First FIFA-AFC-Asian Zonal Associations meeting held in Kuala Lumpur

On 3 May at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the inaugural FIFA-AFC-Asian Zonal Associations meeting was held. The successful first meeting saw representatives from five zonal associations meet - the West Asian Football Federation, the Central Asian Football Federation, the ​South Asian Football Federation, the ASEAN Football Federation and the East Asian Football Federation - along with individuals from FIFA and the AFC.

FIFA was represented by its Director of Member Associations Asia and Oceania, Sanjeevan C. Balasingam together with representatives from the FIFA Regional Offices of Kuala Lumpur, Delhi and Dubai. Eight delegates from the five AFC Regional Associations and representatives from the AFC received information on the FIFA Forward Programme - a tailor made support for football development - which was later succeeded by the FIFA Forward 2.0 Programme that came into effect on 1 January 2019 and will run through to 31 December 2022.

FIFA representatives further discussed the updated 2.0 regulations, emphasising its beneficial support and impact, while the Regional Associations shared their experiences and challenges after organising various youth and women's tournaments.

FIFA's Director of Member Associations Asia and Oceania Sanjeevan C. Balasingam said: "The FIFA Forward Development programme has paved the way for regional federations to ensure that they have regular tournaments for women’s and young players (boys and girls) on a regular basis, which allows for more competitive matches for all age groups and women’s football in Asia."