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The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) held a three-day football medicine seminar in Ho Chi Minh City prior to the kick-off of the 2008 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, which also took place in Vietnam’s largest city. Vice President of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Dhong Van Lam was present at the formal opening of the seminar. The seminar, which was attended by a total of 14 doctors and physiotherapists, was conducted by AFC instructors Dr Michiko Tashima Dohi from Japan, Dr Nguyen Van Phu from Vietnam, and AFC Chief Instructor Dato’ Dr Gurcharan, who is also a FIFA-appointed instructor. The seminar reflected the AFC’s commitment to expanding the pool of trained personnel in sports medicine, with Asian football’s governing body keen to have get-togethers of this kind in the days prior to centralised AFC competitions. The 2008 AFC Women’s Asian Cup was the first time a medical seminar has been conducted before a tournament.
Bahrain Football Association General Secretary Ahmed Jassim hopes the Vision Asia project will give much-needed impetus to the development of football in his country. Speaking during the recent two-day Vision Bahrain workshop at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Ahmed said: “We value Vision Bahrain as our first step towards professionalism and hope that it will lend a new direction to the development of the game. We have learnt a lot from this workshop, especially about the strategic development plan. This will be the first time we have implemented a plan of this kind.” The former FIFA referee also said his association would concentrate on grassroots and youth development: “We believe our strength lies in this category and we have already started developing our young players. We are already in a position to implement 80 per cent of the strategic development plan but it will take several years to adopt it completely. We are also now concentrating on drafting new competition regulations and restructuring the association by hiring professional staff.”