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Kuala Lumpur: New General Secretaries (GS) from Member Associations (MA) across Asia have been given an extensive introduction to various international aspects of their role at the AFC GS Induction Programme.

Fifteen GSs representing all five zones making up the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) took part in the two-day programme in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, home of the AFC.

In addition to featuring high-level speakers from FIFA and UEFA, the seminar introduced the participants to the AFC and the various aspects of the Confederation’s work as the continent’s football governing body. The first day of the programme included a presentation of the AFC’s Vision and Mission. As top administrators of their football federation, the General Secretaries play a key role in implementing the strategy, which has the overarching aim of the Asian continental body becoming the leading Confederation.

An important part of the AFC’s Vision and Mission is MA development. This was a key theme throughout the two days, with the specific assistance and development programmes available to the Member Associations presented in detail. The participants also provided feedback to the AFC administration during their discussion sessions, identifying specific areas of focus for their respective federations.

One of the participants, Oman Football Association General Secretary Sultan Ameen Al Zadjali said: “The AFC GS Induction programme has been a very fruitful initiative as it helps us to connect with the other General Secretaries and introduces us to the way the AFC, as well as FIFA and UEFA, work.

“Over the years, Oman has benefitted from the Expert Pool project in the areas of grassroots and community engagement. I am pleased and thankful to note the various other opportunities made available by the AFC for us to strengthen the development of football in our MAs.”

Echoing his sentiments, Qatar Football Association’s General Secretary Mansoor Mohammed Al Ansari added: “It has been an eye-opener and I personally think that this is an excellent initiative by the AFC. It adds immense value especially for new General Secretaries to better understand how a Confederation works in relation to the MAs. I found it extremely beneficial and I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the diverse programmes and services offered by the AFC.”

To present the new vision and the reforms currently being implemented in world football through organisational changes, FIFA Head of Corporate Legal Oliver Jaberg took the participants through the FIFA Reform Package. The ins and outs of the FIFA development programmes were presented to the sixteen participants by Mike Pfister, FIFA Senior Development Manager for Asia.

UEFA’s General Secretary Ad Interim Theodore Theodoridis spoke to the AFC MA General Secretaries about his role at the European governing body and the second day of the programme was rounded up by a session on sport integrity which was led by Andreas Krannich from Sportradar.

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