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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Football offers lucrative rewards

By FRANCIS XAVIER Francis@newsabahtimes.com.my
LET’S PLAY FOOTBALL … Tawfiq kicks the ball to officially launch the programme as the rest look on yesterday. Alijus is standing (3rd left), next to Abd Rashid (4th left).
 KOTA KINABALU: Today, football is not just a game. Instead, it can be made as a career that could provide a lucrative return, said Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan, as he calls on Sabah youngsters to make a breakthrough into the international level scene in the sport. The Youth and Sports Minister said it is not impossible for Malaysian players to follow the footsteps of African players, who have made it big in Europe such as in the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga or the Italian League.

 “Nowadays, football is not just a sport, but it can be made as a career that provides good returns,” said Tawfiq. He said this when launching the TABS Safa Bandaraya Football Development Programme, which is sponsored by CIMB Foundation. On the programme, Tawfiq lauded TABS Safa Bandaraya’s efforts, adding that this will only do good for Sabah football.

 He also welcomed the move by CIMB Foundation in sponsoring TABS, hoping that it will be an example to the rest of the corporate bodies or companies to come forward and give a helping hand in the development of sports in Sabah. “Of course such programmes need sponsorship … because of that we must thank CIMB Foundation for their generosity and I hope they continue to support this programme,” said Tawfiq.

 For the record, the programme was attended by 285 budding talents aged between 8-19 years old. It is being held every Saturday and Sunday at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex field. Earlier on, Tawau Municipal Council President, Alijus Haji Sipil, who is also the Sabah FA Secretary General, said that the contribution from CIMB Foundation could help them strengthen football development programmes in the city.

 He said that the RM50,000 sponsorship from CIMB Foundation since last April has helped them carry out the programme more smoothly and effectively. Alijus said they are thankful to CIMB Foundation for the sponsorship while hoping that they will extend their sponsorship for another year. He said the sponsorship will be used to cover their expenses such as buying training equipment, footballs as well as paying allowances to its 14 full-time coaches.

 Alijus, who handed his TABS Kota Kinabalu chairmanship to Sulaiman Mohd Noor following his appointment or promotion as the President of the Tawau Municipal Council, hopes that TABS KK will continue to be the place to produce quality players not only for Sabah but also for the nation. “TABS has existed for 30 years and has produced quite a number of players, who have not only represented Sabah, but also Malaysia such as Rozaimi Abd Rahman, Bobby Gonzales and Sabri Sahar,” said Alijus.

 CIMB Foundation Sports Development Project Manager Abd Rashid Abd Rahman, Sabah Sports Board deputy chairman Mahmud Awang Hussin, SSB general manager Penyuki Matta and Sabah Sports Council director Terrance Pudin were also present at the function.

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