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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

FIFA official and former FAM secretary publishes memoir

Peter (second from left) handing a copy of his book to Tengku Abdullah, Looking on are Dr Jegatheesan (left) and Tunku Imran (right).Proceeds from the sale of 'Beyond Dreams' will be donated to the Special Olympics.

Peter (second from left) handing a copy of his book to Tengku Abdullah, Looking on are Dr Jegatheesan (left) and Tunku Imran (right).Proceeds from the sale of 'Beyond Dreams' will be donated to the Special Olympics.

DATUK Peter Velappan, who had served in various committees in FIFA, has published a memoir of his life in a book aptly titled — Beyond Dreams.

Peter, a former secretary of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Football Association of Malaysia, said the 334-page book was about his experience as a teacher, coach and administrator

“What I have achieved in the football fraternity is the result of hard work. I come from a poor family and my mother worked in a rubber plantation in Seliau, Negri Sembilan.

“I started my education in a Tamil school. It was through hard work that I made it to the top in FIFA.

“I want to tell the people that nothing is impossible if you have the right attitude and determination,’’ Peter said at the launch of his book by Pahang Regent Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah recently.

Also present were veteran athlete Tan Sri Dr Mani Jegatheesan and Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar

Beyond Dreams is made up of five parts. The first is about Peter’s childhood and education followed by Malaysian football; the AFC; FIFA and his perceptions.

In the first part, Peter, who will celebrate his 79th birthday on Oct 1, recounts how he started his schooling in a Tamil school and went on to study at Anglo Chinese School (ACS) in Seremban.

He explains how he adapted to the new environment in ACS and how he learnt English.

He was also active in sports and represented ACS in football, hockey and athletics.

On completing his secondary school education, Peter was selected to attend a teacher training course at Brinsford Teachers’ College.

He returned to Malaya after completing the course and was posted to ACS, Seremban.

According to Peter, he was the assistant manager to Datuk Harun Idris when the Malaysian team qualified for the 1972 Munich Olympics.

His biggest challenges came when he was serving as the general secretary in AFC from 1978 to 2007.

He was instrumental in Asia hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2002. It was the first time that two countries — South Korea and Japan — were given the privilege to host the biggest sporting event in the world. It was also the first time, the hosts were picked without any bidding.

Peter. who had served in several committees in FIFA and director of the FIFA World Cup from 1982, was appointed the co-ordination director of the 2002 World Cup.

During his tenure in FAM and AFC, Peter had the opportunity to work with former prime ministers Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra and Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.

Also highlighted in the book are former FIFA president Dr Joao Havelange and current president Joseph S. Blatter.

After his retirement from AFC, Peter became actively involved in the Special Olympics, an organisation whose mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics Malaysia (SOM) will organise the Special Olympics Football World Cup, for youths aged between 18 and 25, in November.

The 11-a-side competition will see seven footballers with learning disabilities and four able-bodied Under-21 footballers in each team.

Peter, who is SOM vice-president, said proceeds from the sale of Beyond Dreams would be donated to the Special Olympics.

The book, which is priced at RM50, is available at Surya Vision Communications (Tel: 03-2070 6885).

Tags / Keywords: Central Region , football


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