Former chief coach Arivalagan may make return

KUALA LUMPUR: The national karate exponents may come under the tutelage of former chief coach Datuk P. Arivalagan (pic) again as the Malaysia Karate Federation (Makaf) are looking at restructuring the national team following their poor results in recent tournaments.

Despite the decade-long difference of opinions between the two parties and other internal issues which were only resolved recently, Makaf may just acquire Arivalagan’s services again, but in a different role pending approval from the federation’s executive committee.

Makaf deputy president Datuk Vincent Chen hinted at Arivalagan’s involvement as among the federation’s major overhaul moves, which is expected to be finalised before Jan 24, which could also see several members of the squad and coaches dropped.

“We are in discussion with Arivalagan to get his views, he presented some valid points. He will be playing an important part in the restructuring but I can’t reveal now. All the issues in Makaf have been solved now, so the conflict chapter has been closed,” said Chen.

“The restructuring not only involves the kumite (sparring) squad, it also involves the kata (pattern) team. We have given them (coaches) more than two years to develop the squad since Latvian Andris Vasiljevs left, but they showed no improvement.

“Makaf enjoyed quick growth after our major restructuring in 2013 till the 2018 Asian Games, when the downfall started. We are now at the bottom, cannot go down anymore, can only rebound.”

Arivalagan was the national karate team chief coach from 2004-2011, but his contract wasn’t renewed by Makaf. The seven-time SEA Games champion served as the Federal Territories Malaysian Games (Sukma) squad coach recently.

Vincent said Makaf are not looking for a foreign coach for now, but will stick to the services of local coaches instead.

Commenting on financial challenges after the recent budget cut to sports, he said Makaf will work to secure small funds from various parties, sponsorship for individual athletes and might even have to resort to crowdfunding. — Bernama

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