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Kuala Lumpur: "Today marks another milestone in Asia’s grassroots journey. I am delighted that 38 Member Associations will celebrate the AFC Grassroots Football Day this year – a record-breaking feat for the fifth consecutive year since we launched in 2013.

The AFC should take immense pride in the fact that participation has increased by around 60% for the second consecutive year to today’s record number of people of all backgrounds and abilities celebrating the AFC Grassroots Football Day.

Our achievements exemplify the unity and solidarity of our continent under the banner of One Asia, One Goal and I would to thank our Member Associations for their unwavering dedication and hard work.

When we launched our Vision and Mission, the AFC outlined its ambitions to reinforce football’s position as the number one sport on the continent. Investment in grassroots football activities plays a pivotal role in strengthening the foundations for our great game to continue to flourish.

AFC GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL DAY 2017 BREAKS RECORD FOR THE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

The AFC’s philosophy for grassroots is clear: football leaves no one behind. It is built on the principles of inclusion and equal opportunities. More importantly, it is based on the premise that the beautiful game can instil positive values such as teamwork, mutual respect and fair play in our youths and stimulate social development in communities across the continent.

It is critical that we continue to build on this momentum. From disability football and the amateur game, providing opportunities for boys and girls, women and men to play football, we must continue to nurture the diverse components to allow our football landscape to thrive.

The AFC will continue to assist its Member Associations to implement vibrant and inclusive grassroots activities throughout the continent. Looking ahead, our Grassroots Panel will continue to work closely with our MAs and we will also implement the AFC Grassroots Charter in the coming months.

I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation once again to all our MAs and valued stakeholders for the spirit of partnerships and unity. I must also praise the coaches, parents and volunteers working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure Asian grassroots football grows from strength to strength.  

As we work closer together, I am confident we will continue to take giant leaps towards a better and stronger Asia for the benefit of all who cherish the game." 

Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa
AFC President

Photo: Afghanistan Football Federation