Shortly after his speech, the whole room sang Happy Birthday to Tony. Kudos to AirAsia. Having sponsored ManYoo and English referees, they are now giving something back to Malaysian sports as partners to the Olympic Council of Malaysia, a bit-part sponsor of FA of Malaysia, Squash Racket Association of Malaysia (SRAM) and now MHF.
According to MHF president, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, the deal was sealed through a text message to Tony.
"AirAsia sponsoring the Asia Cup, don't you think it rhymes?" asked Tengku Abdullah during the Press conference. Tengku Abdullah gave credit to his private secretary, Datuk Zainal Abidin Abu Bakar, for his behind-the-scenes contribution in making the sponsorship a reality.
"There's no exaggeration on that sms part," said Tony. "But I imposed a condition to His Highness, that I be appointed as a member of the MHF committee."
He added: I've always been a hockey lover since I watched the 1975 World Cup as an 11-year old" and pointing to one of the guests, Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Tan Sri P. Alagendra, as someone who used to give him free tickets to watch the matches.
Partners to OCM, England referees, ManYoo and now MHF
Jaap Suyk (second from left) promises to give MHF a cut out of the total income earned by www.hockey-asia.com from the pay-per-view concept introduced by the website
MHF also launched its official website http://www.malaysianhockey.com.my/ and signed an MoU with http://www.hockey-asia.com/, granting the latter the internet rights to broadcast and provide live feed of matches held under MHF's auspices. Hockey Asia Sdn Bhd was represented by the husband-and-wife team, Jaap and Rita Suyk.