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AFC to expand Asian Champions League and Women’s Asian Cup

The AFC

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have announced they will increase the number of teams in the AFC Champions League and AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

After an AFC executive committee meeting for the 2019-2023 cycle, it was decided further investment would be made in these two competitions.

Starting in 2021, the AFC Champions League will be expanded to include 40 teams in the continental competition. Eight more clubs will be included in the tournament, with four more sides added in both of the East and West zones.

The expansion will occur without any change to the existing slots for the best six Member Associations.

The AFC Women’s Asian Cup will expand to 12 teams in 2022, up from the eight teams who participated in the tournament last year in Jordan. The AFC still have to decide who will host the 2022 tournament, with countries including Chinese Taipei, India and Uzbekistan all submitting proposals.

“As you know we have always looked to grow the women’s game in Asia with new initiatives and that has been rewarded by world champions in FIFA competitions at every level,” AFC Vice President Saoud Al Mohannadi told committee members.

“We were the first Confederation to have at least five women ExCo Members and one of the few to appoint a woman referee to men’s competitions in the AFC Cup.

“And one of our Executive Members, Kanya Keomany, will be the first female match commissioner to be appointed for a men’s club competition final – the AFC Cup final at the start of next month.

“The start of the new Commercial cycle, with our exclusive partners, DDMC Fortis, is the perfect time to launch this new era in Asian football. It will be an era of excellence and inclusiveness.”

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Football Coaches Australia welcomes Sports Integrity Australia independent investigation

FCA

Football Coaches Australia (FCA) welcomed the broad independent investigative mandate provided by Football Australia to Sport Integrity Australia, encompassing four different areas – harassment, bullying, intimidation and discrimination.

FCA encourages current and former players, administrators, referees and coaches, as well as parents and others involved in football in Australia to come forward through this process to enhance the positive cultural development in our sport.

FCA President Phil Moss stated: “As an organisation we have sought transparency, due process and procedural fairness from day one, so we fully support an independent and wide-ranging investigation into the culture of football in Australia.

“We must, as a game, hold ourselves to the highest of standards.

“The culture we live every day, how we treat each other and ensuring we are setting up the next generation to enjoy our great game is of paramount importance and entirely non-negotiable.”

Newly elected FCA Vice President Sarah West endorsed Phil’s statement:

“Everyone in our sport, from professional players, coaches, referees, administrators and staff through to those involved at the grass roots, has the right to participate in a positive and safe environment and to be treated with respect and fairness.

“There is no place in our game for abuse or harassment of any kind. This unacceptable behaviour harms people and diminishes the game.

“As coaches we have a duty of care to those we are entrusted to work with and must endeavour to always create environments which provide safety, trust and inclusivity so that everyone can enjoy the beautiful game on and off the pitch.”

Media inquiries can be directed to FCA Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Warry, on +61 417 346 312

Manchester City teams up with Qualtrics

Manchester City Qualtrics

English Premier League side Manchester City have announced a new partnership with Qualtrics which will see the leader and creator of the Experience Management (XM) category become the Club’s Official Experience Management Software Partner.

Qualtrics empowers organisations to listen to customer and employee feedback, understand and analyse what they hear, then take action to improve experiences and design new ones, all in real time.

Manchester City and Qualtrics’ new partnership aligns with the club’s ongoing commitment to provide the best possible matchday experience for fans and will allow the club to use industry-leading experience management software to listen to fans’ feedback following each fixture.

From overall matchday experience – to catering, facilities, retail and more – Qualtrics can provide valuable insight and real-time data from fans to help the club shape their future strategic planning and decisions.

The new partnership is also expected to include further activations across wider areas of the organisation in coming months, using Qualtrics’ experience management software to listen to fan feedback and enhance the digital experience for Cityzens across the globe.

Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships Sales at City Football Group, Stephan Cieplik:

“As a club, we are continually working to improve our matchday offering for fans both in-stadium and across our digital platforms for those following across the globe,” he said.

“Through this new partnership with Qualtrics, we will be able to use industry-leading software to gather valuable feedback and insight from those at the heart of our club to help shape future decisions around matchdays.”

Qualtrics President of Products and Services, Brad Anderson:

“With Qualtrics, Manchester City can listen to and understand fan feedback in real time and take action to improve matchday experiences,” he said.

“But fan experience isn’t limited to the stadium — the digital and at-home fan experience is just as important, and Qualtrics will help Manchester City to deliver a personalized experience to their fans wherever they are.”

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