Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I Did Not Mean To Belittle National Team's Capability - Zolkples

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 (Bernama) -- The National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong said his comments about the National team's loss to Bahrain was not meant to belittle the capability of the team.

Zolkples said his intention was not to criticise the National team's performance under coach Datuk K. Rajagobal but was just being realistic.

"The National team's quality and performance has improved tremendously compared with five years ago. What I said was that I did not have high hopes and expected the defeat but not to criticise.

"I have given credit to the overall improvement of the team's performance, especially in attack...just that luck was not on our side when it came to scoring goals," he told Bernama, Monday.

National striker Safee Sali, through a local daily, had urged everyone to support the National team instead of just criticising.

Safee, the former Pelita Jaya (Indonesia) and Johor Darul Takzim player had made the call two days after Zolkples gave his views after Malaysia lost to Bahrain in the 2015 Asia Cup Qualifiers.

Zolkples said from the beginning he had not placed high hopes for the National team to win since they were playing in Bahrain.

He added that to prove that the National team was still relevant, they must put up a credible performance against Qatar in their next Asia Cup Qualifier at the Shah Alam Stadium Tuesday.

Though he did not want to comment on Safee's posting on Facebook, Zolkples urged professional athletes think carefully before making any statements or comments instead of jumping to conclusions.

"Athletes have always valued the contribution from the government, especially athletes like squash world number one Datuk Nicol David who always thanked the assistance provided by the NSC.

Safee had said that Zolkples, as a high ranked sports administrator in the country, should not have belittled the ability of the National squad.

-- BERNAMA

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