First batch of MAs awarded AFC Grassroots Charter Memberships
Kuala Lumpur: Five Member Associations were granted AFC Grassroots Charter Memberships following their outstanding achievement in the development of football.
The gold standard in the best MA category of the AFC Grassroots Charter Membership was given to The Football Federation of Australia (FFA), while The Chinese Football Association (CFA) were awarded the Silver membership alongside three other Member Associations (MAs) – Bhutan Football Federation (BFF), Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) and Macau Football Association (AFM) who were awarded Bronze memberships.
The AFC Grassroots Charter is a development tool with the aim to raise the quality of grassroots programmes across the Continent. It identifies 20 performance categories such as grassroots competitions, fairplay, partnerships and personal development.
The FFA conducted four youth tournaments comprising age-group teams across the country in Australia which had a total engagement over 218,000 boys and girls.
The Sporting Schools Programme, which delivered by the Professional League Clubs as a means of promoting participation and creating lifelong football fans, has reached over 1,500 schools and 130,000 since its inception in 2015.
The FFA also conducted the 'Football4all' gala day, which saw over 400 participants taking part, reinforcing the strength and growth of football in the country.
The CFA was awarded the Silver membership after meeting all the charter criteria at the silver level such as initiating programmes throughout the calendar year which includes their 23 provinces with numerous school activities for women and amateur football throughout the country. The CFA picked up its first AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football in the Inspiring Member Association category in 2017 ahead of Football Federation Australia and Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran.
The BFF has a good understanding of grassroots football as their strategy and objectives were well designed for growth which has been approved by the BFF ExCo. Among the efforts realised were the key components of the BFF’s Strategic Development Plan, which includes an emphasis on implementing the regulations of the AFC Grassroots Charter. The BFF also won its first President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football in the Aspiring category in 2017 following their Aspiring Member Association of the Year Award in 2016.
The HKFA has undergone a huge overhaul, with the Aiming High-Together strategic document providing direction in all aspects of football development. With focus on its efforts and policy, the HKFA inaugurated the Accreditation Scheme for commercial football coaching companies and amateur youth teams as well as the new Reward Coaches Scheme, which will recognise grassroots coaches for their efforts and performances every year.
The AFM conducts comprehensive grassroots football development programs. The MFA conducted various grassroots football programs including grassroots festivals, summer courses, women beginner’s courses, social responsibilities events to promote football for disables. The AFM commemorated AFC Grassroots Football Day by holding their first-ever Women's Futsal League.