The Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s resolve in transforming the landscape of club football on the Continent was further underlined at the AFC Professional Football Seminar 2023 which concluded on Tuesday.
The seminar, which spanned over two days, was marked by the presence of 83 participants, as well as experts from the AFC’s sister Confederation UEFA.
With several new changes in the Confederation’s club football ecosystem set to take off in the coming weeks, most notably the new Autumn-Spring calendar which will commence on September 18 and the three-tiered club competitions system which will be introduced in the 2024/25 season, the seminar proved to be an excellent platform for the attendees to receive valuable updates on the AFC’s latest activities.
To that end, an introductory session was conducted to help the participants and guests get familiarised with the new elements of the AFC’s revamped club competitions as well as the latest initiatives undertaken for the development of Professional Football on the Continent.
“The AFC has made significant progress in scaling new benchmarks of professionalism and excellence in recent years,” said AFC General Secretary Datuk Seri Windsor John in his opening address.
“The emphasis on club licensing and the establishment of the Professional Football Taskforce are just some of the concerted efforts undertaken by the AFC to reinforce the sense of urgency and importance of this function.
“The duty now falls on all of us to ensure that our professional standards off the pitch match the expected rise in quality on the pitch,” he added.
Among the major highlights of the programme was UEFA Senior Club Licensing & Financial Sustainability Manager Daniele Bernardi’s engaging presentation on the best practices in Club Licensing.
Following Bernardi’s presentation, a session for analysing case studies was also organised which allowed the participants to put their newly acquired knowledge to test, which further enhanced the learning experience.
Aside from club licensing system, the emphasis was primarily on knowledge sharing where representatives from the Sport Singapore, K League, as well as guest speakers from Saudi Pro League, and ProjectWITH shared their expertise such as strategic planning, blockchain technology and league development.
Finally, before the highly informative seminar concluded, to ensure that the Confederation is always prepared to deal with critical situations, the seminar also held discussions on how to combat potential risks in terms of safety and security and child safeguarding.
With experts from around the world sharing their knowledge and expertise, the capacity building programme marked another step forward in the AFC’s commitment in upholding its Vision of cementing its position as a model Confederation.