Speech by Mr Zainudin Nordin at the Press Conference for AirAsia Sponsorship
PRESS CONFERENCE FOR AIRASIA SPONSORSHIP
TUESDAY, 24 JULY 2013, 1.00PM
VIP LOUNGE, LEVEL 3, JALAN BESAR STADIUM
SPEECH BY MR ZAINUDIN NORDIN
PRESIDENT, FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE
Dato Sri Dr Tony Fernandes
Group Chief Executive Officer
Mr Logan Velaitham
Chief Executive Officer
Mr Winston Lee
Football Association of Singapore
Distinguished Guests and Friends from the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good afternoon to all of you.
1. I would like to thank all of you, including our new partner AirAsia, for being with us on this very important and exciting day.
2. As many of you would have known, three of our National Football Academy (NFA) players, Adam Swandi, Mahathir Azeman and Royston Tan were invited by AirAsia for a football clinic in Sabah back in July last year. We were pleased to note that they had stood out and caught the attention of the coaches then. As you are aware, Adam has since signed a two-year youth contract with French side FC Metz. We are confident that more players will follow Adam in embarking on the journey towards professional football.
3. FAS appreciates the support and opportunities offered by our partners which enable our youth players to train and learn from quality players on a regular basis – one of the key goals spelt out in the FAS Strategic Plan. We are thankful to AirAsia for the invaluable opportunity last July and today, we are excited to announce that AirAsia will come on-board officially and work with the FAS to further develop local football.
4. Under the three-year sponsorship agreement, the National Football Academy (NFA) age-group teams, National ‘A’, Under-21, Under-23 and women’s teams will travel via AirAsia when they embark on training tours or travel to other countries for competitive matches.
5. The Lions are now four-time champions of Asean, a feat we can be proud of. However, we must capitalise on the success and continue to deliver greater achievements in all aspects of Singapore football, including the area of youth development, where our young players demonstrated their abilities against quality opponents from South America and Europe at the recent editions of the Lion City Cup and the NexLions competitions. From June 8 to 16 this year, our NFA Under-15 and Under-16 teams had the chance to face the likes of Arsenal, PSV, Corinthians and Eintracht Frankfurt at the upcoming Lion City Cup. Both teams performed well and like previous editions of the tournament, the Lion City Cup unearthed many of our young talents. The recently concluded Malaysian Super League saw our developmental team, LionsXII, emerging victorious for the first time in 19 years.
6. We are really thankful to Mr Fernandes and AirAsia for their staunch support of football and we are delighted to be able to work with them to further promote the sport. As we have always said, support from corporations is vital and will facilitate our ongoing efforts to raise our footballing standards and further enable us to expand our community and outreach initiatives. Going forward, we hope that more corporations will view sports, including football, as a key platform to drive brand awareness and equity.
7. We are heartened by the endorsement of our footballing vision and programmes, including our youth development structure and players, from FIFA, AFC and leading European clubs. We are also encouraged by FIFA’s assessment and comments that we have progressed well in most of the nine areas spelt out in the FAS Strategic Plan 2010-2015, whose goals were described by FIFA Technical Director Jean-Michel Bénézet as “ambitious but attainable and realistic”.
8. There remains much hard work ahead and we look forward to the continued support from our stakeholders including clubs, sponsors, government agencies, media, fans, volunteers, players and parents as we strive to raise the standards of local football in all aspects. We also humbly call on others, including potential sponsors, to join us and work together to further promote and develop the beautiful game.
9. Once again, I would like to thank Mr Fernandes and AirAsia for their staunch support and we look forward to a close and collaborative relationship which will benefit both parties. On this note, I wish everyone a great day ahead.