The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) commitment towards strengthening the professional landscape of Asian football was further underlined after the AFC Club Licensing Task Force approved the revisions to the AFC Club Licensing Regulations at its first meeting held online today.

Chaired by Hamad Mohamed Aljneibi, the Task Force noted the incredible progress of the Club Licensing Regulations despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, while recognising the need to introduce more progressive steps to enhance the professional development of clubs.

In his opening address, Chairperson Aljneibi said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world of sport and in particular football, to a halt but I am happy to note that club licensing continues to make great progress across the Continent.

“The reason for this growth is the commitment from our Member Associations and clubs, who view club licensing as a development tool for greater professionalism.

“As club licensing continues to gain momentum, it is important that we continue to refine and improve our regulations to reflect the times we live in – one which recognises the need for more Asian clubs to embrace the modern era of football where professionalism and good governance come into greater focus.”

Among the recommendations were the inclusion of women’s teams as well as provisions for child protection, welfare and humanitarian goals – all of which, the Task Force agreed, can be further developed through the improved club licensing regulations.

The Task Force also approved key recommendations to the regulations in the areas of legal group structures and the controlling parties of football clubs as well as the introduction of reporting parameters and corporate structures, with the aim to uphold the principles of good governance in Asian club football.

Additionally, as part of efforts to elevate the women’s game, the Task Force agreed to introduce the AFC Women’s Champions League Club Licensing criteria in view of the launch of Asia’s premier women’s club tournament in 2023.

All decisions made by the Task Force must now be ratified by the AFC Competitions Committee and the AFC Executive Committee before being introduced. –

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