In its bid to improve the state of football, professionalise the set-up and reach out to every stakeholder in the Delhi and NCR region, Football Delhi (FD) is all set to introduce an Academy Accreditation and Licensing System and thus will become the first state-level football association to implement it in India.

The system is geared to ensure that every smallest football academy in the city, including schools and NGOs operating football training centres in NCR, is boosted and benefited as Football Delhi looks towards the development of the sport.

The system gets operational from November 23 with the details available on the official website of FD.

“With academy accreditation and licensing system, we are making an attempt to make academies an integral part of the football structure in Delhi,” Shaji Prabhakaran, President of Football Delhi, said in a statement. “With all the details available on the website, academies will reach out to us and our reviewer will evaluate and monitor the academies. If they meet the standardised protocols, they will be granted immediate accreditation and license. However, if they fail to, they will be handheld to reach the desired criteria.”

“The goal is not to segregate but to integrate so that football can spread to every nook and corner and every academy is an equal stakeholder in the developmental process,” he added.

A strict licensing system will be employed so that standards are met and a standardised and professional set-up is created with a bottom-up approach. While the academies will be eligible to fill in forms online and apply for accreditation, a physical visit and evaluation by the state association will complete the process.

Once implemented, the system will also help parents to take an informed decision for shortlisting an academy for their children as there will be a certain set transparent standard which would be reflected in academy star ratings.

There will be three categories of licenses or star ratings (1 to 3 star ratings). Star 3 rating means these academies are the best in Delhi and they will have certain standard in the following areas: coaching staff, facility, medical and safety, child protection policy, calendar of activities, programme, gender equality, and also link with registered football clubs of Delhi.

Objective and transparent criteria are being devised to grant licenses to academies and make them a valuable part of Delhi’s football structure.