The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Technical Committee’s ambitions to ensure the success of Asian teams and clubs was further reinforced today after it recommended several initiatives aimed at strengthening the AFC’s competitions at its fourth meeting held online.
Chaired by Kohzo Tashima, the Committee acknowledged the uncertainties caused by the pandemic and, consequently, the unprecedented challenges faced by the AFC Member Associations (MAs) in delivering their technical development programmes since the start of the outbreak.
Therefore, the Committee agreed that the last two years – 2020 and 2021 – would not be considered when calculating the three-year re-evaluation cycle of the memberships for the AFC Coaching Convention, the AFC Grassroots Charter and the AFC Elite Youth Scheme.
Meanwhile, as part of efforts to increase the actual playing time of matches, the Committee also agreed to examine and explore appropriate solutions to maintain the quality and attractiveness of the AFC’s competitions, which include the possibility of introducing a Positive Play Award.
The Committee also discussed the proposal to increase the quota of foreign players in the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup, and from a technical perspective, members agreed on the importance to strike a fair balance in strengthening the standards of Asia’s club competitions while at the same time, protecting the development of local players across the Continent.
Further underlining its commitment to enhance the AFC’s competitions, the Committee also discussed the relevance in today’s football of the away goals rule, which was introduced in 1965, and the impact it has created in causing home teams to adopt a more cautious approach.
The Committee agreed to work closely with the AFC Competitions Committee to study the proposals, which include the use of extra time and, if necessary, penalty shootouts as the means to determine tied matches and to eliminate the away goals rule as a tiebreaker option.
The Committee also approved the 2022 AFC Specialised Coaching Courses for the AFC’s Member Associations, which will now be integrated as part of the game-changing AFC Coaching Convention.