Shaikh Salman reaffirms support to NMIFA
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, president of the Asian Football Confederation, met with Jerry Tan, president of the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association, here in Malaysia’s capital last Tuesday, Oct. 25.
After their membership application was granted by the 30th AFC Congress in December 2020, NMIFA became the newest member of the AFC and the Asian football family, bringing the AFC’s membership to a total of 47, distributed over the vast continent.
However, even before NMIFA was given full membership, they were working closely with the AFC as an associate member to improve the standards of football on the islands under the leadership of Tan, which the AFC president emphasized.
“NMIFA technically joined the AFC as a full member just recently, but football is well-entrenched and has continued to develop in popularity and participation in Northern Mariana Islands, owing mostly to the efforts of president Tan and his team,” Shaikh Salman added.
The AFC president also mentioned the practical assistance offered by the AFC’s development funds to the NMIFA and how it was translating into outcomes on the ground, namely the participation of NMIFA teams in the AFC’s age-group events.
“NMIFA has purposefully used the AFC’s development funds in line with their aims to improve the game, and their recent participation in the AFC U17 Asian Cup qualifying stages is great news,” Shaikh Salman remarked.
“The participation of the Northern Mariana Islands U17 squad tangibly reflects the impact of the AFC’s development programs and provides comfort to us that our member associations are on the right track, generating optimism for a bright future.”
Tan discussed the NMIFA’s future intentions, including how they hope to work closely with Asian football’s governing body to raise the bar by involving all segments of the people in order to popularize the game.
The NMIFA president thanked Shaikh Salman for helping their passage to full membership and expressed his gratitude for the AFC’s long-term commitment to the Northern Mariana Islands football future. (AFC)