The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Football Federation of Turkmenistan (FFT) are the latest to join the rising trend of AFC Member Associations benefiting from the game-changing AFC Grassroots Charter after they were both awarded their Bronze memberships for their continuous efforts in strengthening the grassroots movement in their respective countries.
ALL INDIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION
The AIFF has built a comprehensive grassroots development structure that covers a wide range of areas including competitions, futsal, youth development, coach education and fair play.
With the aim of exponentially increasing the interest in football, the AIFF has organised various grassroots activities ranging from U-6 to U-12 leagues, U-13 to U-18 leagues, Women’s championships and activities, AFC Grassroots Football Day and grassroots festivals.
Funded by the FIFA Forward 1.0 Development Programme, AIFF’s Golden Baby Leagues have reached more than 22,000 players in the first year of inception with the aim of continuously providing football opportunities for children across the 20 states in India.
AIFF president Praful Patel said, “I am extremely delighted that we got the award for grassroots development programme. In our estimation, if India’s football has to develop in the coming years, it has to be done on the foundation of the grassroots programme.”
A robust coach education system has also been emphasised in the AIFF’s grassroots blueprint. Over 1,700 coaches have attended the grassroots leader and instructor courses in the past three years and the AIFF has conducted 38 ‘C’ and 206 ‘D’ coaching license courses since 2018.
FOOTBALL FEDERATION OF TURKMENISTAN
The underlying grassroots philosophy of FFT is to establish strategic and consistent partnerships with stakeholders to maximise the growth of participation. In the past year, FFT has developed close working relationships with both the Department of Education and the Ministry of Sport through grassroots activities.
“This is how the next generation of football is born,” said Technical Director of FFT, Berdimyrat Nurmyradov. “We expect a significant increase in grassroots, since a wide range of the population has a positive impact on the development of all sectors of football. It is with the help of grassroots at the children’s and amateur level that the passion for football is born in our homes, schools, courtyards, and settlements.”
FFT has held different grassroots programmes and competitions. The 3v3 tournament, which was organised to celebrate the AFC Grassroots Football Day, encouraged the development of the grassroots movement.
The FFT also mooted an extensive annual plan for 2020 which it hopes will help to further galvanise efforts to develop grassroots football across the country.
The AFC Grassroots Charter, which marked a significant milestone in 2019 after more than half of the AFC Member Associations received their memberships, identifies 20 performance categories including grassroots competitions, fair play, partnerships and personal development.