Fok kicks Blatter's FIFA school idea about

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 June, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 June, 1998, 12:00am

FIFA secretary-general Joseph 'Sepp' Blatter says Hong Kong should be looking towards establishing FIFA football schools.

He suggested the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) approach the SAR Government with a view to setting up a pilot project.

Blatter, who was in Hong Kong to drum up support for his candidacy as FIFA president, said each national association should have a football school to provide systematic training and schooling.

'I hope the Hong Kong football authority and the Government will think about this and start a pilot programme, or even work with China,' Blatter said.

'Every national association should have a football school.

'It could be a boarding school or a day school, which would provide, say, half a day of schooling and half a day of soccer training.

'In future, football players will not only be kicking a ball around but also they'll be educated.

'They will be better people both physically and mentally.

'I am sure it would succeed in a place like Hong Kong.' HKFA president Timothy Fok Tsun-ting said he would consider Blatter's suggestion and would seek co-operation for the project with the mainland.

'With so many facilities, China has the potential to set up a FIFA football school.

'But we have good facilities too and perhaps we should think of a way to combine the advantages of both places on this football school idea,' Fok, also a Legislative Councillor, said.

'In Europe, playing football is considered a good career but most parents in Hong Kong would be horrified by it.

'They don't give much recognition to sports.

'If football could combine with education, it would be marvellous.'