The year in review for Malaysian football
Another great article from the New strait times’s journalist Christopher Raj. Let’s review yet another year of pathetic football in Malaysia.
In my strongest opinion, the FA of Malaysia should put more efforts in exporting players to play in other countries instead of focusing on domestic league. Without quality players, there is no quality team!
FAM has already building up an under-23 team five years ago and it looks promising, which even thrashed the Singapore national team 4-0 in its own den and gained some respects from Manchester United during its friendly match then. But now, it all falls back to square one. Really wondering what’s the association is heading to.
Read the below article from Chris Raj:-
Malaysia’s Merdeka Tournament triumph was a mere false dawn, as the failure of the Korat Sea Games showed.
MALAYSIA’S next chance to win Sea Games gold is 2009 and if achieved, it would mean a first in 20 years.
That is how long ago football’s rut started and after some false dawns this year, the sport is still nowhere near what is expected.
The Merdeka Tournament triumph was, and this cannot be denied, a mere flash in the pan achieved against mediocre opposition.
How Malaysia fared in the Asian Cup, which was co-hosted by the nation, and the Korat Sea Games is the real state of Malaysian football.
The defeats in the Asian Cup – 5-1 to China, 5-0 Uzbekistan and 2-0 to Iran – proved that we shouldn’t be thinking of playing Asia’s best at this moment in time.
China, Uzbekistan and Iran can’t even be considered the best in Asia as Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia are several notches above them.Malaysian football has to rise from the ashes and that will only come if we start beating Thailand, Vietnam and even Singapore on a regular basis first.
The failure to make the semi-finals in Korat was the first since football became an Under-23 affair in the Sea Games with Malaysia winning silver in 2001 and bronze in 2003 and 2005.
This only goes to show that if Thailand and Vietnam were our challengers then, now Myanmar – surprise finallists in Korat – and Singapore have also pulled ahead.
At the Under-19 level, K. Rajagobal and his players failed to qualify for the Asian Youth Cup next year, which means making the final round of the 2005 edition was also a flash in the pan.
But if there is to be a rosy future for Malaysian football again, it has to be through the younger players and the FA of Malaysia just can’t give up.
But it also has to stop calling for post-mortems every time a team fails for this results in nothing other than the removal of coaches and promises of more programmes.
The programmes are already there, that the Malaysian public knows.
In fact, it is not wrong to say that FAM has a far better development programme than the BA of Malaysia but the question here is how effectively is the programme being implemented?
For that matter, the wait continues for the “Road Map” that FAM technical director Robert Alberts prepared to be unveiled.
These are just some of the areas FAM, which saw several new faces elected this year, must seriously look at if football is to start achieving again.
The inclusion of new blood came after what was perceived as weaknesses in the previous administration and the general secretary is now Lt Jen (R) Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad, a former head of army intelligence.
He holds an important post for Azzuddin is the man responsible for overseeing the implementation of programmes.
Financially, FAM is on a more stable footing now with deputy president Khairy Jamaluddin, one of the new faces, bringing in the funds, while football’s core sport status has also brought in millions from the Sports Ministry.
Rightly, FAM has also decided to re-popularise the domestic scene and is devising ways to make the Malaysian Super League and Premier League more exciting for the fans.
A thriving domestic scene filled with quality is important for it will serve as a feeder for the national team.
However, problems still persist as some teams continue to struggle financially and administratively.
How can teams still not pay salaries, income tax and EPF payments on time considering that it is now almost 20 years since football took the first step towards professional status.
It has been a tough year, again, for football but it can’t afford to give up, not when it is such an important sport for Malaysia.