AFC President concludes visit to Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar: Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President, has praised the progress and ambition of the Mongolian Football Federation (MFF).
On his first official visit to the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, the AFC President met His Excellency Khaltmaagiin Battulga, President of Mongolia, as well as Ganbaatar Amgalanbaatar, the MFF President, and members of the MFF Council. He was also welcomed by Sundui Batbold, the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar and Governor of the capital city.
Shaikh Salman thanked MFF for its contribution to Asian football and said: “I have been hugely impressed by the progress that football has made in Mongolia in the last few years – both on and off the pitch.
“Since 2015 there has been an expansion of the Mongolian Premier League from seven to 10 teams, which has also brought about an ever more professional structure and there is also a second division as well now – also comprising 10 teams.
“At the same time, the MFF have proved to be willing and hospitable hosts of many AFC qualifying tournaments – hosting groups in both the AFC U-16 and U-19 Championship qualifying tournament last year and they are not only first-time hosts of the AFC Women’s U-16 Championship qualifiers in September but will also enter a team for the first time.”
Off the pitch, Shaikh Salman heard that the MFF commitment to diversity had delivered a successful Women’s Empowerment workshop and discussions are already underway for a long-term legacy project including several key stakeholders, under the banner of the AFC Dream Asia Foundation.
The AFC President said: “MFF are working hard to make football one of the most popular sports in the country by creating strong links with the Mongolian Government and city officials as well as national and international NGOs.
“The AFC, in its Vision and Mission, promises that they will support and match, through Member Association Development, the ambitions of the MFF through the various initiatives that we have introduced.”
Ganbaatar Amgalanbaatar, the MFF President, added: “It was a real pleasure to host the AFC President in Ulaanbaatar and we appreciate his support and willingness to engage with all Member Associations in order to understand their issues and provide help in identifying solutions.
“We are proud with what we have achieved at MFF in the last three years and we are seeing great progress in the standard not only of our teams but also in the capabilities and professionalism of our staff.
‘With the AFC’s assistance and the continued unity and co-operation that exists within Asian football, this progress can only continue to benefit the sport in the country.”