An elated All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi on Wednesday said by winning the AFC Challenge Cup in New Delhi, India has proved that it belongs to the elite Asian stage.
"With today's win against Tajikistan we have arrived at the elite Asian stage. Full credit for this win goes to the coach Bob Houghton and the players," said Dasmunshi after India defeated Tajikistan 4-1 in the final of the eight-nation Asia second tier competition and secured a ticket for the 2011 Asian Cup in Doha.
"I hope this victory will help Indian football to compete with the best in the Asia. We purposefully decided to host this tournament and thanks to the AFC for awarding us the event," he added.
The AIFF President also said that despite qualifying for the Asian Cup after a hiatus of 24 years, India will host the AFC Challenge Cup in 2010 again.