The Johan Cruyff Institute for Sports Studies (JCI), Education@Iskandar Sdn Bhd (EISB) and the Pelorus Dutch Sports Technology (PDST) Sdn Bhd have inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish the Johan Cruyff Institute Malaysia (JCIM) in EduCity, Iskandar Malaysia (EduCity@Iskandar).

A definitive agreement is expected to be signed within six months to set up JCI’s pioneering institute of sports management in Asia.

Famous for its Total Athlete Development programme, JCI trains coaches, athletes, former athletes and sports leaders to further enhance their sports management skills and become educated sports leaders.

PDST will be in charge of the business and administrative framework of JCIM, including branding, recruitment and academic programme management.

Johan Cruyff, a Dutch soccer legend and founder of JCI, said that “having gone through the rigours of being a professional athlete, we understand the sacrifices and challenges athletes face on a daily basis.”

“So the idea behind the institute is to provide an environment that not only cultivates both sporting and academic excellence but creates a platform that weaves a sense of camaraderie within the Asian sporting community.”

Mr. Razali Yaacob of PDST also believes that it makes economic sense to participate in the Asian growth story.

“The Johan Cruyff Institute Malaysia in EduCity@Iskandar will be in a strong position to fully capitalise on the potential sports market in Asia Pacific,” he said.

He also noted that the market is expected to be worth US$20.3 billion in 2013, a US$3 billion increase from 2009.

Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim, President and CEO of Iskandar Investment and Chairman of EISB, said that the Johan Cruyff Institute Malaysia will spearhead critical knowledge transfers in the academic, technical and marketing fields to boost the region’s sports industry.

“Graduates of the institute, accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), will be highly sought after as they lead Asia’s growth as a centre of sports and education excellence.”

“The sports industry in Malaysia has generated RM30.2 billion towards the country’s 2010 National Gross Income and JCIM will contribute to Malaysia’s transformation into a high-income nation by 2020.”

A member of the Iskandar Investment Group, EISB is responsible for  developments within EduCity@Iskandar.