Hong Kong and China are in line to establish the first FIFA football school, according to Sepp Blatter, presidency candidate for the world governing body. Blatter, the current FIFA secretary-general, arrived in the SAR from Beijing yesterday seeking voting support from the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) in his fight with the only other candidate, UEFA president Lennart Johansson, next Monday. At a press conference, Blatter said each national association should have a football school providing systematic training and development for young footballers. He believes Hong Kong is no exception and has urged the HKFA and the SAR Government to consider setting up a pilot programme in one of the local schools. 'Every national association should have a football school. It can be a boarding- or visiting school, which provides half a day of schooling and half a day of soccer training,' said Blatter. 'In the future, football players will not only be kicking the ball around but also be educated. They will be better people both physically and mentally. 'Hong Kong could be a leader in the realisation of this project. I would invite the Hong Kong football authority and the Government to think up a test or pilot programme in one of the schools here, or even work with China.' HKFA president Timothy Fok Tsun-ting said he would consider Blatter's suggestion and seek co-operation from the mainland. 'China has the biggest potential to first start the FIFA football school with so many facilities. 'But Hong Kong has renown as a cosmopolitan centre. We should think of a way which can combine the advantages of both places on this football school idea,' said Fok, a Legislative Council member. 'In Europe, playing football is considered a prospective career but most of the parents in Hong Kong think the opposite. And Hong Kong society doesn't give much recognition to sports. 'If football can combine with education, it will be marvellous and gain recognition from society.' Blatter said the national associations would be assisted by FIFA both technically and financially. 'Each national association should have its own tailor-made development programme to identify its needs in organisation, technical expertise and marketing expertise,' said the 62-year-old. 'My partner, Michel Platini, has the idea to let players, referees, coaches and representatives from women's football have access to the FIFA executive committee. These experts can form a delegation to visit each national association to see what they need and then work out a tailor-made programme for them. 'Money is available from FIFA. It was agreed in 1996 that every national association receive US$1 million - over a period of four years - from FIFA's television and marketing revenues. 'But the money is to be spent strictly on development programmes. There is an old saying that if you want to help your brother or a friend, you don't give him a fish but teach them how to catch them.' Blatter returns to Zurich this morning and will visit Africa before the election. Fok said there would be a meeting of all Asian countries this weekend to determine their election candidate. 'We will choose the one who can do more for Asian football,' Fok said.