Founded in 1937, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is the apex administrative body, governing the game of football in India. One of the founder members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), AIFF was affiliated to FIFA (international governing body of football), in 1948. Since its inception, AIFF has played a key role in promoting football in India. To serve the purpose, it has taken the responsibility of the Indian national football team and has been hosting a number of tournaments at the national level, one of the prominent being the National Football League. Go through the following lines to know more about All India Football Federation (AIFF).
Before the birth of the AIFF, India was lacking a properly constituted national organization for football. Since football gained immense popularity year after year, a need for the proper administration of the game was considered. The oldest and the most popular state associations of its kind - the Indian Football Association (IFA), (the association that governed football in West Bengal, the hub of football) - was given the status of the de-facto governing body of football, by the football lovers of the country. During the time, the IFA was affiliated to the Football Association (FA) of England. All the foreign tours were organized by IFA.
Birth of AIFF
With the aim to form a national governing body for football in India, the IFA called upon the representatives of the football associations of Assam, Bihar, UP, Delhi, Mysore and Bombay, to attend a conference organized by it, at Darbhanga, in 1935. However, the conference proved to be a failure due to sharp differences in opinion between the delegates. As a mark of protest, the IFA delegates - SN Banerjee and Pankaj Gupta - walked out of the conference. However, the remaining delegates continued the conference. Nonetheless, the warring factions decided to call peace and arrived at a decision to form the All India Football Federation, in 1937.
The All India Football Federation is the brainchild of the representatives of football associations of six regions, where the game was popular in the pre-independence period, in India. The delegates arranged a meeting on 23 June 1937 at the Army Headquarters, Shimla, and decided to establish a governing body for football, as the game was growing in popularity in the country. The associations and regions, which the delegates represented, were the Indian Football Association, Army Sports Control Board and North West India Football Association, United Provinces, Bihar and Delhi. The office-bearers were elected at the inaugural meeting of AIFF. At the time, Brigadier VHB Majendine was chosen as the President of AIFF, while Major A.C. Wilson and Pankaj Gupta assumed the positions of Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.