Former Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Vice President Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar today hoped Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia would also play an active role in funding the development of local football.
Raja Ahmad said the recent announcement that MAS and AirAsia would sponsor English Premier League (EPL) club Queens Park Rangers (QPR) was a good start.
“The sponsorship for a two-year term can certainly boost the brand name of the country’s airline globally. However, MAS being a Government Linked Company (GLC) must also play an active role in local football,” he told Bernama today.
Raja Ahmad said the move by MAS had actually taken many by surprise since becoming a jersey sponsor for an EPL club was expensive.
However, the decision by MAS and AirAsia should not be questioned because the sponsorship is seen as an important strategy to boost and strengthen its brand name globally to regain global market share, service and profitability.
Even so, most people would still question the rationale by MAS to invest such a big amount of money abroad while showing little or no interest in the development of local football.
Raja Ahmad said throughout his decade long involvement in the FAM, MAS had only played a small role in competitions organised by the governing body of football in the country.
“If can, we want MAS to play a role in the development of local football by providing sponsorship to a local team or at least set up a football academy,” he said.
“We do not want the people to question why MAS, despite being a GLC, is only interested in sponsoring a foreign club or league but not doing anything to help out local football.”
On Monday, MAS and AirAsia signed a jersey deal for QPR which will see the MAS logo adorn the jersey at home while the AirAsia logo will be used on the team’s away games.
It was reported that the sponsorship fee for both MAS and AirAsia which involves a term of two years, would cost some RM18mil.