The government will study the contribution of the sports industry to the economy especially after hundreds of millions of ringgit had been spent on sportS development, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said today.
He said right now the industry was seen more as a field to generate good health and glory.
"We don't know how much the industry has contributed to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) because we don't have the guidelines and data about that," he told reporters after attending the National Fitness Month 2009 celebration, here.
He said it was high time for the sports industry to be seen from the economic point of view and not just its contribution to public health and the country's good image.
A special unit had also been formed at the ministry level to make the industry more profitable, he said.
On other developments, Shabery also called on national athletes especially the national football squad to emulate the Egyptian team who defeated World Cup champions Italy a Confederation Cup match yesterday.
"They should study how an underdog country like Egypt could do so when everybody knows they are not among the superpowers in the sport," he said.
While acknowledging that it was not an easy and simple task, Shabery said it should be done as football was and would always be the world's favourite sport.
He said he would also convene a meeting with the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to discuss a new and suitable approach to improve the quality of the national football squad.