FIFA President Gianni Infantino has sent a letter of congratulation to Aizawl FC for their historic I-League victory. In a letter addressed to the AIFF President, Infantino also hoped that the association of the AIFF and Aizawl FC will help to spread a positive message for football across India.
Aizawl FC became the first team from the Northeast to win the I-League, a year after finishing at the bottom of the table. The Mizoram-based team finished with 37 points, one point ahead of Kolkata powerhouse Mohun Bagan, to earn the honour of competing in the prestigious AFC Cup. While adulations have been pouring in from all quarters, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has become the latest to join the list to praise the outfit.
Lauding the efforts of the entire team, the 47-year-old wrote, “This title is the result of the determination of everyone involved and my congratulations go to the players, the coach, the administration, the entire technical and medical staff as well as the fans for this great achievement.
“On behalf of the entire football community, I would like to thank Aizawl FC and your association for helping to spread the positive message of football.”
Responding to this letter, Lalnghinglova Hmar, the secretary of Mizoram Football Association said, “The letter congratulating us means a lot and we thank
Coach Khalid Jamil, who was one of the major architects of the success, also thanked the FIFA president for the letter by saying, “It a big thing for Indian football and it shows that hard work gets its due recognition. I hope that we continue to do well.”
Quite interestingly, FIFA’s message came at a time when Aizawl FC’s future in top-flight of Indian football is in doubt following the possible merger of the I-League with the cash-rich ISL that could see the Mizoram club being demoted on account of lack of budget even as they compete in the prestigious AFC Cup.
In the meanwhile, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel has said that he will have a discussion with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) after Aizawl FC threatening a fast unto death if they are left out of a proposed unified league’s top tier.
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