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Kuala Lumpur: AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong has stressed on the need for Asian countries to get latest knowhow in order to achieve their goal of being at par with the best in world football.


Speaking during a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony with DFB (German Football Association) Jilong said: “Asian football is on the rise but we need the latest knowhow to get where we want to. And, here is where I believe this agreement with the DFB will help. It will provide us with quality technical support, which could bridge any existing gap,” he said.

“What is really good about this arrangement is that the DFB will be making available their experts directly to our Member Associations. I am sure our Member Associations will be eager to avail of this particular benefit.”

“We wish to work closely with DFB not only at the field but also on administrative level as DFB are renowned for their efficient administrative work which we have seen in their historical organisation of the FIFA World Cup back in the 2006,” he added.

DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach also expressed his delight to work closely with AFC – an organisation which provided an unwavering supports to the DFB during their bid to organise the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

“I must say it’s a continuation of our cooperation and it became more official now after signing the MoU but we have been working partners traditionally,” he said.

“We are thankful to AFC for their supports to German football in past and I hope after the signing of this MoU, it will continue as we share the same organization philosophy,” he added.

The MoU will focus on technical development with an emphasis on the organisation of coaching courses in Germany as well as in Asia for the Asian coaches. It will also concentrate on the general management featuring exchange of information and best practices on football management.

“With Asia celebrating the year 2013 as Grassroots Football Year, the MoU has come at a right time,” AFC General-Secretary Dato’ Alex Soosay told

“This is very auspicious occasion and formality of signing was long overdue but we have been working very closely in the past. I still remember the year 2003 when we conducted AFC’s first Professional Diploma course with the support from DFB,” he said.

“Today we have world-class coaches plying their trade all over Asia and credit goes to DFB for supporting AFC’s initiatives of setting up high standards in football coaching,” added Dato’ Alex.

Ambassador of Germany to Malaysia, His Excellency Dr Guenter Gruber, DFB Head of Coach Education and International Relations, Markus Weidner and AFC Deputy General Secretary Hassan Al Sabah also attended the ceremony.