| KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 7, 2007) – FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter praised Asian teams for their performances in the recently-concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup saying the teams have the abilities to pull off surprises in the future.
“I am happy with the development of women’s football in this continent. Though, none of the Asian teams succeeded to make it to the last four of the recently-concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup in China, their performances won many hearts,” said Blatter.
Blatter picked DPR Korea women’s team for special admiration saying: “their attitude matches Brazil and I think they can beat any of the top teams in the world.”
He also applauded the move by the AFC to hold separate women’s awards function saying this will give a boost to development of women’s game in Asia.
“I think the idea of organising a separate event for women will help in the development process,” added Blatter.
“FIFA is giving the best player and fair play award of the year. But here in the AFC Women’s Awards, there are more awards for referees, young players and coaches.”
He also gave a message for all women in football saying, “All for football, football for all.”
Regarding different formats of FIFA World Cup qualifiers across the confederations, the FIFA chief said: “One can’t compare one confederation with another because the number of teams varies in each continent. Asia has a home-and-away format for the lower-ranked teams but they also organise tournaments like the AFC Challenge Cup to give these teams more exposure at the international level and improve their standard.”