—- The AFC Futsal and Beach Soccer Committee praised the recent performances of Asia’s teams at its second meeting held online today in a historic year that has witnessed the Continent’s futsal and beach soccer sides achieve unparalleled heights of success on the world’s biggest stages.

In his opening address, Chairperson Mehdi Taj applauded Japan’s outstanding run to the final of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021™, which was the best-ever performance by an Asian team at the global showpiece, further underlining the AFC’s Vision to ensure the success of its teams and players.

At the same time, the Committee also recognised the remarkable displays of Asia’s sides in last month’s FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™, where for the first time in history, all five Asian teams – the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam – clinched their spots in the tournament’s Round of 16.

Adding greater significance to the feat, four of the five Asian sides in Lithuania were helmed by local coaches, further emphasising the undeniable impact of the AFC’s comprehensive education programmes and seminars over the years.

Likewise, members of the Committee were also pleased to note that the numerous tailormade futsal and beach soccer seminars, workshops and meetings have transitioned online since the pandemic, and all of which continue to elevate the standards of the AFC’s Member Associations.

The Committee also agreed to the composition of the COVID-19 Sub-Committee for the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Kuwait 2022 Qualifiers to be held from April 1 to 15, 2022, noting the effectiveness of the approach in facilitating the urgent decision-making required in managing the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Committee also approved the regulations for the AFC Futsal Club Championship 2022, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates from August 3 to 14, 2022.