Grassroots football has taken a huge step forward as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Grassroots Panel meeting concluded in Malaysia on Friday.
The panel, which comprised representatives from Asia’s grassroots specialists and managers, convened for the third time to fine-tune and finalise the key criteria of the AFC Grassroots Charter.
The meeting was led by AFC Technical Director Andy Roxburgh, who emphasised the importance of the panel’s role in football grassroots, saying: “The philosophy of grassroots football, football for all, is at the heart of the new Charter. The aim is to stimulate and support the Member Associations (MA) in their own grassroots development.
“The Charter envisages the AFC’s Vision and Mission to maximise the Member Associations’ potential, as well as ensuring good governance at all levels.”
The Charter is a development tool for the MAs to raise the quality of their grassroots programmes. It identifies 20 performance categories such as grassroots competitions, fairplay, partnerships and personal development.
This AFC grassroots endorsement programme is offered at three levels – bronze, silver and gold. At the entry level (bronze), the emphasis is on mass participation. The next level (silver) focuses on increased levels of quality, and at the highest level (gold), the endorsed members will set the benchmark for grassroots development.
At the panel’s third meeting, the Charter’s regulation and criteria were fully approved. The document will now be sent to the AFC Technical Committee and Executive Committee for a final review and approval before it is offered to the MAs for their consideration.