Friday, April 14, 2006

AirAsia takes Malaysian U20 squad to Man United

Malaysia's national Under-20 squad, preparing for the Asian Youth Championship in Kolkata, India, in October, has been offered the opportunity to train and play against some of English Premier League club Manchester United’s budding stars. The squad, coached by K Rajagopal, will leave for a training stint at Man United’s football academy in Carrington, England, at the end of the month, which will culminate with a friendly against the Academy team.

The tour is sponsored by Malaysian private airline, AirAsia which is also the "official Low Fare airline" of Manchester United. Its "indefinite" sponsorship of the Malaysian Under-20 squad, apart from arranging the United stint, is also to ferry the team around various parts of Asia for training, friendly matches and competitions.

“FAM is grateful to AirAsia for their generous support towards the Under-20 team,” said Football Association of Malaysia general secretary Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad told local media. “AirAsia is committed to the development of youth in Malaysia through sports and our association with Manchester United has created the opportunity for us to contribute to the development of Malaysian football,” replied AirAsia Berhad CEO, Datuk Tony Fernandes. “It is our hope that the Malaysian Under-20 team will gain from this once-in-a-lifetime experience and be on their way to becoming world class players,” he said as quoted by New Straits Times.

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