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PETALING JAYA: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has called on associations and youth football clubs be more creative in assisting development at the grassroots to ensure the country does not lack quality players to represent Malaysia on the international stage.

FAM Competition Committee chairman Mohd Firdaus Mohamed said the country should not depend too much on talents from sports schools or the Mokhtar Dahari Academy (AMD) in producing new football stars.

“Teams need to search not only in schools but in villages and districts because in the past we have produced players from such locations. We used to produce talent from regional grassroot sources.

“We have been depending on sports schools and AMD but we know that in the next five to 10 years, we will not see an improvement at the international level. In the old days there was no AMD or sports school, our team could win, even beat Thailand,“ he said.

Mohd Firdaus said this after the official ball launching ceremony for tournaments organised by Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) at Wisma FAM here today.

Earlier, Puma, the famous international brand from Germany, through its active sports centre was again selected as the official match ball sponsor for four domestic competitions organised by FAM for the second season in a row.

In other developments, Mohd Firdaus stressed that the club football team should not underestimate the aspect of player security, especially for the competition in the M3 League, A2 League (formerly known as the M4 League) and A3 Community League (formerly known as the M5 League), the President’s Cup and Youth Cup.

“In the team management meeting, FAM has explained the most important aspect of security and is the responsibility of all teams. We don’t want FAM to be blamed when there is a bad incident,“ he said.

FAM Security Committee deputy chairman ACP (R) Md Dali Wahid earlier said that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) will be at every venue of the competition to monitor the level of security throughout the matches this season.