Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Second phase of 'Vision Asia' in two Chinese cities

The implementation of the Vision Asia program in the Chinese cities of Wuhan and Qingdao is progressing to the second phase. Launched by Asian Football Confederation president, Mohamed Bin Hammam, the program is a football development master plan integrating marketing, coach education, competition, football fans, futsal, media, national associations and clubs, referees, sports medicine, women’s football and youth and grassroots.

Customised as Vision China, the program’s first-phase successfully launched city leagues in Wuhan and Qingdao in May 2005. A midseason review in both cities conducted by the AFC and China Football Association revealed that 346 players from 12 clubs participated in Wuhan Division 1 and 66 matches in 11 rounds were played. In the Qingdao City League 409 players from 14 clubs participated and 91 matches in 13 rounds were played.

“The enthusiasm and commitment of the City Governments, the Sports Bureaus and the City FAs to Vision China and football development remains at a high level,” the AFC reported.

The AFC and CFA met on 30 November to plan Vision China for 2006 with the main focus on future directions and strategies aimed at rolling out Vision China to many more Chinese cities and provinces.

In Wuhan and Qingdao, the second-phase will focus on the continuing development of the city leagues and establishing well-structured grassroots (elementary schools) and youth (clubs) competitions. The city league plans include setting up Second Divisions and the introduction of promotion and relegation; upgrading and refresher courses for club and league management, coaches and referees; and strengthening marketing and promotion.

The AFC conducted two ‘Grassroots and Youth’ workshops in the cities in September 2005 to provide key officials and coaches with the latest knowledge of youth and grassroots football development policy and practices.

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