The Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s commitment to elevate women’s football on the Continent reached its latest milestone earlier this month when a four-day visit was conducted in Thailand under the AFC Women’s Assistance Programme (WAP).
Led by the AFC Head of Women’s Football, Bai Lili, one of the primary goals of the visit was to assess and prepare the top clubs in the country ahead of the inaugural edition of the AFC Women’s Champions League in 2024.
Held from November 3 to 6, the visit was marked by several key discussions with the Football Association of Thailand (FA Thailand) officials, including General Secretary Patit Suphaphongs, and members of the Technical and Women’s Football departments.
In a bid to ensure that the technical takes place in a sustainable manner and across all levels, it was proposed that the AFC would curate a comprehensive plan for the future of the women’s game in the region, the execution of which would be closely monitored by the Confederation through systematic follow-up visits.
Moreover, taking place ahead of the final edition of the AFC Women’s Club Championship™ 2023 – Invitational Tournament, the visit saw the AFC’s experts meet with the best three clubs competing in the Thai Women’s League 1, namely, BG College of Asian Scholars, Chonburi FC Women, and Bangkok FC.
With support from the FA Thailand Head of Women’s Football Development Waraporn Szanyi-Nagy and Head of Women’s Football League Natcha Tarateerasarn, the meeting allowed the clubs to be guided on the best practices to be followed in order to match the standards of other Asian clubs of the highest quality. They were also briefed with all the necessary information on matters related to club licensing.
Additionally, with FA Thailand’s keen interest in youth player development, a trip was also made to the Chonburi Sports School. The AFC experts interacted with girls’ teams in age groups ranging from U13 to U18 and the distinct eagerness showcased by the younger generations of women footballers was particularly reassuring of a promising and exciting era in the country.