Corporate companies should come forward to support soccer development programmes conducted by clubs around the country. This was the message FA of Malaysia deputy president, Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, sent out when he officially declared open the 10th Tiger International Soccer 7’s & 8th RSC Under-12 International Soccer 7’s by Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah at the Royal Selangor Club, Bukit Kiara, yesterday morning.
Tengku Mahkota of Pahang accompanied by Royal Selangor Club president, Teng Mui Ngee, releasing the balloons.
Royal kickoff.......Tengku Mahkota kicks-off the tournament
It was indeed the perfect launch for Tengku Abdullah as his first official function after being elected as the deputy president of the national soccer body, as it was a grassroots programme, something which he is passionate about.
“This is a great programme which culminates with an international Under-12 tournament being organised by the Royal Selangor Club,” said Tengku Abdullah in his address.
“We certainly could do with more clubs having similar programme which will see Malaysian soccer have a bigger base at the grassroots level. Grassroots programmes are the future of the game.
“The FA of Malaysia and the affiliates can do their part for development, but with private clubs going their part, we will certainly create a wider base.
“I urge corporate companies to support these programmes as part of their social obligation to the society. The clubs have done well with their own resources and some support from sponsors, but these programmes can become very big with more support from the corporate organisations.”
Tengku Abdullah added that he is very impressed with the organisation and professionalism of the tournament.
“The veteran tournament further adds nostalgia to the tournament where we have many ex-international and State players still parading their skills. "Together with the parents of the youth teams participating in the veteran tournament, it is a great reunion and wholesome family gathering with great values both for the game and as part of growing up."
Tengku Abdullah said that it was great to see some many ex-internationals present and invited them for a photograph to be taken with him. Among those present included Datuk Soh Chin Aun, Datuk M. Karathu, Santokh Singh, Wong Choon Wah, Abdah Alif, Radzali Imbi, Khasim Abdullah, V. Kalimuthu, D. Devendran, Vincent Thammbyrajah, Isa Bakar, K. Gunalan. A. Jayakanthan, Lim Hong Guan and R. Suriamurthi (Spore/Pahang).
Tengku Mahkota poses with ex-internationals
A total of 20 teams are competing in the Under-12 competition, 16 teams in the Masters (above 40) and 13 teams in the Grandmasters (above 50) in the two-day tournaments. Foreign teams competing are from Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Holland, Thailand, Japan and Korea.
The finals for the three tournaments will be begin from 4pm today (Sunday).
Tengku Mahkota receives a souvenir from RSC president Teng Mui Ngee (right).