#AFCAsianCup2019 Fan Zones for UAE 2019 unveiled

Abu Dhabi: Football fans from the UAE and all over the world now know exactly where to come together when looking for a fun and engaging setting to experience the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 thanks to the launch of two official public fan zones.

Based in Towayya park in Al Ain and Al Bahar at Corniche in Abu Dhabi, the venues are offering the public with an entertaining space where they can enjoy all the drama and excitement of the tournament and an enthralling experience like no other to local and visiting football supporters from the opening match to the final on February 1.

A Vietnamese music group and Japanese Taiko drummers troop were the first to take to the stage on the opening couple of days with 50 more stage acts and 24 artists and bands confirmed to follow, providing live entertainment across the 28-day tournament. Both venues also have inflatables for kids, food trucks, mini-pitches and fun-filled games for all in the family including orb football, human foosball and more.

Open daily from 1pm to midnight, the zones are designed to serve as an informal meeting point for fans to enjoy the tournament, while experiencing the unique culture and warm hospitality of the UAE. Asian cultures will be represented heavily in the programme with participants from countries as far as Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, India and China.

Besides enjoying the footballing and cultural experience at the two venues, fans will have the chance to win a variety of prizes, giveaways and match tickets to the biggest AFC Asian Cup ever.

Speaking at the unveiling of the fan zones HE Aref Al Awani said: “Watching this tournament from inside the stadiums will be just amazing, but there is something really special about the AFC Asian Cup fans zones as well. What we have created is a unique and authentic football experience that allows everyone to celebrate their love for football in a very relaxed and friendly way.”

He continued: “Football for us is all about having fun. That is what these fans zones offer, and I hope that they act as joyful meeting points where fans can create memories of a lifetime from this amazing event.”

His comments were echoed by Dato’ Windsor John, General Secretary of the Asian Football Confederation, who was full of excitement at the atmosphere created for fans: “Fan zones have become a unique way of experiencing big football tournaments and this competition promises to raise the bar once again.

“I have great memories of fan zones at previous competitions and when I see the images of the UAE venues I can already picture how amazing it is going to be. To have passionate fans from all over the world gathered together, singing, dancing and celebrating, that is the true spirit of football.”

Running alongside the two city fans zones are stadium zones which will allow fans to enjoy the experience of the tournament even closer to the action. Special areas are designated in the concourse areas of all the eight stadiums hosting matches of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

AFC statement on beoutQ

AFC Blue Logo

Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) today condemns the pirate entity named ‘beoutQ’ that continues to illegally broadcast the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.

The AFC has already instructed counsel to take legal action in Saudi Arabia and is working alongside other sports rights owners that have also been affected to protect its interest.

The AFC will continue to support its commercial and broadcast partners by protecting their contractual rights.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

#AFCAsianCup2019 Turkmenistan, Lebanon arrive to rousing welcome

Lebanon team arrival 

Abu Dhabi: Turkmenistan and Lebanon have arrived for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 ahead of the Continental showpiece which kicks off on Saturday.

Both teams arrived in Dubai and have planned several training sessions before their respective UAE 2019 matches.

Yazguly Hojageldiyev’s Turkemistan will be making their second appearance in the Asian Cup following their debut in 2004 where they exited the group stage of the competition.

The Turkmen will rely on Altymyrat Annadurdyyew to lead their charge after the forward guided Altyn Asyr to the 2018 AFC Cup final.

The Emeralds are fired up after sealing a 2-0 win over Afghanistan in a friendly on December 25.

Turkmenistan play four-time champions Japan in their UAE 2019 opener on January 9 before taking on Uzbekistan on January 13 and Oman on January 17.

Miodrag Radulovic’s Lebanon will also be making their second appearance in the AFC Asian Cup after first appearing in the Continental competition in 2000, exiting the group stage.

The Chedars were treated to a rousing reception upon their arrival in Dubai as hundreds greeted Radulovic’s men.

Lebanon are in Group E of the competition and will open their account against Qatar on January 9 before facing Saudi Arabia on January 12 and DPR Korea five days later.

Photos: Football Federation of Turkmenistan, Lebanon Football Association

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website




AFC protects rights of commercial partners

AFC Blue Logo

Abu Dhabi: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has been made aware that unauthorised broadcasters may attempt to screen the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 matches in contravention of the AFC broadcast agreements.

The AFC, in order to protect the rights of its broadcast partners, has issued ‘cease and desist’ notices to the infringers.

The AFC takes any breaches of its commercial agreements very seriously and will also continue to take whatever action is appropriate to protect the interests of all its commercial partners.


Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

AFC rankings August 2017

The Caltex Socceroos are ranked third in Asia following the release of the FIFA World Rankings.

The Caltex Socceroos are ranked third in Asia following the release of the FIFA World Rankings.

With the latest FIFA rankings out, there has been some movement in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) though Iran remain number one in the region.

Iran continue to be number one ranked nation in Asia (and 24 in the world).

Moving up into second spot in Asia is Japan (44 in the world).

The Japanese replace the Caltex Socceroos who are now third spot (45 in the world).

Japan host Australia on August 31 in Tokyo in critical World Cup qualifier.

The rest of Asia is as follows…

4: Korea Republic (49 in the world)

5: Saudi Arabia (59 in the world)

6: Uzbekistan (64 in the world)

7: UAE (74 in the world)

8: China PR (77 in the world)

9: Qatar: (78 in the world)

10: Syria: (80 in the world

Caltex Socceroos v Thailand banner

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Iraq ban to host official internationals matches can end

Manama: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa met with an official Iraqi delegation led by Sports Minister Abdulhuseein Aabtan, President of the Olympic Committee Raad Hammoudi and Iraqi Football Association President Abed-Alkhaliq Masoud, during their visit to Bahrain on Friday.

Shaikh Salman welcomed the delegation, hailing Iraq’s current standing in Asia and the country’s efforts to provide the means for development.

The AFC President affirmed his full support for Iraq’s request to end the ban on the playing of international matches in Iraq, adding that the AFC will work continuously with FIFA to find a solution to the issue as quickly as possible.

Shaikh Salman also expressed his satisfaction with the findings of a FIFA delegation which recently inspected stadiums in Iraq, saying that he hopes the visit will support Iraq’s demands to play at home and in front of local fans.

The AFC President said that he will send a representative to Iraq to check on the needs of the Iraqi Football Association to host international matches, adding that the AFC can help train Iraqis so that they are able to assist in the hosting and organising of top level competitions.

The Iraqi delegation, meanwhile, thanked the AFC President for his continuous dialogue with the Asian football family, and hailed his determined efforts to grow and develop the AFC across all levels.


Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

David Gallop on FIFA World Cup expansion

FFA CEO David Gallop.

Football Federation Australia Chief Executive David Gallop said the FIFA Council’s unanimous decision to expand the number of countries contesting the FIFA World Cup Finals recognised the growth of the game outside of Europe and South America and the positive impact that being a part of the tournament has on local players and fans.


“Australia is part of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) where the most significant growth and investment is occurring and we expect this trend to continue over the coming years leading up to the World Cup expansion,” Mr Gallop said.

“As the quality of Asian football continues to improve, AFC Member Associations will justifiably deserve greater representation at the FIFA World Cup.”

Gallop said FFA would remain closely engaged through the AFC in discussions regarding the allocations of the extra slots and other details around how the 2026 tournament will operate.

“In the meantime we will stay focussed on achieving qualification for the Socceroos for next year’s World Cup in Russia and we hope all Australians will get behind the team for their final qualifying matches.”


Football Federation Australia

Women’s football making giant strides in Australia

Westfield Matildas

Monday, 21 November 2016

staff writers and AFC
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has praised the progress being made in Australia in the area of women’s football.

The AFC acknowledged that women’s football is developing in Australia at an impressive speed following the announcement that Westfield Matildas duo Caitlin Foord and Lisa De Vanna have been announced in the three-women shortlist for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Player of the Year Award, to be presented at the AFC Annual Awards in Abu Dhabi on December 1.

The shortlisting of Foord and De Vanna comes in the same week that the leading global role Australia has assumed in women’s football development was recognised by the 2016 International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Women and Sport Awards.

Australia remain Asia’s highest ranked women’s national team on the FIFA Women’s Rankings, with the Matildas currently in seventh.

“Australia’s role within Asia has been impressive – particularly in the area of women’s football,” said AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.

“They are an important contributor to the AFC, as their successful hosting of the Asian Cup 2015 demonstrated.

“We are looking forward to continuing our close co-operation with the Football Federation of Australia in the years to come for the benefit of football not only in Australia but in Asia as a whole under the banner of One Asia, One Goal.”

The future of the women’s game is also bright “Down Under”, with the young Matildas having recently qualified for the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship China 2017.

Australian female refereeing was in the international spotlight as Australian referees Kate Jacewicz and Renae Coghill, together with India’s Uvena Fernandes, completed the all-AFC affair at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan in October.

The FFA have also run an exchange programme with ASEAN members and female administrators from Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam have spent two weeks in Australia, participating in workshops, visiting the Australian Institute of Sport and spending time with FFA, regional association and W League club management. Participants from other ASEAN Member Associations will join the programme over the next 18 months.

But it is not only in women’s football that Australia, who joined the AFC in 2006, are taking an active and positive lead. Their support for the unity of Asian football has been backed by their assistance to many AFC Member Associations in the last year.

According to the AFC, the close co-operation with Football Federation Australia (FFA) has been a significant factor in aiding many of those Member Associations achieve their potential and the programmes are starting to show positive results.

Only recently the A League, Australia’s premier club competition, signed a historic agreement with Japan’s J-League in which the two countries will share technical, marketing and administrative expertise. The deal will also lead to the joint promotion of AFC Champions League games.

And to encourage Australian clubs to sign – and develop – players from other Asian countries the FFA Board has recently decided to move towards introducing the ‘plus one’ rule in the Hyundai A-League in coming seasons which will allow more Asian players to take part in the rapidly developing competition, which has seen increased crowds and television audiences this season as standards continue to rise.

In India, FFA have signed an MOU with the All India Football Federation where it is conducting grassroots participation programmes throughout schools in the State of Kerala.



Football Federation Australia

Saudi Arabia and Iran clubs to play at neutral venues in #AsianChampionsLeague2016

Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League 2016 matches involving clubs from Saudi Arabia and IR Iran will be played at neutral venues.

The AFC Competitions Committee decided in Doha in late January that the matches would be moved to neutral grounds if there had not been a return to normal relations between Saudi Arabia and IR Iran by March 15, 2016.

In a letter to both the Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) and the IR Iran Football Federation (IRIFF), the AFC said: “It is most unfortunate for the AFC to learn that at the time of writing, the Saudi Arabian government has yet to lift the travel restrictions on their nationals, which prohibit travel to IR Iran. This travel ban offers no special dispensation for football teams.

“Furthermore, there has been no significant development in the relationship between the two countries concerned, which was considered the main factor according to the AFC Competitions Committee decision dated January 25, 2016.”

In January, the AFC Competitions Committee agreed to switch the matches between clubs from Saudi Arabia and IR Iran to the later stages of AFC Champions League to allow the AFC to obtain independent evaluations on the political, safety and security situation in both countries by the deadline of March 15, 2016.

The letter added that in order to have an in-depth understanding of the safety and security status of bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and IR Iran, the AFC took several steps in line with the requests of the AFC Competitions Committee.

These were:

  1. International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) was engaged to carry out an independent evaluation and security risk assessment on both countries on behalf of the AFC.
  2. Members of the AFC Competitions Committee have attended and observed the home matches of IR Iran Football Federation (IRIFF) clubs against United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAEFA) clubs on February 23 and 24, 2016.
  3. AFC Security Officers and AFC Competition Managers were appointed for the home AFC Champions League matches of IRIFF clubs to monitor that all security matters are in place for smooth match operation delivery.
  4. AFC Match Commissioners appointed for the AFC Champions League matches on February 23 and 24, 2016 where IRIFF clubs played at home against UAEFA clubs were requested to submit additional reports on the security arrangements prepared by IRIFF and the respective host clubs.
  5. Both Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) and IRIFF were requested to submit by March 9 2016 a comprehensive report from their relevant Government agencies on the current situation of bilateral relations between both countries.

Both the SAFF and the IRIFF have now been given until March 25, 2016 to provide comprehensive details of the proposed neutral venues for the remaining games.

Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

Joint AFC-UEFA security workshops held in Iran, UAE

Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), in conjunction with UEFA, held security workshops in Iran and the United Arab Emirates last week in order to further share knowledge and expertise with the Member Associations and various other stakeholders.

The main objectives of the two visits were to assess the state of play in the two countries and to draw up future development plans for both Member Associations.

Representatives from the local leagues, the police and private security services providers along with national security officers, national club licensors and club security officers attended the joint AFC-UEFA initiative, which was organised under the AFC’s Kick-Off Development Programme.

The two-way approach of the workshops gave the participants the opportunity to learn from international experts, whilst allowing the AFC and UEFA experts to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced in different Member Associations.

The discussions at the workshops and meetings between experts concentrated on the countries’ relevant national laws and regulations, cooperation among leagues, clubs and local authorities and the common and unique challenges they face.

Following on from these exchanges, the AFC, in consultation with UEFA, will provide Iran and the UAE with a development plan proposal. This will include aspects such as a better local framework for cooperation, assistance with developing new guidelines and educational programmes according to the specific requirements.


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