Tuesday, 11 December 2012

AFC-UEFA: a perfect partnership

 Kuala Lumpur: The AFC has a long-standing tradition of cooperation with fellow confederation but the historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Asian game's governing body and its European counterpart UEFA could mark the symbolic beginning of a new era in relations between the two confederations.
AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong and UEFA President Michel Platini put pen-to-paper on the wide-ranging MoU that will promote cooperation and friendly relations between the two confederations at a ceremony at AFC House on Tuesday,
The Mou was signed at AFC House in the presence of senior officials from both confederations with FIFA Vice President and AFC Executive Committee member HRH Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein standing alongside the AFC Acting President while UEFA Vice Presidents Senes Erzik and Marios N. Lefkartis were part of the European delegation.
The ground breaking agreement will pave the way to exchange information, knowledge and good practices on matters of common interest ushering in a new era of closer ties between the AFC, whose 46 Member and one Associate Member Associations represent over half the world's population, and UEFA, whose tournaments are amongst the most popular of all FIFA's confederations, with their competitions embraced every bit as much by fans the world over as they are in Europe.
Speaking at a media conference following the MoU signing, AFC Acting President Jilong expressed his belief that the agreement will enable the Asian game to develop by benefitting from the vast experience from UEFA.
"As UEFA is the benchmark of top quality football, we are proud to have this historical MoU signed with them, this partnership will definitely raise our standard," he said.
UEFA will provide assistance to AFC and its Member Associations in establishing and implementing projects and activities relating to education, training, technical development, refereeing, promotion of grassroots and youth football.
UEFA President Platini also requested the administration of both the confederations find the appropriate areas related with competitions and technical development.
"We just signed the MoU, so the next step for the administration is to identify appropriate areas in competitions or technical development," the legendary French player said.
FIFA Vice-President and AFC Executive Committee member HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein also assured Platini about the Asian confederation's commitment.
"We will look for the appropriate areas where we can work together and will definitely provide feedback," stated Prince Ali.

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