Thursday, 15 December 2011

Sports Minister believes Malaysia can produce world class players

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said football has a huge potential to produce millionaire players in Malaysia and that the ministry was focused on producing such players.

He said it was not impossible to achieve such a dream since football has become part of the sports industry that has seen rapid progress to become a billion dollar industry.

Just like players in Europe and US, players in Malaysia would also have an opportunity to earn millions through football by raising their standard of play, he said.

“Once football becomes a sport that can produce millionaires, it can become a much sort after career and parents can decide to send their children to professional football academies, just like in Europe and other developed countries,” he said after attending the Asean Sports Ministers meeting here yesterday.

He added that football had a huge potential to attract fans and viewers, especially TV viewers who would like to watch live matches, and that can generate huge potential in the broadcast industry and other related businesses.

“For example, the AFF Suzuki Cup final attracted viewers that can rival any international match,” he said.

Meanwhile, sports ministers from Asean countries yesterday unanimously accepted a proposal by Malaysia to form an Asean football league and agreed to discuss the mechanism for its implementation.

Kuala Lumpur will host a meeting of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the Asean League to discuss the mechanism for the league.

Ahmad Shabery expressed confidence that the Asean League that would feature leading club teams from all Asean countries, would help raise the standard of football in the region, on par with the Union of European Football Associations (Uefa).

The meeting of Asean League CEOs would be held in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 14 and 15.
“During the meeting, we will discuss the mechanism for the implementation of the league and blue print for the tournament,” he said.

The Asean League would also become a platform for players from Asean countries to feature in Europe or other international leagues, he said.

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