BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
The Professional Footballers' Association of Malaysia (PFAM) on Friday announced that their committee members will be embarking on or continuing their formal tertiary education at the the University of Selangor (UNISEL) this year.
In a social media post, the association revealed that five of them have become the first batch of members to receive places to study at the institution. They are vice president Rezal Zambery Yahya, Ahmad Fauzi Saari, Felcra FC captain Shahrom Abdul Kalam, Selangor defender Fairuz Aziz and former Malaysia international Rudie Ramli.
PFAM's agreement with UNISEL had earlier been announced back in March, and the association initially stated that the university would be offering coaching and football management courses to members of the association.
But when contacted by Goal on Friday, PFAM chief executive officer (CEO) Izham Ismail clarified that the university has also offered courses outside of the fields of sports and football to its members.
"UNISEL has offered them places in the sports industry management diploma course, but not all of them will be studying for this. For example, Shahrom, who has a diploma in business administration will be studying for a degree in human resources.
"We haven't limited the courses they could take under the program to football courses, as we want to encourage our members to diversify their education; to take up studies in fields that they are interested in and in which they think they can make a difference.
"From our studies, we found out that outside of sports, our members also have a keen interest in business, human resources and physiotherapy," revealed Izham in a telephone conversation.
Izham Ismail. Photo from PFAM
Now Izham hopes that more of its members will follow suit, especially as UNISEL has offered assistance to those interested in continuing their studies, including a scolarship.
"We have agreed with UNISEL to make the courses more flexible, in order to suit their schedule of footballers. PFAM members will also receive discounts on their study fees, and the possibility of receiving scholarships.
"The five committee members will be registered under the June intake, and I hope that more members will take up the offer for the September intake, especially the younger ones.
"Many have shown interest in joining, but they are yet able to commit their time to it. That is why the committee members have decided to pave the way; as a sort of pilot project to show the rest of the members how it can be done," added the law practitioner.