The executive committee for the East Asian Football Federation has granted full membership to the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association. The decision was made during the organization's 4th Congress in September.
EAFF president Xie Yalong presided over the meeting in conjunction with general secretary Takeo Okada. At the meeting, members of the EAFF adopted and unanimously granted a motion to formally accept NMIFA as the 10th member nation.
NMIFA president and EAFF executive committee member Jerry Tan and NMIFA vice president Sue Knecht were on hand to accept the nomination as well as its responsibilities.
With the new status comes the opportunity for the NMIFA to compete in international play, gain support by means of coaching, attend coaching clinics, participate in referee development, receive equipment and organizational development funding. The membership also allows for the NMIFA to oversee the development of the sport of football within the CNMI as well as represent the CNMI in several annual and bi-annual EAFF tournaments.
“The road to this membership has been three years in the making and has required many long hours of volunteerism and commitment from past and current NMIFA board and executive committee members,” said Tan. “We could not have done this without the dedicated support of many volunteers in our community.”
NMIFA is also currently participating as the 13th nation to follow the Asian Football Conference, Vision Asia program. Associate Membership with AFC is the next step to FIFA acceptance for the CNMI and NMIFA.
The following countries are East Asian Football Federation members: China, Japan, Korea Republic, DPR Korea, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Macau, Mongolia, Guam and the CNMI. (NMIFA)