The AFC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Center for Sports Studies (CIES) aimed at promoting their mutual interest in the development and educational aspects of sports management and administration.

The Memorandum was inked by AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam and CIES President Jean-Louis Juvet at AFC House on Thursday.

The pact sees the CIES become AFC's 'Academic Association Partner' while the governing body of Asian football will be the 'Development and Education Partner' of CIES.

Bin Hammam said: "We are pleased to have CIES as a partner. For the past eight years AFC has been recruiting FIFA Master Graduates and their contribution to our organisation and its values has been tremendous."

"We hope that our partnership with CIES will continue to grow as we are both committed to ensuring further development in the area of sports management research and education," added the AFC chief.

Juvet shared Bin Hammam's confidence that the partnership would help boost professional management and administration of football in Asia.

"This partnership underlines our overall objective of trying to link the academic world with the sports industry," said Juvet, while noting that AFC is the largest employer of CIES graduates of FIFA's six confederations.

"We are focused on developing the educational aspect of sports management and having strong partners allows us to link our research and educational programmes even closer to the needs of sports organisations around the world. We are pleased to have AFC as a partner and look forward to a long lasting partnership."

Since 2000, CIES and AFC have been developing a relationship which has mainly focused on AFC's recruitment from CIES' Master programme - the FIFA Master.

This new partnership will see CIES providing support in the fields of management, marketing and legal matters while the AFC will provide industry insight for the FIFA Master and continue to provide employment opportunities to FIFA Master Graduates.

The organisations will jointly support one another in promoting their activities both in their geographical regions as well as their industry specific areas of expertise.