Japan Football Association (JFA) has been awarded the AFC Grassroots Charter Gold membership for its tremendous work in grassroots football.
The Grassroots Charter is a development tool for Member Associations (MA) to raise the quality of their grassroots programmes. It identifies 20 performance categories such as grassroots competitions, structure, long-term planning and partnerships, and JFA has excelled in all criteria.
The importance of the grassroots is deeply rooted in the JFA and its 47 Member Football Associations across the island nation of a 120 million population, where the focus on promoting and developing can be found in all levels in its football structure.
Furthermore, JFA and its respective Football Associations have an extensive range of grassroots activities, which includes football for the disabled, children, youth, veterans, walking football, festivals and many more.
Various player programmes were initiated to further bolster the sport, with programmes that address seasonal issues, age groups, gender, disability, indigenous groups and player development, among others.
JFA has continuously monitored the results of its registered participants and players, with the strategy of documenting the growth of players and the sport through its registration portal. The system is also used to record the number of coaches and monitor their activities, and also encourages them to attend refresh courses.
On top of forging good partnerships and advocating the sport through national commercials, JFA places a lot of attention and resources to social schemes, such as the Respect Projects, Kokoro Projects, JFA Green Project and more.
JFA has been recognised twice by the Asian Football Confederation in previous years for its efforts in grassroots when it was awarded the AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football in 2013 and 2015, as well as the Inspiring Member Association of the Year award in 2015 and 2016.
Despite the success of its ongoing projects, JFA is continuously growing and expanding its endeavours, and as the second MA to receive the Gold level assessment – with Australia being the first – it is set to be the benchmark for future applicants and also encouraging other MAs to intensify their efforts.