The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) dedication to build on the strong foundations of football in the Continent and to ensure that the sport remains the number one sport in Asia was strengthened further, as 41 Member Associations pledged to join the AFC Grassroots Football Day 2021 celebrations.
Following strict health and safety protocols, more than 230,000 participants of all ages, backgrounds and abilities from across Asia are expected to join the annual football festival organised by the Member Associations.
AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa acknowledged the significance of the AFC Grassroots Football Day to the continent’s sporting aspirations.
“The grassroots movement has made incredible progress across the Continent in recent years, and I am pleased to welcome the return of the AFC Grassroots Football Day, which once again reinforces our optimism towards the safe and successful resumption of Asian football in 2021,” he said.
“Our aspiration is to see everyone, regardless of their age, ability, gender and background, across all corners of Asia, presented with opportunities not just to develop a passion for the beautiful game, but to cultivate strong values, build resilience, character and transferable skills, through a lifelong journey in football.
“It has been a challenging, and at times uncertain journey, and I would like to warmly thank all the AFC MAs as well as our valued and loyal stakeholders for their continued support and for believing in our Vision to expand the reach of football.”
Tournaments such as the Chinese Football Association’s “Enjoy The Game” National Grassroots Championship are expected to attract more than 200,000 passionate participants across the tournament’s runtime from May to December.
Meanwhile, the Kyrgyz Football Union and the Philippine Football Federation are inviting national team players to share their inspiring experience to young players, whilst the Mongolian Football Federation will initiate a promotional campaign titled “Football is everywhere” to celebrate the grassroots event in 21 provinces across the country.
As part of the AFC, Football Australia will be introducing a “MiniRoos AFC Grassroots Gala Day” in an effort to celebrate the driving force of community engagement and the encourage more children to play football.
The Football Association of Indonesia and the Syrian Football Association will make a return to the Continental grassroots festival this year, while six Member Associations – Bhutan, India, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam and Singapore will mark their eight successive year of participation with a series of workshops, tournaments and game stations.