Participation in AFC Grassroots Football Day set to reach all-time high
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Grassroots Football Day will set another new participation record today as 42 Member Associations prepare to celebrate the landmark occasion all across the Continent. More than 180,000 football enthusiasts of all ages and abilities have pledged to participate in grassroots activities organised by the AFC Member Associations, an increase of more than 100% from last year.
The latest milestone also continues the trend of setting a new participation record every year since its inauguration in 2013 and further underlines the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) ambition, under its Vision and Mission, to confirm football as the most popular sport on the Continent.
AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “Each year, grassroots football in Asia continues to reach greater heights and set new milestones and I am pleased to note the AFC Grassroots Football Day 2019 will surpass all previous records.
“Developing the grassroots game forms the building blocks to bring the AFC’s Vision and Mission to life and credit must go to all our Member Associations for never failing to answer the clarion call to spread the reach of the game.
“And it is only through this spirit of unity and solidarity that we continue to strengthen the foundations for football in Asia.
“Grassroots football must continue to be built upon the principles of inclusiveness, instilling lifelong values and building character. It must always be fun, but it is also a serious business. Behind every superstar, the journey begins at the Grassroots and the livelihood of football depends on our ability to nurture the game for our future generations.
“I would like to express my appreciation to all the AFC Member Associations who are organising activities in their countries this year. A special thank you is also extended to all our volunteers and parents for believing in the power of football.”
For the second successive edition, the All India Football Federation and Chinese Football Association lead the Continent in engagement by numbers with activities planned across 15 cities in China PR and another 22 states targeted in India.
The rise and success of the AFC Grassroots Football Day has been measured not only by the sheer numbers, but also by the quality and diversity of programmes. The Kuwait Football Association and Football Association of Singapore have expanded the depth of their programmes in 2019 with the introduction of activities targeted at the underprivileged, people with disabilities, cerebral palsy and seniors’ football.
The 2019 edition also sees the return of Bangladesh Football Federation, DPR Korea Football Association, Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic, Saudi Arabian Football Federation and Tajikistan Football Federation who will be organising several youth and grassroots competitions and training camps.
Please click here to access the AFC President’s message in full.