Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) reached a new milestone in its delivery of education-based initiatives when it celebrated its maiden batch of AFC Certificate in Football Leadership (ACFL) graduates on Thursday.
Aimed at shaping game-changing future leaders of Asian football, the six-month ACFL is one of the latest offerings from the landmark AFC Academic Centre of Excellence (ACE). It follows the AFC Football Management Certificate, which recently concluded its fifth edition and the AFC Football Management Diploma, which will also honour its fifth batch of graduates later this month.
The ACFL graduates, who are mostly decision-makers from AFC Member Associations (MAs), Regional Associations (RAs), and other stakeholders, were guided through theoretical perspectives, hands-on activities, and case studies to boost their leadership skills and enhance their existing capabilities.
The online programme introduces concepts aligned with the industry’s best practices and provides an all-inclusive understanding of the design and development of football organisations, Environmental, Social and Governance guidelines, and project management.
The ACFL comprises six modules - the Principles of Leadership, Influence and Impact through Communication, Organisational Design and Development in Football, Environmental, Social and Governance in Football, A Leader’s Perspective of Football Development & Performance and Managing Projects in Football.
These modules have been developed exclusively by the Confederation to equip football leaders with the necessary viewpoints, skill sets and tools that make for better-informed decisions both on and off the pitch.
“The ACFL was a golden opportunity to brush up on areas that were lacking in my management skills and knowledge,” said Stephanie Al Naber, Board Member and Head of the Women’s Committee at Jordan Football Association (JFA). “It has taught me essential leadership concepts and theories and boosted my self-confidence and determination to overcome challenges and leverage any opportunities that may arise.”
Cheri Stewart, Executive Director at Guam Football Association (GFA), said: “I’m delighted to be part of the first edition of the ACFL but more importantly, I now have a more comprehensive understanding of the qualities required of a capable leader. I’m eager to use my new skills and insights to initiate growth in my organisation and hopefully make a positive impression on the overall football environment.”
In his congratulatory speech, AFC Deputy General Secretary – Member Associations, Vahid Kardany said: “I’m proud that the AFC’s efforts to carefully conceptualise, develop and implement the ACFL has come to fruition with our first batch of graduates, who I’m sure will go on to greater things and help their organisations realise their respective missions.
“They will now be able to play a stronger role in achieving the AFC’s Vision and Mission to maximise the potential of our MAs, and take the lead to bring about changes that will positively impact the entire Asian football family.”