I-League wins ‘Best Developing Football League’ of 2018 at SPIA Awards
India’s premier football league, the I-League came second best in the “Best Developing Football League of the Year” category nominated by the Asian Football Confederation at the SPIA Awards in Bangkok on Tuesday.
This year the league is being played among 11 clubs with the champions getting a slot in the AFC Champions League qualifier.
Praful Patel, the president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) congratulated the clubs and all the stakeholders for the award.
“I need to thank the Asian Football Confederation for nominating us and SPIA Awards for the recognition. My heartiest congratulations to all the stakeholders, especially the clubs who have been an integral part of the League. I would also like to congratulate the AIFF and the I-League department for their hard work,” Patel was quoted as saying by news agency PTI in a statement.
The AIFF had earlier won the AFC Developing Member Association of the Year Award in 2016 and prior to it had also been honoured with the AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football in 2014.
Meanwhile, Kushal Das, the General Secretary of AIFF said that it is a “wonderful moment for Indian football”.
“This recognition comes two years after AIFF had won the award for the AFC Developing Member Association of the Year Award in 2016. It is so satisfying to see that AIFF’s initiative for developing Hero I-League pan India and introducing the Club Licensing criteria has earned Indian Football this award,” he said, reported the news agency.
“I would like to congratulate everyone who has been part of the League – FSDL, the clubs, Hero, the fans, all other stakeholders and my colleagues in AIFF without whose support this wouldn’t have been possible.”