KUALA LUMPUR: Twelve sports will not be provided funds to prepare for the December SEA Games in Vietnam.
The decision was made at yesterday's first-ever joint meeting between the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and the National Sports Council (NSC) at the Wisma OCM.
The meeting also decided that Malaysia will not take part in the fin swimming, shuttlecock, wrestling and traditional boat events at the Games.
After the meeting OCM president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar announced that NSC would stop their funding for 12 sports.
The sports are volleyball, table tennis, tennis, chess, canoeing, rowing, women's football, waterpolo, petangue, judo, cycling (road and mountain bike) and handball.
“We will not be entering the fin swimming and shuttlecock events (the new sports to be introduced in Vietnam) because we do not play these sports.
“For wrestling, we do not have the athletes and the association is virtually defunct. We also do not have a national association for the traditional boat race,” said Tunku Imran.
He said that NSC will not provide the training budgets for 12 sports and these sports will have to find funds to carry out their own training programmes in order to make the cut for the Vietnam Games.
“We have listed the 12 sports under the “middle category”. These sports will have the opportunity to be selected for the Games but they will not be getting the training budget from the NSC.
“We will only consider the respective sports for the Games if they can prove themselves before the August selection deadline for the Games.
“They have to conduct their own training programmes and must have results to show that their athletes are good enough for the Games,” said Tunku Imran.
Tunku Imran hoped that the NSC's decision to stop the funding would not dampen the spirit of the various sport associations.
“It might sound unfair to these associations but they should carry out their on-going activities. The announcement of no funding for these sports does not mean they should ‘close shop’ for the next 12 months,” said Tunku Imran.
“National association can be over-dependent on NSC. They should, instead, be raising their own funds. Sometimes, it is not just about money as associations can run their training programmes by getting the right and committed people to work together. I am a great believer that if there is a will, there is a way.”
Tunku Imran, however, reminded that the sports funded by the NSC would not necessary mean they are assured of a place in the SEA Games squad.
“These sport have budgets from the NSC for their training but they will still have to meet the qualifying mark and prove to us that they are capable of winning a medal to ensure a place in the Games' squad.”
The 32 sports contested at the Vietnam Games, apart from the four Malaysia are not taking part in, are archery, aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, bodybuilding, boxing, football, gymnastics, fencing, sepaktakraw, shooting, silat, karate, wushu, weightlifting, taekwondo, snooker and billiard, table tennis, tennis, rowing, canoeing, volleyball, petanque, cycling, judo, chess and handball.