Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) and the JSW Bengaluru FC academies have been conferred a two-star academy status by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Bengaluru FC academy is India's only club-operated academy to receive the recognition. For RFYC, the accolade is another feather in the cap after it became the first youth academy in India to be granted a 5-star rating by the AIFF Academy Accreditation process in June 2019.
This is also the first time that a residential academy has been awarded the two-star status by the AFC who expect academies to pass a rigorous set of criteria - including leadership, planning, organisation, staffing, recruitment, finance, facilities, coaching, player health, coaching and fitness requirements - if they are to be conferred with the status.
“To be granted two-star Academy status is indeed a proud moment for all of us at RFYC,” Mrs Nita Ambani, the Chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, said. “Our goal is to unlock the huge potential of Indian football. I firmly believe in order to accomplish that, we need to create a world class eco-system that helps funnel the talent pool that exists across the country.
"This recognition by AFC will only strengthen our resolve to continue to strive towards excellence and ensure RFYC plays its part in putting Indian football on the global map. I thank AFC and AIFF for the honour.”
"I would also like to congratulate Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy and JSW Bengaluru FC Academy for receiving a two-star status,” said Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF. “Their academies are truly remarkable and have been promising ones to deliver future stars of the sport.”
"It's crucial for football development to have more top football academies,” added Isac Doru, Technical Director of the Indian National Football team. “RFYC Academy and JSW BFC Academy should be an inspiring story for all new academies in India."