43 Member Associations joined the AFC Grassroots Football Day celebrations that took place across the Continent in May. Join AFC Media as we highlight Part Two the exciting activities that took place across Asia.
The Afghanistan Football Federation coordinated a large scale Grassroots Festival which saw the participation of 154 children and 24 coaches on May 15 in Kabul.
The main objective behind the initiative was to share the love of football and assist the establishment of the U-12 league as well as the U-12 national team.
The children were divided into age groups and were taught the meaning of fair play, while the coaches were trained on how to deliver Grassroots instructions.
A total 140 boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 12 took part in the Grassroots Festival on May 15 which was organised by Football New South Wales and Football Victoria.
Held in Sydney and Melbourne, participants engaged in small sided games at Kissing Point FC and Old Xaverians Soccer Club respectively.
The AFC Grassroots Football Day in Hong Kong was a resounding success, attracting 1,720 participants across the country.
Eighteen districts under the Hong Kong Jockey Club Youth Football Development Programme were represented with teams playing three matches of 20-25 minutes throughout the morning sessions.
The U-6 and U-8 categories drew the largest number of participants as 1,000 boys and girls played under the 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 formats while the U-10 and U-12 age groups took part in leagues using the 7-on-7 format with different offside rules.
Young referees from the Hong Kong Football Association practiced their refereeing skills in a more relaxed environment.
The Jordan Football Association organised a fun-filled Grassroots Day which saw 300 boys and girls take part in training sessions and small-sided games.
The festival, held over multiple regions across the country, attracted a huge audience as they watched the participants navigate through each station. Among the activities held were 5-on-5 football, Run with the ball, 1-on-1 football and coordination.
A walking football festival was held on May 19 at Fukuda Denshi Square in Chiba Prefecture to commemorate the AFC Grassroots Football Day.
Organised by JEF United Chiba, approximately 300 participants of all ages were divided into teams for the festival.
Walking football shares the same rules as regular football except it prohibits running. It allows players of all ages, sex, physical abilities, and football experience to play together, and the sport has seen a growing demand throughout the country due to its beginner friendly nature.
Lao Football Federation (LFF) held a Football Clinic and Mini Tournament as part of their Grassroots Football Day celebrations on May 10.
A total 160 boys and girls from eight different primary schools in the Hatsaiphong District, took part in the festival held at the KNC School Thintom Village in Vientiane.
LFF Technical Director and Head of Grassroots Football Akira Ono San led a team who guided the participants through various tasks in the Football Clinic, while the Mini Tournament had two groups of four teams participating.
The Lebanese Football Association organised six Grassroots Festivals in Bekaa, Beirut and Mount Lebanon which attracted 760 participants.
Each festival lasted about two hours and had eight stations, four small-sided games and four technical briefings. The participants, with support from their parents, navigated their way around each station.
Twelve coaches were tasked with running each Festival under the supervision of Grassroots Manager Firas Majed and Coordinator Rabih Hamdan.
Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) celebrated their Grassroots Festival in 28 townships across the country with a huge turnout of 2,600 participants.
Respective Township Football Associations came together to organise the six-day festival which was graced by AFC Vice President and MFF President Zaw Zaw who awarded certificates of honour, prize money and footballs to the Myanmar National Paralympic team during the opening ceremony.
U-10 teams from various districts took part in a 5-on-5 tournament as part of the celebration.
Northern Mariana Islands
It was another successful AFC Grassroots Football Day for Northern Mariana Islands (MNI). A total of 116 children participated in the festival which comprised of the U-8 and U-10 divisions – the biggest turnout for Northern Mariana Island to date.
This year, NMI Football Association added a second part of the festival where parents partnered up with their children. The objective to involve parents was for them to experience the fun in playing football and to spark their interest in coaching or any involvement in the future.
The two-hour festival was divided into two sessions, where the first had six stations for each division with 12 teams of five participants each. Teams rotated every eight minutes, with two minutes water break to travel to the next station. The second part of the festival was the parent-children games.
DPRK Football Association celebrated its AFC Grassroots Football Day at Pyongyang International Football School on May 15 which saw 200 participants join 30 principals and physical education teachers from schools in the capital.
In attendance were Jo Chol, vice-chairman of the Education Commission, DPR Korea Football Association Deputy General Secretary Kim Sang Hyop and officials.
The opening ceremony highlighted the performance of football gymnastic exercise by the pupils of Pyongyang International Football School which was followed closely by the same exercise in group performed by the participants.
The festival began with a seminar themed ‘Current development trend in football education for young players and the key points in teaching the basic football techniques’, conducted by an instructor from the Football Coach Academy of DPR Korea FA.
Speakers explained the trend in the training of football reserves, important issues arising in basic technical education, and achievements and experience they gained in running football groups at the schools.
At the end of the seminar there were small-scale football matches involving the pupils of primary and junior middle schools.
Qatar Football Association held football festivals for boys and girls on May 4 and April 29 respectively to mark their celebration of the AFC Grassroots Football Day.
Held at the Aspire Dome in Doha, the boys’ festival saw a turnout of 900 aspiring footballers take part in 7-on-7 football from the following clubs: AL Sadd, Duhail, Al Gharafa, Al Rayyan, Al Ahli, Al Khor, AL Arabi, Al Markhiya, Mesaimeer and AL Sailiya.
For the first time in Qatar, an AFC football festival for girls was held, marking an important milestone in the country’s grassroots football development with the partnership from QFA and Qatar Women’s Sport Committee.
A total 150 girls from six schools, which included Meseid Common School, Al Juwayria Bint Harith School, Umm Salal Mohammed School, Taibah School, Shifa Bint Abdulrahman School And Riffa School, took part in the festival at Qatar Women’s Sport Committee Hall.
Thailand Thailand FA held their AFC Grassroots Day celebrations in Pattana, Chonburi, with over 500 children and 80 volunteers taking part in the fun-filled festival.
The participants were put through their paces during the six football activities which were divided into 12 minutes per round. The skills tested were shooting, 4-on-4, protecting the ball, dribbling, passing and juggling.
Vietnam Football Federation alongside Vietfootball Academy – Football for Community in Hanoi and Football For All Vietnam in Thua Thien Hue Province organised a series of activities in both cities in conjunction with the AFC Grassroots Football Day.
In Hanoi, the event was held at Hanoi University Training Field as children from Grassroots Football Centres and academies had the chance to witness interesting performance of freestyle football.
Participants met former national players such as Hanoi FC captain Pham Thanh Luong and Vu Nhu Thanh and were trained in basic football skills and tactics.
In Thua Thien Hue, 110 girls from Huynh Dinh Tuc High school participated in fun activities and learned football and life skills followed by friendly matches at their school training field.