Praful Patel becomes FIRST ever Indian to be elected in the FIFA panel

Nitish Bhan  |  Recognition  |  1 Week Ago

The President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Praful Patel was elected as a FIFA Council member on Saturday. He became the first Indian to accomplish this feat and this is an astronomical leap for Indian football to say the least.


This was a landmark development and Patel secured 38 out of 46 votes to be elected as the newest member of FIFA. Praful patel was one of the eight candidates who was contesting for the spot in the 29th AFC (Asian Football Confederations) Congress in Kuala Lumpur.


Alongside Patel, there were four more members who were elected which included the likes of the AFC president and the female candidate for the ensuing 2019-23 terms.


After this historic event which can impinge Indian football forever, Patel stated in an interview, “I am extremely humbled. I express my gratitude to all the members of the AFC who felt me suitable for the post.”

His official Twitter handle read, “The responsibility as a #FIFA Council member is huge. I would not only be representing my own country but the entire continent. Thank you all for your confidence in the rapid progress of football in #Asia. @IndianFootball @theafcdotcom @FIFAcom #AFCCongress2019 #IndianFootball


AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das and senior Vice-President Subrata Datta accompanied Patel for this meeting. Both were overjoyed by the news and Datta called it a “landmark” victory. He further congratulated Patel for his win and added that it will now be a boost for football in the continent.


Das added, "We at AIFF are extremely proud of him. This is a major development for India’s football fraternity. Best wishes on his new endeavour.”


The successful hosting of the FIFA U-17 World Cup back in 2017 earned him and his team a lot of applause, with FIFA granting India the right to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020. The Indian club licensing system is also one of the best in Asia and football has taken to new heights at the grassroots level.


AIFF was ennobled with the AFC's President Recognition award for grass-roots at the AFC Annual Awards (2014) and was named as the AFC Best Developing Member Association (2016), under his superior leadership and unparalleled guidance.


With such great work being done by Patel, it was only a matter of time before he was globally recognized and now he has added another feather to his cap. Hopefully, he can continue to make India proud and we at Jersey Football Magazine wish him the best.


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