Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A Prophet Is Not Recognized In His Own Land

The phrase aptly describes the situation Malaysian football is in at the moment, and at the same time it is also food for thought for the Sports Minister Datuk Shabery Cheek who has somewhat slipped under the radar in the past few week.

We have in our midst, some very highly regarded Malaysians, whose views are sought in the international arena when it comes to matters of football. The likes of Datuk Seri Paul Mony, Datuk Peter Velappan, Datuk Dell Akhbar Khan, En. Windsor John Paul and En. Jeysing Muthiah come to mind.

In this particular instance I would like to refer to Datuk Dell and En. Windsor.

We have had a stadium collapse, another closed down due to the roof problem, but where do we go to for advice? To some foreign experts. In Malaysia, right here at the doorsteps of the FAM, we have the FIFA Development Office that is headed by Windsor, a man who led the teams out at the final of the last World Cup, a man who has gained international reputation and class due to his diligent work ethics and professionalism, a man that is looked up to in the corridors of international football, a man who was consulted in stadium construction for the 2010 South Africa World Cup, yet shunned by the Malaysian Government (that is you Shabery), the Football Association of Malaysia and the National Sports Council.

Together with Dato Dell, a man who provides advice on security measures internationally, the duo will be perfect to be in the team to investigate the Terengganu Stadium collapse. Infact it is a shame that Peter Butler had to highlight the state of the pitch in the old Terengganu Stadium that brought about a silly response from FAM.

The FAM top guns were quoted as saying " that the pitch was approved by the FAM Technical Committee." That is indeed a candidate for the "Talking Cock" award as the Technical Committee of FAM has no business in the pitch issue. Care to clarify Mr. Deputy President f FAM?

Coming back to Dato Dell and Windsor, it is clear that some people cannot stomach the fact that these two fine gentlemen know better then them, so the best thing to do is not to seek their advice or opinion.

Mr. Minister, if you have sports interest at heart, if you truly believe in the 1 Malaysia slogan, contact these two gentlemen, and if you cannot get to them, then please feel to contact me as I am sure your able Deputy Minister would have my number somewhere in his phone.

One of the most common sayings in football over the past years has been “Manchester United have raised the bar,” but eventually somebody else will also be able to clear it.

It may be next season, it may be in three years times, but it is amazing the hope that this one result will give not only the teams challenging for the title, but the whole of English football.

In Malaysia, that will have to e re-phrased to "FAM have lowered the bar", but I pray eventually someone will raise it.

If only they had the vision, but then again IF is a big word, perhaps misunderstood or not at all understood.