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AFC Technical Committee introduces new awards to elevate technical standards

 The AFC Technical Committee approved a series of strategic decisions today aimed at strengthening the technical pillars of Asian football at its second meeting held in Doha, Qatar.

 Held just hours before the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024™ Final between Japan and Uzbekistan, the Committee, led by Chairperson Kohzo Tashima, sent their best wishes to both finalists and commended the Qatar Football Association for their outstanding organisational capabilities.

Taking into account the meteoric rise of women players plying their trade outside Asia, the Committee underscored its commitment to celebrating excellence in women’s football by broadening the scope of recognition through the introduction of the AFC Women's International Player of the Year Award, a brand new accolade complementing the existing AFC Women's Player of the Year.

The Committee also approved and refined the eligibility criteria for both honours. Any candidate for the AFC Women's Player of the Year must be Asian, a regular national team player, and must also be playing in the AFC competitions, as well as the leagues of the AFC's Member Associations (MAs).

 Meanwhile, those vying for the AFC Women's International Player of the Year must be Asian, playing in the leagues of other Confederations, and have recorded significant achievements for country or club.

Additionally, the Committee acknowledged the pivotal role of goalkeepers in the modern game by introducing the Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award in the revamped AFC Champions League Elite - Final Stage, which commences from the 2024/25 season. This initiative is aimed to highlight the exceptional contributions of goalkeepers and elevate their status within the game.

 The members also welcomed and unanimously approved the 'Positive Play' campaign, which is designed to promote attractive, attacking football to enhance the overall experience for players, coaches and spectators alike, setting a positive expectancy for future tournaments.

 ‘Positive Play’ is designed to focus on key indicators such as goals scored, shots on target, and overall quality of the game. It will be piloted in all upcoming AFC youth tournaments with the winning team receiving a certificate of achievement.

 Additionally, the Committee also approved the updated Regulations for the AFC Coaching Convention and received updates on various technical events and initiatives, including the AFC Coaching Convention, AFC Elite Youth Scheme and AFC Grassroots Charter, underscoring its commitment to advancing coaching standards, nurturing talent and growing a passion for the beautiful game across the AFC’s MAs.

 All decisions will need to be ratified by the AFC Executive Committee to take effect.

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