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The Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) grassroots and social development efforts were handed a major lift today after it received 5,200 ultra-durable footballs from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The ceremony was held in conjunction with the FAM’s ‘Just Play’ Community Grassroots Programme at the FAM’s headquarters.

The contribution by the AFC is part of a partnership with the One World Play Project to leverage on the beautiful game as a platform to enrich lives and bring about positive social outcomes.

The One World Futbol is recognised as a breakthrough in ball technology — an ultra-durable football that never needs a pump and never goes flat, even when punctured.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “Across our continent, football continues to empower and bring joy to people and communities of all backgrounds.

“This contribution brings to life the AFC’s Vision and Mission, under the banner of One Asia, One Goal to ensure that football continues to enrich and enhance the lives of tomorrow’s generation of fans and players.”

Expressing his delight, FAM General Secretary, YH Dato' Hj. Hamidin bin Hj. Mohd Amin said: “We are delighted and thankful to partner with the AFC and One World Play Project through this wonderful and generous donation.

“This is a great opportunity for our youth footballers to enrich their passion for the game and lead inspired and fulfilling lives.”

Through the unique and transformative power of play, One World Play Project is helping to ensure that the beautiful game continues to be accessible for children and youth of all backgrounds.

“We believe that play is the foundation for the healthy physical, social and psychological development of youth everywhere, especially those living in disadvantaged communities,” said Stephen Sonderman, Asia Director, One World Play Project. “Together with the AFC, we are empowering children across Asia to reach their full potential through football and helping them become future leaders in their communities.”

Prior to the launch, health awareness pamphlets from the Malaysian Ministry of Health covering critical issues which include obesity, cancer, anti-smoking and the Zika virus were also distributed to participants.

The day concluded with close to 100 grassroots coaches and NGO representatives participating in a Social Responsibility Seminar, which covered areas such character building, child psychology and special needs coaching.

Since the launch of the partnership in 2013, the AFC has donated more than 175,000 ultra-durable One World Futbols to 29 Member Associations, reaching close to three million children, far exceeding the initial agreement and target of 83,000 footballs.

Photo: FAM

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