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Kuching: Football development and education have been the core focus areas at the inaugural Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Solidarity Cup currently taking place in Sarawak, Malaysia. With fans following the action on the field, off the pitch, the participating Member Associations have been taking part in a series of education and training courses to strengthen their capabilities in areas such as event management, sports medicine and technical analysis.

As part of the AFC’s efforts to foster the continual improvement of coaching among aspiring Member Associations, technical directors and head coaches from the participating MAs have been given the opportunity to reflect on the key lessons from the competition at the Technical Workshop Programme, currently taking place at the Sarawak Stadium.

The four-day programme will enable participants to examine and analyse the technical aspects of the teams’ performance in the competition’s group stage, the upcoming semi-final matches and enhance their expertise in team preparation and reality-based trainings.

“The workshop has been great because I got to meet coaching staff from the other countries taking part in the competition. We learned from each other, for example, when to deploy compact play and what to do in different weather conditions as we have extreme winter conditions in Mongolia. We also looked at how other teams rotated their players. It was an exciting tournament and the workshop was an eye-opening experience,” said Zorigt Battulga, Mongolia assistant coach.

Earlier in the competition, medical practitioners from the participating teams, Football Association of Malaysia and the Local Organising Committee attended a football medicine seminar for an opportunity to raise their medical competencies and establish a unified understanding of sports medicine in Asia.

In partnership with ZOLL Medical Corporation, the seminar focused on topics such as Pre-Competition Medical Assessment (PCMA), prevention and management of injuries, nutrition, on-pitch emergencies, trauma and concussion, sudden cardiac arrest, exercise induced asthma, diabetic footballers and anti-doping.

“We are grateful for this opportunity. This is a unique approach that allows medical practitioners to not only clarify our assumptions, but also to apply the lessons and practices as we prepare our teams throughout the duration of the competition”, said Dr. Seng Aloun Kietsavanh, team doctor from the Lao Football Federation.

After an exciting group stage, the AFC Solidarity Cup will continue today with Nepal taking on Laos in the first semi-final at 4.30pm local time. Meanwhile Group B winners Macau are preparing to face Brunei in the second match at 7.30pm at the Sarawak Stadium.

Photos: AFC