KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - AFC president Mohamed bin Hammam has implored teams in Asia to embrace a new era of professionalism and become commercially viable to ensure the future of football in the region.
The Asian Football Confederation chief made the remarks at the end of the first-ever Asian general managers seminar here designed to enlighten participants on the best practices of club management.
Topics covered included player development, generating revenue, attracting fans and sponsorship and media activities.
"After two days of intensive learning, I believe the participants now understand exactly what professionalism means and how, together, we need to take our continent to the future," Bin Hammam told 150 club managers.
"The challenges are great and next season we are going to start the long journey to glory. We all have real challenges awaiting us. You carry on your shoulders the future of professional football in Asia.
"The fans expect a lot and we have to meet those expectations. The way this seminar has been conducted and the way you have received it tells me a lot.
"It tells me that you are committed and want to see a big improvement in our continent."
The Qatari has long called for clubs and leagues in Asia to be managed more professionally, pointing to the success of England's Premier League as a shining example.
A key aspect of his vision for the future has been to make clubs and leagues more commercially viable through increased transparency in the way they do business, as well as more competitive to attract new fans.
Bin Hammam also singled out Japan's J-League -- Asia's most successful professional league set up more than a decade ago -- as a model to follow.
"Whatever you have heard, read or witnessed these past two days, if you don't believe in it, changes cannot happen," he said.
"Everybody must believe and must implement what they have learned. Don't say you can't do it. I believe everybody can do it. Japan did it. They did not say 'we can't do it'.
"Only if you defeat it inside yourself will you fail. There is a shared responsibility among all of us to work hard and make this a success."
|Stoger will stay at Dortmund if ´everything fits´|
|Bordeaux´s Malcom facing disciplinary action over social media video|
|Ronaldinho retires – The greatest Brazilians to play for Barcelona|
|Athletic reward Williams with contract until 2025|
|Jones taking unlikely inspiration from City in United´s title pursuit|
|Moyes unaware of Chelsea interest in Carroll|
|Verdi wants Bologna stay amid Napoli links|
|Ronaldinho retires – A shining light of Brazil´s 2002 World Cup-winning team|
|Ronaldinho retires – a World Cup and Ballon d´Or among Brazil great´s prizes|
|World Cup glory and Bernabeu magic - Ronaldinho´s best moments for Barca and Brazil|
|Ligue 1 Review: Balotelli at the double as Payet shines and Malcom toils|
|Pato still dreaming of World Cup selection|
|FA Cup Review: Iheanacho makes VAR history, kit confusion reigns|
|2016-17 UEFA Study: PSG, Man City drive record-breaking spending|
|Conte packing in homework as Chelsea games stack up|
|2016-17 UEFA Study: Manchester United record highest revenue but largest debt|
|2016-17 UEFA Study: The headlines in transfers, wages and revenues|
|Iheanacho scores English football´s first VAR goal|
|Materazzi not surprised by Coutinho transfer fee|
|Ronaldinho retires - Brazil and Barca great plans 2018 farewell|
|Koziello swaps Nice for Cologne|
|Simeone ready to unleash Costa and Vitolo alongside Griezmann|
|Lambert ´never thought´ he would return to Premier League|
|Wenger ´very aggressive´ towards referee Dean, says FA report|
|Reported Arsenal target Malcom starts for Bordeaux vs Caen|
|Valverde not making big deal of Dembele´s latest Barca blow|
|Arsenal will have a ´hard time´ signing Malcom|
|Ronaldo and Madrid nominated for Laureus awards|
|Nantes´ Diego Carlos brands Chapron clash ´historic´|
|This is not important - Conte unconcerned if substitutions upset Hazard|
|Conte ´doesn´t think´ Chelsea have pursued Sanchez|
|Emery hints at Neymar return against Dijon|
|Mkhitaryan key to United-Sanchez deal, claims Raiola|
|Tevez: CSL spell was a holiday|
|Mignolet considering Liverpool future|
|Fred waiting for Guardiola call amid Man City speculation|
|Inter confident but patient over Rafinha|
|Giggs had counselling after Old Trafford exit|
|Neville: Mourinho would happily swap Mkhitaryan for Sanchez|
|Man United becoming Pogba´s team – Mourinho|
|Can ´talking with everyone´ but hints at Liverpool stay|
|Mourinho ´not unconfident´ Manchester United will sign Sanchez|
|Pogba warns City that United will not give up the chase|
|Assist king Pogba matches De Bruyne, Sane despite injury and suspension|
|Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Valencia, Martial and Lukaku trim gap at the top|
|Shaw feeling on top of his game amid United run|
|Mkhitaryan left out by Manchester United amid Arsenal talk|
|Inter secure Lopez on loan from Benfica|
|Hurst marvels at hat-trick maestro Kane|
|WATCH: Neymar nutmegging for fun in PSG training|
|Nantes´ Carlos has red card overturned after being kicked by referee|
|´Logical´ for Aubameyang to stay at Dortmund, says Stoger|
|Stupid not to - Giggs seeks Fergie´s advice upon taking Wales job|
|Suarez feared Chiellini bite would derail Barca transfer|
|Dortmund sign reported Man United target Akanji|
|Wales confirm Giggs appointment|
|Barcelona´s Dembele out for up to four weeks|
|Struggling Stoke appoint Lambert|
|Referee suspended until further notice after kicking Nantes´ Carlos|
|Coutinho´s ´deserved´ Barca move, says Figo|
|Fatigue the issue for goal-shy Chelsea - Conte|
|West Brom legend Regis dies aged 59|
|Mourinho: I don´t like feuding with managers|
|Puel confident of keeping Mahrez at Leicester|
|Valverde: Real Madrid haven´t given up on LaLiga|
|Ibrahimovic nearing end at top level – Mourinho|
|David is to keep - Mourinho wants new Man United deal for De Gea|
|Nantes president demands ban after referee kicks Carlos|
|Stoger sets out rules for Aubameyang reintegration at Dortmund|