All India Football Federation
|Founded||23 June 1937|
|Headquarters||Dwarka Sub City|
The All India Football Federation, also simply known as the AIFF, is the governing body of association football in India. Formed in 1948, the federation was one of founding members of the Asian Football Confederation, the overseer of football in Asia.
The AIFF sanctions and runs all competitive football tournaments and leagues at a national level, namely the I-League and Federation Cup. The federation also indirectly manages local football competitions through the state associations. The federation is also responsible for managing the India national football team, as well as the women's team and the various youth national sides.
Prior to the formation of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the de-facto ruling body for association football in India were the Indian Football Association (IFA). The IFA was founded in 1893 and ran the game in the Bengal region. The federation was mainly governed by Englishmen and served as the most powerful football body in the country during the early 20th century.
Efforts to form a countrywide football federation were started in 1935 by the IFA when the federation, as well as seven other associations, met at a conference but no consensus could be reached. After differences in opinions and other conflicts were resolved, a meeting was conducted in March 1937 which would serve to be the beginning of the start of the AIFF. The AIFF was officially founded on 23 June 1937 after representatives from six regional football associations met at the Army Headquarters in Shimla. Namely, the six regional football associations were the IFA, Army Sports Control Board, United Provinces, the North West India Football Association, the Bihar Football Association, and Delhi.
After the launch of the national football federation, the idea of a India national football team did not gain much momentum until after India gain independence in 1947. Select Indian teams did participate in tours of Australia, Burma, Afghanistan, and South Africa but none were officially part of the national team. In 1948, one year after independence and 11 since forming as a football association, the AIFF gained affiliation with FIFA, the governing body for football around the world. Later that year, the national team was officially formed and participated in their first official tournament, the 1948 Summer Olympics. In 1950, the national team automatically qualified for the 1950 FIFA World Cup which was to be held in Brazil after all the teams in India's qualification group withdrew. However, prior to the tournament, India themselves withdrew from the World Cup with the AIFF citing the reason as due to lack of funding. Other reasons given for India's withdrawal included the players playing mainly barefooted and that the AIFF valued the Summer Olympics tournament more than the FIFA World Cup at the time. In 1952, during the Olympics in Finland, India were defeated in the first round by Yugoslavia 10–1. This defeat made the AIFF make it mandatory for players on the national team to wear football boots. In 1954, the AIFF played an active role in promoting football in Asia when they were one of the founding members of the Asian Football Confederation. India took part in four straight Olympic football tournaments between 1948 and 1960 but have failed to qualify since. In 1985, India started to participate in World Cup qualifiers again but have failed to make it to the tournament.
In 1977, the AIFF started the Federation Cup which was the first club based national tournament in the country. The Santosh Trophy, the national tournament for state teams, was started in 1941. In 1996, the AIFF began the first national league in the country, the National Football League. In 2007, the NFL was reformed as the I-League, the country's first professional football league.
The AIFF also runs several competitions:
- I-League 2nd Division
- Federation Cup
- Indian Super Cup
- Santosh Trophy
- B.C. Roy Trophy
- Mir Iqbal Hussain Trophy
- Indian Women's League
- Indian Women's Football Championship
Board of directors
The following are on the board of the directors at the AIFF.
|General Secretary||Kushal Das|
|Head of Operations and Strategy||Kishore Taid|
|I-League CEO||Sunando Dhar|
- Shyam Thapa – Chairman
- Henry Menezes – Deputy Chairman
- G.P. Palguna
- Abhishek Yadav
- Pradip Dutta
- Ishfaq Ahmed
- Prosanto Banerjee
- Sundar Raman
- Kapadia, Novy (24 June 2015). "The Birth of the All India Football Federation". Saddahaq. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- Kapadia, Novy (23 June 2012). "A History of the All India Football Federation (AIFF)". SportsKeeda. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "List of Winners/Runners-Up of the Federation Cup". IndianFootball.de. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "List of Winners/Runners-Up of the Santosh Trophy". Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "State Associations". All India Football Federation.
- "AIFF HQ". All India Football Federation.