AFC begins inspections of Asian national leagues

Under the chairmanship of Japan Football Association President Saburo Kawabuchi, the Professional League Committee of the Asian Football Confederation has begin a series of inspections of 21 national leagues to assess their organisation, technical standard, attendance, governance, marketing and promotion, business scale, match operations, media, stadia and facilities and clubs in preparation for improving and relaunching them at the highest professional level. This will become a prerequisite for participating in future editions of the AFC Champions League.

The inspection team's seven stops in the first phase of its visits, which will last through 9 June will be Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, China, South Korea and Singapore. Each stop will take between four and seven days. "The Committee is seeking the confirmation of schedules from the remaining countries in order to complete the necessary evaluation prior to November 2007," the AFC said.

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