News article from AFC hints at Australia potentially taking part again in 2012
Editors Note : Australia took part in the 2010 AFC Club Championship (NSW Thunder represented us after winning the Canberra Nationals), but was excluded from this years tournament as presumably we didn’t have a national futsal league and an active futsal committee at the national level. Our history in the Club Championships can be seen on all of the F4A articles here.
The article below on the-afc.com seems to imply Australia may be taking part again. It would be interesting to see if the re-inclusion of Australia is due to relaxed eligibility criteria, or whether new tournaments like the F-League which cross state boundaries (though only one state boundary presently) have had an impact on how Futsal in Australia is viewed by outside parties.
We skipped any AFC Club Championship articles for this years tournament due to no involvement from our local area (AUS/NZ/PI), but now with the prospect of involvement next year, it becomes more relevant. Click here for video highlights of this years matches from www.the-afc.com.
Thanks to Damian Briggs, Scott Kidson and Chris Colley for the AFC information sent through over the past couple of weeks.
Doha: AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Futsal Department Director Ali Targholizade believes the sport is fast gaining popularity on the continent and the successful implementation of a few upcoming projects will further boost its growth.
“When you compare this edition of the AFC Futsal Club Championship with the inaugural edition held in Iran last year, we see plenty of positives,” the Iranian told www.the-afc.com.
“There’s an overall improvement in the level of performance by all teams, especially those from Uzbekistan and Thailand. The Technical Committee is happy with the review report and we strongly feel the level is steadily going up.”
Targholizade (pictured left) revealed that next year’s AFC Futsal Club Championship will be the biggest yet with no fewer than seven nation’s sending teams to take part and attributed this rapid growth to a collective effort from all those involved in the Asian indoor game.
“With the League champions from Australia, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Myanmar, UAE and the Philippines joining the 2012 edition, the sport can only get better,” he said.
“And it has been happening because of the earnest efforts of all key stakeholders – the players, coaches, administrators and AFC officials.
“The AFC has made it a point to conduct as many coaching courses as possible in order to improve the technical standard. Moreover, from this tournament onwards, Level 1 licence has been made mandatory for coaches of participating clubs. I believe that too has done a power of good,” he said.
While Asian futsal is increasing exponentially thanks to all those involved in the sport in the continent, Targholizade also admits that the influence of non-Asian professional players has also played its part in the growth of the game.
“We’ve players of world standard mainly in Iran and Japan,” the 49-year-old continued.
“In addition to that, the non-Asian professional players who’ve been coming to various Asian clubs have set high standards to their team-mates. I feel that too has contributed in a big way.
Iran, and to a lesser extent Japan, have been the standard bearers for Asian futsal and Targholizade attributes this to their well-established domestic leagues.
And it is the club game in Asia that the AFC is striving to develop, with the Technical Study Group Co-ordinator waxing lyrical about the administrative body’s comprehensive plans to promote and advance futsal.
“In fact, it’s that success formula the AFC wants to spread to the rest of Asia. We’re in the process of preparing professional club licensing along the lines of the AFC Champions League model by 2014, and it should bring drastic changes to the way the game is played and perceived on the continent.
“Meanwhile, the AFC’s “Train the Trainers” programme has been launched with the idea of improving the overall standard of coaching and its first edition was held at the AFC Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“As many as 27 participants from 22 countries took part in that, and we’ll have its second edition from October 1 to 6. The AFC has also lined up a few workshops for teams participating in its futsal tournaments.
“Come next year, directors from those countries, and experts from Spain and Italy will assemble at a workshop and will exchange expertise”.