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Sunday, June 09, 2013

SFA plots success

New Sabah Times
SERIOUS BUSINESS … from left, Alijus, Gimbang, Yusof and Hasbullah during the press conference yesterday.
KOTA KINABALU: Professionalism was one of the hot topics brought up at the Sabah Football Association (SFA) Annual General Meeting held at the Le Meridien Hotel here yesterday. Most of the delegates want the State body to be more professional in a sense that they must have their own stadium; own building, hostel as well as training grounds.

 They also want to see the SFA revive the state level championship from an open tournament to age groups, which is to be competed among its affiliate members. The financial aspect of the game was also brought up. These were revealed by SFA Deputy President Datuk Lawrence Gimbang at a press conference after chairing the AGM, which was their first since their registration under the Malaysian Sports Commissioner early last year.

 The AGM was for the 2011-2012 term. Gimbang, who was accompanied by its Vice President II Datuk Yusof Kassim, Secretary General Alijus Hj Sipil, Assistant Secretary General II Junaidi Ahmad Fauzi and Executive Secretary Hasbullah Yahya, also revealed that their next AGM, which will be for the 2012-2013, will be held in December that would see the election of new office bearers.

 On the issues brought up, Gimbang said, they concurred with the voices of the delegates. He added in fact, they have already had such a desire, which arose not too long ago, and they are currently working out the details. “The plan has already been there for quite sometime now. Maybe it is still too soon for us to have our own stadium, but we are pretty serious in wanting to have our own training field, or our own building or even our own hostel to house our players.

 “We will focus on this seriously, and hopefully things will work our way,” said Gimbang. He also revealed their plans of reviving the state level championship among its affiliate members. However, he stressed that the championship will no longer be an inter-zone affair. “Under our new constitution, there are no more zones, and the tournament, which we have agreed upon, will be named as the Datuk Musa Cup, and it will be an inter-district affair.

 “Since we have 26 districts, it would be too big to host simultaneously, so we are likely to use the Sabah Games format, where there will be a qualifying round with the winners making it into the final round,” said Gimbang, who hinted that this Datuk Musa Cup could be held after the Malaysia Cup.

 Commenting on a statement by Supreme Council member Yamani Hafez Datuk Musa, who lauded Federal Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaludin in calling all State FAs to form an Integrity Committee, Gimbang said, they have already formed such a committee.

 “We formed the committee about two years ago and it is headed by our secretary Alijus. In fact, we have organised seminars and talks with relevant parties, such as officers from Bukit Aman. We have done this from time to time,” said Gimbang. Meanwhile, Yusof stressed that the FA is also ready to emphasise more on the development of the game.

 “We are giving the development of the game a serious thought, as we believe that this is our future investment, and it could give State football a big plus in the future,” said Yusof. On the other hand, Alijus said that the AGM was attended by all its district members, including Labuan, except for three, who failed to send any representatives.

 “We are glad because the response has been pretty much encouraging. Some of the districts came with three or five delegates. In all there were 89 delegates that attended,” said Alijus, who refused to reveal the absentees. He also hopes that all the districts give their fullest commitment, determination and dedication and play their role effectively for the sake of Sabah football.

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