KUALA LUMPUR: Football administrator Datuk Peter Velappan (pic) has passed away at the age of 83.
Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin and the entire FAM workforce have expressed their condolences to the family.
“His services and sacrifices in the local and international football scene over the past 40 years will surely be remembered,” he said.
Velappan, as the national team manager, guided Malaysia to qualification for the 1972 Olympics in Munich. He was also the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general secretary for 29 years from 1978 to 2007.
Born in 1935, he studied at the University of Birmingham, Loughborough College in the United Kingdom and McGill University in Canada.
He became a teacher in Seremban before joining the AFC in 1954.
From 1963 to 1980, he was the assistant secretary of FAM.
As the AFC general secretary, Velappan oversaw the entry of many member countries, and Asia also hosted its first-ever FIFA World Cup.
Velappan was the coordination director of the Organising Committee of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
He served under three AFC presidents – Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah (1978–1994), Sultan Ahmad Shah (1994–2002) and Mohamed Hammam from Qatar (2002–2007). Velappan retired in 2007.
AFC general secretary Datuk Windsor John paid a tribute to his mentor and said his passing is a loss to the country.
“Datuk Peter’s vision for Asian football has been an inspiration to us all and his achievements both here at the AFC and at the Football Association of Malaysia stand as a monument to his love of the game,” said Windsor.
“Datuk Peter set the standards to which everyone in Asian football aspires.
“He was dedicated to grassroots football and the development of the game in Asia. It has been an honour to follow in his footsteps.”
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