The Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s commitment towards fulfilling its duty of care and protection of the rights of children and young people as well as ensuring that football and all its related activities are carried out in a safe, positive and encouraging environment marked a significant milestone today with the launch of the first-ever AFC Child Safeguarding Policy.
Designed to elevate the safeguarding standards across the Continent, the breakthrough policy reinforces the AFC’s ambitions to safeguard children and young people within the AFC’s Member Associations (MAs) and Regional Associations (RAs) as well as the larger Asian football ecosystem by creating and maintaining the safest possible conditions for any child or youth through the development and implementation of a robust safeguarding framework.
AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who has previously underlined safeguarding and the protection of children and young players as a core function for the AFC, said: “Our children, our youth are our future. They represent our hopes and aspirations for a better and brighter legacy for Asian football.
“Creating a safe and conducive environment for our children and young people is a basic right and non-negotiable condition for football to flourish, and we at the AFC, together with all our Members and Regional Associations are resolute in advancing this important agenda and upholding the highest standards of safeguarding across the Continent.
“Today marks a momentous day in our safeguarding journey, one that solidifies the foundations to promote not only the wellbeing of our present and future generations, but also to ensure that they are provided with the best opportunity to grow and develop and cultivate positive and lifelong values, through our beautiful game.”
In addition to emphasising the AFC’s statement of intent and outlining the safeguarding expectations and roles and responsibilities of all staff and stakeholders of the AFC, the policy also reiterates the AFC’s support of the protection of minors throughout all types of football and related activities, and the concerted efforts to promote the protection of such rights.
With the policy in place, the AFC will continue to work with its MAs and RAs to assist them in developing and implementing their own policy framework with the singular focus to create a safe, enjoyable and inclusive environment for children and young people within the football environment, in line with the best practices distinctively defined in the AFC Child Safeguarding Policy.