WAFF Schedules it's Championships in line with AFC and FIFA Agendas

Friday 29/01/2021
The West Asian Football Federation has stressed the importance that its agenda of activities for the current year 2021 are in line with the championships and activities of the AFC and FIFA and all the member  associations in the region.

On Sunday January 24, 2021, WAFF held a consultative meeting with the technical directors and officials of women's the department at the member associations, with the aim of reviewing the plan of the upcoming championships in the region, and proposing visions of the activities that it intends to organize this year, in order to ensure that no interference occurs between them, and to be able to set it up in a way that guarantees the greatest possible participation.

At the beginning of the meeting, which was held via video-conference, the General  Secretary of WAFF, Khalil Al Salem, welcomed the attendees, emphasized permanent participation that binds WAFF with the member associations, noting that the meeting, which was usually held annually, aims to reach consensus formulas before preparing the 2021 agenda, it is expected to gain intensity at all levels and for both genders, with the creation of new tournaments.

Al Salem did not deny the big challenges that WAFF is still facing to determine the dates of its tournaments in its final form, taking into consideration that the agenda of WAFF depends on the agendas of the AFC and FIFA as well as the member associations, in comparison to the exceptional circumstances imposed by the pandemic and the future variables it may impose related to the nature of the epidemiological situation.

In her turn, Abeer Al Rantisi, Head of Competitions at WAFF, presented the outlines of the tournaments and activities included in the calendar of WAFF in the current year 2021, and confirmed that her discussion with the representatives of the member associations came to achieve public interests in a way that serves the football system in all its components and at its various levels in the region.

Moreover, the agenda included 4 championships for men in 2021; the 10th WAFF Men Championship that was postponed from last year, and it was proposed to be held either from June 23 to August 20, or from December 24, 2021 to January 7, 2022, and to be held according to two proposals; the first proposal with the group stage during the first proposed period and the semi-final and final rounds during the second proposed period, while the second proposal with the championships system during the above proposed periods.

The agenda also included the 2nd WAFF U23 Men Championship, proposed to be held during the FIFA days in June and September, in addition to during July and August, noting that the date for the Asian Qualifiers for the U23 AFC Asian Cup has been determined from 23 to 31 October 2021.

As for the 8th WAFF U16 Boys Championship and the 2nd U19 Boys Championship, WAFF proposed to hold them during the last quarter of 2021, and stressed their importance to focus on the age groups that will participate in the Asian Qualifiers in 2022, due to the lack of championships for both age groups on the AFC agenda this year due to its change of age groups participating in the upcoming Asian Qualifiers.

In regards to the women's championships, WAFF intends to organize 4 championships as well, including the 7th WAFF Women Championship, which was set to take place next June, and that the host country will be determined later after addressing the member associations, and the plan includes the organization of the 3rd WAFF U15 Girls Championship and the 3rd WAFF U18 Girls Championships, either in June or July 2021, to be held as preparatory tournaments before the Asian Qualifiers. 

WAFF is also seeking to organize the 2nd WAFF Women Clubs Championship next May, hosted by the Jordan Football Association, in addition to its intention to organize the 2nd WAFF Beach Soccer Championship in cooperation with Beach Soccer Worldwide, and to organize futsal championships for men and women, while discussing with the AFC the possibility of including these championships as official qualifiers for the continental finals, with the aim of developing beach soccer and futsal in the West Asia region.

Additionally, in implementation of the vision of WAFF to develop eSports, WAFF intends to establish it's first championship of this kind in the region and to discuss with the member associations that are active within eSports, in order to work together to expand it in the region in coordination with FIFA and member associations.

Regarding the administrative activities, WAFF will continue to hold a series of activities on a monthly basis to complement what it previously had done, represented by workshops and courses covering various topics, while keeping the door open for member associations proposals regarding any additional topics that would contribute to the development of the competencies of football.

On their part, the representatives of member associations agreed on the great importance of the WAFF championships to support their plans and contribute to the development of their teams and at the same time push towards improving the administrative aspects.

In addition, they presented the current and future programs of their member associations, and they also praised the role of WAFF through its keenness to continue organizing its tournaments despite the current challenges, and its constant keenness to consult and coordinate with member associations before approving its annual plan. This allows expanding the base of attendance and participation in these tournaments and helps to create a suitable and ideal atmosphere for the teams before appearing in any AFC and FIFA championships, and they considered that the new activities, whether competitive tournaments or workshops, are an important step within development.

Furthermore, the representatives of the member associations stressed the importance of tournament dates and the need to choose them in line with the activities of the AFC and FIFA in light of the changes that may occur to tournaments due to the current situation because of the pandemic.

In the end of the meeting, Al Salem ensured that the doors of WAFF will remain open for consultation and coordination, and the meeting came out with important and appreciated notes, and that they will be taken into consideration with the continuity of communication with the member associations to stay fully informed on all developments and thus reach goals agreed upon by all.