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2017 AFC Grassroots Football Day: Part Two!

The recent AFC Grassroots Football Day has been hailed as a resounding success with a record number of Member Associations contributing to the event.

The Bhutan Football Federation organised a festival and friendly veteran football match in 20 districts across the country. Over 1000 boys and girls from the age of six to 12  participated in the Grassroots Festival which consisted of moderate training exercises to help encourage interest.

North Korea
Held in the Pyongyang International Football School, the aim of the celebration was to spread the joy of football and it included practical and theoretical training exercises for children of different age groups. Over 400 children were taught a variety of football skills, including drills to help improve their ball control and footwork. As a rousing finale, former footballers, parents and fans were divided into two teams to play a friendly match.

The Lao Football Federation (LFF) invited 250 children and 32 teachers from 15 different schools to the LFF headquarters in Vientiane Capital to celebrate the AFC Grassroots Football Day.
In the morning, the boys were divided into groups according to their age to attend a football clinic and in the afternoon, 20 coaches trained the children with various drills before a lively match took place in the evening.

With the summer in full swing in the capital city of Muscat, 140 students from different schools participated in the AFC Grassroots Football Day celebration organised by the Oman Football Association at the Seeb Sports Stadium. Some 16 coaches from different regions of the country volunteered to arrange football drills such as dribbling, passing, and shooting. There were also recreational games for the younger participants.

Saudi Arabia
The STC Grassroots Festival in Jeddah, was organised by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation Technical Department and, as part of the masterplan for the #RoadToQatar2022, received a superb response. More than 5500 children, 1000 staff members and 400 coaches were involved in the successful Grassroots Football Day.
Over the course of three days – and in cooperation with Real Madrid and Manchester United staff – two grassroots conferences and an open training session were organised for the development of coaches. The children attending were separated into U-9, U-11, U-12, and U14 age groups before participating in a series of competitive matches. 

Sri Lanka
The Football Federation of Sri Lanka celebrated the AFC Grassroots Football day by organising a technical workshop for 200 boys and girls aged 11 and 12 at the Seevali grounds in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka. 15 coach educators took part in training the boys and girls with the aim to improve their technical skills, such as juggling, running, dribbling and passing.

United Arab Emirates
The AFC Grassroots Football Day celebration organised by the United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAEFA) was held in conjunction with its three ongoing development programmes. Firstly, the UAEFA Grassroots Programme in collaboration with the clubs’ grassroot coaches, helps attract and integrate children from nearby schools and then identify the next generation of football players. Over 1000 children born in either  2007 and 2008 have taken part in festivals during the past four months.
Secondly, the UAEFA Grassroots Programme with technical centres, involves the clubs selecting their best players to participate in the U-12 UAEFA league. Over the course of the last four months, ten festivals have been held with some 1200 players taking part in the league held at the UAEFA headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
Lastly, the UAEFA Grassroots Programme for girls and women aims to spread the sport throughout the country in collaboration with schools and the Ministry of Education. On May 14, a festival was organised for 120 girls aged 11 and 12 from different schools in the country.

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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