Tashkent: AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam congratulated DPR Korea for their AFC U-16 Championship title win and commended the football authorities in the East Asian nation for their development of youth football.
DPR Korea defeated tournament hosts Uzbekistan 2-0 in Sundayâ€™s final at Pakhtakor Stadium as the North Koreans won their first ever AFC U-16 Championship title, to make it a youth double following the under 19s triumph in China last month.
â€œAgain we have witnessed another thrilling match in the final of an AFC youth competition,â€ said Bin Hammam, pictured presenting the winnersâ€™ medals to the North Koreans.
â€œThe level of performance is becoming better and better and this is a great indication for the future of Asian football.â€
â€œI want to congratulate DPR Korea for this win and add that Uzbekistan have performed very well throughout the tournament. They were worthy of reaching the final today.
â€œDPR Korea has again proved that they are taking the development of youth teams very seriously, as they are becoming regular contenders for the titles of these championships.â€
The AFC President also expressed his delight with at the turnout for the tournament, with the championship registering more than 220,000 spectators in 31 matches to set the highest attendance numbers in the history of the AFC U-16 Championship.
â€œThe spectators added more excitement for the final match, as the Uzbek people showed once again their passion for footballâ€.
â€œThe public interest in the youth championships is growing and this is a good indication of how everyone now believes in the importance of these tournaments for the development of Asian football.â€
Asiaâ€™s top four youth teams will now get the chance to measure themselves against the best under 17s from around the world at nextâ€™s years World Cup, prompting the AFC President to add:
â€œWe wish the best of luck for Asiaâ€™s representatives when Uzbekistan, DPR Korea, Japan and Australia take part in the FIFA U-17 World Cu
p next year in Mexico."