FIFA’s technical development division has expressed its sincere appreciation of the work done by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) during the Coronavirus pandemic.
As a token of gratitude, the global governing body of sport has sent football equipment to the Indian FA which can be distributed free of charge.
In a letter dated September 29, 2020, Steven Martens, the technical director at FIFA, wrote:
We are grateful for the commitment, hard work and creativity that the All India Football Federation is demonstrating as we pivot and adjust to our new reality. Now is the time for us to come together as a team.
The Indian FA has been working behind the scenes tirelessly to ensure the smooth functioning of its football leagues and the development of the sport in all the states. Last month, in a virtual meeting with representatives of all the state associations, AIFF president Praful Patel had announced a major financial relief package.
The Indian FA has sanctioned an amount of INR 3 crores as COVID solidarity fund for the state organisations so that they can conduct the scheduled leagues and tournaments without facing any cash crunch.
The AIFF also decided to waive off the CRS (Centralised Registration System) fees for all players – forgoing amounts to the tune of INR 1.32 crores and INR 34.5 lakhs which they would have received as Academy Accreditation fee for the 2020-21 season.
Addressing all the representatives of the state associations, the AIFF president said, “I understand that the Covid-19 pandemic has made life difficult for all of us, not just for football but for all issues regarding our livelihood The sport has been very badly affected worldwide, and matches are being played behind closed doors.”
The Indian football season is set to kick off with the I-League qualifiers from October 8 in West Bengal, the first sporting action in the country after the pandemic.