Negara kita kini berada diambang kehilangan sekretariat satu sukan yang paling diminati di seluruh dunia iaitu Asian Football Confederation di Bukit Jalil.
PERTALIAN sejarah erat di antara Malaysia dan Konfederasi Bola Sepak Asia (AFC) bakal ternoktah November ini hasil kemungkinan jelas ibu pejabat badan induk itu akan berpindah keluar daripada Bukit Jalil.
Realiti itu terpampang kerana AFC akan membincangkan isu lokasi baru ibu pejabat berkenaan pada mesyuarat di China, bulan depan, ketika tiada kepastian Malaysia termasuk dalam senarai negara pembida. – Berita Harian.
Itulah apa yang dibayangkan oleh Naib Presiden AFC, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah. Ibu AFC House yang menempatkan sekretariat Asia sukan itu terletak di Bukit Jalil dan telah menjadi nadi pembangunan sukan bolasepak Asia disamping dapat melahirkan tokoh tempatan di arena bolasepak Asia dan Antarabangsa. Ramai peminat bolasepak tempatan mengenali Datuk Peter Vellapan yang menjadi Setiausaha Agong sebelum digantikan pulah oleh Datuk Paul Money Samuel.
Di samping menjadi hub untuk mengerakkan sukan bolasepak di rantau Asia, AFC juga menganjurkan kursus-kursus untuk jurulatih, pengadil, pentadbir sukan dan personel perubatan sukan dan apabila kursus-kursus ini dianjurkan di Kuala Lumpur, maka lebih ramai pengiat sukan di Malaysia berpeluang mengikutinya kerana dibuat di negara sendiri.
Laporan yang saya petik dari sebuah laman web –
KUALA LUMPUR: AFC will invite bids from the Member Associations to host its headquarters, which is currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The AFC Executive Committee at its meeting on Tuesday decided to open bids to the Member Associations for hosting the AFC headquarters. The proposal will now be tabled in the AFC Congress in May, 2009.
The AFC Secretariat began its functioning from Hong Kong after the formation of the governing body in Manila, Philippines, on May 8, 1954, and moved to Penang, Malaysia, in 1965 after Koe Ewe Tek took over as its General Secretary.
The secretariat moved again ten years later, this time in Malaysia’s Ipoh when Dato’ Teoh Chye Hin became the General Secretary.
With Dato’ Peter Velappan taking over the reins in 1978, the secretariat was shifted to Kuala Lumpur. Two temporary offices and 12 years later, AFC got its own building in the capital’s Bukit Jalil area where it presently housed.
Pada 30 Julai 2008 – SBS EXCLUSIVE: Philip Micallef melaporkan:
Former Asian Football Confederation secretary Peter Velappan has blasted president Mohamed bin Hammam for starting the process of taking the home of Asian football away from Malaysia.
The AFC has invited its member associations to make bids to host the game’s headquarters.
But Velappan, who basically ran Asian football from 1978 till four years ago, said he was stunned to learn of bin Hammam’s initiative.
“I am deeply shocked by this totally outrageous move and I can see no logical reason for this to happen,” Velappan said from his home in Kuala Lumpur.
“The president is showing selfishness and a complete disregard for the history of Asian football.
“Malaysia has provided leadership and financial assistance for 30 years and it has built up Asian football from zero.
“But the president obviously has a hidden agenda and ulterior motives. Who knows, he might want the AFC to move to his country Qatar, that has a lot of money because of oil.”
Velappan, who is retired but still carries considerable influence among the 46 members of the AFC, vowed that he would fight this initiative with all his power.
“I will personally make sure that Malaysia’s interests are protected. What’s wrong with Kuala Lumpur? All 46 members of the AFC are happy for Asian football to call Kuala Lumpur home. They take great pleasure in coming here.
“We have all the facilities here and most importantly Malaysia is convenient for everyone because it is roughly in the middle of the continent.”
Since becoming AFC president in 1996, bin Hammam has overseen the naming of Qatar as the venue of the 2011 Asian Cup and the United Arab Emirates as hosts of the 2009 and 2010 FIFA Club World Cup.
The AFC said it wanted to protect the interests of its members.
“We have no problem with Malaysia,” AFC director of new media Sean Tohidi said.
“All the AFC is trying to do is get a good deal for everyone … and that includes Malaysia.”
Football Federation Australia said it was not interested in bidding to become the headquarters of the game’s governing body.
The proposal to move house will be tabled at the AFC Congress in May, 2009.
The AFC secretariat began functioning from Hong Kong after the formation of the governing body in Manila, Philippines, on May 8, 1954.
It moved to Malaysia in 1965, first to Penang, 10 years later to Ipoh and three years later to its current headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.