Football: RKYC conferred two-star academy status by AFC

The Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) academy has been conferred two-star academy status by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The recognition was confirmed by AFC general secretary Dato’ Windsor John in a communication to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Friday.

RFYC became the first youth academy in India to be granted a five-star rating by the AIFF Academy Accreditation process in June, 2019. The other academy that got the two-star rating is Bengaluru FC’s Youth Development programme.

Assessments are made on the basis of the academy’s ability to provide leadership, planning, organisation, staffing, recruitment, finance, facilities, coaching, player health, coaching and fitness among other requirements.

“To be granted Two-Star Academy status is indeed a proud moment for all of us at RFYC,” said Nita Ambani, Reliance Foundation chairperson.

“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.”

Since the inception of its journey in May 2015, RFYC has made rapid strides towards achieving its vision of creating not only the nation’s next generation of football stars but also future role models and leaders.

Over the last five years, RFYC has emerged as not only the most well-equipped residential academy in the country but also as a nursery for budding talents scouted from across India.

The rapid strides made were visible at the PL-ISL Next Generation Mumbai Cup earlier this year when the RFYC U-15 side defeated Manchester United U-14 1-0 to clinch third place, after having beaten Southampton U-14 3-0 earlier in the tournament.

In another notable development, the AIFF’s application for full membership of the AFC Elite Youth Scheme has also been approved.

The scheme is a key step in talent development, designed to help Member Associations to further develop their youth programmes.