I REFER to the StarSport report “The sketchy squad” (The Star, Jan 22).It is heartening that the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has heeded the call by football pundits and fans to be transparent with the findings of the independent committee tasked to investigate team Harimau Malaya’s dismal performance at the recent AFF Suzuki Cup in Singapore.
The findings announced by committee head Datuk Dell Akbar Khan revealed that the national team’s disastrous outing was due to a host of factors, including lack of planning, inadequate training and a squad riven by cliques.
However, these do not come as a surprise to commentators and fans alike, as many had alluded to these deficiencies earlier on.
No doubt the constraints that the FAM and players faced due to the Covid-19 situation had affected the team’s preparations.
Nevertheless, several other national teams in the tournament had generally faced similar difficulties and yet were able to perform better than Malaysia.
It is quite disappointing that former head coach Tan Cheng Hoe and his assistant S. Balachandran were not keen to be interviewed by the committee.
Had they done so, their feedback and views would have provided invaluable insights to the relevant quarters.
It is pertinent to note that the committee had given 10 recommendations to FAM, including a minimum period for training camps, player selection to be done on evidence-based approach and a contingency plan to deal with Covid-19.
It is good that FAM has reacted positively to the recommendations, including the decision to appoint South Korean Kim Pan-gon as the new national team head coach.
Without doubt, many fans would welcome this move and hope that the new head coach and FAM would collaborate well and do their utmost to revive the fortunes and stature of the national team.
HUSSAIN ABU BAKAR