England's Football Association has agreed to support the development of soccer in Asia with the signing of a four-year memorandum of understanding.

The agreement, which runs until 2010, focuses primarily on education and training including help with technical and youth development, together with research, information gathering and the supply of equipment.

"This is another big step in the AFC's cooperation with other football bodies to develop the game in our continent," said AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam, who signed the deal recently with FA chairman Geoff Thompson.

"The FA has vast experience in tutor training and youth development and we are confident that our association will help Asian football develop further."

Thompson said he was looking forward to a promising period of cooperation.

"We are looking forward to starting this new phase of cooperation with the Asian Football Confederation in 2007," he said.

"The sharing of expertise and experiences has undoubtedly contributed to the development of coaches, referees and administrators in Asia, and most certainly to the personal and professional development of our own tutors in England."

Bin Hammam has been working to overhaul domestic clubs and leagues in Asia and instill a greater level of professionalism to make the continent more competitive.