JOHOR BARU: Expect bigger things from Johor Football Association (JFA) from next year, including a new stadium on a man-made island here.
President Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim announced on Tuesday that the new 50,000-capacity stadium is being constructed by Country Garden, which is one of JFA’s sponsors.
He pointed out that the stadium would be built on a man-made island located between Singapore and Johor.
“Reclamation work is currently being carried out and once completed, the island will be twice the size of Sentosa Island in Singapore.
“Hopefully, the construction period will not take too long. I am very excited about this new project,” he said, adding that it would be the most state-of-the-art stadium in the world.
Tunku Ismail also announced that Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has agreed to buy a private plane for the Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) players and officials.
He added that the decision came after taking into consideration the cost of travelling to other states.
Currently, JFA have three buses for their teams including the President’s Cup squad players.
On Tuesday, Tunku Ismail dropped a bomb by announcing that the JFA’s second team, JDT II, may be withdrawn from the Premier League.
“We are considering placing the team in the Singapore football league by November as it is better and will give the younger players better exposure,” he said.
The Johor Crown Prince added that the JFA are willing to pay a fine if the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) penalise them for pulling out JDT II.
He also announced that JDT will be buying two more foreigners for next season’s campaign.
“We already offered US$3.5mil (RM11.4mil) to Boca Juniors for Juan Manuel Martinez for next season,” he said.
Another player they are targeting is Selangor hitman Paulo Rangel.
On another matter, Tunku Ismail said JFA are considering holding a friendly match with Italian giants AC Milan as well as a charity match involving Lionel Messi, Neymar and other world class footballers.