UNLOCKING MALAYSIA’S FOOTBALL POTENTIAL

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Pic credit to FAM media
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24 – For this to happen, the FA of Malaysia (FAM) must revamp the team management – not the coaching panel – after Malaysia’s failure to reach the semi-finals in the on-going AFF Suzuki Cup in Singapore.
To drive home this strong message – Malaysia, once the Asian giant in football – must have the right people with football knowledge for the (management) job. Not someone who could not even get a player on the plane when called up for national duty.
The player, instead, was fishing in the deep seas in South China Sea. Where is your national pride and dignity when team manager Datuk Yusoff Mahadi asked the player not to be punished for missing the Middle East playing tour.
Whose folly was it? The player or an incompetent team manager? Who is supposed to look into such affairs to ensure the team’s smooth management?
We have many football greats – household names who are still remembered not only in the country but also at international levels.
They are are still around to get cracking if given the job. The former greats are not only vastly experienced in the game but they are also competent to impart their football expertise at all levels – having donned club and national colors.
The FA of Malaysia (FAM) must get rid of the Yes Men –  (who are usually the president’s men) in the national football body.
We don’t need people who know next to nothing about the game but are there because of political links or other reasons.
It is lucrative to hold a post in the FAM, as the perks that come with it are plenty. Who would not want the perks when all you have to do is wear your suit (as and when required) and do some handshake here and there to introduce yourself.
The FAM has promised to conduct a postmortem on Malaysia’s failure in Singapore after defeats to Vietnam (3-0) and Indonesia (4-1) against wins over Cambodia (3-1) and Laos (4-0) in Group B.
As usual head coach Tan Cheng Hoe (and his coaching panel) are the scapegoats. Will Cheng Hoe quit or will he be forced to quit. It is a big, big question which is being asked by many.
Removing Cheng Hoe from the job will be a big, big mistake when the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers are just around the corner. The flop in Singapore is no fault of Cheng Hoe and his coaching panel.
Everyone is aware that it was not a strong Malaysian team in Singapore for various reasons. As reported earlier by HubMedia, the FAM and the Malaysian Football League are also party to the flop in Singapore.
Not many are aware that the final say in the team does not lie with the Cheng Hoe and his coaching panel.
There are “hidden hands” who decide on the team. These “hidden hands” have the power to overrule all. Yes. This is true. Very true.
The clout they have is destroying Malaysian football. Until this is checked, Malaysian football can only get from bad to worse or doomed as countries like Thailand, Vietnam or even Indonesia and Singapore make inroads.
In short, the FAM needs a complete overhaul. Those who currently hold office, should ask themselves if they should remain or QUIT.
Truth hurts but be a man and own up for your shortcomings in the name of Harimau Malaya and leave.
For the record Cheng Hoe has a contract that runs through 2022 and has another major assignment – the 2023 Asian Cup final round qualifiers.
Give him a free hand to pick his team…pick his team on merit and without interference from those with clout.
Let’s go back to the 60s and 70s and even early 80s. That were the golden years of Malaysian football when we ruled Asian football and even used to beat the likes Japan, South Korea, India, Burma (Myanmar).
Soh Chin Aun, Mokhtar Dahari, R. Arumugam, Bakri Ibni, Santokh Singh, Shukor Salleh, Peter Rajah, Wong Choong Wah, Serbegeth Singh, Lim Fung Kee, Wong Kam Fook, Jamal Nasir, M. Karathu, James Wong. Hassan Sani, Yunus Alif, N. Thanabalan, Abdah Alif, M. Chandran, Namat Abdullah, Shahruddin Abdullah, Isa Bakar to name some…all household names.
They played for the nation and the flag on their chest was their pride. More importantly, they played as true Malaysians. Race and religion was never a question unlike today. Sports without borders. We should bring this harmony back in sports.
It is sad to see politicians using sports for their political mileage. Sadly, this has destroyed sports in a country which has discarded racial harmony – thanks to politicians. We don’t need such politicians in sports.
Just a reminder that Cheng Hoe and his coaching panel need the help of FAM and the MFL to get things moving. The two football bodies must draw up a comprehensive football calendar for 2022…with proper local league fixtures. Enough study tours have been done on how to run a local league and cup competitions.
National duty comes first and clubs have to get their priorities right when the need arises.
Finally, the deadwood should be removed.

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