Monday, July 16, 2007


With Tengku Mahkota resigning as the FAM Deputy President, the calls have mounted for others in the council to follow suit. And speculation is rife that more will follow the decision taken by Tengku Abdullah. But will the exodus solve the problems? Or will it create new problems for Malaysian football.

Lets look at this rationally. With the FAM Congress scheduled for early September 2007, a new set (most unlikely some say) is set to take over the management of Malaysian football. But what can or will they do to change the fortunes of Malaysian football? Where did, have and continue, to be the wrong decisions taken by those who claim to have the antidote to save Malaysian football.

We won the gold medal at the 1989 Sea Games in Kuala Lumpur and that year spelled the end of the amatuer league as Malaysian football moved to the Semi Professional era and a few years later to fully professional. And it is right here where the rot started for Malaysian football, but many still ignore tha fact.

I for one used to be at the Station Padang (now it is a huge shopping complex) in Seremban to cheer the Negri Sembilan team in the Malaysia Cup. Though I was at that time deeply involved in hockey (being the Hon. Secretary of the NS Hockey Asociation), I used to rush out of my office at 4.15pm to be at the stands of the stadium to root for my state. I did this because my colleagues from the Municipal Council were donning state coours and I made it a point to support them in action. The same applied to those from other government agencies such as Telecoms, Tenaga Nasional, Bomba, JKR and so forth.

However with the introduction of the Semi Pro league, these players started earning mega bucks for the same level of play. If in the past there was a sense of belonging, it was money that decided their commitment, hence the rot started as the players got more then what they deserved. There was no looking back after that as wage demands escalated and what we have now is payment of ridiculous sums of money for some awful performances.

An announcement has been made on the formation of the Task Force and the Cabinet wants FAM to present a paper on the ills affecting the sport to the Cabinet Committee on Sports that is scheduled to meet on July 31.

With no Council Meeting held since April 20 last year, how could FAM run effectively when policy decisions were made by a select few. This process is one of the first thing that the Task Force will have to look into. But will they do fair judgement as some of them are party to these poor decisions?

The position of the General Secretary will also be something that will be closely followed as two names have cropped up as possible replacements for Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad. Both Hamidin Mohd Amin (FA Selangor) and Datuk Mohd Junid (FA Penang), have their strengths and it will be for the Sultan of Pahang to decide as he is empowered by the constitution to appoint the General Secretary.

Lets wait and see the drama unfold...