The Faisal Cup is the first and only football and netball tournament of its kind in Malaysia.
It is the first tournament ever to act as a voice of freedom and opportunity for underprivileged children.
STORY BEHIND FAISAL CUP
The Faisal Cup was birthed out of tragedy.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in April 2006, just as the excitement surrounding the World Cup began to build, one of our students Faisal, drowned while trying to fetch an old football he saw floating in the Gombak river.
Faisal and his group of friends had walked home from Dignity for Children Foundation (DCF) along the Gombak river in Kuala Lumpur. The boys walked along, kicking a ball back and forth. This old and tattered football was the only ball the boys owned, so when Faisal miskicked and the ball rolled past him into the river, he didn’t hesitate to jump in to retrieve it.
At first, he splashed around, laughing and having fun until he lost his glasses and couldn’t see. Then he disappeared from sight. His friends heard a cry for help and at first, thought he was fooling around.
Faisal was actually drowning.
The young friends tried in vain to rescue him from the swollen river but sadly, it was too late. He was caught in the currents of the river.
Faisal never had an opportunity to play football in a safe and proper environment, being raised in a squatter area by parents who were unemployed and unable to afford a ball, let alone send him for training.
Faisal gave up his life just for a chance to play for a RM 20 ball.
The Faisal Cup was initiated to ensure that children from underprivileged backgrounds have an equal opportunity to play in a safe environment. It is to ensure that never again would a child lose their life over something that seems so small to us, but is so important to them. It is to build a better tomorrow through the restoration of peace, hope and dignity.
Playing in Faisal Cup helps me make friends with others. It helps me build leadership because my team sometimes is not good and not disciplined, so I have to help coach them. This year is my first year being the captain of my team. Faisal Cup is the biggest and only football tournament I play in. I want to come back and play next year.
My most memorable moment was in 2015 when my team fought against 10 schools and came out the champion. I learned that we cannot think we can't do it. Throughout the whole time, think positive and know you can achieve it. I played striker this year. Sports teaches me patience and how to keep control of my emotions. You can't just break down and cry. If I wasn't playing football, I would be at home watching Korean drama.
I've played defender positions in previous years, and this year I'm a striker. What I love about Faisal Cup is meeting old and new friends across the years, every year. It's good to keep in touch and meet each other every year.
The most memorable moment was when we went to finals. Football has become my hobby and I developed an interest in it. Football helped me learn sportsmanship and develop self-control. One year, our team won the semi-finals and was supposed to go to finals. However, the other group complained and we had a rematch, and we lost. That was hard, but we had to accept it.
We get to learn a lot about others through football. Their strengths and weaknesses, character and behavior. I developed friendships through sports too. I prefer football over netball because I want to show the world that GIRLS CAN PLAY FOOTBALL!
I was 9 when I started playing football. I did not play football before, but now I am a defender. I like to play together with my friends. My best memory of playing is just passing the ball with friends. I like football more than netball because football makes me happier!
I would never have developed football skills without Faisal Cup, and that's where my passion grew to be a footballer. My first memory of Faisal Cup when I was 9 - we qualified to the finals, but we lost. I remember feeling angry and crying. Over the years, I have learned how to prepare months ahead, because football requires dedication. We need to be the best that we can be. Being a team member means trying to help each other out, meeting each others' needs. I would conduct trainings and come up with drills for my team to help them develop a winning mentality. This year: I'm a coach. It's way, way different! Managing a team that is young is quite different. My first team has a great chemistry and bonded really well. I enjoy working with kids - they see me as a brother and coach.
My best memory of Faisal Cup so far is … when we play football, it can bring so many feelings. It can make us angry, happy. I learned how to communicate with my friends because we should know where to go just looking at their eyes. Football has helped me to improve my self-control when I am angry or sad because sometimes in football we get angry but we can't punch people!
I am thankful for Faisal Cup because it's always a fun time. What I learned is that losing or winning isn't the main goal. Everyone just bonds and still gets to remain as friends even after the match. It's a special moment when people bond. Football helps me be disciplined and I train every day from 5-7 pm when it is almost Faisal Cup.