Kuala Lumpur: AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has hailed the historic victory of Afghanistan's national team in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship in Kathmandu.
Afghanistan shocked defending champions India 2-0 to clinch their maiden international silverware.
"I would like to congratulate the Afghan football family and the fans for this tremendous achievement. I feel this victory will prove to be an inspiration to millions of Afghans around the world," Shaikh Salman said.
He also said that Afghanistan should now be considered serious title contenders for the AFC Challenge Cup to be played in Maldives next year. The winners of this competition will get an automatic spot in the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015.
"Afghanistan's success in South Asia has also served a caution to 2014 AFC Challenge Cup title aspirants. They have showed their mettle at the regional level and I think they would be one of the favourites in Maldives.
"Afghanistan have shown remarkable progress over the years. They have improved a lot and I am sure they will get better in the years to come," he added.
Giving credit of this success to the Afghanistan Football Federation, Shaikh Salman said: "The AFF have been working relentlessly to develop the game in the country and their role in this success should be acknowledged."