Kuala Lumpur-Malaysia March 30, 2012: : AFC will be fulfilling its commitment to people with disabilities with the launch of Dream Asia Cerebral Palsy Tournament in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from April 1-7. The new initiative by AFC and its Member Associations aims to encourage local communities to come out and play the beautiful game irrespective of their levels of abilities.
The participating teams have been invited based on regional representation from AFC’s five regions and the Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association’s (CPISRA) world rankings. Australia, Iran, Jordan, Korea Republic, Singapore and the hosts UAE will compete over six days at the Military Forces Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The tournament is supported by CPISRA and will be played in accordance with the Laws of the Game as laid down by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and published by FIFA with some exceptions made by CPISRA for seven-a-side football.
Two days prior to the tournament, the players will undergo classification by CPISRA officials headed by its Classification Officer Joan Steele-Mills to provide players and their coaches with a deeper understanding about classification and training practices for players with cerebral palsy.
Six referees have been selected from AFC’s MAs to officiate the tournament including graduating AFC Project Future Referees from Bahrain, Uzbekistan, China and Oman as well as FIFA referees from India and Malaysia. The referees will participate in a one-day referee workshop on disabled football led by referee instructor Stuart Sharp from Scotland.
AFC has also been arranging elite coaching courses for disability football throughout Asia and is now taking it a step further by combining the education and competition elements through the Dream Asia movement. AFC’s social responsibility initiatives are carried out under Dream Asia which is a movement that uses football for positive social change. It is led by the AFC, a centre of expertise and coordinator of a global network of organisations in the field of development through football.
A pre-tournament press conference with the team coaches will be held on March 31 at 1200 hrs at Khalidiya Room, Hilton, Abu Dhabi.