The All India Football Federation was voted as the AFC Developing Member Association of the Year at the 2016 AFC Annual Awards. The award ceremony was held in Abu Dhabi, on Thursday.

The award recognises a Member Association’s administrative contributions as well as its commitment to nurture and promote football in its country, spanning all levels. The 46 Member Associations of the AFC are sub-categorised as ‘Inspiring’, ‘Developing’ and ‘Aspiring’ based on their level of efficacy in the sport.

Previously, there only used to be one award across all Member Associations. In 2013 though, the AFC modified the award system so as to recognise a Member Association from each of these three categories and thus help the Member Associations to add to their efforts to raise their country’s standard of football.

The award is given to the Member Association that scores high points on the events and projects it organises to promote football, football at the grassroots’ level and development of youth-based and women’s footballing activities. Lastly, the Member Association’s hosting of tournaments and the position of its club and national team in the AFC and FIFA rankings are also taken into consideration for the award.

Currently, India is ranked 18th in the AFC’s list of Member Associations. South Korea is ranked first, followed by UAE and Saudi Arabia in the second and third place.