KUANTAN: The National Football Development Plan (NFDP) requires the support and commitment of all if the nation wants its football team to succeed at the world stage, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
In making the call, Najib declared that the plan would be a national project that must be supported by all parties until its objectives are achieved.
“I hope parents will also get involved in the plan by encouraging their children. In the United States, I see parents who will drop everything if their children have a sports day. The parents will wait there until their children complete their games.
“This is the type of commitment we need if we want our country’s football standard to be at the highest level,” he said at the launch of the plan here on Thursday.
Najib added that the quality of the sport at the school level would not increase if teachers were not interested in teaching their students.
“If you want to play football, you must play with skill and proficiency plus good tactical aspects. Our skill in the sport will not develop on its own without guidance.
“That is why we are stressing on increasing the number of football coaches. We do not want to see an increase in bookies. We want to see people who are committed,” he said, adding that it was everyone’s wish that the national team would one day be respected and feared on the world stage.
Najib also announced a RM10mil allocation for the plan and opened the Mokhtar Dahari National Football Academy during the event.
The introduction of the NFDP will elevate the standard of local football by creating a bigger pool of quality players at the grassroots level. Under this programme, more than 50,000 players will be trained by 2020.
It is a collaboration between the Youth and Sports Ministry and the National Sports Council (NSC) as they seek to inculcate a football culture similar to that in England where kids start playing as young as seven.
The NFDP is managed by former Bayern Munich youth coach Lim Teong Kim.
Did you find this article insightful?