The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Technical Committee reinforced the importance of strengthening the development of the Continent’s coaches after it recommended several enhancements to the AFC Coaching Convention at its third meeting on Wednesday.
The proposal augments similar changes made to the Grassroots Charter and the Elite Youth Scheme in November last year and exemplifies the AFC’s continuous commitment towards elevating the technical standards of its Member Associations.
Among the game-changing enhancements include the addition of the goalkeeping and ‘C’ coaching Diploma requirements as part of the AFC Coaching Convention Regulations and further improvements to the competency and assessment criteria for the AFC Pro, ‘A’ and ‘B’ Diplomas.
Chaired by Kohzo Tashima, the Technical Committee recognised the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and praised the AFC’s response and progress in ensuring a positive and lasting impact in technical development: “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the world and at our last meeting, I mentioned that Asian football will overcome this setback together.
“I am happy to note that the AFC competitions have started with the AFC Champions League Group Stage now taking place in the West Zone and at the same time, I am proud that the AFC’s Technical activities have continued to strengthen our Member Associations despite the great challenges.”
The Committee also took important steps to protect the wellbeing of aspiring players and proposed to evaluate the impact of heading among youth players together with the AFC Medical Committee, with a view of developing a ‘heading specific’ guideline for youth football.
The members also discussed a proposal to study the need for a campaign aimed at protecting pitches and playing areas in light of the current pandemic, as part of efforts to ensure the continued development of the grassroots movement across the Continent.
The Committee also agreed to explore the extent of which ‘relative age effect’ (RAE) exists among Asia’s national age-group teams. Following recent international studies, it was noted that RAE had an impact on elite youth football, with 50% of players selected for the national team born in the first quarter of the year, and only 6% in the final quarter.
Members agreed to commence the evaluation process and to hold further engagements with the AFC MAs to explore possible solutions to ensure equal opportunities for youth development and to maximise the talent pool of MAs.
(Asian Football Confederation)