AIFF Grassroots Day
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has declared that June 23, the birth anniversary of Indian football legend Pradip Kumar Banerjee, will be recognized as ‘AIFF Grassroots Day’. This decision was made in acknowledgment of PK’s remarkable contributions to Indian football, notably his instrumental role in leading the national team to a historic Gold Medal triumph in the 1962 Asian Games. AIFF Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran explained the selection of PK’s birthday as a tribute to his outstanding career as a footballer.
PK Banerjee, renowned as the ‘Football Professor’ in international circles, demonstrated his dedication to football development by enrolling in FIFA’s inaugural coaching course held in Japan in 1969 under German coach Dettmar Cramer. PK successfully completed the course, earning a First-Class degree. The establishment of AIFF Grassroots Day aligns with the Strategic Roadmap ‘Vision 2047’, which aims to enhance grassroots participation in Indian football. The objective is to involve 35 million children in football by 2026 and eventually reach 100 million by 2047. As part of this initiative, the Federation has introduced the Blue Cubs program, collaborating with NGOs, schools, clubs, academies, and other stakeholders to expand the grassroots ecosystem.
Career and Life of Pradip Kumar Banerjee:
Pradip Kumar Banerjee, born on June 23, 1936, in Jalpaiguri, is widely recognized as one of India’s greatest footballers. He played a significant role in India’s Gold Medal victory at the 1962 Asian Games, where he scored four goals, making him the country’s top goalscorer in the tournament. Banerjee had a remarkable international career, representing India in two Olympics (1956, 1960) and three Asian Games (1958, 1962, 1966). He was honored as the first recipient of the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1961, and he received the Padma Shri in 1990. Banerjee furthered his contribution to football by enrolling in FIFA’s first coaching course in Japan in 1969, conducted by renowned coach Dettmar Cramer. He achieved a First-Class degree from the course and made various coaching achievements, including conducting a football coaching course on Doordarshan, a national television network in India. Banerjee passed away on March 20, 2020, in Kolkata.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- President: Kalyan Chaubey;
- AIFF has its headquarters at the Football House in Dwarka, New Delhi;
- The All India Football Federation (AIFF) was formed in 1937.
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