AFC Adhoc Committee meets at Football House

The Asian Football Confederation’s Adhoc Committee for Indian Professional Football met at the All India Football Federation Headquarters, ‘Football House’ on Friday (May 4) under the Chairmanship of AFC President Mr. Zhang Jilong. Mr. Praful Patel, President AIFF, and the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, was also present.

Mr. Zhang Jilong, President of AFC and Mr. Praful Patel at the Football House on Friday. AFC General Secretary Dato’ Alex Soosay, Mr. Kushal Das (AIFF, General Secretary), Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran (FIFA Regional Development )

The Committee lauded India’s efforts and the AFC General Secretary Dato’ Alex Soosay, who was a part of the evaluation team sent to India in 2004, mentioned about the huge progress made in India since 2004.

The Committee also praised the new initiatives taken by the AIFF in terms of having an Opening Ceremony for the I-League and hoped that the League will grow significantly in value and stature in the coming years.

Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, FIFA Regional Developmental Officer for South and Central Asia gave a report on the status of ‘Win India Project’ and highlighted the fact that all necessary clearances from FIFA legal department has been taken into consideration to complete the Cooperage Stadium in the next few months.

Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF presented a report of the current year’s I-League and also the Calendar for the next season’s edition. Mr. Das stressed the Calendar for next season for all AIFF events including the I-League have been chalked out well in advance.

He further mentioned that the Calendar ensures that not more than five rounds of I-League matches would be held in a month which will allow the players sufficient time for match recovery and the clubs to plan properly. Mr. Patel, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee mentioned that from the next season most of the I-League matches would be played under the lights as almost all the venues would have floodlight facilities.

The meeting concluded with the Chairman expressing his desire to see Indian football rise to the next level but also cautioned that India should ensure doing the right things in a professional manner rather than trying to do it in a hurried manner.

He also said that although this is the last meeting of the Adhoc Committee, a Task Force comprising of members from FIFA Development Office, AFC Development and Competitions Committee and AIFF/I-League will be set up to continuously progress and monitor Indian football. Mr. Patel thanked the AFC for their continuous support and guidance.