Friday, May 2, 2008
At what Price, Jonathan?
Mr Jonathan Price,
Chairman of Gifted Group,
Promoter of the Champions Youth Cup.
Re: The AFC involvement in the CYC
The above refers, can your esteemed organisation shed some light on this issue?
Attached herewith is a story published by the New Straits Times on April 30, 2008.
THE Champions Youth Cup (CYC) saga took another twist yesterday when it emerged that the FA of Malaysia (FAM) will not be involved in any organisational aspect of the Under-19 tournament on Aug 5-16.
This is sure to invite further criticism for a tournament that costs the Sports Ministry RM17 million a year, especially as FAM cited its unwillingness to work with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as its reason.
Given the latest development, it will be interesting to see the reaction from the Sports Ministry, considering the amount involved.
The AFC, said Jonathan Price - the chairman of tournament promoter Gifted Group, had offered to work together last year.
"We thought it was a good offer as they (AFC) agreed to help us in terms of football management, referees and the disciplinary committee," said Price.
"During our discussions with FAM officials, we clearly briefed them of the roles they would play. But none were happy or too pleased that AFC is involved."
Price said he had written to FAM on April 25, whose general secretary Lt Jen (Rtd) Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad confirmed having received it.
"The letter will be tabled at the FAM executive committee meeting on May 17," was all that Azzuddin was willing to say.
A copy of Price's letter to Azzuddin, which was made available to Timesport, stated that Gifted Group had an "agreement in place with the AFC to organise the event alongside Gifted.
"Whilst we would be pleased to also have FAM play a full role in this regard and welcome your positive attitude to the tournament, you will appreciate that we cannot renege upon commitments that we have already made to other parties.
"With regret, I must therefore decline your kind offer to assist us with the tournament organisation."
Gifted Group had met FAM officials on March 27 and discussed the possible involvement of the national body in the CYC. However, FAM had subsequently informed Philip Lay, general manager of the CYC that it had no wish to work alongside AFC in the organising of the tournament.
Price said Gifted Group's decision was not based on financial criteria.
"As a gesture of goodwill and in recognition of the very positive relationship that we have developed with the FAM since your (Azzuddin's) appointment (as general secretary), I can confirm that I still propose to pay to the FAM the US30,000 (about RM96,000) that we had agreed for its services."
Price also confirmed that Gifted Group remained committed to the development programmes that it had constructed with FAM together with the Sports Ministry, National Sports Council and the Education Ministry.
FAM's relationship with AFC has been strained since the Asian body blocked Manchester United's tour of Malaysia which clashed with last year's Asian Cup which Malaysia co-hosted.
Sports Ministry officials could not be contacted for comments.
Yesterday's draw (pic courtesy of championsyouthcup.com) was conducted by AFC assistant general secretary Carlo Nohra and Malaysia were drawn in Group B with Ajax Amsterdam, Chelsea and AC Milan. The group will be based in Penang.
Champions Machester United are in Group D with Porto, Juventus and China and will play their matches in Kuala Terengganu.
Group A, which will be based in Kuantan, has PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Flamengo and India, while Lyon, Bayern Munich, River Plate and Qatar make up Group C which will be based in Malacca.
The semi-finals and final will be in Kuala Lumpur.
The groupings -- Group A: PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Flamengo, India.
Group B: Ajax Amesterdam, Chelsea, AC Milan, Malaysia.
Group C: Olympic Lyon, Bayern Munich, River Plate, Qatar.
Group D: Porto, Manchester United, Juventus, China.