Technical Committee

AFC strengthens commitment to women’s football development

Tokyo: The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) continued commitment to women’s football in the Continent was underlined by the decision to develop a women’s football technical strategy.

The AFC Technical Committee, at their first meeting of the 2019-2023 cycle chaired by Kohzo Tashima in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday, recognised the need to maintain the highest standards in women’s football, where Asia has long been successful.

After the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, where Australia, China PR and Japan were eliminated at the Round of 16 stage, the AFC decided that there was a need to focus on producing a strategy document to develop the women’s game in Asia between 2020 and 2023.

It was acknowledged that there was a requirement to not only close the gap in standards between the top Asian teams and the top countries in the world but also to raise the level of play in Asian women’s football.

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The AFC underlined its ambitions to create more opportunities for more girls/women to play football, to provide talented players with more practice and access to high quality coaching and, finally, that clubs and national teams compete successfully on the continental and global stage.

The Committee agreed on the underlying principles, which include a need to continue to provide equal opportunities for girls and women to have access to the game and to encourage men’s professional teams to use their resources to establish a women’s team.

It was decided that, where culturally appropriate, to encourage mixed football at the grassroots level and to enthusiastically promote and brand the women’s game as well as empowering women to influence development projects and future policies.

The decision of the AFC Women’s Committee to approve a women’s continental club competition which, following a pilot competition in Korea Republic next week, will start in earnest in 2021 was welcomed. The AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 will also expand from eight to 12 teams.

The Committee also recommended that the best goalkeeper in the AFC tournaments will be recognised with an award in order, not only to promote this important and demanding position but also to inspire the next generation of goalkeepers. The Award will be presented at all AFC national team competitions, including futsal and beach soccer.

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