New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) was on Thursday named the best National Sports Federation, while Indian captain Sunil Chhetri bagged the Footballer of the Year award at the Indian Sports awards.
Oinam Bembem Devi was conferred with the best Woman Footballer of the Year award at the FICCI Federation house.
The AIFF was bestowed with the honour ahead of the other nominees, which included National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), Federation of Motor Sports Club of India and the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India.
The jury chose AIFF for their sustained involvement in the grassroot levels along with the setting up of AIFF regional academies with world class infrastructure and support staff and its professional functioning manner from the headquarters, Football House in the Capital.
In 2013, AIFF was nominated among the top-three for the AFC Grassroots MA of the Year Award and finished second behind eventual winners Japan. Currently, the AIFF Grassroots Development Programme is running in as many as six states across the country.
The Federation also won the bid to host the 2017 Under-17 FIFA World Cup during FIFA's Executive Committee Meeting in Brasil in December 2013.
The AIFF also has a 'Masterplan' in place, drafted by AIFF Technical Director Robert Baan, which was launched in the Platinum Jubilee Year in 2012.
Praful Patel, President, AIFF thanked FICCI for conferring the prestigious award.
"I sincerely thank FICCI for recognising the efforts put in by AIFF. AIFF stays committed towards developing the game on a pan-India basis and will not leave any stone unturned in the process," he told www.the-aiff.com.
"With India having won the bid to host the 2017 U-17 World Cup, we believe it will be a game-changer for the sport in the country. At the same time, it's our responsibility to conduct it in the best possible manner along with all the stakeholders," he added.