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In light of recent events around the World Cup and its tremendous impact on people around the world, ordinary and sports fans alike, I decided to conduct a comparative research project on the history of football development in both Malaysia and South Korea to shed light on how this sport started off as a simple pastime and ended up being an internationally recognized competition between states. I believe it’s necessary for people to be educated about the topic of sports; and particularly football, because due to globalisation, this very sport managed to bond so many different people together.

My objectives in this research to leave the reader with decent exposure to the history of football development in Malaysia and South Korea and a good understanding of the differences between Football Association Malaysia (FMA) and Korean Football Association (KFA) with a focus on the aspects of coach education and facilities, governance and transparency, structure and hierarchy, and the extent of achievement for South Korea and Malaysia when it comes to the competitive international football arena. For this project, I’ll be relying mostly on the official websites of the KFA and the FMA to ensure a high accuracy of the information I’m providing.

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Two centuries after the British colonization of Malaya, the British introduced football to the peninsula at the turn of the 20th century. It rapidly evolved since then. Although unstructured, football was the focal point of all sports clubs in Malaya, and regional competitions took place in Malacca Negeri Simblan, Selangor, and Perak. Soon enough in 1921, the national tournament of HMS Malaya Cup (later Malaysia Cup in 1963) was introduced and ever since, it had been an annual occasion observed by citizens of Malaya, that is except in the years of the second world war. It essentially became the oldest football competition in Malaysia. The name came after a trophy contribution by the crew of British Royal Navy Ship HMS Malaya, which was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship under Captain H. T. Buller, when the crew played a friendly football match against Port Swettenham, Port Dickson, Melaka, Penang, and Singapore.

1926 rolls by and the amateur football associations integrate under one name to form the Malayan Football Association, which was later renamed to the Football Association of Malaysia and was initially based in Singapore. The first president of the association during the interval that the FAM was based in Singapore was Sir Andrew Caldecott, and the administration remained exclusively British. It wasn’t until 1940 that the governance was transitioned to Malaya, with A.R. Singham as the first ever Asian secretary for the association, however the administration remained solely British until after the second world war. Six years prior to the independence of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman was assigned as the Football Association Malaysia president.


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