The Asian Football Confederation has conferred the All India Football Federation with the AFC Elite Youth Scheme full membership status.
In a letter to AIFF general Secretary Kushal Das, AFC general secretary Dato Windsor John wrote, “We are pleased to inform that your application for full membership of the AFC Elite Youth Scheme has been approved by the AFC Youth Panel.”
“In this regard, we are delighted to confer to the All India Football Federation the AFC Elite Youth Scheme full membership status and the Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy and JSW Bengaluru FC Academy the two-star Academy status, which is subject to re-evaluation after three years as per Article 6 (Renewal) of the AFC Elite Youth Scheme Regulations and Guidelines.”
Mr. Das thanked AFC for “recognising the effort”.
“The AFC Elite Youth Scheme has set a benchmark for all Member Associations to evaluate their youth football structure. We are thankful to the AFC for recognising our effort and acknowledge us as a full member of the AFC Elite Youth Scheme. AIFF is working towards fulfilling all the criteria to bolster the youth league structure and further strengthen the quality of footballers in India.”
The AFC Youth Panel evaluates the application of all MAs in twenty areas of core activities which include – leadership, planning, organization, staffing, recruitment, finance, facilities, teams, coaching, playing, player performance, health, fitness, psychology, welfare, education, collaboration, assessment, rules and results.
MAs must fulfil the first eleven criteria to be accepted as a full-member while MAs that meet the first ten criteria will be granted provisional membership.
Mr. Das also congratulated RFYC Academy and Bengaluru FC for their respective achievements as well.
“I would also like to congratulate Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy and JSW Bengaluru FC Academy for receiving a two-star status. Their academies are truly remarkable and have been promising ones to deliver future stars of the sport,” he commented.
AIFF technical director Isac Doru mentioned, “It’s crucial for football development to have more top football academies. RFYC Academy and JSW BFC Academy should be an inspiring story for all new academies in India.”
He further noted that this recognition will add more “responsibility” to the AIFF’s ranks to work vigorously on its youth development structure.
“This recognition has provided the AIFF with a responsibility to work on the youth development concept, especially, the competitive and youth league system that needs to reach new heights at every age level,” Isac stated.
“This recognition will introduce professionalisation of youth residential academy system driven by individual development of players in India.”