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Doha: Please find below the full transcript of Asian Football Confederation President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa’s speech at Thursday’s launch of the AFC’s new Vision and Mission in Doha, Qatar.

“Ladies and Gentlemen. A salaam alikum

As President of the Asian Football Confederation it is my privilege to welcome you all to Doha on this special evening for Asian football.

Tonight will reflect on the journey football in Asia has taken in the last 60 years and salute those who have been our guiding stars.

The AFC will rejoice on the strengths of the modern game in Asia and thank those who have contributed so much.

But more importantly of all the AFC will provide a clear picture of the glittering future that awaits the people’s game on this great continent.

It is fitting that Qatar and Doha in particular should host this event because in just over six years the FIFA World Cup – the greatest sporting spectacle on the globe – will be held here.

For the second time in this century the footballing world will turn its gaze to Asia and we will welcome them with open arms and with traditional warm Arabic and typically Asian hospitality.

Twenty years after Japan and Korea paved the way, the 2022 World Cup will be the clearest illustration of the power of Asia and the incredible progress we have made and the goals we have achieved.

Football, we must never forget, is the people’s game. And in Asia we have the biggest audience on the planet and as we move forward we must engage and excite those billions who cherish football.

We must also show them that football is a power for good – a sport that can change people’s lives for the better.

As we build our new and inspiring future we must not lose sight of the fact that we are simply guardians of the game for the next generation.

Our challenge – in fact our duty – is to hand this great game over to the stars of tomorrow in even better shape than we inherited it.

That is why today we unveil our plans to ensure Asian Football and the AFC is recognised as the blueprint for success across the footballing world.

Success for Asia will come in our competitions.

The Asian Cup in 2019 in the United Arab Emirates will build on the spectacular success of the 2015 edition held in Australia a year ago.

And our club competitions grow year on year – re writing record books as they go.

Success for Asia will come through our teams.

In 2015 the Asian Cup showed the depth of talent in the men’s national teams; the FIFA Women’s World Cup reflected Asia’s dominance in the women’s game; in the FIFA under 17 men’s event four Asian teams made the knock out stages in the FIFA World Cup Club our club sides finished third and fourth.

And success for Asia will come through our Member Associations.

With strong Member Associations assisted with development of players, officials and administrators.

We will develop even better teams capable of competing at the highest levels.

Through optimising of commercial revenues we will be able to fund this development

We will create the benchmark for good governance.

So as you can see this is Asia’s time to shine. 

Through unity, integrity, leadership and professionalism we will make sure that we take advantage of the opportunities that lie before us.

Honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, Asia will only succeed with a clear vision and I am delighted to tell you today we will demonstrate we have that vision.

With a united Asia we will achieve our goal – to become the world’s leading confederation.

One Asia, One goal – tonight we invite you all to play your part in this exciting future.

Thank you.”