The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has reached several milestones for its digital platforms, achieving a high amount of growth despite the suspension of fixtures.
The AFC had implemented a ‘fan-first’ digital strategy which proved to be successful, the 2020 figures so far have surpassed the number of engagements the AFC’S website and social platforms received in 2019.
Traffic on the AFC website increased by 185.5% between the last AFC Champions League match before lockdown on March 4 and the restart of the tournament on September 14.
The Arabic website of the AFC saw a 410.9% increase in traffic while over 10 million people engage with AFC polls across social media.
The AFC said that traffic had been strong in Vietnam, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Indonesia and Lebanon.
“Keeping our fans engaged with Asian football during the time when the AFC Competitions were postponed was a key objective and I am delighted to see the growth that the AFC has achieved,” Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, said in a statement.
“Now that our club competitions are beginning to return, we believe that the mix of live content alongside the very popular fan focused content of the last six months will drive the continued expansion of the AFC’s digital properties.”
On Wednesday, the AFC also thanked the Qatar Football Association and Qatari authorities for their efforts in hosting the opening match days of the AFC Champions League (West) group.
“The experience of all the participants – teams, officials, match officials and staff – has been outstanding from a world leading airport, to smooth and efficient immigration, to some of the best hotels in Asia, to cutting edge training facilities and now matches have been played in state-of-the-art stadiums with the very latest technology,” the AFC said in a statement.
“The medical support provided by the Qatari authorities in safeguarding the health and welfare of all the participants during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that Qatar’s non-football care is also exceptional.”
Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Three stadiums will be used for the FIFA World Cup – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium and the Education City Stadium were used for the AFC Champions League.