Dato’ Peter Vellapan
Year Inducted: 2006
In 1972 the Malaysian football team qualified to the Olympic Games in Munich, West Germany. The Team Manager and Coach was none other than Peter Velappan, a man whose contribution to the development of football in this region has been more than commendable. He was also the man behind the National Youth Team’s clinching of second place at the Asian Youth Championship.
Born on 1st October 1935, Velappan started out as a teacher in the small town of Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. He had just completed his studies in the Birmingham University of England, Loughborough College and later in McGill University in Canada. Even as a teacher, his passion for sports encouraged him to push for the development and promotion of sports in schools and at state level.
Of course, Velappan was no novice to sports. During his schooldays he was an outstanding sportsman and athlete, having played hockey, football and athletics for his schools, colleges, state and country. Velappan used his platform as the Assistant Secretary of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) from 1963 to 1980, to bring about many changes and developments in the sport. He was also responsible for introducing many new ideas including professionalism of football in the country.
In 1978, Velappan became the General Secretary of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and has since played a significant role in the development of the sport at a regional level. He is responsible for AFC’s membership of 44 countries, which he frequently visits to supervise tournaments and assist in organisation. In the last decade, 36 of those countries have been fully activated for football development under the guidance of AFC, thus improving the quality and standard of Asian football, as seen evidently in world class tournaments. Recently, he also served as one of the Advisors to the Organising Committee of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea / Japan.
Today, Peter Velappan is recognised as a leading expert in the sport and commands a great deal of respect on a global stage. He has certainly carved a name for himself in the football arena and continues to relentlessly devote himself to the growth and development of football in Malaysia, Asia and around the world, as he has done for the last 30 years. He proves by example that football is not just about the game that is played on the field, but also the one that is played off it.
1963 – Assistant Secretary to FAM, Introduced professionalism of football
1972 – Team Manager/Coach to National, Youth and Senior Football Teams [National Team qualified for 1972 Olympics, Munich, West Germany & National Youth Team achieved 2nd place in Asian Youth Championship]
1978 – General Secretary to AFC 44 member countries
2002 – Advisor Organizing Committee of FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan
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