AFC General Secretary: DATO' WINDSOR JOHN
Having experienced an entire spectrum of football as player, coach and now administrator, Dato’ Windsor John joined the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as an Executive Director in 2012 before being appointed as the Deputy General Secretary shortly after in 2013.
Instilled with a lifelong passion for football, the former school teacher from Kedah featured for the state’s youth team and later extended his love for the game when he turned trainer for Selangor in 1992.
He then coached the Selangor President’s Cup team in 1994 and thereafter, went on to hold various positions in several organisations, including the Football Association of Malaysia and the ASEAN Football Federation. In 2001, Dato’ Windsor joined FIFA as its Development Officer and later served as a performance consultant.
Since taking helm as the AFC General Secretary in 2015, Dato’ Windsor has been instrumental in the implementation of the AFC’s new Vision and Mission under the guidance of AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa. Since its launch in January 2016, Dato’ Windsor has spearheaded the restructuring and transformation journey of the AFC administration to bring to life the desired outcomes envisaged under the new Vision and Mission.
In 2018, the AFC secured their financial future for its Member Associations by signing a historic deal which gives exclusive rights to DDMC Fortis to market the AFC’ commercial properties from 2021 to 2028.
He has also led Asian football’s staunch stand against match-fixing, as the AFC continues to be one of the most committed sport bodies in the world on the issue.
An avid believer of fostering unity in the world of football, Dato’ Windsor has worked with his Executive team to implement the AFC’s partnerships with fellow Confederations and most recently, under his tenure, AFC President Shaikh Salman signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) in 2016 and a year later with CONCACAF.
Throughout his career, Dato’ Windsor has also been entrusted by FIFA in various senior capacities in several major football spectacles, which include five FIFA World Cups as well as the first in Asia – 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan; the 2009 and 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the Copa America Centenario USA 2016.
His skilled expertise and meticulous attention to detail has also resonated across the AFC’s ever-improving competitions with the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 expanding to 24 teams and breaking records previously achieved in the AFC Asian Cup 2015 on multiple fronts, including spectatorship, fan engagement on the AFC’s digital platforms and television viewership.
Under his tenure, the AFC also doubled the travel contribution for clubs in the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup, while welcoming a record of close to 140,000 fans watching the 2018 AFC Champions League final between Persepolis FC of the Islamic Republic of Iran and eventual champions Kashima Antlers of Japan over two legs.
The new AFC Cup format has also enhanced the standard of the competition, and the new format was embraced by fans and media worldwide.
A football man in every sense of the word, Dato’ Windsor has set his sights to raise the level of professionalism and capabilities of the AFC Member Associations to usher in a new era of progress for football in Asia.