AFC Grassroots Football Day: A resounding success
Friday, May 20, 2016

Kuala Lumpur: The recent AFC Grassroots Football Day has been hailed as a resounding success with a record number of Member Associations contributing to the event.


More than Under-12 200 girls and boys participated in the grassroots festival organized by the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) in Kabul to celebrate the AFC Grassroots Football Day on May 15.

The festival was conducted by 30 young and aspiring coaches who were also benefactors of the AFF’s development efforts, having completed a training course specifically for grassroots and youth football coaching in the lead up to the festival.

With the assistance from the AFC and FIFA, Afghanistan has been able to construct artificial football pitches in the past decade, which has enabled the growth of the grassroots game. The AFF president, Mr. Keramuddin Karim, who addressed participants at the beginning of the festival, was quick to note the progress of the grassroots game but stressed his desire to ensure that the AFF continued to expand the movement to the wider community.

He added that the festival had achieved its outcome to forge closer ties between the federation, players and parents.


THE National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) organised a nation-wide grassroots festival in partnership with DST, the country’s leading telecommunications provider.

Following the success of last Sunday’s festival, the campaign will continue at the Arena Sports Complex, Seria in the Belait district. The festival is open to children between the ages of six and 12 and will provide all participants with a free jersey as part of efforts to ignite their passion for the beautiful game.

The NFABD is also working with the Ministry of Education to invite students from schools to participate in the festival, which will conclude at the Batu Apoi Sports Complex in Temburong on May 29.


The Hong Kong Football Association celebrated the AFC Grassroots Football Day in style with a focus on three activities – a four-a-side grassroots tournament for children from ages four to eight, an Under-12 regional girls’ competition and a football ‘Family-Love Camp.’

More than 150 boys and girls played four-a-side matches with a rolling substitution system to expand the opportunities for players of all abilities to participate, exemplifying the grassroots spirit of inclusivity. The Under-12 Girls 7-a-side football tournament also attracted 70 participants at the Shun Lee Tsuen Playground.

Thirty families took part in the ‘Family-Love Camp,’ which was organised to promote family bonding through small-sided football matches and team building activities.


Grassroots football festivals in more than 100 districts in India were organised by the All Indian Football Federation (AIFF), reaching out to more than 10,000 participants nationwide. From Manipur to Punjab, New Delhi to Anantapur, the joys of grassroots football was reverberated in all corners of the world’s second most populous nation.

Clubs from the I-League and the Indian Super League, State Associations, Grassroots Centres as well as over 70 private academies held several exciting activities, ranging from festivals, camps, clinic to grassroots courses, with a specific focus on creating more opportunities for children.

The northern province of Xayaboury was the main stage of the Laos Football Federation’s (LFF) AFC Grassroots Football Day celebrations. A total of 200 boys and girls from various primary schools gathered to hone their skills and cultivate good sporting habits.

As part of this year’s celebrations, the LFF also partnered with schools to highlight the harmful effects of substance abuse and to stress the importance of health and fitness.

Small sided games and technical drills were the key features of the AFC Grassroots Football Day organised by the Lebanese Football Association (LFA). In total, 220 players, ages 10 to 12 from different regions of the country gathered to participate in four small sided matches and technical exercises each.

The Lebanon FA has been working with the Ministry of Education to enhance the development of the grassroots game in the country by leveraging on the support of sports teachers in public schools and arranging festivals in the various cities of Lebanon, culminating with the fun-filled festival in capital city Beirut.


The Thuwunna YTC Stadium in Yangon hosted 250 schoolchildren and teachers as part of Myanmar’ Football Federation’s (MFF) celebrations the AFC’s Grassroots Football Day.

The MFF has been working with the Ministry of Education to identify and train selected school teachers to expand the pool of the country’s football coaches. In the longer term, the MFF plans to step up the development of grassroots football through the establishment of township associations by the end of this year.

Some 160 children from 16 different schools participated in the grassroots programme organised by the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) at the Sano Timi ground in Bhaktapur.

In his welcome address, ANFA CEO Indra Man Tuladhar, said: “Football is a game that can be enjoyed by everyone at any place. You can play at any ground or anywhere you desire with anything that is round. The purpose of this festival is to let the children enjoy the game from an early age.

“The ANFA is committed to develop football from grassroots and to meet our goal of designing various programmes that will allow children to be involved in the game.”

AFC Coaching Instructor Vincent Subramaniam, who was in Nepal conducting the AFC ‘A’ Coaching Licence Course, said: “Football is not just a game. It teaches you fair play, discipline, dedication, hard work and healthy lifestyle. Football is a way of life,” he said, encouraging the children to give equal time and attention to their education.

“For this reason, the AFC has been planning out different programmes aimed at developing grassroots football at all levels.”

Some 250 children participated in the AFC Grassroots Day in three venues in the Davao Region. All 33 members of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) including 11 in Mindanao conducted separate football clinics simultaneously.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) celebrated the AFC Grassroots Day with an activity-filled weekend at the Serangoon Stadium, with the highlight being the mini-games on Saturday, 14th May involving children from the FAS Cubs Centres.

The Singapore Cerebral Palsy (CP) National Team then played an exhibition match against the Cubs’ coaches and parents at the fun-filled event, which underlined FAS’ commitment to developing football in Singapore at all levels. The festivities continued on Sunday 15th May, when more children from the FAS Cubs programme took part in mini-games at the Cubs Centre at Sembawang Primary School.

“We are delighted to see how much the children enjoyed the games. It just goes to show the true power of football, which can bring people together regardless of who they are. The Singapore CP National Team is a great example for all Singaporeans to follow, and we are delighted to have them celebrating the AFC Grassroots Day with us as a family,” said Ms Julie Teo, General Manager, Grassroots and Women’s Football.

In addition to these activities, a group of 25 individuals joined the grassroots football community after completing their Grassroots Coaching Course. The graduates of the fifth FAS Grassroots Coaching Course will now serve as coaches at the various grassroots programmes.

The Uzbekistan Football Federation (UFF) partnered the Ministry of Education and Children's Sports Development Foundation to organise a grassroots festival for 220 boys and girls from various schools in Tashkent, capital of the central Asian nation.

Unfazed by inclement weather, participants were provided the opportunity to hone their skills through the various technical stations, under the expert guidance of the UFF grassroots coaches. The festival concluded with a prize giving ceremony, with awards given to every participant as part of efforts to embody the essence of grassroots football.


Photos courtesy of participating Member Associations
Source: The Asian Football Confederation


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