Revitalising Malaysian Football

I have been writing more like a football pundit or football critics for the past few weeks. Sometimes, to think about it, we are not considered as nation of football like Brazil or Argentina. However, football fans in Malaysia do take this sport seriously, be it Malaysian Super League, Barclays Premier League, Serie A, La Liga or Malaysia International games.

We had a terrible AFF campaign after a sweet appearances in Final of Pestabola Merdeka 2008. As many have known, we only managed to win against Laos 3-0 and lose out to Vietnam and Thailand with 3-2 and 3-0 respectively. Totally different than what we have achieved in Pestabola with 18 goals scored and conceded none.

The few past articles I wrote relates football in Malaysia and KJ due to misleading comments and postings made by KJ supporters and KJ himself who had claimed victory over Malaysia’s performance in Pestabola Merdeka 2008. However, due to an article on KJ in Malaysian football scene made by Mr Singh in his blog, another “stupid” comment made by one of KJ supporters (it is obvious unless the “kj” represents something else) which in his comment stated “3. U fikir Malaysia boleh menjadi jaguh Asia?”. What a remark from someone who supports KJ, who eventually a VP of FAM.

Well, enough of bashing KJ from the football field. I guess some may have forwarded opinion on how to improve Malaysian Football and perhaps, the brains we have in FAM have think about it long time ago. As mentioned in my previous articles and comments made, football in Malaysia needs a massive overhaul which, in my opinion, one got to fully concerntrate and carry out his/her duties wholeheartedly. Football nowadays differs from yesteryears, but the important element do stays.

These are the findings and ,well, here goes my two cents worth of suggestions to improve what ever efforts that has been done by FAM:

1 – Educate our players on and off the pitch. FAM experts do realize this one. It is not about the game itself, but also off the pitch. Some says that how you play on the field reflects your personality off the pitch. It is undeniable that our national talents got some skills and moves. However, when it comes to team play and playing under pressure, all the skills and moves gone with the wind. Cracked under pressure. Malaysians are exposed to the quality of football games around the world, but the players seemed learn less. Style – we have, but just the outside. We watch how top European Clubs play, but the players just emulate the styles, not the important elements of the game.

2 –  Send our players to courses on building up mental strenghts. Passion and stamina alone won’t carry out our players well. It will be given away throughout the games, especially high profile games. Players will get exhausted. If the players got nervous, all the training will gone out to the drain. KJ mentioned our players had problems in regards with tactical in his own words in His view is accepted, but the element of educating and training our players involves more than that. I may not a football experts, but I do know besides passion, skills, moves, tactical, physical, and stamina, mental strenght and ability to read the game is also required. Our players kept losing possession in awkward situation. Sometimes we gave away possession. At times we can see our players clear the ball as if the opponent is breathing under his neck, which actually the opponent are few meters away. This scene can be seen either in local games or international games. Our players panicked when pressured. 

3 – Enforce maximum wages on players. The benjamin that deteriorates our players. I believe that FAM has guidelines and salary caps on players, but I’m afraid it just on papers. Why? One can remember our semi-pro days when players employed to work with organisations, work in the morning and have their training later. It was that time when we were ranked 75 in the world. We could still enjoy good games displayed by our players. However, when we entered into professional era whereby our players take this as full time job, the quality of our players game fall but their wages went up high. Although the players’ salary may not be disclosed, locals can see what kind of car are they driving, what kind of style of their clothes. Again, they emulate the outside of glamourous of world class players, but their play is no where that standard. Due to this fact also, in order the FAs and the FCs trying to attract ‘big names’ with lots of salary, wages and benefits, they suffer financially.

4 – Management should be more passionate about football. At first, there was suggestions that the management should be someone that excel as players, but to think it over, some personalities that we know may not have it, as the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, and Jose Mourinho to name a few. Jose Mourinho didn’t excel as players, but he showed us how job being done as managers. As for us, please do remember that Malaysian football prosper during the tenants of management who did not have professional footballing experience. As stated in FAM website: It was under the Tunku’s visionary stewardship that football in Malaysia entered its next phase, with the FAM taking a much bigger role than just being the backbone in the organisation of the Malaysia Cup“; “Following the change in name to the Football Association of Malaysia in the early 1960s, Tunku Abdul Rahman continued to play a big role in the development of the game through various youth competitions. Following his departure in 1974, the reins of the FAM was taken over by Malaysia‘s second Prime Minister – Tun Abdul Razak, who served for just one year before his untimely demise. The post was then filled by Tan Sri Datuk Seri Setia Raja Hamzah Haji Abu Samah in 1976, who was the Minister for Trade and Industry at the time“. Who was Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak in football scene? Are they professional players by profession? Certainly not. However, they, the management team, coaches and players were too passionate in upholding national pride. No politics in football. Played for nation’s pride.

These are the four measures that FAM, KJ or any of the readers may send this message to FAM to consider. Surely, all this measures will take most of FAM and local FAs personnel’s time in ensuring our football back on the right track.


Hopes on the street – Hoping that we will back on track and be one of the giants in Asian Football map.


8 thoughts on “Revitalising Malaysian Football

  1. After reading comments from Sukj stating KJ is not VP, he is right. KJ even HIGHER than that. He is the Deputy President of FAM.

    ODS stands corrected and apologises for misleading information. However, since he is the Deputy President, he holds even higher responsibilties in upholding national pride in world of football.

  2. when KJ contested for the DP post, I told myself that FAM may have some financial support if KJ is in there.

    but I may have gone wrong.

    He sneaks into the FAM, to safeguard his team aka the upb my team. malaysian football? second priority.

    ODS: I wish he does not have that intention. If the first priority was to secure his MyTeam, then it has been misleading from the start. UPB was already in the league. It was under his tenureship, UPB merged with MyTeam, if I was not mistaken.

  3. Hey ODS,
    I was surprised when KJ started to play the football card around a couple of weeks ago. Once again, another ill advised approach, and right now it looks so shallow.
    Sometimes, KJ may be his own worst enemy!
    As to the state of football, hmm…, everything and a lot of money has been thrown at the problem and yet there are no solutions.

    I think its more symblomatic of the general lack of competitiveness around here.
    No solutions from me, just an observation

    ODS: As from my point of view, football card is a wild card. As mentioned, although we are not football nation, we are “football mad nation” (as Celcom’s Campaign). Football touches every walk of lives, be it men or women nowadays. Football can be one of the main topics in the office, kopitiam, and especially at mamak stall where some have big screen for their customers to watch on Saturdays matches and Super Sundays.

    His move of using football card is considerably good move, as he can be popular among Malaysians easily. We could see how he gained popularity through MyTeam. He touched and gave hope to non-professional players to show what they are made of. Losing 2-0 to National squad with bunch of non-pro players was considerably remarkable. That’s why, for me, it was no big suprise when he voluntereed to be Deputy President. Only that which suprised me, he won uncontested!

    Although it was good move, he was too fast to claim victory when he was just being appointed Deputy President last year. Too greedy I would say, which in one way shows how sincere he is towards Malaysian Football. One more theory is, he was ‘desperate’ to show how good he is. His proposal was rejected by Mukhriz somehow left him with the option of playing the wild card. Undeniably, we lose to Chelsea with a good fight, but do remember, it was pre-season match, which I doubt Chelsea played at 100% as they are playing right now.

    I wasn’t hoping we flopped during AFF. In fact, I wish them luck. I even wrote that we should be wary on Vietnam, which, eventually we lost to them. With our AFF campaign ended, somehow it revealed how we fair in this region. As for KJ issue, he maybe smart. In the same time makes me wonder, a wrong move by an Oxford graduates? And somehow proves that, he is still human. He can make mistakes. Oxford scroll he got only a ticket towards opportunities, not as guarantee.

  4. Salam ODS,

    Since you also did mention about the management, I wonder is our management system is the same as English FA, I mean do they have royals and politicians in the association, or the FA is solely lined up by people who are passionate.

    Second, I’ve heard in ESPN football focus discussion that FIFA is very serious in developing youth program in Asia. Does it come with budget as well from FIFA?

    I still believe mental strength and attitude are our limiting factors.


    ODS: I’m in no position to get the actual structure of FAM and English FA, but we can know the personnels in the English FA from the web. From the list given, I cannot see any individuals from the Royal Family. All have their own credibilities and good resume. Only that, they are looking for a good English manager to uphold their national pride. For the meantime, they got an Italian to do the job – Fabio Capello.

    However, I feel that English FA is not the best example for financial management. FA’s financial morelike sourced from sponsorship from big firms. As for Malaysia, we hardly get good sponsorships – due to unpopularity and quality of our games and leagues. Just a quick reminder. It was reported in CNN that the clubs in England faces USD5.2B debt which it is believed that the Big 4 holds a third of the total debt. No big suprise for me. See how they spend during transfer seasons. Their stadiums capacity aren’t as large as Spain’s or Italy’s (that’s why Spanish and Italian Clubs can spend big due to match day collection). They depend on merchandising, media collection etc. They need to promote in order to get cash injection.

    This is one area we lack of. They can promote Barclay’s Premier League from the media coverage with bags of qualities. As for Malaysia, with current level of our game and leagues, it is lucky enough we managed to secure sponsorship – from Telekom Malaysia.

    Weirdly enough, the local FAs and FCs emulate the English Clubs in a wrong way. They spend big bucks on our own players, but low match attendances, can’t get own sponsorship, depend on FAM financially. In other words, I hate to say this, be it players or FAs and FCs in Malaysia, just being copycats of glamourous of football world.

    These are the real challenges for FAM. That’s why I said, the responsible person should work on it wholeheartedly in overhauling Malaysian football.

  5. Salam perjuangan,

    Betulkan budaya bersukan tu dulu. Lepas tu baru citer pasal kualiti permainan dan peningkatan prestasi dan sebagainya, bla… bla… bla…

    Seems to be our nature. The equation:
    (Football x Profit) + (Politics x Propaganda) = ?
    Answer: Malaysian Football

    “Memperkasa Generasi Baru”

    Pergerakan Pemuda
    UMNO Cawangan Taman IKS
    Bahagian Batu WP

    ODS: Equation yang menarik, tetapi saya kurang tangkap rumusan saudara.

    Cadangan memperbetulkan budaya bersukan itu sesuatu yang baik. Cuma bezanya disini, ‘kerja’ mereka memang bersukan. Mereka adalah professional yang dibayar gaji untuk bersukan. Dalam kes ini, mereka bermain bola sepak sepenuh masa secara professional. Kerana itulah, ‘point’ pertama saya adalah “Educate our players on and off the pitch.” Pembelajaran ini meliputi pembentukan BUDAYA dan DISIPLIN para pemain. Apabila saya menggunakan “pembelajaran” pastinya yang BETUL, bukan yang menyimpang entah kemana. Lagi satu ya, mereka bekerja dengan bermain bola sepak. Jika mengikut lumrah bekerja, kalau main-main dan memberi persembahan buruk, ada harapan untuk dibuang kerja..bukan?

    Bagi orang yang bukan kerjanya bersukan sepenuh masa, barulah memperbetulkan budaya bersukan itu sesuai. Akan tetapi, dalam memperbetulkan budaya bersukan ini juga, harus disertakan dengan satu lagi – “Amalan Hidup Secara Sihat”.

    Sekian, terima kasih!

  6. Tuan, bolasepak malaysia dah lama tenat lepas penyakit rasuah dia tengah tahun 90an dulu. dulu saya memang gila bola malaysia ni. saya naik kapchai dari seremban ke stadium merdeka dalam hujan lebat pasal nak tengok azman adnan main utk kl. kl under chow kwai lam dulu. shahrin majid pulak member kawan saya. lagi la semangat nak sokong. itu dulu. lepas kes rasuah tu langsung saya tak peduli dah. sekarang lagi la tak kisah. kalah ke menang ke langsung tak ambik tahu. final malaysia cup pun saya tak tahu. siapa juara tahun lepas? entah laa….

    Saya rasa bolasepak malaysia akan terus hidup segan mati tak mahu selama 50 tahun lagi. bila orang dah lupa pasal rasuah tu.

    Saya nampak, selepas bolasepak Malaysia ni, ada satu lagi institusi akan mati a similar slow and painful death jugak. Pun pasal rasuah jugak……….UMNO. (Note: Macamana orang macam Mat Taib pun boleh still voted utk calon Timbalan Presiden). hahahaha… habis la UMNO… habis la…

    ODS: Terima kasih kerana sudi memberi pendapat. Saya akui, bola sepak Malaysia sedikit sebanyak terjejas berkenaan isu rasuah. Logik akal, berapa banyak sangatlah gaji dan elaun bermain sebagai semi-pro. Nak salahkan pemain 100% pun, tak boleh juga. Tetapi masalah pula bila dah professional. Gaji lagi tinggi, main lagi teruk daripada zaman semi-pro.

    Bermakna disini adalah isu mental dan pendirian pemain-pemain. Dan atas isu yang sama jugalah, UMNO sedang mengalami nasib yang serupa. Hati kalau dah gelap, petunjuk depan mata pun susah nak nampak (kalau dah nampak harta, pangkat dan kuasa sahaja)

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