Malaysia to upgrade admin and player skills

The Football Association of Malaysia is introducing programs to increase skills - both on and off the field.

With the cooperation of the Federation of International Football Associations, FAM is organising a Communication in Unity course from 9-11 November at the Petaling Jaya Hilton. FAM general secretary Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad reportedly said the three day COM-Unity program will help member associations achieve better communications with the government, media and marketing partners.

He said on the opening days, the relationship between FAM and the government machinery will be discussed in detail while the second day will concentrate on the views from state FAs', clubs and the media. On the final day a FIFA instructor will present a paper on marketing tactics in a bid to help the member association and clubs better arm themselves in their search for commercial sponsorship.

Other presenters include the Asian Football Confederation president, Mohamed Hammam, Malaysian Super League chairman Datuk Abd Aziz Rahman, National Sports Council Director General Dr Ramlan Abd Aziz and former Utusan Malaysia Sports Editor Joe Marcose.

Fit and Proper

To prevent players cutting corners, literally and figuratively, FAM will monitor all fitness tests conducted by teams ahead of the 2006 season. The Cooper Test, which requires an individual to run as far as possible on a 400 metre track in 12 minutes, is mandatory requirement by the FAM before the players are issued their playing licences. To earn the licence, the players must complete a distance of at least 3,000m (7½ laps) in 12 minutes.

FAM vice-president Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar said the move was unprecedented because no one monitored the fitness tests before.

"The tests are carried out to ensure only players who are fit are signed by the teams. Those who fail the test or are still nursing injuries will have to wait for a second test which will be done when the window for registration of players is opened in April," he said in the Malay Mail, adding that random dope tests will be conducted through out the season, dispensing with the traditional method of testing players after a major Cup final.