The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa today held a meeting with Chinese Football Association (CFA) President Song Kai, ahead of the AFC Annual Awards Doha 2022.
Shaikh Salman expressed his warm congratulations to President Song, who was elected to the role earlier this month at the 12th CFA Congress in Beijing, where four new Vice Presidents and a new 20-member Executive Committee were also elected.
He noted the firm commitment to reforming and furthering football development that was underlined by President Song at the Congress, and reaffirmed that the AFC will work hand in hand with the CFA in supporting their efforts at reinvigorating the sport in China.
The AFC President also took the opportunity to pass on his best wishes for the four award nominations received by the CFA for the AFC Annual Awards Doha 2022 – Zhang Linyan (AFC Women’s Player of the Year), Shui Qingxia (AFC Coach of the Year (Women’s), Huo Yuexin (AFC Youth Player of the Year – Women’s), and the CFA (AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football – Gold).
Shaikh Salman said: “It is heartening to witness the determination exemplified by the new CFA leadership to grow football and push it to higher levels in China, where there remains huge potential for the sport to flourish.
“Their efforts within the women’s game have already proven to be particularly commendable, with the record-extending ninth AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ won by the Steel Roses last year as well as their subsequent FIFA Women’s World Cup participation and bronze-medal finish at the recent Asian Games.
“The AFC is unwavering in its vision of ensuring that football continues to be the number one sport in the Continent, and I am confident that with President Song at the helm, we will strive together to raise football to new heights in China.”
Apart from the successes of the women’s national team in recent times, China have also achieved results at other levels. A 13th qualification for the AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ was secured for the 2024 edition earlier this month, while the U15 women’s side clinched the bronze medal at the inaugural East Asian Youth Games in August.
China are also well represented at Asia’s elite club tournament, with three teams – Shandong Taishan FC, Zheijiang FC and Wuhan Three Towns FC – currently competing in the Group Stage of the AFC Champions League™ 2023/24.
President Song expressed his appreciation for the resolute commitment of the AFC, exemplified through a diverse array of development programmes, towards further fostering the growth of football in China.