Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Government to set up multi-million ringgit fund for football revival

A MULTI-MILLION ringgit development fund will be set up to revive Malaysia’s football fortunes at both grassroots levels following the breakthrough performances of the national team at the Laos SEA Games.

And, this time, the fund will channeled to benefit all – regardless of one’s colour, race and background.

Yesterday, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek shared the good news and said that the Cabinet Comittee who met on Friday had approved in principle to the setting up of the fund.

And to make sure that the money does not go into anyone’s pocket, Shabery said that the fund would be managed by a board of trustee.

For a start, the government is expected to contribute about RM60mil to RM70mil to get it started.

“This fund is strictly for development purpose. We want to revive the state leagues and we want to bring life back into football in every school,” said Shabery.

“There are also plans to set up more football academies. It will be open to all, no matter what background, status or race they belong to.

“The board of trustee will be responsible and we will look for members with good knowledge in football.

“We will also look for ways to increase the fund by engaging the members of the public to be part of it.”

Shabery said it was important to ride on the success of the Malaysian football team to ensure continuity in the sport.

The Malaysian footbal team are in the final for the first time in two decades and will take on Vietnam tomorrow.

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