The AIFF was bestowed with the honour ahead of the other nominations for the Award which included National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), Federation of Motor Sports Club of India and the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India.
The Federation also won the bid to host the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup during FIFA’s Executive Committee Meeting in Brasil in December 2013.
The AIFF also has a ‘Masterplan’ in place, drafted by AIFF Technical Director Robert Baan which was launched in the Platinum Jubilee Year in 2012.
The jury was Chaired by Justice Mukul Mudgal (Retd), Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court and Head of Supreme Court Panel on Indian Premier League (IPL) Match-fixing scandal.
The other members in the jury were Dr. Jiji Thomson, Director General, Sports Authority of India; Prof. Rajesh Tripathi, Chairperson, All India Council of Physical education and Principal, VNS College of Physical Education and Management Studies; Mr. Nitin Kukreja, President, Star Sports India; Ms. Karnam Malleswari, Former Olympic Medalist; Ms. Indu Puri, Former National Champion, Table Tennis and Mr. Abhijit Sarkar, Head Corporate Communication, Sahara India Pariwar.
The recipients of the Awards: Award for Best Grassroots Development Programme: Mizoram Football Association. Award for long-time contribution to Indian Football: Tata Football Academy, Best Assistant Referee: Biplab Poddar. Best Referee: Pratap Singh. Emerging Player of the Year: Jeje Lalpekhlua. Best Woman Player of the Year: Oinam Bembem Devi. Player of the Year: Sunil Chhetri.
“With India having won the bid to host the 2017 U-17 World Cup, we believe it will be a game-changer for the Sport in the Country. At the same time, it’s our responsibility to conduct it in the best possible manner along with all the stakeholders.”
Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF, felt the Award will “bring in a spring in everyone’s step in the AIFF.”
“AIFF is a professional and transparent organisation which works 24×7 to bring glory to the Game in the Country. We have categorised the workflow into various specialised departments which range from the National Team to I-League to Grassroots, Coach Education, Academies, Competitions, Referees, Media and Communications and more.”
“The appreciation from FICCI in the form of the Award is very encouraging. The youth working at Football House would be further inspired. I need to thank FICCI for their gesture.”
“The fact that the Jury found us most deserving ahead other professional National Sports Federations reflects our positive vibes.” The category has been in existence since 2009 and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) had earlier bagged the Awards.