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fwwc2012_conf_day3_podium_3x2Kuala Lumpur: The working groups at the FIFA/AFC Conference on the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 on Thursday presented their suggestions to develop potential, explore opportunities and pave the way to move forward for Asian women’s football.

The three groups had their brainstorming sessions on Wednesday where they were asked to discuss the issues and matters that were relevant to developing the Asian women’s game that, inspired by Japan’s success in winning the 2011 Women’s World Cup, has the potential to go further.

Group One leader Betty Wong Yeuk King (Hong Kong) and reporter Jose Ariston Caslib (Philippines), Group Two leader Kanya Keomany (Laos) and reporter May Tola (Cambodia) as well as Group Three leader Cheri Jo Stewart (Guam) and Mahmood Fakhro (Bahrain) presented the results of their discussions during a session moderated by FIFA Media Officer Les Dickens.

To develop the women’s game, the groups came up with the following ideas:

-- Develop strengths and work on weaknesses.
-- Promote women's coaches.
-- Increase and promote competitions.
-- Develop youth leagues.
-- Create short and long-term plans.
-- Invite all stakeholders to be involved.
-- Set priorities according to specific situations.
-- Coaching instructor development.
-- Find and create resources and facilities.
-- Monitor and follow up on various development steps.
-- Increase participation.
-- Player development in various stages.
-- Intensify cooperation and communication.

Challenges facing women’s football in Asia were also one of the items discussed and the groups had identified them as below:

-- Differences of religion and culture within Asia.
-- Lack of infrastructure.
-- Lack of awareness of positive values of women’s football.
-- Educating society.
-- Lack of grassroots programmes.
-- Database organisation on player records.
-- Creating logistics.

The participants also presented the following opportunities that can be explored:

-- More competitions at various levels.
-- Empowerment of women involved in football.
-- Maximising benefits of FIFA/AFC programmes.
-- Increasing networking with other MAs.
-- Creating role models.
-- Creating exchange programmes.
-- Increasing awareness within the community.
-- Promoting competitions and events.
-- Creating a scholarship programme.

The group members also believed that the following would pave the way forward for Asian women’s football:

-- MAs should engage in discussion with all stakeholders (Government, private sector, NGOs).
-- Review the AFC Competition Calendar.
-- Retention programmes for former players including the relevant preparation (According to specific qualities).
-- Increase coaching opportunities for females.
-- Improve coaching education systems
-- Create professional opportunities for former players.
-- Capitalise on Japan’s success.
-- Promote icons in Asian football.
-- Prepare adequately for competitions.
-- Create new playing opportunities for women in futsal and beach soccer.
-- Broadcast more women’s matches within Asia.

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