01 May 2009
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) have received a RM500,000 sponsorship from AirAsia for the Asia Cup tournament in Kuantan from May 9-16.
MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahamd Shah, who said the Asia Cup will cost about RM1.3mil to host, thanked AirAsia for their support.
“We have a few more sponsors lined up to help ease our burden,” he said after the signing ceremony with AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes yesterday.
“I would like to thank Tony for this generous gesture and hope this long-term commitment will help improve Malaysia’s rankings in the world from the current 15th.
“I want to see Malaysia in the top-ten bracket soon. Only then will I seek another term in MHF.”
Tengku Abdullah said it would be easier to attract sponsors if the national team were more successful on the field.
“We need about RM3mil a year to train the various age-groups and run all our tournaments,” he said.
Fernandes, meanwhile, said he got hooked on hockey after watching the 1975 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur as an 11-year-old.
“I believe the partnership between MHF and AirAsia will be a fruitful and lasting one,” said Tony, who turned 45 yesterday.
At the same function, Reebok also signed a memorandum of understandings (MoU) with the MHF to sponsor the attire for the seniors and the National Juniors in the Asia Cup and the Junior World Cup (June).
Seven teams will compete in the Asia Cup following Sri Lanka’s withdrawal on Tuesday. Malaysia are in Group A with South Korea, Japan and Bangladesh. Group B comprises defending hampions India, Pakistan and China.