Arsenal school welcomed by Malaysian football

English club Arsenal has opened a soccer school in Malaysia, perhaps the first of many Premier League and other European clubs to do so. According to Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, deputy president of the Football Association of Malaysia, the training program offered by the school is in line with FAM's aspirations to develop local talent.

"We have also been informed that Manchester City will also have a similar program. I hope more established clubs will do the same," Tengku Abdullah said. "The clubs should also not think of profits only. As the Asian Football Confederation said, it should be seen as their social responsibility for helping develop football in countries," he said.

"It is an opportunity for young Malaysians. They will now have the chance to receive proper training to harness their interest and skills. All training programmes will be carried out by highly qualified and experienced coaches," said Robert Alberts, the Arsenal school's head coach who was head coach for the Malaysian state of Kedah in 1993.

Present with Tengku Abdullah at at the official launch of the Celcom-Arsenal Soccer School in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan La Salle were Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Radzi Mansor, FAM vice-president Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar, FAM secretary, Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad and Arsenal's representative, Alan Sefton.