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Thursday October 17, 2013 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Thursday October 17, 2013 MYT 8:41:22 AM
by eric samuel
Datuk K. Rajagopal led Malaysia to the gold medal at the 2009 Laos SEA Games and the AFF crown in 2010. Let's give him a chance to achieve his goals without outside interference. – Bernama Photo
THE FA of Malaysia (FAM) never seem to get bored of their antics, do they?
Talks of privatising the M-League has resurfaced and it’s the same old story.
Plans to privatise the M-League were mooted a couple of decades ago ... but nothing came of it.
The last time they decided to sit down and discuss the way to move forward was ... in Jakarta during the SEA Games in 2011. Nothing happened.
Last week, the FAM conducted a one-day workshop with the stakeholders of Malaysian football on their big plans and to get feedback to privatise the M-League. Well, you know what? Dream on, FAM!
How can we move forward with the same old deadwood in the system? The system is entrenched with unprofessional officials from top to bottom.
By right, the FAM should operate like one big family. But here we have enemies within the FAM.
How in the world can they come up with a concerted effort to raise the image of Malaysian football, then?
A couple of months ago, someone in the FAM leaked to the media the names of candidates who had applied for the national coach’s job. And it was supposed to be private and confidential, mind you.
The person who had the information obviously knew that the news would be demoralising for the current national coach (in this case Datuk K. Rajagopal), who has a big task trying to help Malaysia qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup Finals in Australia.
Right after the success of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, Rajagopal announced that his target was to try and take Malaysia to the 2015 Asian Cup Finals.
Let’s give him due credit for bringing back-to-back success for Malaysia – winning the 2009 Laos SEA Games gold medal and the AFF crown in 2010. He also did well to take Malaysia into the second round of the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.
Doesn’t he deserve a chance to prove himself without any more outside interference?
Sadly, it appears that some people inside FAM have been plotting his downfall.
In the Asian Cup qualifying campaign, Malaysia have collected four points from three matches and are third in Group D. Bahrain lead the group with seven points and Qatar have six. Winless Yemen are bottom with no points.
The competition has just reached the half-way mark. Rajagopal faces an uphill task as Malaysia have three more matches to play – two away games against Bahrain (Nov 15) and Yemen (March 5, 2014) and a home game against Qatar (Nov 19).
Surely he can do without all this shenanigans behind the scenes.
Let’s face it. Malaysian football is still lagging way behind in Asia. Even world renowned coaches will not be able to bring us success at the Asian stage – at least, not yet.
Let’s stop dreaming of hiring top foreign coaches. We’ve done it before and they all flopped big time.
Remember the likes of Karl Weigang, Claude Le Roy, Richard Bates and Bertalan Bisckei?
Frankly, not even Pep Guardiola can take Malaysia into the top 10 in Asia in the next decade.
Does the FAM hierarchy really think Malaysia can mix it up with Asian giants like Japan, Iran, Australia, Uzbekistan, South Korea, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, China and Iraq?
Come on, FAM. Stop dreaming!
What FAM should do is concentrate on their grassroots development programme – be aggressive with the junior age groups.
It is refreshing to note that the national Under-16 squad, under coach S. Balachandran, have qualified for the AFC Under-16 Finals in Bangkok next year.
Our boys even beat their South Korean counterparts 2-0 en route to topping the group in the qualifiers recently.
That’s where FAM should pump their money into. Spend wisely on these age group teams and you will see the result in a few years’ time.
Don’t throw money into the drain by going for a foreign coach, again!
Tags / Keywords:
football, Rajagopal, FAM, Football Association of Malaysia, privatise, privatisation
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