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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Let’s unite towards glory

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan is itching to bring back football glory to Sabah. The Youth and Sports Minister insists it can be done with proper planning and all parties working hand in hand towards achieving our common goal – to achieve success. Tawfiq, who was recently elected as one of the two Deputy Presidents of the Sabah Football Association, also pledged to play his role effectively.

 He also said that the FA plays an important role towards the development of the game here. “I would like to thank the leadership of the FA and its affiliate members for electing me as the new Deputy President. “This was a bit of a shock for me … being elected to the post since this is the first time I was elected to be part of the association.

 “We (FA) will hold our first meeting (FA new office bearers) soon, and I will express my views and opinions to ensure that the development of football in Sabah can fulfill the aspiration and hope of our people because we all know that football is a very popular sport in Sabah,” said Tawfiq.

 He said this when met by reporters after flagging off the Jom Berbasikal (Let’s Cycle) Programme jointly organised by the Kota Kinabalu City Hall and his Ministry in conjunction with the 50th anniversary Sabah Maju Jaya celebration in Malaysia yesterday. Tawfiq went on to recall that not too long ago, Sabah was one of the formidable sides in the country and had produced several notable players who went on to represent the nation at the international scene.

 “This is the thing we need to bring back. We need to bring back our era of excellence. And I feel that to do this, it needs the participation and support from all parties. The FA cannot be left alone in shouldering these responsibilities. “District FAs, the public in general, as well as corporate bodies, and private companies must provide support and cooperation, and play their respective roles to ensure we can restore our glory days in this game.

 At the same time, Tawfiq said they must also have planning … short-term, long-term, that involves young players at the grassroots level right from the primary to secondary schools. “It needs proper planning, and if this can be done, with the collaboration of all parties, I’m sure the future for Sabah football will be brighter, and the FA will play an important role in this,” Tawfiq said.

 And Tawfiq certainly has something up his sleeve as far as football development is concerned. The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Datuk Suzannah Liaw, Federal Youth and Sports Department Sabah Director Datuk Mohd Dahali, City Hall Director General Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, the Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary II Penyuki Mata were also present at the function.

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