Prince Ali's speech at the Inaugural Conference for Regional Federations in Bangkok
Remarks by HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein
FIFA Vice President
Inaugural Conference for Regional Federations
July 10, 2012
Your Royal Highness,
Brothers and friends in football,
It is truly an honor to address this important gathering today, the Inaugural Conference for Regional Federations from Amman, Jordan, the headquarters of the West Asian Football Federation.
I commend your leadership, Your Royal Highness, in reaching out to all our colleagues in Asia in order to work hand in hand, increase communication and strengthen cooperation in the best interest of the wider Asian football community; from the youngest players at the grassroots level to our passionate fans.
The Asian Football Confederation family comprises forty-six member associations that are congregated into four regional football federations, each serving their football zone.
Our regional federations, the ASEAN, West Asia, East Asian and South and Central. All represent the principal pillars of the Asian Football Confederation. They are part and parcel of AFC.
AFC cannot work independently of these football federations. Similarly, our regional federations cannot advance without AFC’s leadership and its full cooperation.
It is in the spirit of unity, solidarity and harmony in the Asian football family, that I wrote to the Presidents of the regional zones last October, in my capacity as both FIFA Vice President, as well as President of the West Asian Football Federation; to garner support from all of you to seek the official recognition of our four regional federations by the AFC.
Embracing our own federations will only strengthen our football family; in spirit and in action. AFC can and should play a more proactive role to enhance cooperation, support our programs, and encourage football exchanges on the competition and developmental levels between all four regions.
The AFC took an important step last month by inviting representatives of the four federations to discuss their respective proposals for future cooperation and intra-regional integration, particularly in relation to competitions.
Allow me to share a few suggestions presented by West Asia;
- First: Enhancing coordination on match calendars amongst the regional federations and AFC
- Second: Capitalizing on regional competitions by utilizing them as AFC qualifiers for AFC competitions
- Third: Drawing on our regional federations in the referee selection whereby the referee should come from a zone outside of the participating teams’ zones. This ensures fair play in all AFC matches.
- Fourth: Creating educational and training courses for the regional federations with AFC in conjunction with their competitions.
These are a mere handful of ideas that I hope will be thoroughly discussed with you and AFC. I am confident that my colleagues in the East, ASEAN and South and Central also have their own propositions, further enriching the debate as Asian football strives to develop and move forward.
In closing, I would like to thank His Royal Highness Sultan Ahmed Shah, and my colleagues at the ASEAN Football Federation, for the opportunity to share my thoughts with this distinguished gathering today.
I wish you a successful conference and I look forward to continuing the dialogue to further strengthen intra-regional cooperation and consolidate our relationship with AFC in the best interest of Asian football and in the service of our players, coaches, referees, and dedicated fans across the continent.