14 Feb WINDFALL FOR NATIONAL TEAM
The AFF-Suzuki Cup-winning team received a whopping total of RM1.24 million in cash incentives from FA of Malaysia, Sunday.
President of FAM, His Royal Highness Sultan Ahmad Shah presented the cheques to 22 players and 10 officials.
Head coach K.Rajagobal and the players received RM50,000 while support crew – two assistant coaches, physiotherapist, masseur, media officer, security officer, sports code and kitman – received RM10,000 each.
After presenting the incentives, His Royal Highness declared that this (the victory) is a beginning of a new era in Malaysian football.
The national team emerged champions of the AFF-Suzuki Cup last year. The last major success of the national team was at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in 1989.
“I am the happiest man as far as football is concerned. We are the best team in this region but we need to build upon it to attain greater heights. The Suzuki Cup victory should be regarded as the stepping stone to move on,” said Sultan Ahmad Shah.
The FAM President added the players must play regular friendly matches to maintain their momentum.
“We are planning to send the team abroad at least once a month for friendly matches in Europe, East Asia and the Middle East. Our team will definitely improve playing against tougher opponents like Japan and South Korea.”
Sultan Ahmad Shah wants the Olympic team, under coach Ong Kim Swee, to make an impact on the 2012 Olympic Asian Zone Qualifiers.
The Olympic squad opens their campaign against Pakistan in the two-leg Qualifiers. The first leg is on Feb 23 at the Shah Alam Stadium and the return leg in Lahore on March 9.