Publication : MM
Date : 30/05/2002
Headline : Local coaches left out of W-Cup picture
IT is sad Malaysian coaches will not get an opportunity to witness the
World Cup, starting tomorrow in Korea and Japan, despite the countries'
While a group of FA of Malaysia Council members left on Monday and
another entourage last night to witness the opening match between France
and Senegal, local coaches were not on board those two flights.
Members of the FAM Council are either respective State FA presidents or
While it should be lauded that the national body - in recognising these
members' services towards the development of Malaysian soccer, FAM should
have also considered the benefits of sending at least a few top local
coaches to witness a few of the matches.
No doubt the council members would be witnessing the World Cup opener,
but money would have been more wisely spent to send a few coaches, even if
the trip was through sponsorship.
While it would probably cost more to send a technical study group of
local coaches, allowing some of them to watch the World Cup matches would
lead to a better understanding of the demands and changes in the game, as
well as the various systems played.
These coaches could even return and prepare a book on their experiences
and their observations, which could be distributed all their peers in the
For the last World Cup in France, Japan sent 40 of their coaches to do
their own comprehensive technical study.
Maybe Malaysia do not have so many coaches to conduct technical studies,
but they have a handful who took part in technical studies during the 1997
Youth World Cup here.
FAM also have a youth section and technical Department, both headed by
their deputy president, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah (above). And it
is not too late to make arrangements to send a few coaches from these
departments and maybe a few top local coaches to garner first-hand
experience as the World Cup is for a month.
Though FIFA will also be conducting their own technical study as in
every World Cup, with end reports distributed to all countries, it is
nothing like the local coaches being there to personally absorb the World
In previous overseas study tours, also organised by the FAM, many
officials who were hardly involved with the game at coaching level were
part of the entourages that returned without providing any feedback at
We cannot allow this scenario to go on.
If Malaysian soccer is to progress, the coaches have to be exposed to
high-level matches and coaching methods, just like players need tough
And FAM must take every opportunity to send coaches overseas on study or
technical tours so that they can keep up with the modern trends of the
game and not be left behind in years.
For the first time in its history, the World Cup is being played on
Asian soil and being so close to Malaysia, it would indeed be a pity if
FAM do not grasp this opportunity that would benefit local coaches.
The Asian Football Confederation headquarters are in Kuala Lumpur, but
if we are not going to exploit the chance to work closely to get the
maximum benefits, it will indeed be a crying shame.