|KUALA LUMPUR: In an effort to further promote the development of football in Asia, a FIFA-AFC Member Associations and Development Seminar for Presidents, General Secretaries and Technical Directors is being held from today till 6 September in Kuala Lumpur.
The high-level seminar aims to highlight various governance reforms and development programmes carried out by the relevant bodies, as well as provide a platform for respective associations to exchange ideas in developing and promoting football in South East Asia.
Speaking during the opening of the seminar, AFC Vice-President and Football Association of Malaysia President, HRH Prince Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah, reminded the participants that Asia can continue to learn and adopt good practices.
“There is plenty of information that can be used in administration and technical aspects of football. We always have room to improve, which is why I am fully committed and supportive of FIFA’s methodologies of good governance”.
Jerome Valcke, Secretary General of FIFA, in his speech noted that FIFA’s development programmes are tailor-made for each and every Member Association as they recognize that every nation is unique.
“We are calling Asia to work hard to develop your youth teams so that you will be able to participate in FIFA youth competitions and from there develop the players for the senior teams that will vie for an appearance in the World Cup. It is time for Asia to challenge the European teams at football’s highest competition”.
Speaking to the audience, the AFC General Secretary, Dato’ Alex Soosay remarked that football in Asia has massive potential to succeed, in particular the ASEAN countries.
“We have the resources, skills and expertise, but we need to utilise them better, especially here in South East Asia. The youth teams are doing very well, the interest among the fans are rising in the domestic leagues and we have excellent facilities”.
“We need to think collectively and positively to restore the glory of ASEAN football and get rid of the negative elements that are threatening our football development”.
The seminar in Kuala Lumpur is the last leg of the FIFA Regional Member Associations Development Seminar for Asia, and the Member Associations of Brunei Darussalam, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Timor-Leste and Australia were represented.