million people in India who are suffering from cerebral  palsy and among them the youngsters need  a way out  and only Sports can be that option because it  is a way of life and  also provides  a sense pf dignity and purpose ” he added

He said in 2018 world Cerebral Palsy Games in Spain India had won two Gold medals. “this shows that our sportspersons despite severe handicaps  have in them drive and determination . We want government and Sports Ministry to help.’  

Ms. Swati Kothari, General Manager, AIFF, praised CPSFI for taking up the initiative as well. “It is a nice initiative from grassroots as well as the developmental perspective. AIFF will be happy to work alongside CPSFI in order to promote grassroots football among those kids and move forward together,” she stated.

“The intention to promote grassroots football amongst the less privileged kids is our priority. It falls under the domain of the AIFF and FIFA. We will work towards achieving the target. It’s wonderful to be a part of this project.” opined Nima.


Don’t prejudge any action says AIFF as clubs threatened to move court

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Monday urged the Hero I-League clubs not to pre-judge any action of the AIFF and make premature comment in advance.

The AIFF said that its Executive Committee is meeting on July 3 to take stock of the situation so prejudging the action is not good, .

The AIFF statement came in response to the seven I-League clubs’ who said that they may move the court to seek redressal and relief,

Putting up a united front, seven I-League clubs said they are ready to approach “appropriate courts for relief” if the All India Football Federation makes the ISL the country’s top league.

Clearly unhappy at AIFF general secretary Kushal Das’s public assertion that the Indian Super League was the country’s main league, representatives of Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Churchill Brothers, Minerva Punjab FC, Aizawl FC, NEROCA and Gokulam Kerala FC held a meeting in New Delhi, where they decided to move courts.

in a joint statement the clubs said “With media reports indicating that the ISL being announced as the top division league post an Executive committee meeting scheduled for July 3rd, the I-League clubs are standing united stronger than ever,”

“The refusal of the President of AIFF to meet the I-League clubs in spite of several requests and the subsequent vindictive actions specifically towards the I-League clubs, combined with the coercive and blackmailing attitude of Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) towards AIFF by refusing to make payments pushes the game to an uncertain future.”

The clubs further stated: “I League has been the national league since 1996 and carries the tradition of Indian Football with it. This tradition has helped create what football in India stands today and has been the torch bearer of Indian Football. I League has been the sole driving force in creating footballers and fans of the game in the country.

“To be now told that the I-League will no longer be the top league is completely unacceptable and illegal and we pledge to fight this together as one football family which carries the tradition of Indian football.”

The AIFF reacting to the joint statement of Hero I-League clubs said that ‘ as a custodian of Indian Football it has always endeavoured to balance to the interest of all stakeholders, and the Hero I-League, and its clubs. To say that the future of Hero I-League, and the clubs will not be taken into consideration for any future decisions of the AIFF would be unfair.

As a matter of fact, a decision regarding the Hero Indian Super League becoming a league were also discussed with AFC, and FIFA before it was given recognition, and even for any future decisions AFC and FIFA will be duly consulted. In fact, during the last AFC AGM in Paris, the AIFF asked the AFC General Secretary Dato Windsor John to visit India specifically for Hero I-League issues. The statement said

Furthermore, while the decision of the AIFF Executive Committee cannot be per-judged, it must also be borne in mind that AIFF has already spoken to its commercial partners FSDL about the concerns of the Hero I-League clubs.

It is surprising that the clubs have accused the AIFF President about not giving them any audience for their grievances. In fact, the only time they sought an audience was before the commencement of Hero Super Cup, where they were duly informed that the AIFF President will meet them any day between April 10-14, as the President had prior commitments for the FIFA Council Election on April 6 in Kuala Lumpur, as well as the Lok Sabha general elections.

Despite the assurance, the clubs did not meet the President, and rather pre-maturely pulled out of the Hero Super Cup, causing huge financial losses and negativity for a tournament for they had confirmed their participation. It must be mentioned that post pulling out of the Hero Super Cup no appointment has been sought by the Clubs till date.

As a custodian of Indian Football, the AIFF and the President are always happy to engage with all stakeholders including I-league Clubs for the betterment of Indian Football.

Needless to say some club owners have taken to a vicious and malicious social media campaign against the AIFF and its President. We would like to caution the clubs to refrain from unnecessary accusations, and advice them to engage meaningfully for the betterment of Indian Football., the statement added

AIFF names Romanian Doru Isac as its Technical Director

​Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Monday named Romanian Doru Isac as its technical director for a three-year tenure. ​

Mr. Doru was selected from a list of over 60 candidates who had applied for the post which was advertised earlier this year.​The 56-year-old Isac was one of the three candidates interviewed by the AIFF’s technical committee, headed by Shyam Thapa ​
Gaioz Darsadze of Georgia and Jorge Castelo of Portugal were the other two candidates interviewed by the technical committee. The post of technical director remained vacant since Australian Scott O’Donnell decided to quit in 2017. Former India player and coach Savio Medeira was looking after the post as interim technical director since then. ​
The well-travelled Isac has worked in various managerial capacities as well as technical director in many European and Asian countries. ​
Born in Craiova, Isac comes with a rich experience of almost 29 years in International Football across many countries namely France, Japan, USA, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Qatar amongst others. He was last employed as the Sporting Director of three-time J-league Champions Yokohama Marinos FC.​
Welcoming Isac, AIFF president Prafull Patel said  “It’s nice to have Mr. Doru on board. His vast experience will come in handy for Indian Football. I expect him to guide us to the next level.”​ AIFF General Secretary   Kushal Das said the biggest challenge is to “sustain the momentum” gained in Indian Football.​ “Indian Football has been experiencing a significant transition in recent years. I look up to Mr. Doru to work on, and improve on the roadmap already laid down for the youth teams, and at the same time make value addition to our coach education programme, grassroots, women’s football, and men’s football too,” Mr. Das stated.​
 Mr. Doru thanked the AIFF for the opportunity, saying he is “looking forward to the challenge.”​ “I need to thank All India Football Federation for the opportunity. I’m eager to make a positive contribution to the progress of Football in India, and to work with everyone from the AIFF family,” Mr. Doru stated.​
 He mentioned that he is “looking forward to starting employment immediately after obtaining the traveling visa to India.”​Isac is widely known as assistant to Arsene Wenger at Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight from 1997 to 2002. He also has worked with former Portugal and Real Madrid manager Carlos Queiros as well as Bora Milutinovic. ​