Tashkent: The Asian Football Confederation’s commitment to maximise the potential of its Member Associations (MAs) and Regional Associations (RAs) reached a significant milestone with the commencement of the inaugural AFC Member Associations (MAs) & Regional Associations (RAs) Presidents’ and General Secretaries’ Conference 2023 today in Tashkent.
In the presence of notable figures including the Republic of Uzbekistan Prime Minister His Excellency Abdulla Nigmatovich Aripov, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the two-day Conference, which is being hosted by the Uzbekistan Football Association, brings together Presidents and General Secretaries of the AFC’s MAs and RAs, as well as key representatives from FIFA’s global football family for the first time ever on a groundbreaking platform.
Featuring leaders and experts from across the world, the collaborative effort is designed to drive Asian football forward by empowering MAs and RAs with knowledge, information and insights. They also stand to benefit from bespoke solutions, resources and expertise provided by the AFC.
The opening day of the Conference kicked off with a presentation by CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani, in which he outlined world football leadership and its impact on the game. He was followed by AFC General Secretary Datuk Seri Windsor John, who spoke about the AFC’s aim to create an inspiring Asian leadership culture that leads to success on and off the field.
Saudi Arabian Football Federation Vice President Lamia Bahaian later shared her insightson football as a catalyst for national transformation and progress, while Mark Milton, the founder and director of the Swiss-based Education 4 Peace, drew the attention of the participants to the art of listening and presence and how it can shape the future of football leadership.
The first day concluded with Dr. Mohamad Al-Hakim’s presentation on the way ethics and integrity ensure the sustainable future of Asian football leadership.
“It has been a privilege to be here, listening to all the speakers while also reinforcing our bonds as members of the Asian football family. Today really has been quite enlightening and I am looking forward to everything that is in store for tomorrow,” said Emerenciana Tolentino, Deputy General Secretary of the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association.
Addressing the delegates on behalf of the AFC President, Datuk Seri Windsor said: “At the heart of the AFC’s ambitions lies an overwhelming desire to further enhance the capabilities and capacities of its MAs and RAs. “The consolidated AFC Enhance Programme Regulations, and the breadth and depth of the initiatives under the AFC Academic Centre of Excellence, amply underscore that our dedication to our MAs and RAs is stronger than ever.”
The AFC General Secretary reiterated that it was crucial for the Confederation’s Members to join forces for the betterment of Asian football.
“The collective efforts of our MAs and RAs to forge the path towards a promising future has never been more important. It’s this very path that will continue to propel us on our upward trajectory,” he said.
“This is why we need bold and visionary leaders who can transform our shared aspirations into reality, thereby upholding the AFC’s Vision of making football the number one sport throughout the continent.”
On the second day of the Conference, distinguished speakers will include Kanya Keomany, FIFA Council Member and General Secretary of the Lao Football Federation; Anter Isaac, the CEO of renowned management consultancy firm Kleinmann Wang; Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, General Secretary of the Japan Football Association and a former Japanese international player and coach; and Răzvan Burleanu, FIFA Council Member and the President of the Romanian Football Federation. Additionally, Mark Milton, the founder and director of Education 4 Peace, will share practical lessons on the topics of listening and presence.