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Wednesday 29 November 2017-03:41
Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran, which has enjoyed a dynamic and fruitful year, was named the AFC Inspiring Member Associations of the Year winner at the AFC Annual Awards 2017 

Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran, which has enjoyed a dynamic and fruitful year, was named the AFC Inspiring Member Associations of the Year winner at the AFC Annual Awards 2017 in the Aksra Theatre King Power on Wednesday and Mehdi Taj, president of Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran, received the prestigious award.
Iran’s U-17 national team along with the U-20 team, futsal national team, beach soccer team and finally the senior national team, all have qualified to World Cups to make Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran the only five-star football federation in the world and the best Member Association of Asia.
Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran is the only five-star football association in the world that all of its national teams have advanced to different World Cups.
In their road to the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 campaign, Iran were the first Asian nation to qualify in June, while Persepolis reached the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League 2017.
Their performance of their clubs were not only consistent in football but futsal as well.
Sanaye Giti Pasand had a perfect record to top Group C of the AFC Futsal Club Championship Vietnam 2017, before a 3-2 loss to Thailand's Bluewave Chonburi to secure a runners-up spot. 
On top of that, Iran were crowned winners in the inaugural AFC Beach Soccer Championship Malaysia 2017 in March to receive automatic qualification to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas, where they finished third after losing 3-2 on penalties to Tahiti. 
The prestigious award is given to a Member Association in recognition of its professional administration and governance as well as its exceptional contribution to the development and promotion of the game at all levels within the country.
The AFC’s Member Associations are divided into three categories namely ‘Inspiring’, ’Developing’ and ‘Aspiring’ based on their overall footballing prowess.
Member Associations are assessed and awarded points on various areas encompassing the association’s activities such as the organization of courses and seminars, competitions, grassroots and youth development, women’s programmes, social responsibility and special projects.
Points are also given for an MA’s hosting of AFC qualifying and finals tournaments as well as their national and club teams’ placing in AFC and FIFA competitions throughout the year.
"I’m grateful to be awarded by the AFC as the best federation in Asia. We have qualified for five different World Cups. I thank AFC for this," said Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran President Mehdi Taj.