KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is looking to host more international sporting events like the ongoing 2023 Malaysia Borneo Football Cup to nurture the sports tourism industry, said Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.
“Sabah is thrilled to embrace such an international premier sports tournament.
“It aligns perfectly with our vision of promoting sports tourism and attracting families who seek a unique blend of sports education and leisure,” he said during the welcome dinner for the tournament participants yesterday.
Also at the event were Borneo Cup tournament director Scott Ollerenshow, Sabah FC chief executive officer Marzuki Nasir and Australian football personalities Andrew Paschalidis and Alan Davidson.
Bangkuai, who is Sabah Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister and Sabah Tourism Board chairman, said the state recognised the Borneo Football Cup’s potential to draw aspiring footballers and their families to Sabah.
“The Borneo Cup has become a cherished tradition since 2008, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see it back on the annual calendar now that the pandemic is behind us.
“Looking back, we’ve had the honour of hosting teams from Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, and Japan in previous years, and we eagerly anticipate their return,” he said.
Furthermore, Bangkuai also extended the board’s unwavering support to the announcement made by Ollerenshow regarding the plan to organise a Girl Football Tournament in the future.