First ever tournament: Irwan and Ung holding the Mamee 1Malaysia championship booklest before the start of the East Malaysia Zone final at Unimas stadium in Kota Samarahan.
AXIS FC from Sarawak and Daerah Tawau from Sabah are out to lift the inaugural Piala Mamee 1Malaysia championship trophy.
The showdown between the two teams concluded the tournament’s East Malaysia Zone (Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan) leg in Kuching yesterday, with the state side winning 1-0 over the visitors.
Organised by Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) in collaboration with Mamee-Double Decker (M) Sdn Bhd and Manchester United Football Club, the championship gathered
16 teams from the two Borneo state
during the East Malaysian run that kicked off on Jan 7.
YR1M chief executive officer Ung Su Ling said this was the first major event by the
foundation as its aim was address and improve social issues in Malaysia through education and sports.
“Through the Mamee 1Malaysia championship, we are focusing on sports particularly football to reach out to the people, especially the youths, and promote national unity.
“Moreover, it would also be a platform able to unearth and identify young talents.
“Ultimately by the end of the day, we hope this championship would foster friendship among those in the participating teams,” she said.
Ung said two best teams from each zone namely North, South, Central, East Coast and East Malaysia, would battle it out for the showdown series in Kuala Lumpur beginning Feb 26.
These matches will lead up to the thrilling grand final on March 2.
Being the region’s top two, Axis FC and Daerah Tawau will represent the East Malaysia Zone among the final 10 teams of the championship.
In addition, Ung also said that several
outstanding players would be selected to join Manchester United for training in London.
Meanwhile YR1M Sarawak Advisory Council member Irwan Zulkarnain Hasbie hoped that the championship would be an annual event, slated for providing the opportunities for youngsters to display their talent and at the same time, expose themselves to playing against teams from outside Sarawak.
“This championship is also a stage for
character building and exposing these youngsters to the option of seeing football as a career path,” he said. Irwan said by collaborating with Manchester United FC, more could be done in terms of football development for the youths in Sarawak as well as spin-off benefits.