GEORGE TOWN: Subri Kadir feels that the blessing and support shown by Malaysians can propel his son Mohd Faiz Subri to win the FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal of the year tomorrow.
The 64-year-old retiree and his wife Saadiah Ishak, 55, were at the Penang International Airport yesterday to send off their son, who will be attending the FIFA Awards ceremony in Zurich.
The 29-year-old Penang attacking midfielder Faiz created history as the first Asian to make it to the top-three shortlist for the best goal of the year award. Faiz was nominated for his physics-defying free-kick goal for the Panthers during a Super League match against Pahang at the City Stadium on Feb 16.
“My son deserves to win because he is carrying the hopes and blessings of all Malaysians with him to Switzerland,” said the soft-spoken Subri.
“My gut feeling says Faiz will win. But whatever happens, he will always be a winner to me. He has succeeded in bringing fame to the country and taking Malaysian football to new heights.”
About 100 people, including Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, team manager Zairil Khir Johari and the Penang players were at the airport to send off Faiz.
Faiz, his wife Norzawanis Hashim, 29, and their two sons – four-year-old Akif Fayyadh and eight-month-old Aqil Zayyan – spent the night in Kuala Lumpur yesterday and will board the flight to Zurich from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport this morning.
Faiz’s family are accompanied by Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah and Football Association of Penang vice-president Mohd Azizudin Shariff to Zurich.
“I am getting more nervous as the ceremony gets closer,” said Faiz.
“I have never felt this nervous in my life, even when I was about to play in important matches. I just need to live with this feeling for another 48 hours until the announcement (of the winner).”
The Kedah-born player admitted he may not wear the traditional baju Melayu outfit to the awards ceremony after all due to the current freezing temperature in Zurich.
Said Faiz: “I need to rethink my plan to attend the awards ceremony in baju Melayu as it is minus eight degrees (Celcius) in Zurich now.
“I’m bringing along both my suit and baju Melayu with me, and will see how I cope with the weather there before reaching a decision.”
The other two footballers on the shortlist for the Puskas award are the 24-year-old Corinthians midfielder Marlone of Brazil and the 17-year-old Venezuela national women’s player Daniuska Rodriguez.