I was browsing some of my must read blog when I came to an article written by JMD on Khairy which one of the comments received touched on his success (KJ’s of course) on bringing up Malaysian Football from FIFA ranking of 172 to 160 written by Sultan Mahmood. Although I’m not fond of local football scene, but the national team’s progress has been as important as I supported good football games, which in a way, with Sultan Mahmood’s comment ‘urges’ me to look in a different perspective other than politics rhetorics – Football point of view, of course.
Way back before KJ appointed as Vice President of FAM on 9th September 2007, he, with his team created MyTeam which introduce Malaysian to a new hope to Malaysian football scene. For two seasons since 2006, MyTeam was formed and played against Malaysian and Indonesian Team, which eventually, they lost to the both national team. Adding up the sweet success, MyTeam entered into Malaysian Premier League (merging with Perak UPB FC). Only that, please notice, though they perform well, majority of the players selected during reality show MyTeam, weren’t there to play with UPB-MyTeam FC. Perhaps, maybe that’s why there is no MyTeam Season 3. A football rhetoric?
With a good track record of MyTeam, KJ was seen as a beacon of hope for Malaysian Football. And maybe that’s why he won the Vice Presidential of FAM uncontested and officially being part of FAM management on 9th September 2007. Officially, he started his duty on this date as FAM VP and in a way, based on my understanding with Sultan Mahmood’s comments, KJ is entitled on success and failures of Malaysian football.
Ok, now. Let us see what the FIFA rankings says. For a fair comparison (‘fair’ in the sense of same region of football), I’ve chosen 3 neighbouring countries – Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Here are the results of the 4 nations’ rankings since KJ appointed as VP of FAM (more or less on the time frame) –
Malaysian Football rose a little bit after a small hickup after KJ’s appointment. Ok, fair, he just joined the FAM management. However, please notice that Malaysia’s rankings falls from 159 in FIFA’s rankings until somewhere in April 2008 (170 in FIFA rankings), where Malaysia’s ranking started to go up again. From my simple calculation, if Malaysia was at 159 during his tenure as FAM VP, and as at October we are at 160, is this consider a success? Going up and down, moving all around, we declined one place since his appointment. A success? It’s not from my point of view.
Let us recap on what happened to Malaysian team during the Pestabola Merdeka 2008, where we lost to Viatnamese in the finals through sudden death of spot kicks. Malaysia did perform well during the tourney with bagging lots of goals, 18 goals without conceeding any. A good achievement.
However, using FIFA rankings comparison once more, let us see the rankings of 4 teams qualified for the semi finals of Pestabola Merdeka – Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Sierra Leone.
Except for Sierra Leone, the other teams played were below of Malaysia’s rankings. A success on getting into the finals? Yes. Success on quality wise?
In other words, in my opinion, KJ’s involvement in Football of Malaysia isn’t a success for us. We did fall and we did rise, but as I stated earlier, still not enough during his tenureship as FAM VP. In other words, Sultan Mahmood’s comment on KJ’s success on Malaysia Football scene is considered a politic rhetoric.
But please. I’m not saying that Malaysian football cannot be improved. Yes, we can but with an overhaul from every aspects of football criteria.
Just to add up before I rest my case, Shebby (who helps to pick, choose and develop MyTeam) is not the person who can change our football scene. With his quality, even TM Melaka under his temporary coaching could not match Perlis. He may be one of the good footballers we had, but certainly not the best coach for even a club level.
Words on the street – is Malaysian Football a success for KJ?