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Tehran: The Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) held its second Islamic Republic of Iran National Grassroots Conference recently in conjunction with the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Grassroots Football Day.

Over 600 grassroots coaches and managers from across Iran participated in the conference, the main objective of which was to discuss the development of grassroots activities throughout Iran.

Head of Iran Grassroots Committee Mostafa Zarei who opened the conference, began by detailing the previous year’s accomplishments, and outlining the programmes currently being undertaken. Zarei said: “The main aim of the Committee is to promote and increase the number of participants in football, especially women’s grassroots football.

“We hope that our current plans and programmes will lead to a twofold increase in the participation of women in grassroots by the year 2020.”

The conference also covered the topic of Fair Play in grassroots football courtesy of a presentation by Dr Kabiri, while UEFA/FIFA instructor Richard Bate discussed the future of football and role of grassroots in building a future for football.

Finally, AFC Grassroots Panel member Anders Krystad spoke about the upcoming AFC Grassroots Charter. The Charter is a development tool with which Member Associations (MA) can raise the quality of their grassroots activities through an endorsement programme, and Krystad explained the criteria, key concepts and financial support required to develop grassroots in Asia.

“I am truly impressed with the dedication FFIRI has shown,” said Krystad in his closing remarks.

“Gathering 600 coaches and leaders to discuss the future of Iranian football proves commitment. I am also impressed with the quality of the presentations, they were all up-to-date which represents a modern and forward looking MA.

“I wish Iranian football the very best, and am assured that the FFIRI will take the necessary steps to implement the AFC Grassroots Charter”

Photos: Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran