HIGH PROFILE:Safee Sali Community League attracts Kim Swee and Co
National youth coach Ong Kim Swee will be among several former professional footballers who have agreed to play in the inaugural Tune Talk Safee Sali Commmunity League which will kick off this weekend.
National striker Safee will also field a team but due to his commitments with his club Pelita Jaya in Indonesia, Safee Sali FC will instead be managed by his personal manager Zakaria Rahim.
Zakaria, whose ZR Sports Management agency is the organiser of the league, said 16 teams will take part in the competition which is scheduled to run from May 5 to July 15.
"After a series of discussions and obtaining the agreement of Safee and sponsors Tune Talk and (motorcyle distributor) SYM, we are now launching this community league.
"This is one of several efforts by Safee to make a contribution to society. Safee cannot play in this league but we have arranged two charity matches between a team featuring Safee and two other teams to be announced soon.
"The objective of the league is to allow the people of the Klang Valley to play in a friendly atmosphere, without it being too competitive.
"There are no restrictions and anyone who fancies a game of football can join," said Zakaria at the launch on Sunday.
The 16 teams will be split into four groups, playing six matches on a double round-robin format, before the top two from each group advance to the Cup quarter-finals.
The bottom two from each group will play in the plate quarter-finals, thus guaranteeing each team a minimum of seven matches.
The Cup winners will receive a champions trophy and various prizes including two motorcycles from SYM.
Among the sides to have signed up are Formasi FC, featuring a mix of ex-professional players and television sports personalities.
Kim Swee will turn out for this team along with former Kuala Lumpur President's Cup goalkeeper Herman Misbah, Astro Arena football commentator Zainal Abidin Rawop and Astro Awani sports editor Fadzrie Hazis, who is the side's player-manager.
Safee Sali FC include former Selangor players Nazzab Hidzan and Asmawi Bakiri and former international Zami Mohamed Noor.
"This is my contribution to society and football fans in Malaysia," said Safee.
"I would like to repay the kindness and support given to me. I hope this league will be exciting even though I will not be able to be here very often. I leave the league to be run in the capable hands of my manager."
Zakaria added that 10 teams have been confirmed while the remaining four spots will be filled after going through several applications that have been received.