KUALA LUMPUR: Sepak takraw has met the criteria to be reinstated as a core sport in Malaysia, according to Sepak Takraw Association of Malaysia (PSM) president, Datuk Mohd Sumali Reduan.

He said that this follows the excellent performance displayed by the national team at the 2024 Sepak Takraw World Cup held here recently, as well as the significant attention from local sports fans who attended the prestigious event at Titiwangsa Stadium.

Mohd Sumali hopes that the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) and the National Sports Council (MSN) will consider reinstating the sport as a core sport as soon as possible to ensure the development of national sepak takraw athletes.

“I appeal to MSN and KBS, it’s time for sepak takraw to be reinstated as a core sport like before, especially given the impressive performance which adds value to its reinstatement, along with the excellent performance at the World Cup.

“It also has a large fan base, is our traditional and heritage sport, so, many development programmes and structured plans can be organised with government support,“ he said when appearing as a guest on Bernama Radio’s ‘Jendela Fikir’ programme today.

On May 22, the national sepak takraw squad made history by ending Thailand’s dominance, defeating them in the finals of both the regu and doubles events with scores of 2-0.

However, the 33-year wait for the national sepak takraw team to become the team regu champions continued as they lost to Thailand 1-2 in the final on May 26.

Meanwhile, Mohd Sumali said it is time for sepak takraw to have its own dedicated stadium, particularly to host major tournaments in the future.

“It is time for the government to consider having a national sepak takraw stadium as a symbol of our sport. It is a traditional sport with many fans, so there needs to be a stadium, even if it’s not very large, with a capacity of 4,000-5,000 spectators,“ he said.

At the same time, he also noted that the special incentive of RM170,000 from MSN is a positive start for the national squad following their success last month.