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AFC Asian Football Confederation

The Quingdao Football association recently joined hands with the Jimo Sports Centre to launch the Jimo District League, marking another achievement for Vision China’s Qingdao project. Five teams – Jifa Corp, People’s Hospital, Jinheng, Tianhong and Sunda – will play against each other in a two-round format in the Jimo League, which is the first district league under the Vision China project. The first round of matches saw Tianhong defeat Jinheng 2-1, with the winning team’s captain Wang Yongtao scoring the first ever goal in the Jimo District League. People’s Hospital drew 0-0 with Jifa Corp in the other game. The district league is part of the Qingdao FA’s plans to promote and popularize grassroots football within its districts in 2007.

AFC organized an Elite Education Seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in January. The week-long seminar saw 212 participants attend 146 practical and theoretical sessions under the guidance of 15 leading football experts. Speaking at the opening ceremony, AFC President Mohamed bin Hammam said: “Seminars like this are important to develop the skills of our coaches, instructors and assessors. Development is a continuous process.” A total of seven courses – for coach education, futsal referees’ instructors, referees’ instructors, referees’ assessors, elite male referees, elite female referees and match commissioners – were organized during the week.

FIFA referee Somphone Phommakoun of Laos recently died in a road accident at the tender age of 30. Phommakoun, who becam,e an international referee in 2004 and officiated in several FIFA and AFC tournaments, was driving home after refereeing in a local match when the accident occurred. He was named the best referee in the Laos League in 2004 and 2005.