The Football Association of Thailand (FA Thailand) became the latest Member Association (MA) to be endorsed with a Silver level membership under the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Grassroots Charter on November 11, 2022.
The AFC Grassroots panel members, Cheri Stewart and Anders Krystad were pleased to note the efforts made by FA Thailand in their endeavour to strengthen the foundations of grassroots football in the country.
In the past two years, FA Thailand has made monumental efforts in establishing a network of support through government bodies and NGOs to develop grassroots football across the length and breadth of Thailand.
The assessors found FA Thailand to have put a thorough system in place which are anchored not only in monitoring the development and performances of young footballers but also in training and mentoring volunteers and recruiting regional managers to ensure that members of the grassroots community besides children, i.e., the likes of disabled and veterans, are included in all activities.
Most importantly, FA Thailand’s drive towards curating a curriculum to maximise playing opportunities for children, strongly underlines the AFC’s commitment towards developing grassroots football through mass participation.
The AFC Grassroots panel members were presented with an impressive strategy to restructure grassroots competitions. Following the implementation of U10 and U20 competitions in six regions between 2019 and 2022, the FA is currently working towards increasing the scope of competitions to six additional regions by 2023.
The assessors also noted the steps that FA Thailand is taking in order to uplift women’s football in the country. Besides working towards increasing grassroots competitions for girls, the organisation has been actively participating in all activities led by FIFA for developing the game for women, which range from coach education and club licensing programmes to capacity building campaigns.
Furthermore, FA Thailand presented a detailed blueprint of the key pillars that form the foundation of the FA’s grassroots system. Based on the tenets that were highlighted, both assessors agreed that all criteria that are deemed necessary for a Silver level endorsement in the AFC Grassroots Charter were met by the Football Association of Thailand.
With their efforts recognised by the Confederation, FA Thailand will work towards implementing the recommendations made by the assessors in order to apply for the Gold status by 2024.
FA Thailand Technical Director Carles Romagosa said: “We are delighted to have received the silver level in the AFC Grassroots Charter, which brings us one step closer to our long-term goal of attaining the gold level.
“This collective success is a fundamental stage in raising awareness, putting values into practice, and promoting healthy habits through football activities for all which will be used to strengthen our Grassroots community.”