Football academy owner writes to Finance Ministry to get tax exemptions for corporate sponsors

A football academy owner is not giving up on his fight to get tax exemptions for companies that sponsor sports, especially at the grassroots level.

N. Rada Krishnan, a renowned grassroots football coach who runs Youth Football Academy (YFA) Red Star, sent a letter to the Finance Ministry on Oct 19 appealing for tax exemptions for companies.

In the letter, Rada Krishnan said that his academy had suffered financial difficulties in carrying out grassroots development programmes, because companies had pulled their sponsorships, as their investments were not recognised by the government.

“Although we have tried to get sponsorships, many companies don’t want to invest, as they do not get tax exemptions from the Finance Ministry,” Rada Krishnan said, in the letter sighted by Twentytwo13.

“We made the decision to bring this matter to your (ministry’s) attention in the name of football development and for the future of our children. If there’s no help provided, more children will no longer be a part of football in the next five years.”

Rada Krishnan added that the sponsorship money will also assist clubs and academies in allowing children from B40 families to train under a structured football programme, and unearth their true potential.

“We certainly hope you (the ministry) will consider our application (for sponsors to receive tax exemptions) in a bid to develop Malaysian football,” added Rada Krishnan, who was runner-up for the Asian Football Confederation Best Grassroots Leader award in 2018.

YFA Red Star was supported by CIMB Bank Bhd from 2008 to 2019. With a sponsorship of some RM200,000 annually, the academy was able to produce a string of talents, including national footballer Kogileswaran Raj.

There was no mention of tax exemptions for companies when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim tabled Budget 2024 at the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 3.

Rada Krishnan had earlier told Twentytwo13 that the government would have done grassroots sports players in Malaysia a huge favour by providing tax exemptions to companies wanting to invest in sports academies.

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