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Shanghai: Building on the success of the inaugural Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Elite Club Coaches Forum, the second event kicked off in Shanghai today with top coaches from across Asia.

Among those attending is Choi Kang-hee, the AFC Coach of the Year 2016, as well as coaches from Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, China PR, Korea Republic, Japan and Australia.

Former England coach Fabio Capello, now with Jiangsu Suning from China, was also in the group along with former Tottenham and Saudi’s Al Ahli manager Christian Gross, and another former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas now with AFC Champions League quarter-finalists Shanghai SIPG.

Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President, said that the event was in line with the AFC’s Vision and Mission. He added: “I am delighted that so many club coaches and technical directors are in Shanghai to be a part of this second forum which will help deliver the AFC’s objectives of improving the technical skills and competitiveness of Asian teams.

“These experienced coaches will provide the AFC with some crucial learnings and I am grateful for their contribution to football in Asia.”

Andy Roxburgh, AFC Technical director, was delighted at the growing influence of the event. He said: “This gathering is unique in Asia because it gives the coaches from all the top clubs a chance to share ideas, innovations and, in some cases, their challenges.

“They have the chance to make suggestions on the future direction of elite club football in Asia and an input into the structure and format of the AFC’s top club competition. They can also look at some of the new technical developments in the world game.”

Kevin Muscat, coach of Australian A-League side Melbourne Victory, who was one of several coaches returning for a second year added: “During the next two days. we will listen to some of the great coaches not only of Asia but also of the world.

“Last year was enlightening with some outstanding discussions on key aspects of the game – both on and off the pitch. I think everyone who attends these gatherings leaves with a greater understanding of some of the technical developments that are coming into the game across Asia.”

In opening the Forum, Li Yuyi, a Vice-President of the Chinese Football Association, said: “We appreciate the fact that the AFC has staged this event in Shanghai. The Forum will play a constructive role in the improvement and promotion of technical area of Asian football. To help the rapid development of Asian football, the AFC has put coaching high on the agenda.
    
“Chinese football is on a journey of a comprehensive development and I am fully convinced that the holding of this event will assist Chinese football on this journey.”

Photo: Chinese Football Association

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