PUTRAJAYA: The government will contribute RM10mil to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) this year for national football development, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Prime Minister hoped this would help FAM produce quality players and develop facilities in a planned manner to improve the quality of national football.
"In football, the development of players is not just about a sophisticated and modern infrastructure. National football will only progress when it involves systematic development of players starting from the grassroots level and then polishing their talents to become the best assets of the country.
"The development of strong and effective grassroots requires a high spirit of professionalism. A professional attitude requires an organisation as well as an individual to make careful planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail,” he said at the groundbreaking for the new FAM headquarters in Precinct 5 here Monday (Jan 17).
According to the prime minister, the government is always doing its best to help in the development of national football, including through the F:30 Roadmap launched in 2018.
Ismail Sabri said it was a symbol of FAM's determination in implementing a comprehensive plan towards making Malaysia a respected footballing nation.
The main target of F:30 is to make the national team one of the top five teams in Asia by 2030, he said.
"This target can be achieved provided that the FAM leadership always improves its direction from time to time within the 12-year period and does not move away from the original objectives.
"I am aware that when it comes to football development, the responsibility should not be borne by FAM alone. It should be a national agenda, with the cooperation of the relevant ministries, government-linked companies (GLCs) and the private sector that can contribute in terms of material and physical support," he said.
On the new FAM headquarters, Ismail Sabri said it was a great honor as an effort to revive the legacy of the late former FAM president Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar Ri‘ayatuddin Al Muadzam Shah.
Ismail Sabri said the 2.43ha site would be used as the FAM National Training Centre, which would have various facilities that could accommodate football programmes at the grassroots up to the national level.
"Software development in the excellence of human capital should be given priority through medium and long term strategic planning for the development of the national football industry.
"I hope this construction project can be implemented successfully and that it will be a source of strength to FAM in forming a national team that is able to compete at the international level, as well as able to develop skilled human capital in terms of technical, management, refereeing, and coaching,” he added. - Bernama