Asia partners with UEFA to boost football growth


Published — Wednesday 12 December 2012

Last update 12 December 2012 3:24 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Football Confederation has signed a cooperation pact with European governing body UEFA to boost development of the sport in the region.
Under the pact, UEFA will help the AFC in areas such as education, training, technical development and refereeing, as well as promotion of grassroots and youth football.
AFC acting President Zhang Jilong says Europe has set the standards for world football and that the partnership will bolster Asia’s game.
UEFA President Michel Platini said after the signing yesterday that “Asia is the future” and that Europe can learn from the region in terms of marketing and women’s football.
Platini remains ardently opposed to the use of goal-line technology, which is being employed by FIFA for the first time at the Club World Cup, and said the money would be better spent developing the game.
The technology was employed in Thursday’s Club World Cup curtain raiser between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Auckland City in Yokohama as soccer’s governing body FIFA finally answered calls for it to join the 21st century.
While once-skeptical FIFA President Sepp Blatter changed his mind after a series of controversial decisions in high-profile matches, Platini is not for turning.
The Frenchman delivered a blunt “No” when asked by reporters if he would follow Blatter’s lead.
“It is not a question of goal-line technology, it is a question of technology,” he said. “Where do you begin with the technology and where do you end with the technology? “To put goal-line technology in our competitions is 50 million Euros ($64.63 million) in five years. I prefer to give the 50 million to the grassroots and development in football than to put 50 million into technology for perhaps one or two goals per year.
“It’s a lot (of money) a goal, yeah?” Platini has long been tipped to succeed Blatter as the head of the world governing body in 2015 when the Swiss has said he would step down.
By that time the technology could be commonplace in stadiums around the world as FIFA presses on with its implementation despite the cost.

Hawk-eye, widely used in cricket and tennis, and GoalRef, which uses a microchip in the ball and low magnetic waves around the goal, are being used at venues in Toyota and Yokohama.
FIFA will analyze the results and could use one of the systems at the Confederations Cup in Brazil next year.
Platini, who is in favor of deploying extra officials instead of technology to help make decisions, will have the opportunity to discuss the issue with Blatter and the rest of the FIFA executive committee at a meeting in Tokyo on Friday.
“We supported the additional referees that is now accepted by the international board, and with the referee one meter from the line I think if he has good glasses he can see if the ball is inside the goal or outside,” he said.
While Platini is resisting calls to introduce technology, the 57-year-old has been responsible for sweeping changes in soccer since becoming UEFA president in 2007, a position he was reelected to unopposed last year.
He introduced ‘Financial Fair Play’ rules in an effort to curb overspending by European clubs, and offered more automatic places in the lucrative Champions League group stage for domestic champions.
Platini has also said UEFA has put fans first with its radical decision to stage Euro 2020 in cities across Europe rather than one or two host countries.
Criticism of the plan was premature, he said yesterday.
“The idea was decided, there is nothing else. Now we will create committees to think about what could be the best idea for what we have to do in the eight years before Euro (2020).”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A number of parents have complained about the lack of hygiene in schools, expressing fears about the potential spread of the MERS virus with the beginning of the new academic year. This comes in the backdrop of another death due to the deadly...
JEDDAH: Disputes over sharing of property or inheriting family business are common. But Dhahran has witnessed an unusual fight among four brothers — over donating kidney to their youngest brother.Coincidentally, all the brothers were found fit to don...
JEDDAH: A number of visually impaired citizens are expecting candidates to address their problems and make life easier for them after winning the Dec. 12 municipal elections.A section of these voters have also sought special programs so that they can...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Interior recently launched a series of training programs to upgrade the efficiency of its female staff as a new step to empower women and give them an opportunity to shine in security-related fields.Maha Frehi, the manager of...
RIYADH: Sixty-one Filipinos, who met with a vehicular accident on the day of Arafat on Nov. 5, 2011, hope to come to the Kingdom as the guests of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.Most of them could not complete the Haj rituals because of...
JEDDAH: At the start of each academic year, parents face a common and expected problem — their children are afraid of going to school.After spending five years in the arms of their mothers and siblings, children know leaving home means entering a new...

Stay Connected