KUCHING: Sarawak has been given the honour to host pre-season friendly matches for renowned Australian professional football club, Perth Glory FC.
The Hyundai A-League club will play two friendly matches at Stadium Negeri against the Sarawak Premier League team on Aug 11 and Sarawak Sukma team on Aug 14.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this is the first time that a professional football club from outside the country has chosen Sarawak as one of the venues in their pre-season tour.
“Normally, professional team like this will have friendly match with the national team.
“Instead, Perth Glory opted to choose Sarawak as one of the teams for the friendlies and that shows that they are giving us the respect and believe that they can benefit from the matches.
“They are viewing these matches as a yardstick to measure the strength of their team,” he said at the press conference for International Football Friendly and Sarawak International Football Symposium at Stadium Negeri yesterday.
Karim praised the programme which was organised by Football Association of Sarawak (FAS), adding that it can improve the standard of football in the state and help the Sarawak Sukma team prepare for the challenge in Perak in September.
Apart from that, it will also give local fans a good opportunity to witness professional footballers strut their stuff.
The entrance tickets for the friendly matches are RM10 for the open seats and RM15 for the covered seats while it is free for children.
This programme is supported by the ministry and Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).
Meanwhile, Sarawak will also host the Sarawak International Football Symposium at Waterfront Hotel from Aug 10 to 12.
“The objective of this symposium is to expose the ‘total football’ concept which includes various aspects such as training, food, nutrition, health, tactical and technical,” said Karim.
“We want to see our sports officials, who are looking after football in the state, upgrade their knowledge in the sport,” added Karim.
According to the minister, about 300 participants from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Brunei and Indonesia are expected to attend the symposium whereby experts from FIFA, AFC, FAM and Perth Glory FC will be sharing their knowledge and experience.
The entry fee is RM300 per person and the closing date for submission of entries is Aug 3.
Meanwhile, FAS president Dato Posa Majais said FAS is planning to bring in a football club from Spain to play friendly matches here.
Also present were FAS vice president Razali Dolhan and secretary Jeffery Lana.