Praful Patel: Looking forward to successful hosting of U-17 WC

"The AIFF is a democratic organisation. There are a lot of developments taking place," added Praful Patel at the Special General Body Meeting.

A special general body meting of the AIFF was held in Mumbai.

The All India Football Federation’s Special General Body Meeting (SGBM), chaired by Praful Patel, President, AIFF, was attended by members of all affiliated State Associations, except from Punjab and Nagaland, in Mumbai, on Thursday.

The SGBM unanimously ratified and approved the AIFF Constitution as per the Societies Registration Act, Maharashtra, in the presence of Purushottam Kattel, International Relations Officer, Asian Football Confederation who was present as an Observer. Representatives from FSDL were also present on the occasion.

The AIFF constitution was amended to keep it in line with the FIFA and the AFC Constitution and to clarify and modify certain definitions to avoid anomalies and ambiguities.

Urging all stakeholders for their support, Patel stated: “The AIFF is a democratic organisation. There are a lot of developments taking place and we are all looking forward to the successful hosting of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, India 2017. We need your continuous participation and support.”

At the AIFF's Executive Committee, as per the requisites of the newly amended Constitution, former India International Player Abhishek Yadav was appointed as one of the members while Anjali Shah was nominated as the second woman member.

Kishore Taid, COO, apprised the Committee with a presentation reviewing AIFF’s four-year strategic plan, while Goutam Kar, Director, Referees, AIFF, gave a presentation on Referee Development matters.

The Committee approved the proposal of implementing a fine of Rs. 1 lakh per criteria missed by the Clubs in the AFC Licensing criteria and allowing them to play as is the current norm in the AFC.

The Committee agreed to the proposal of the SAFF Committee to play the SAFF Championship in Bangladesh from May 1-12, 2018.

The Committee also approved the proposal to allow Referee Assessors doubling up as Match Commissioners as and when required.

Henry Menezes also briefed the Committee about Football developments in Maharashtra under WIFA.

Meanwhile, Joy Bhattacharya, Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup, India 2017, also provided an update on matters relating to the U-17 World Cup.

The committee was apprised of the meeting held in Kuala Lumpur with all the stakeholders including FIFA and AFC. As per the recommendations of the AFC, a commission would be instituted to find a medium and long term solution taking into account the history, commitment and contributions made for more than 100 years, as well as the new skills. The AFC feels that this road map can be prepared by the end of the year.

However, considering the uniqueness of the forthcoming season wherein India is hosting the U-17 World Cup till October 29, and the fact that the National team would be playing nine more International matches (including the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers), it is imperative that India put their best foot forward to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup; the AIFF will discuss with stakeholders before a final decision is reached.

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