Thursday, June 10, 1999

We need a vision for the mission (The Malay Mail)

THE one-day National Soccer Seminar, organised jointly by the FA of
Malaysia and National Sports Council yesterday in Shah Alam, is not going
to change the the game overnight.
The general complaint among the 200-odd participants was that one day
was not enough to discuss the ills of the game.
Most of the observations, suggestions and criticisms at the seminar was
nothing new.
Even guest speaker Roy Hodgson's paper A Ladder to the Stars, which
touched on the national team's pre requisites for preparation, are
suggestions already use in Malaysia and the Briton admitted to the fact.
There was still a great deal of ideas received on youth development,
development of coaches and referees, competitions, facilities and
preparations of the national team.
However, the question is whether all the ideas and suggestions to
improve Malaysian soccer are going to be implemented or just compiled and
kept in the archives.
FAM deputy president, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, said a task
force will study all that came out of the seminar and bring it up at the
Council meeting for action.
While the sincerity to raise Malaysian soccer standards cannot be
questioned, it all has to start at the grass roots.
This where the State FAs, schools and clubs play a key role.
Until these bodies implement the resolutions by the task force, the
seminar yesterday could well be a wasted exercise.
Tengku Abdullah said the State FAs have to double their efforts and
start working if soccer in the country is to improve.
For as long as State FAs are just interested in seeing their teams win
the M-League, Malaysia Cup or FA Cup, soccer in the country is going to
remain in the doldrums.
They have to start working with the young ones and be patient to see
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Tan Sri Muhiyiddin Yassin, was spot on
when he said a time frame has to be determined for results to be seen.
He also said that a time has to be set for the resolutions to be
And the time frame cannot be like in Hodgson's words: "I want to see
results or success, yesterday."
Development means time, money, expertise, hardwork and patience above
everything else.
It cannot be less than five years to see any significant changes. It
could take 10.
But with a new breed of players from the Olympic 2000 squad and a crop
of national players whose average age is 26, some significant changes
could take place in the next three years.
However, one has to be persistent and cannot afford to be content with
glimpses of success.
The task force have to outline the areas that need to be addressed and
set a time frame to achieve their targets.
It will allow everyone involved in the game to put in concerted effort
in their respective areas to help raise the standard of the game.
It has to be action orientated and done with sincerity.
Maybe a vision, like Vision 2020, to achieve something substantial in
the next 10 years should be adopted.
Otherwise, we will just be going around in circles.

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