Kuala Lumpur: Korea Football Association (KFA) has been awarded the AFC Grassroots Charter Gold membership for its outstanding work in grassroots football.
The Grassroots Charter is a development tool for Member Associations (MA) to raise the quality of their grassroots programmes. It identifies 20 performance categories such as grassroots competitions, structure, long-term planning and partnerships, with KFA excelling in all criteria.
The importance of grassroots development is deeply rooted in the KFA across its 17 regional and 33 local member associations where the focus on promoting and developing can be found in all levels of its football structure.
Furthermore, KFA and its respective affiliates have an extensive range of grassroots activities, which include some affiliated schools, clubs and amateur bodies, football for the disabled, children, youth, veterans, futsal and social programmes.
Grassroots operations in the KFA is headed by a Technical Development Committee which sets philosophies and development plans for grassroots football in Korea Republic.
클럽디비전 시스템 구축을 위해 국회-대한체육회-KFA가 손 잡다!
기사보기▶https://t.co/jgO3kIyrva#KFA #클럽디비전 #시스템 #간담회 pic.twitter.com/2QBhK4vwCD
— 대한축구협회(KFA) (@theKFA) June 28, 2019
There is a panel group for Grassroots Football which is chaired by Kim Dong-seob. The role of the group is to advise and evaluate programmes in terms of Grassroots Football. There are 16 KFA Grassroots panel members.
Emphasis is also placed in raising the competitiveness of Korean Football by the Completing KFA Division system (connecting K1~7 leagues by 2033), stabilising league system for youth and reaching 1,000,000 players, 16,000 coaches and 20,000 referees.
KFA strives to create a thriving football environment in Korea, where people can access and gain valuable experiences from the game. Through the environment, they can lead a healthy life while enriching the grassroots of KFA.
In order to create the thriving environment, KFA has identified three key objectives; (1) To build domestic league division system from grassroots to professional level with division seven to five to engage with the grassroots levels; (2) To provide games through various festivals, tournaments and leagues for children to play and enjoy more football; (3) To share information by engagement through the KFA App on mobile devices and on the internet.
KFA launched a long term plan called ‘Vision Hat-Trick’ in 2013 in order to foster the development of Korea football to achieve the core value of ‘Dream-Enjoy-Share’.
Some of the highlights of the programme include Golden Age Programme, Youth League, Player/Coach/Referee, Completion of Division, International Experience, Legend Programme and Happier Life with Football.
Football in Korea is mainly organised and managed by KFA which includes all affiliated organisations, regional and local FAs working together to make football better from small villages to big cities nationwide.
KFA introduced Division-7 district leagues in 2017 and Division-6 local leagues in 2018. In 2019, KFA launched a Division-5 Regional League system, under its regional and local Grassroots structure.
Apart from providing regional and local FAs with financial support and consulting to operate grassroots football programmes, leagues and competitions, KFA has placed special attention to Disability Football which is divided into four categories - Visual Impairment (Blind Football), Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disability and Hearing Impairment.
KFA has achieved a marked increase in participation in 2019 for various tournaments across all football categories in the country.
Some of the tournaments include i-League Summer Football Festival, Agricultural, Mountain and Fishing villages Youth Football Experience programme and Happiness Sharing Grassroots Football Academy.
KFA has been able to quantify the number of participants enrolled in its programmes through a registration system for both players and coaches.
Another system in place records the number of grassroots teams being led by someone with a minimum MA qualification as well as identifies players’ satisfaction for participants of Grassroots football league.
KFA annually celebrates the AFC Grassroots Football Day with players in a football experience programme called ‘Road to Dream’. The programme is for children in rural communities (farming, mountain and fishing villages).
For Children’s Day, KFA invited 200 children from low-income families on government welfare subsidies to the National Football Centre. Participating children had the opportunity to learn from star players and KFA coaches as well as play football and enjoy other recreational activities with friends and family.
There are educational activities for Grassroots teams’ operation managers and coaches as well. Educational contents include Team Management, Coaching Methods, Cultural Education and social relationships.
KFA organises an annual Grassroots conference for the managers and officers who are working for grassroots football in regional and local FAs.