PUTRAJAYA, June 17 — The government plans to dedicate the development of a sports facility costing over RM500 million here to the country’s sports leadership icon — the late Sultan Ahmad Shah.
Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said the ‘Soccer City’ project was an initiative mooted by the late Sultan Ahmad when he headed the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).
“Then, I was the FAM deputy president. It was the late Sultan Ahmad’s idea for the offices of the AFF (Asean Football Federation), AFC (Asian Football Confederation) and FAM to move to Putrajaya. This was made easier as the late Tuanku took a personal interest by providing a piece of land.
“So, I think that it’s only fair that we name it the Sultan Ahmad Shah Soccer City or the Sultan Ahmad Shah Soccer and Sports City as he was the nation’s premier sports activist,” Annuar told a press conference at the Federal Territory sports document exchange and incentive presentation ceremony yesterday.
Annuar said he would seek an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Monday (June 22) for consent on the official use of the King’s late father’s name.
Earlier, Annuar and Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal witnessed Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) president Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim exchange documents with FAM president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin and AFC secretary-general Datuk Windsor Paul John.
The development of the Putrajaya ‘Soccer City’ on a 42.43-acre piece of land in Precinct 5 would involve the construction of a 10,000-capacity football stadium belonging to AFC, FAM and AFF’s headquarters as well as a training centre for the national football squad.
Annuar said AFC would spend about US$100 million (about RM426 million) to build the stadium, while the Harimau Malaya Training Centre, which would cost RM45 million, would rely on allocation from the 12th Malaysia Plan.
In a bid to turn Putrajaya into a sports-friendly city, Annuar said four community football fields and other facilities would also be built in nearby areas.
Meanwhile, construction has begun on the 5,000-capacity National Rugby Stadium, costing about RM70 million, in Precinct 13. Work on the RM40-million Federal Territory Sports Council (MSWP) Sports Complex, complete with track and field facilities, will begin in the near future.
“All the facilities are expected to be ready in stages by 2023. The AFF office building is completed, only the second phase, comprising condominiums, is left.
“The rugby stadium is expected to be ready in 18 months’ time, that is the third quarter of 2022, while the MSWP Sports Complex, which is just being built, is expected to be completed by early 2023. I am happy to revive these developments after they were temporarily halted due to the movement control order (MCO),” said Annuar.