Asian Football Confederation Vice-President Moya Dodd, attended the AFC U-14 Girls’ Festival of Football in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and shared her views with the AFC's Ngo Tien Thanh on ways to develop women’s football in Asia:
Q: What is the most difficult problem the AFC and member associations are facing in its efforts to develop women’s football in Asia at the moment?
A: I think it is at the grassroots level and in resorting to it so that the players can move through the development parts and become a league player for Asia to thrive at the top level. There is no shortage of players at the grassroots level. The game is growing very fast. I think it is the fastest growing sport. I think the sport in all of Asia has been football, so we have grown. There are challenges in putting the resources at the right level to make sure that we can see these young players come through to the very top of a league in the world ...
Q: Some countries have not paid enough attention to women’s football. What advice would you give to those countries to help promote women’s football there?
A: I would say that if you want football to thrive in your countries you must pay attention to the part of population which has not had much opportunity to play or to participate in the past. It is important for Asian football to ask itself at every level -- are we having a similar opportunity to put the girls as we put the boys at every level? Do we have access to the playing ground, access to the coaches and competitions that we can run?
I think each member association should ask themselves -- am I creating similar opportunities as I’ve been creating for the boys? If they can answer ‘YES’ to that question, then they can be confident they will see women’s football to be well established in their country.
Read the full interview.