Kuala Lumpur: The inaugural AFC ‘Aspiring’ Member Association of the Year award has gone to the Pakistan Football Federation.
The prestigious award is given to a Member Association in recognition of its professional administration and governance as well its exceptional contribution to the development and promotion of the game at all levels within their country.
Pakistan Football Federation President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hyat received the award from AFC Executive Committee Member Ganbold Buyannemekkh.
“This award reflects the good work going on back home. The real winners are the thousand of boys and girls who play football and several coaches, referees and officials who work tirelessly throughout the year,” said Hyat.
Over the years Pakistan has been active in many development activities in football. It’s a large country and football is played everywhere in Pakistan.
This award will give us more reason to work at the grassroots level. I would like to thank the AFC management for recognising our effort.
Recognising the diversity of MA’s in terms of facilities and resources and looking to ensure that more nations will receive recognition for their efforts and achievements in developing football in their country, the AFC introduced three winners for the Member Association of the Year award as opposed to just one.
The AFC’s 46 Member Associations have been divided into three categories namely ‘Inspiring’, ’Developing’ and ‘Aspiring’. The category reflects the tier of AFC club competition the country is eligible to participate in.
Nations whose club sides are eligible for the AFC Champions League are in the ‘Inspiring’ category; nations that take part in the AFC Cup are placed in the ’Developing’ category, while the AFC President’s Cup participating nations occupy the ‘Aspiring’ category.
In addition to inaugural winners Pakistan, nations in the ‘Aspiring Member Association’ category are: Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, DPR Korea, Guam, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Nepal, Palestine, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Member Associations are assessed and awarded points on various areas encompassing the association’s activities such as the organisation of courses and seminars, competitions, grassroots and youth development, social responsibility and special projects.
Points are also given for an MA’s hosting of AFC qualifying and finals tournaments as well as their national and club team’s placing in AFC competitions throughout the year.