Education has been the theme in Kuala Lumpur over the past few weeks as the second part of the AFC Elite Education Seminar gets under way.

Courses have taken place for Elite Referee Assessors, Elite Referee Instructors, Fitness Instructors, Futsal Referees and Futsal Instructors

The first part was held in December 2010 as part of the preparation for the Asian Cup in Qatar in January 2011. Courses were held for Elite AFC Referees and Match Commissioners while there were also a ACL Champions League Workshop, a Local General Coordinator Course, a Seminar for Media Officers and a Club Licensing Course.

The coaches have also  been busy at the end of 2010, The Asian Coaches Year, with courses for Goalkeeping Coaches, Conditioning Instructors, Technical study Group members and Elite Coaching instructors.

There is no comparable educational event in world football and AFC is rightly very proud of its success.

The Elite Education Seminar is a major event in the AFC calendar and a major investment by the AFC in the future of Asian football.

Over the course of the Seminar over 500 instructors and specialists from all over Asia and beyond assemble in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I have been privileged to take part for the past three years and have witnessed at first hand the progress which has been made.

The results are tangible with improved performances by Asian teams in South Africa and at the same time excellent refereeing displays by the Asian trios. The AFC Asian Champions League is growing in importance and status and very, importantly for Asian football, is becoming financially stronger.

But the progress is not just in the professional game. Major investment is also being put into development programmes for grass roots through Vision Asia and the AFC Festivals of Football while young coaches and referees are developed in AFC Project Future. Again the progress has been dramatic.

Investment in education is an investment in the future and indeed “The Future is Asia.”

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