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Praful Patel becomes first Indian to be elected as a FIFA Council member

Praful Patel becomes first Indian to be elected as a FIFA Council member

Sounak Mullick

Published: 6 April 2019 8:51 AM GMT
All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel was elected as a FIFA Council member on Saturday, thus becoming the first ever Indian to enter the panel with a majority of 38 out of 46 votes. The AIFF official was among the eight candidates who were competing for the post in the election which was held during the 29th AFC (Asian Football Confederations) Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Five candidates were elected in the meet, which includes Praful Patel along with the AFC president for the term 2019-2023. Just after being elected in the elite panel, Praful said, "I am extremely humbled. I express my gratitude to all the members of the AFC who felt me suitable for the post. 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 for rapid progress of football in Asia." It was under Praful’s reign that the AIFF was awarded the AFC’s President Recognition for grassroots at the AFC Annual Awards in 2014 and also the award for the Best Developing Member Association in 2016. The FIFA U-17 World Cup was a huge success and earned praise worldwide, which was also hosted when Praful was at the helm of affairs. India recently earned the rights to host the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which is yet another success for the AIFF. AIFF general secretary Kushal Das and senior vice-president Subrata Datta were alongside Praful Patel when the developments took place. Both of them heaped praise on the newly elected FIFA Council member. "Mr Patel's victory is a "landmark for Indian football". Congratulations to Mr Patel. He fully deserves this honour. His leadership has taken Indian football to greater heights. Asian football will immensely benefit from his presence as a FIFA Council member," said Subrata Datta to the PTI.
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