AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation’s Grassroots Committee meeting was held over video conferencing on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, under chairperson Mr. Mulrajsinh Chudasama.
In attendance were AIFF Vice President Mr. NA Haris, AIFF Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, Deputy Secretary General Mr. Satyanarayan M, Treasurer Mr. Kipa Ajay and committee members, including the newly-appointed Deputy Chairperson, Mr. Kotagiri Sridhar, Ms. Shukla Dutta, Mr. Ratankumar Singh, Mr. Sandeep Desai, Mr. Kiyeka A Sumi, Mr. Hmingthansanga, Mr. Aleixo Francisco da Costa, Mr. John Neelam, and Mr. Deepak Sharma.
After the meeting, Dr. Prabhakaran said: “Today’s AIFF grassroots committee meeting was a path-breaking one. We took several decisions to boost the grassroots landscape in India further. Today we have officially launched the Blue Cubs League.
“Blue Cubs is our flagship grassroots programme. The committee decided that all the member associations must have a grassroots committee where they actively promote the development of grassroots football as per the policy and guidance of the Blue Cubs programme. It has also been recommended to each state association that every district organise at least one Blue Cubs League. This way, we can give more children opportunities to play the sport. The Blue Cubs app will be launched in a few days’ time so that everyone can be registered. To recognise, encourage, motivate and inspire more participation, we would also like to award the NGOs who are doing exceptional work at the grassroots level.
“The whole committee stays enthusiastic about promoting and developing grassroots football in India and that is a very encouraging situation for all of us that we, on a daily basis, are moving forward, enlarging our grassroots space,” Dr. Prabhakaran said.
Chairperson Mr. Mulrajsinh said, “I really want to thank all the members who have been working extremely hard for our grassroot activities. Today, as we launch the Blue Cubs League, I think it is the day when all the clubs and the state associations are waiting for this launch to happen. We have to make sure we spread awareness of the programme through various channels and make it successful.
“We have been nominated for the AFC Grassroots Awardee 2023 in the Bronze category this year, and I believe this is just the beginning. We need to upgrade ourselves from bronze to silver in Indian Football,” the Grassroots Committee chairperson said.
The Committee congratulated the Anantapur Sports Academy, Andhra Pradesh, which has been shortlisted for the AFC special award during the AFC awards night in Doha on October 31, 2023. India has also been nominated for the AFC grassroots bronze-level award. The Grassroots Committee members said the efforts should be to reach the gold standard of AFC at the grassroots level.
The Grassroots Committee also endorsed the participation of more women leaders at the grassroots level so as to see more women actively promoting development and taking the initiative to encourage more girls to be part of grassroots football. The decision has been endorsed by the women’s and the grassroots committees. Both committees felt that if every state implements the decision, it will bring more girls into football to further boost the grassroots structure in India.