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Friday October 18, 2013 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Friday October 18, 2013 MYT 9:18:11 AM
by r. manogaran
Datuk K. Rajagopal should be left in peace to do his work getting his team to qualify for the 2014 Asian Cup Finals in Australia. – Bernama Photo
OUTSIDE interference is something Malaysian sport is familiar with. Almost every sport is a victim of this disease.
It’s a dreaded word, indeed.
So, it wasn’t really a surprise to read about a football club owner – and a Malaysian at that – meddling in his team’s affairs.
I guess you know who I am talking about and which club I am referring to.
Cardiff City are doing relatively well in the English Premier League (EPL). They are in 14th spot with eight points after seven matches.
That’s two wins, two draws and three defeats. Nothing spectacular, really. But quite impressive all the same, especially since one of those wins included the 3-2 victory over Manchester City in only their second match back in the top flight.
It was, believe it or not, only their first victory in the top flight since May 1, 1962!
Their form has been kind of yo-yo since that famous win.
But at least they are picking up points, which will surely come in handy at the end of the season.
So, everything was looking a bit peachy for the Welsh club until their owner, tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, decided to do what every Malaysian dreads.
For those who only follow the so-called big clubs in England, here’s what happened briefly.
Last week, Tan booted out manager Macky Malkay’s trusted lieutenant and head of recruitment Iain Moody.
And guess who replaced Moody? Tan’s son’s friend – one 23-year-old Alisher Apsalyamov of Kazakhstan.
To top it all off, Apsalyamov it seems has had no experience in football at all.
A classic case of outside interference, wouldn’t you say?
Will this interference eventually destroy Cardiff City? Will it plunge them into a downward spiral and back into Championship ignominy?
Only time will tell.
Frankly, this malaise called “outside interference” is well and alive in Malaysian sport, too.
Take football for example. Here we have coach Datuk K. Rajagopal trying his utmost best to prepare his team and get them to qualify for the 2014 Asian Cup Finals in Australia.
But everyone, whether jealous of his success or coveting the post, has been trying to undermine his work.
Even the media is guilty of it. There have been sections of the media who have been regularly hitting out at Rajagopal while throwing up names of candidates they say could and should be hired to replace him.
Hockey is another example. Remember the incident where national coach Paul Revington tendered his resignation citing outside interference? Thank God common sense prevailed and Revington stayed on.
So, how do we deal with this kind of meddling?
It’s not easy because those interfering will say they are doing it for the love of the sport and that they mean no harm.
All very noble, indeed.
But we all know that these people usually have hidden agendas.
If you are honest about helping a particular sport, say football or hockey, then give constructive criticism and not just harp on the negative aspects.
Players and officials must also stand united against such outside influences.
Kudos to the Cardiff City players for backing their manager to the hilt.
And the media should be constructive in its reports. Be fair and judge a person by his results, not his colour or creed.
It’s easy to just shout from the side lines. Do the job and see, then you will know.
The writer believes that outside interference happens everywhere, including at work places!
Tags / Keywords:
football, meddling, meddle, interfere, interference, Rajagopal, Paul Revington, Cardiff, Vincent Tan, Macky Malkay, Iain Moody
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