The development gives India a significant representation in the AFC and Patel thanked all member associations for finding him "competent enough".

"First of all I need to thank all for finding me competent enough. Indian football is undergoing a transition and it feels nice that our development progress has rung bells all over the continent. I take this as a complement for Indian football," he said.

"This is a huge responsibility. I would not only be representing my own country but the entire SAFF Region. I stay confident of receiving support from all stakeholders for rapid progress of football in the region."

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das congratulated Patel and said, “We at AIFF are extremely proud of him. This is a major development for India's football fraternity."

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