November 22 -The AFC kicked off its third Grassroots Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday with a series of awards recognising the unsung heroes of grassroots football in Asia.
Japan’s Masakatsu Setowaki was recognised as Best Grassroots Leader; India’s Anantapur Sports Academy was crowned as the Best Grassroots Project; and Best Grassroots Club was awarded to Japan’s Kasuga Eagles Club.
AFC General Secretary Datuk Seri Windsor John, who presented the awards, emphasised the importance of strong grassroots to grow the game across Asia and provide a pipeline of players into the elite levels of the game.
“The manner in which our Member Associations have worked together to develop the beautiful game has been incredible and thus, it is only fitting that we kick this Conference off with the AFC Special Grassroots Awards to recognise the efforts of our grassroots heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes,” said John.
“The AFC has outlined its Vision to ensure football remains the Continent’s most popular sport, and in order to grow the game in a sustained manner, we must never neglect the grassroots.
“But we must also remember that while grassroots football plays an integral role in developing future stars, it is also at this stage that we mould well-rounded individuals through valuable lessons such as team spirit, discipline, and social inclusion. I thank and congratulate you all for your invaluable contribution to the sport,” he added.
The AFC has encouraged its sponsor partners to work deeper with their member nations and their initiatives. The AFC’s Official Global Supporter Kelme presented the award winners with 60 footballs each.
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