PETALING JAYA – Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Japan Professional Football League (J.League) to begin a collaboration to improve the quality of football in the country.
FAM Deputy President Datuk Abdul Mokhtar Ahmad said Japan has become a model to many Asian countries on their dominance in football and Malaysia is taking the same steps to return as a powerhouse.
“We want to emulate their success which is more of knowing how Japan move forward in developing their players. They encouraged their players to go abroad and have 80 Japanese playing in Thailand, while another 300 players are playing all over the world. What about Malaysia?
“So, with this MoU we want to learn from them, how they had started,” he told reporters after the MoU signing between the FAM and J.League at Wisma FAM here yesterday.
The partnership between both parties would include the exchange of necessary information for developing competitions in both countries, to share know-how, host seminars concerning professional league and club management, especially in the field of marketing.
FAM and J.League will also collaborate to conduct observations and training programmes for coaches, referees, players, physical, training, medical care, competition management, academies and marketing.
The collaboration would also involve the hosting of friendly matches between clubs from the Malaysian Super League, Premier League and J. League as well as joint training camps for youth.
Meanwhile, Japan Football Association (JFA) deputy president Mitsuru Murai said the history created between the two countries encouraged him to sign the MoU in order to help Malaysia to bounce back in football.
Murai who is also the chairman of J. League ensured that they would give their full support to fix Malaysian football in the future.
“Football history between Japan and Malaysia made us remember two things, Merdeka Cup and Johor Baharu. Merdeka Cup tournament is a tough competition and we thank you for giving us the opportunity to compete in the prestigious tournament.
“Johor Baharu is also the place where we were given a ticket to the World Cup for the first time,” said Murai.