Football development in Afghanistan has been given a significant boost as key stakeholders of the country’s football family took part in workshops organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) under the League Development Programme (LDP) over three days. The AFC is the first football governing body to organise such workshops for the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF).
The workshops were held from February 6 to 8, and they covered several specific areas, including club licensing and event management as well as training for match commissioners and an introduction to the AFC’s live streaming programme for Member Associations, enabling them to broadcast football matches live on the internet. The participants were AFF officials and the presidents of the 20 provincial football associations.
The workshops were held in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe and the AFC covered the costs of the participants’ travel and accommodation. The timing of the training was planned conscientiously, to coincide with the first and second-leg AFC Cup matches between Afghan club Shaheen Asmayee and Tajikistan’s FC Hosilot. Both matches were played in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, as Afghan teams are currently not able to host international matches in their home country. The first-leg of the preliminary round fixture took place on January 31 and the second-leg encounter will be played today, February 7.
President of the Afghanistan Football Federation Mr Keramuddin Karim said in his opening remarks: “This is a historic day for Afghanistan Football Federation as for the first time in our history we are organising workshops and seminars for the football administrators in Afghanistan. I cannot stress more on the importance of club licensing in the development of leagues and clubs, and it is for the AFF, provincial and club officials to understand the regulations and criteria and to implement them in a productive way. Also the other planned workshops scheduled for these three days will go a long way in developing football in Afghanistan.
“I thank the AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa for initiating these development workshops for Afghanistan Football Federation and supporting our development endeavours.”
General Secretary of the AFF Sayed Ali Reza Aghazada said: “This has been an extremely beneficial experience to us and I believe the workshops have given Afghan football a new breadth of life. We appreciate all the hard work by the AFC for making this happen, showing that they care about football development in all corners of the continent.”
AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “The workshops organised by the AFC for the benefit of football in Afghanistan show that the AFC is serious about lifting the level of football across the continent. We are proud to be the first to have been able to help Afghan football in this way.
“I would also like to extend my warm thanks to the Tajikistan Football Federation for hosting the event and exemplifying Asian football’s unity and solidarity: One Asia, One Goal.”
Shaheen Asmayee is the first Afghan club to take part in an AFC competition. Benefitting from the new format of the AFC Cup, the competition has become more inclusive, as more clubs from more nations are now eligible to participate, with the group stage played in five regional zones.
(AFC Press Release)