IPOH: Malaysia Rugby will contact the National Sports Council (NSC) to find the best solution regarding the issue of funding and selection of a new training center and competition stadium for the national team, said Chairman Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya.
He said that funding constraints and the issue of location choice are among the issues that will be raised by Malaysia Rugby at the meeting and that the matter will also be referred to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS).
“When (the construction of) the stadium was put out to tender (earlier), the location was not yet final at that time. After the tender was awarded, it turned out that the costs of earthworks were prohibitive.
“The approved budget was RM 13 million, but with all the necessary earthworks, it would have reached RM 35 million. So we are in talks with NSC to change the site as the site selection in the Putrajaya Wetlands area is not suitable apart from the fact that earthworks need to be done in hilly terrain,” he said.
He said this when he was met by reporters after the flagging off of the 2022 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay run by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu in Padang Lintau Kampung Tengku Hussein, Manjoi here today.
Shahrul Zaman said that due to financial constraints, Malaysia Rugby also expected only one pitch to be built before adding more in the future, subject to existing allocations.
The funding issue has been reported to plague the national rugby union team, including the preparation of the 2026 Rugby Project Squad or known as the Bunga Raya 7s squad, which has had to temporarily suspend their training program due to the issue.
The Bunga Raya 7s will compete in the 15-a-side Asian Rugby Championship (ARC) expected to take place in May, before going through three rounds of qualification to earn a place in the World Cup in France, which is scheduled to take place from Sept 8 to Oct 21, 2023.
After the problem of selecting a training center, the rugby team had to continue training on its own and is still waiting for permission to use NSC facilities so that centralized training can begin.
The national 7s rugby team manages to qualify for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games after finishing second in the list of teams from the Commonwealth countries that participated in the 7s Asian Rugby Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), end last year.-called