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AIFF Grassroots Awards 2023 Announced as Mizoram Wins Best State FA Award

On 22nd February 2024, AIFF announced that it has introduced a first of its kind award to acknowledge and appreciate the entities that have made exceptional contributions at the grassroots level.

Indian Football Logo Image via Wikipedia AIFF Grassroots Awards 2023 Announced as Mizoram Wins Best State FA Award
Indian Football Logo, Image via Wikipedia

The AIFF is also delighted to declare that it is taking a key stride towards the empowerment of grassroots football across the country.

The  AIFF Grassroots Awards 2023 is divided into three categories – Stakeholders, Event Operations and Special Initiatives. A Presidential Award will also be bestowed to five individuals for their service to grassroots football over the years.

All organizations that applied for the awards were meticulously reviewed by the Federation before deciding the final winners, who will also qualify for consideration for nomination to the AFC Grassroots Awards in 2023.

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Below are The List of AIFF Grassroots Award Winners from 2023


Best School: Ryan Group of Schools, Maharashtra
Best Grassroots Academy: Khelum Foundation, Sikkim
Best Professional Academy: Bengaluru FC, Karnataka
Best State FA: Mizoram Football Association

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Event Operations

Best Engagement: Young Star FC, Haryana
Best Event Organisation: Momin FC, Maharashtra
Best Volunteer Programme: Oscar Foundation, Maharashtra
Best Activity Programme: Warming Up Kids, West Bengal

Special Initiatives

Best Kindergarten Initiatives: Great Goals FC, Tamil Nadu
Best Social Initiative: Slum Soccer, Maharashtra
Best Women’s Initiative: Naandi Foundation
Best Disability Initiative: FC Goa
Best Rural Development Programme: Tata Steel Foundation, Jharkhand
Best Legacy Programme: Anantapur Sports Academy, Andhra Pradesh

President’s Awards: Mr. Vishal Vaza (Bhavnagar FA, Gujarat), Mr. Nathaniel D’Costa (FC Goa), Mr. Sai Adithya Saravanan (First Kick School of Soccer), Mr. Nikolaos Topoliatis (Punjab FC), Mr. Ganesh Prabhu (Chennaiyin FC).

Fostering Football at the Grassroots: Empowering All Through Blue Clubs

Grassroots Football lays the groundwork of the sport, and its primary aim is to enhance engagement and foster increased participation for children, youth, amateurs, veterans, those with physical disabilities, cerebral palsy, the visually impaired and even the socially disadvantaged.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) defines grassroots football as ‘All football which is non-professional and non-elite’. It aims to unite everyone by offering access to football regardless of age, gender, physical ability, skin color, religion, or ethnicity.

Fostering Football at the Grassroots Image Credits AIFF AIFF Grassroots Awards 2023 Announced as Mizoram Wins Best State FA Award
Fostering Football at the Grassroots, Image Credits- AIFF

AIFF has a flagship grassroots programme that aims to establish a robust foundation for Indian Football, which is called Blue Clubs. It is part of the Strategic Roadmap ‘Vision 2047’, and its target is to engage 35 million children between the ages of 4-12 by 2026 and take the number up to 100 million by 2047.

The birth anniversary of Pradip Kumar Banerjee, India’s captain in the 1960 Rome Olympics and popularly known as PK, June 23, is celebrated as the  ‘AIFF Grassroots Day’.

AIFF’s Blue Cubs Programme: Nurturing Young Talent

The Blue Cubs programme will introduce a well-organized system that caters to children between ages 4 to 12 along with the AIFF also launching the Blue Clubs League, which will enable young individuals to enter competitive mode at an early stage of their development.

As per the Blue Cubs programme’s plans, children between the ages 4-6 will play 2v2 and 3v3 formats without goalkeepers on a smaller pitch, the size of which would gradually increase as they move forward to age 7-9 (5v5 format), and 10-12 (7v7 format). These leagues will have rotational goalkeepers as well.

AIFFs Blue Cubs Programme Image Credits AIFF jpg AIFF Grassroots Awards 2023 Announced as Mizoram Wins Best State FA Award
AIFF’s Blue Cubs Programme, Image Credits- AIFF

It is through the efforts of all parties involved that the Federation intends to grow the beautiful game as a whole. Right from volunteers, parents, and coaches, to schools, clubs, NGOs, and state associations, the Blue Cubs programme intends to create a wide grassroots network with holistic growth of youth development.

Through various collaborative efforts, the Elite Blue Cubs will also be identified and further nurtured as future prospects for the National Teams.

The Blue Cubs programme will also cover a wide array of elements to help in community building, encouraging children to take leadership roles, enhancing the level of school and village football, installing better pitches, digital accessibility, talent identification, arranging festivals, leagues and futsal tournaments, and also help the kids understand nutrition at a young age.

  1. Who won the Best State FA at the AIFF Grassroots Awards 2023?

    Mizoram Football Association won the Best State FA at the AIFF Grassroots Awards 2023.


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