First Women’s Football Conference

Kuala Lumpur, Nov 17, 2016: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) again broke new ground in Kuala Lumpur this week with the first-ever Women’s Football Conference which has brought together some of the world’s leading women’s football experts.

The objective of the three-day conference is to elevate Asian women’s football to new heights on the international stage.

Women’s national team coaches and technical directors from AFC Member Associations and experts from the AFC’s sister Confederations from across the world are taking part in this inaugural three-day event to share expertise and experience for the benefit of women’s football in Asia.

Opening the conference, Moya Dodd, AFC Women’s Football Committee Chairperson and Executive Committee Member, said: “Five of the top twenty women’s football teams in the world are from the AFC. Our youth teams are picking up trophies in FIFA competitions.

“The AFC is fully committed to supporting all our Member Associations to realise their women’s football potential, in all the four categories of development across Asia: emerging countries, developing countries, challengers and FIFA World Cup finalists.”

Australia’s women’s national team coach Alen Stajcic and China national team coach Bruno Bini took part on the opening day discussing the experience of competing at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Bruno Bini stressed the importance of player development in reaching the top level while Australia’s women’s national team coach Alen Stajcic said: “We have several teams in the AFC that can challenge the top nations in the world. Asia can be the world’s number one in women’s football.”

The session was followed with insights from this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 finalists, DPR Korea coach Sin Jong-bok and Japan assistant coach Miyo Okamoto.

A legend of the women’s game Pia Sundhage, current Sweden women’s national team coach and two-time Olympic Games winner with the US women’s team, as well as former Chinese women’s national team assistant coach, opened day two with her insights about coaching at the top level.

Best practices from Jordan and Singapore were introduced by Abeer Malek Rantisi and Julie Teo respectively. Jordan FA will host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018, benefitting from their recent experience of organising the FIFA U-17 tournament. Women’s football in Singapore is developing at a steady pace, thanks to the Football Association of Singapore’s strategic approach to women’s football development.

Coaches Yoon Deok-yeo from Korea Republic and India’s Sajid Yousof Dar, Japan Football Association (JFA) Executive Committee member and Chairwoman of the JFA Women’s Committee Junko Imai and Moya Dodd highlighted the need for strategic coach education and nurturing female coaching talent, developing a women’s football culture and creating a way to learn to enjoy the game.

One of the highlights was the interview with Chan Yuen-ting, HK Eastern Sports Club head coach, who received international media attention leading her club to win the Hong Kong Premier League, as a female coach of a male team, last year.

Hope Powell, former coach of the English women’s national team and current coach educator at the Professional Footballers’ Association for England and Wales, will be the guest speaker tomorrow. —- AFC

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