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Kuala Lumpur: The fourth AFC Grassroots Panel meeting concluded in Malaysia on Wednesday.

The panel began the meeting by confirming the grassroots in Asia is viewed as ‘football for all’, comprising personal, health, sporting and social development for non-elite and non-professional football across all ages, before a football player’s pathway was analysed, to further understand the link of grassroots efforts and the elite game of football academies

The panel then assess the AFC Grassroots Charter by appointing panel members to monitor and evaluate the process.

This AFC grassroots endorsement programme is offered at three levels - bronze, silver and gold.

At the entry level (bronze), the emphasis is on mass participation which Macau, Sri Lanka and Vietnam have applied for.

China, Lebanon, Mongolia and Singapore have applied for the silver level, which focuses on increased levels of quality.

At the gold level - applied by Australia and Japan -  the endorsed members will set the benchmark for grassroots development.

The panel discussed, among others, the proposed four versus four grassroots festival project for boys, girls, veterans and disablity players. The package will include coach education for parents and volunteers, a manual for the code of conduct, as well as providing facilities and equipments.

The panel was also briefed about the 2017 AFC Grassroots Football Day commemorated in May of which was a resounding success with 40 Member Associations and 90,000 children participating across the Continent.

Three new AFC Special Grassroots Awards will be introduced in 2018 - the Best Grassroots Leader, the Best Grassroots Project and the Best Grassroots Club - to pay tribute to the unsung heroes, presented at the AFC technical events or by the MAs in their respective countries. The nominees for the respective awards will be recommended by the MAs.

The Best Grassroots Leader will be presented to an individual for outstanding voluntary work in grassroots football, for initiating or creating a club, project or other activity.

The Best Grassroots Project is awarded to a regional association, agency or school for significant grassroots projects that aren’t funded by the AFC.

The Best Grassroots Club will be presented to an amateur club which promotes grassroots principles through its efforts.

Photos: AFC