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AFC urges professional clubs
Updated: 2005-05-29 09:43

Top officials of Asian Football Confederation urged their member countries to build professional football clubs, whose importance has been largely overlooked compared with their national teams.

AFC president Mohamed Hammam said football can't be developed without professional clubs flourishing, but the average level of Asian football clubs is not high.

Peter Velappan, general secretary of AFC, said most of the Asian football clubs currently are "amateur" and that made most Asian countries difficult to find football telants. "National teams can't make players; National association can't make players," he said. "Only clubs make talents."

Speaking before launching a community-based city league in eastern China's Qingdao city, Mohamed said China only had 12 professional clubs currently, but by running the AFC-designed cityleague, he hoped the number will rise to 10,000 to 20,000 in the near future.

According to Velappan, in the past seven months, AFC had trained club managers, media personnel, coaches, referees, and medical teams for the league clubs to ensure a professional operation.

They also required these clubs to play at least 40 matches for a season, and they should have fixed match schedule, fixed home stadium, as well as their own identities, including titles, flags,mascots, and even nicknames.

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