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Hong Kong: A landmark social responsibility conference organised jointly by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Premier League will take place tomorrow in Hong Kong. The AFC-PL Football Social Development Conference 2017 will address football’s role as a force for good. It takes place in connection with the Premier League Asia Trophy 2017, being played in Hong Kong this week.

The participants will be welcomed by AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John and Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore who will speak about the work carried out by their respective organisations to further social development through football. The event is hosted by the Hong Kong Football Association Ltd.

AFC General Secretary Dato' Windsor John will say: “Our two great organisations, as this conference today will demonstrate, work continually for the betterment of football.

“The AFC has identified football for social development as one of our core mission statements. The establishment of the AFC Dream Asia Foundation in March this year was a key part in delivering that objective – especially in the earthquake-affected areas of Nepal and Japan, as well as the cyclone-hit Philippines.

“Football is a global game which generates passion, interest and excitement – all of which can be harnessed for positive causes.”

Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore will reaffirm the League’s commitment to working with the AFC and FAs in Asia to support the development of the sport across the region. He will also highlight the success of social development, coaching and sports participation programmes the League and its clubs have run, and continue to run, across the continent with the support of the AFC.

The conference delegates are from the AFC Member Associations and the four clubs playing at this year’s Premier League Asia Trophy, Crystal Palace FC, Leicester City FC, Liverpool FC and West Bromwich Albion FC.

The main themes of the conference are female participation, charitable foundations and disability football. AFC Technical Director Andy Roxburgh will present on football development and Leicester City Academy Manager Ian Cawley will speak about developing responsible players. The Premier League’s own international development, community and fan engagement work will be introduced by Director of International and Government Relations Tim Vine and Premier Skills Head Coach Jeremy Weeks.

Other speakers include Chan Yuen-ting, first woman to lead a team to a men’s top-flight league title and AFC Head of Women’s Football Development Bai Lili who played for China in the 2004 Olympic Games. They will be joined on a panel on female participation and engagement by Liverpool FC Ladies Development Squad Manager and Foundation Women and Girls Project Lead Vicky Jepson. 

Albion Foundation Deputy Director Allison Tripney will be part of the session on disability football and Gary Mulcahey, Director of Sports Development at the Palace for Life Foundation will take part in the panel on charitable foundations.

Photo: AFC