Women’s football development continues to move forward, as 74 women’s football experts from across 39 Member Associations take part in the second AFC Women’s Football Development Seminar that began in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, September 18.
AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John, in his opening remarks, said, “Looking at all of you gathered here, one thing is clear: women’s football, to a large extent, is now led by women. This is a clear indication that the landscape is shifting and reinforces the remarkable progress of the women’s game in Asia.”
“There is no doubt that the foundations for the women’s game have been strengthened since we last met here two years ago. But we need to do more to ensure our grassroots movement matches our aspirations of raising the level of development systematically across the Continent.”
“Our duty is to ensure we build a brighter future and a game that is more accessible for tomorrow’s generation of girls and women.”
“Together we can strengthen the foundations to ensure women’s football in Asia remains a force on the global stage.”
The three-day seminar began with AFC paying tribute to Japan’s Asako Takakura and Futoshi Ikeda – head coach of the Nadeshiko senior and U-20 national teams respectively – for their recent Continental and international successes.
Takakura, a five-time AFC Women’s Coach of the Year, led her team to their third AFC Women’s Asian Cup title last April before claiming gold in the recent Indonesia 2018 Asian Games, while Ikeda brought his 2017 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship winning team to France to claim the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title in August.
AFC Technical Director Andy Roxburgh then took the stage, speaking on football development in Asia and gave a technical analysis of the recent 2018 FIFA World Cup, to name a few topics covered in his presentation.
He was later joined by AFC Head of Women’s Development Bai Lili, who shared on the AFC Women’s Football Portfolio, which offers assistance programmes to Member Associations in developing the game.
The next two days will highlight some of the Continent’s best practices and will also hear from leading experts from Europe and FIFA, as well as sessions on dissecting case studies and a Q&A on the final day with Nils Nielsen, who was the assistant coach for the China U-20 women’s football team at France 2018.