Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has called upon all Malaysians to back the national football team. (courtesy of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak Facebook)

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has called upon all Malaysians to back the national football team.

In his Facebook posting tonight, he believes that Harimau Malaya will rise again with appropriate support from Malaysians.

“Although, we are proud of the Suzuki Cup victory in 2010 and the Sea Games Gold in 2011. Somehow, we also have to admit that lately, the performance of national players is not consistent,” he said.

Najib said various efforts need to be undertaken in order to produce football players from the grassroot levels and mould them into an internationally renowned players.

He also said talent scouting system at the grassroots level also needs to be strengthened in order to discover new future talent.

Najib also said there is also a need to provide a platform for corporate firms to evaluate the values and returns in sponsoring the local football teams.

“Similarly to international corporate firms which sponsor big football clubs in Europe. Sponsorship is crucial in ensuring the sustainability and development of talent and sports future,” said Najib.

He adds that there is also a need to give time and space to those who are responsible in rebuilding the national football team’s fortunes.

“I am confident the improvements are being undertaken by Football Association Malaysia (FAM) under the Tunku Mahkota Johor will be fruitful,” he said.

At the same time, Najib also urged all who are involved in football development, whether it is the Youth and Sports ministry, public and private soccer academies, corporate bodies as well as fans to work together to achieve Malaysia’s goal and dream in uplifting its national football team’s performance.

“To national players, keep working and try again. Failure does not mean failing forever. Likewise, with the players at the school, the academy, the grassroots, continue to work and target success. All Malaysians and I will continue to support,” Najib said.

Najib adds that football requires the support and joint effort of all Malaysians.

“Football requires the support and joint effort of all of us to bring it back to the pitch, then the Harimau Malaya will rise again!” he said.

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