Kuala Lumpur: The inaugural AFC Inspiring’ Member Association of the Year award has been bestowed upon the Chinese Football Association.
“I’m so proud to have received this award on behalf of the Chinese Football Association,” CFA General Secretary Zhang Jian said after being presented the award by AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
“For the past few years Chinese football has been going through a tough period but we have been improving from year to year.
“I’m sure this award will inspire us to be even better in the future. I’d like to thank the AFC, FIFA and everyone else for all the help and support we have been receiving all this while.”
The prestigious award is given to a Member Association in recognition of its professional administration and governance as well its exceptional contribution to the development and promotion of the game at all levels within their country.
Recognising the diversity of MA’s in terms of facilities and resources and looking to ensure that more nations will receive recognition for their efforts and achievements in developing football in their country, the AFC introduced three winners for the Member Association of the Year award as opposed to just one.
The AFC’s 46 Member Associations have been divided into three categories namely ‘Inspiring’, ’Developing’ and ‘Aspiring’. The category reflects the tier of AFC club competition the country is eligible to participate in.
Nations whose club sides are eligible for the AFC Champions League are in the ‘Inspiring’ category; nations that take part in the AFC Cup are placed in the ’Developing’ category, while the AFC President’s Cup participating nations occupy the ‘Aspiring’ category.
In addition to inaugural winners China nations in the ‘Inspiring Member Association’ category are: Australia, Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the UAE and Uzbekistan.
Member Associations are assessed and awarded points on various areas encompassing the association’s activities such as the organisation of courses and seminars, competitions, grassroots and youth development, 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 team’s placing in AFC competitions throughout the year.
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