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AFC Newsflesh November 2010

AFC News
Nearly a year ago we had our first AFC News flash. One reason had been the results of the AFC meetings, annually taking place in November and the AFC awards. However, compared to last year, there isn't much of a change.

Let's address the positives first. This night was the night of the annual AFC awards. In all categories, there was only one Thai nominated. Or better to say, a Thai lady. As well as last year Pannipar Kamnueng was nominated for the "AFC Womenís Referee of the Year". The result was nearly the same as last year, as the first three places been awarded to the same ladies. Only the ranking was different.

While the 34-year old Pannipar finished 3rd last year, year, she becomes second this year. For next year that will leave us with only one option, to become number one.

Kamnueng blew the whistle in the AFC Womenís Asian Cup 2010 semi-final between Japan and Australia and the semi-final of the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore between Turkey and Chile. She was also in Guangzhou for the Asian Games.

The AFC year 2010 was under the theme "Asian Coaches Year". It was introduced to honour all the coaches in Asia and to put the focus on them. Highlight for all the coaches have been the Asian Coaches Night on Tuesday this week. Several coaches have been awarded. One of them was Charnwit Polcheewin in the category "Gold Service Award". Khun Charnwit will be responsible for the under-23 Olympic squad and was named inaugural "AFC Coach of the Year" in 1994. The former Thai Farmers Bank coach led the club to AFC Champions League trophy in 1994 and 1995. The only time a club from Thailand could achieve this in AFC Cup competition history.

At the end a few more notes about the outcome of the AFC Executive meetings during this week. In regards to the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup slots, there will be no chances to be seen next year. This means Thailand will remain with a qualification spot for the championship tournament and a secured place in the AFC Cup group stage. AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam, has recommended that the current slots for Member Associations in the AFC Champions League be maintained for another year to help the Member Associations meet the criteria.

However, the only change in the slots for the 2011 edition is Vietnamís disqualification for non-submission of documents and the allocation of their ACL play-off spot to Qatar. Bin Hammam is a natural born Qatari, and Qatar bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The emirate will host Asias biggest football tournament, the AFC Asian Championship, next year.

A Special Mission Team will visit all countries again next year to do the same assessment as this year. The starting slots for the years 2012-2014 shall be decided than based on the results. Well that was promised already for this year.

From next year onwards it is planned to held a Vision Asia Championship annually. All clubs, which are part of that project shall participate. Well not all. Only those countries that have a minimum of three projects will be able to participate in the championship. At the moment, only Iran and China have the three projects. Thailand so far has only one, the Chonbuiri Project. Khon Kaen and Phuket are in the starting blocks.
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