Thursday, May 16, 2013

Plan to bid for 2034 World Cup a sheer waste of time

Lacking quality: A Malaysian Super League match between Pahang (in yellow) and Selangor at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan on May 13. Our game’s standard is atrocious.

COMMENT  By K. RAJAN – IT’S good to be ambitious. But it’s plain ridiculous when one gets over-ambitious.

The FA of Malaysia (FAM) can’t even run the Malaysian League (M-League) properly and yet, yesterday, the body’s deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah proudly announced that Malaysia and 11 other Asean countries plan to bid for the 2034 World Cup.

Malaysian football is in a shamble, we can’t even beat teams like Bangladesh and Singapore, and FAM are thinking about the World Cup.

Match-fixing is still prevalent in Malaysia. The Asean region, according to Interpol, is the hub of match-fixing syndicates. Get rid of this malaise first.

The World Cup is no laughing matter. It’s reserved for only the best of the best.
Are we the best in Asean, even?
So come on FAM, get real, please.

It seems that the idea is the brainchild of Asean’s Foreign Ministers, who held an informal meeting during the East Asia Summit in Bangkok in April, 2011.

The Malaysian government were then tasked with preparing a proposal to be endorsed by the Asean Football Federation (AFF).

“The decision (to bid for the 2034 World Cup as co-hosts) was made by the Sports Ministers from the Asean countries. They will hold a meeting on June 19 … only then can I disclose more information to the media,” Tengku Abdullah said after officiating the FAM-Frenz United Asean Under-15 football competition at Wisma FAM yesterday.

“It will most probably be a co-hosting proposal … from what I’ve gathered, four to five countries will be involved. I think that based on facilities, we are definitely capable of hosting such a large event.
“However, we must have a good team. In 1997, we hosted the Youth World Cup but did not have a team that could make an impact in the competition.”

There you have it.

Tengku Abdullah and FAM should instead focus on raising the standard in the M-League, which is rated as Grade D by the Asian Football Conderation (AFC).

The national team are still playing like amateurs – sometimes even worse.
If ever Malaysia want to play in the World Cup, let it be through merit. Not through the back door – by organising it or co-hosting it.

But let’s not even look that far.
Where are we in the Asean region? Where do we stand in Asia?

Let’s get our act right in these regions first before trying to conquer the world.
And stop making Malaysia the butt of football jokes around the world!


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