The Asian Football Confederation has shortlisted the I-League among the top three nominations for the SPIA Award in the ‘Best Developing Football League of the Year’ category. The SPIA Conference and Awards Gala will take place on November 19 and 20 in Bangkok.
The I-League is the premier league in the country and the next edition will be played among 11 clubs, the champions of which get a slot for AFC Champions League qualifier. All India Football Federation president Praful Patel said: “It is very encouraging that the work of AIFF and the I-League department has got recognition by being nominated for this prestigious award. I would like to congratulate all stakeholders especially the clubs who have been an integral part of this league.”
General secretary Kushal Das said: “I am very happy to see that our initiative for developing I-League pan India and introducing the club licensing criteria has had the necessary impact, and that the I-League has been nominated for the Award.
“I would like to congratulate everyone who has been part of the League – FSDL, the clubs, the sponsors, all other stakeholders and my colleagues in AIFF without whose support this wouldn’t have been possible.”
I-League CEO Sunando Dhar said: “This is excellent news for Indian football. We have been striving hard over the years and this nomination is only a motivation for us to do better.”
The AIFF had earlier won the AFC Developing Member Association of the Year Award in 2016, and the AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football in 2014. The 2018-19 edition of the Hero I-League kicks off on October 26.