The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Technical Committee on Monday supported developing plans with UEFA, the European governing body, to organise Under 15/16 development tournaments involving teams from both continents.

The tournaments will be organised in Europe under the UEFA Assist programme and in 2019 it was suggested that teams from the five nations who have qualified for the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 should represent Asia – Australia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia – in the boys’ competition.

The Technical Committee, chaired by Kohzo Tashima (JPN), agreed that the AFC Administration would look at the most appropriate teams to compete in the relevant girls’ competitions.

The Committee also recommended that the AFC provide important assistance to the seven teams – four men and three women – which will represent Asia in the Tokyo Olympics with the focus on tournament preparation.

The plan is that the AFC would encourage an exchange of ideas and provide expert input through a forum which will be held between the women’s qualifiers and the men’s AFC U23 Championships, which will be the qualifying competitions for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The committee also recommended that the selection of the AFC Player of the Year for Women and the Men’s International Player should be chosen by an expert panel in the same way that the Men’s Player of the Year is currently selected.

The concept of a Coaches Associations was also encouraged by the Committee in the way that the Japan FA helped and supported the establishment of such an association within the country three years ago as a way of further coach education and protection.

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