KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur has been identified as one of five global centres for the International Badminton Federation (IBF) World Training Centre project.

IBF vice-president Datuk Punch Gunalan said the centre in Kuala Lumpur should be up and running by end of the year.

“We are working on the details,” Gunalan said in a telephone interview from London yesterday.

Setting up an international centre in Kuala Lumpur would boost the sport in the country.

Under the project, the second IBF centre would be set up in Sofia, Bulgaria, in mid-June and Gunalan represented the IBF during the signing ceremony in Sofia on Tuesday.

The first of the World Training Centre was officially opened on March 7 in Saarbruecken, Germany, and it currently has 19 young players from five continents training under world class coaches.

“The centre is aimed at providing a platform for young shuttlers to gain qualification to the 2008 Beijing Olympics,” he said.

The other centres proposed by IBF would be set up in Guangzhou, China, and Houston, Texas, in the United States. – Bernama