Indian Football Association

Indian Football Association

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Indian Football Association

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The Indian Football Association (Bengali: ভারতীয় ফুটবল এসোসিয়েশন), is the organization that administers association football in the state of West Bengal, India. It is the oldest Football Association in India and was founded in 1893. Amongst the founders was former England international Elphinstone Jackson.. Also, in 1896, Mahatma Gandhi, then a young lawyer in South Africa, was among a group of Indian men who helped found the Transvaal Indian Football Association. Peter Alegi, a professor of African history at Michigan State University, considers it “most likely the first organized football group on the continent that was not run by whites”.

Contrary to the name, the association does not administer the game in India, a task which falls to the All India Football Federation (AIFF). However before the formation of the AIFF the IFA was in de-facto control of football in India by virtue of its administration by Englishmen as well as its affiliation to the Football Association of England. The IFA was instrumental in creating the AIFF to govern football on a national basis.

Clubs from outside West Bengal complained about the lack of neutrality in the affairs of the IFA. This disillusionment of clubs and patrons led to the formation of associations like the Western Indian Football Association which preferred to be...
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