Liga Bola Sepak Rakyat (LBR) which is set to kick off in Pekan in August, offers a two-pronged strategy to revive the interest in the amateur game at district level.
Armed with the slogan Liga Rakyat – Liga Anda (The Rakyat League – Your League), LBR aims to create a bigger base at grassroots level and eventually provide an alternative route for footballers under the age of 28 to make the grade.
In the assumption that as many as 133 district teams register for the tournament to kick off on August 29, almost 700 home and away matches nationwide would be held in a span of six months.
LBR chairman, Datuk Dr Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman, said:
“LBR is established to work in parallel with the professional platform, in line with the vision set out by FAM President, HRH Tengku Abdullah ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah.
“The idea is to get the masses to compete in a structured manner at district level. The teams will be given a grant to start with and the winner will receive cash prizes.”
Dr Shamsul added LBR offers an avenue for technical officials, in particular referees, match commissioners and team administrators to develop their knowledge and skill.
The kick-off will take place in Pekan, Pahang, and to be officiated by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Dr Shamsul was speaking at a press conference to announce the launch of LBR following a three-day workshop with representatives of the State FAs in Kuala Lumpur.
Also present were LBR General Manager, Azizul Kamar Abdul Rahman, member of LBR main committee, Azman Ibrahim and three ambassadors of LBR – Asmawi Bakiri, Lim Chan Yew and Stanley Bernard Samuel.
The LBR concept was warmly embraced by the State FAs, who unanimously believe it complements the current structure at top level.
Selangor FA deputy secretary, Raja Restam Azhar Raja Jaafar, believes as an amateur league, LBR will work in parallel with the top tier in the present structure comprising Super League, Premier League and FAM League.
“It is a great concept designed for the masses to play at district level. Selangor for example can field as many as nine districts – Petaling, Hulu Langat, Sepang, Kuala Langat, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Klang, Gombak and Sabak Bernam.
“LBR will also be a platform for serious and recreational footballers to follow their dream,” said Raja Restam.
Tentatively teams are invited to register starting June 26 until August 7. For further information, kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org