Last month, I attended the AFC Cup 2012 Draw at AFC (Asia Football Confederation) House at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Due to my hectic schedule, I was not able to stay back further to catch the AFC Champions League Draw. To be honest, the attending of these Draws had given me a real insight of what’s going on at the draw scene in which normally, only concerned clubs’ officials and media were invited.
What welcomed me at the venue were banners and banners of our Asian futbol clubs, those which were qualified for the AFC Champions League 2012. Obviously I knew I am at the right place for the Draw!
Registering myself under Junpiter Futbol, media, I stood at the end of the room trying to catch the whole action at a glance. Probably due to my (full-time) work nature as an event manager, my focus switched to the Draw’s setup such as the type of seating arrangement, the position of the sound console, the lighting setup, the backdrop, how the Draw result was announced, the drawing equipment used and etc. The entire setup was exactly what I had expected but probably the flow of the programme was something new to me.
I could see that many clubs’ officials were anxiously waiting to know which group their respective club would been drawn into. Prior to my arrival at the venue, I was informed that there would not be any Singapore’s futbol official at the Draws so with all great respect, I am the only representative from Singapore at the Draw! And among this group of clubs’ officials, many came wearing official suite with their clubs logo embroidered on the chest. There were some even in their national costume! Well, considered myself a pure South East Asia and East Asia futbol follower, I’ve only seen the West Asian (futbol) on TV. That very day, its the first time I ever met West Asian futbol representatives in person! I thought that was quite cool!
I did not stay long but the exposure I gained from attending such an prestige Draw was amazing! For those who are interested in the upcoming AFC Cup 2012 and AFC Champions League 2012, you may click the below links for the respective schedule..
Unfortunately, Singapore’s futbol clubs are not eligible for the AFC Champions League, I would hope to see our only qualified teams, Home Utd and Tampines Rovers, in the AFC Cup, flying our Singapore’s flag high at the Asian level.
Before I end my writing here, another piece of interesting fact for you who are reading this, the overall highest top scorer for Singapore in this AFC Cup is our former Singapore’s striker, Indra Shadan at 10 goals! Followed by Egmar Goncalves at 8 goals and Aleksandar Duric at 7 goals. Base on the current status, 41yrs old Duric is definitely fit enough to slot in a few more goals to overtake SAFFC’s Indra Shadan! Do not let us down, Singapore’s boys, all the best!
If Spain has the world’s strongest men’s futbol team, then Japan has the world’s strongest women’s futbol team! Yesterday, Japan U-16 Women’s team clinched the AFC U-16 Championship with a game to spare after beating arch-rival, Korea Republic 3-0 at Jiangning Sports Center. Similar to what the spanish has accomplished in Europe, Japan Women’s team had swept all gold medals at AFC U-16, U-19 and the famous FIFA Women’s World Cup this year!
The 16yrs old Japanese has not lose a single point in the AFC U-16 Championship yet. Along the way to the glory, they had beaten teams like DPR Korea, Korea Republic, China and Thailand. Impressively, the Japanese scored a total of 17 goals in just 4 games and conceded nothing!
For Japan U-19 Women’s team, they averaged 2.5 goals per game throughout the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship. Not only that, 19yrs old, Mai Kyokawa, took home the Most Valuable Player award. She also received the Top Scorer award in which she shared with DPR Korea’s Yun Hyon Hi, 5 goals each! Japan was even awarded with the Fair Play award which has shown how well the Japanese youth had performed at the level.
With great achievements and honors coming from the U-16, U-19 and the senior Nadeshiko, its no secret that they want to add on the Olympic medal to their collection. Nadeshiko Japan’s captain, Homare Sawa, holding Japanese all-time record of 176 caps, 80 goals, FIFA Women’s World Cup’s Golden Boot and Golden Ball award winner, former Asia Women’s Player of the Year Award winner, has also signaled her intention to help Japan to achieve its first Olympic gold in London 2012!
The legacy of Japanese women’s futbol achievement has to be continued. 2012 Summer Olympic Women’s Asian Qualifying Rounds got underway and the Japanese women’s team has not shown any mercy and has not shown any minimum intention to slow down. And especially with some European leagues-based players such as Saki Kumagai (FFC Frankfurt), Aya Sameshima, Rumi Utsugi (Montpellier HSC), Kozue Ando (FCR 2001 Duisburg) and Yuki Nagasato (FFC Turbine Potsdam), their Olympic dream looks amazingly alive and realistic! The success of the Japanese ladies’ might not be just for the Japanese, it might be the success of Asia women’s futbol too! All the best, Nadeshiko Japan!