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Tashkent: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Member Association Development Department has held its first AFC League Development Programme (LDP) in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

The programme, which was organised by the Uzbekistan Football Federation and the Uzbekistan Professional League (PFL), aimed to further promote and advance the development of football in Uzbekistan.

AFC Development Officer Yogesh Desai, with AFC Development Committee Member Farhad Magametov was also in attendance, began by sharing more details about the LDP and the assistance it provides. The PFL officials also detailed their current league and club structure, and shared their vision of making the league a sustainable business model in order to maintain the growth of football throughout Uzbekistan.

Two areas have been identified where the PFL require further assistance, namely market and technical development.

Marketing, revenue generation and sponsorship management is crucial in ensuring a continuous sustainability, which the PFL currently struggles to do so. The PFL officials outlined the need to engage a full-time expert - through the AFC Expert Pool Scheme - to oversee the marketing and sponsorship management, to develop a marketing strategy for the league and clubs, and also to serve as a mentor to the clubs’ marketing managers will be highly beneficial..

The PFL also highlighted the need for a technical expert who can assist the clubs in technical development, especially youth development. The PFL has its own pool of coaches and trainers with the AFC ‘A’ and ‘Pro’ certificates, but believes practical mentorship would be advantageous.

Photos: AFC