Friday, August 19, 2005

A FIRM HAND IS NEEDED! (19/08/2005 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 19/08/2005

DISCIPLINE and respect for rules and authority, are key elements in
success stories in the sports arena.
Be it players, officials or fans, the above principles must be adhered
to if sports is to flourish and gain recognition.
But sadly, in Malaysian sports, the lack of it has reared its ugly head
Over the last few weeks, two incidents - one involving fans and the
other national bowlers - were clear examples.
In the first instance, involving fans, it happened twice - once in the
Premier League final between Negri Sembilan and Selangor at Paroi Stadium
last month and last week in the match between Perak and Selangor at Perak
In the match in Seremban, it was the Selangor fans when they showed
their displeasure at match officials and hurled bottles onto the track
and even let off fireworks at times.
After the match, the section where the Selangor fans were seated, saw
the entire track littered with plastic bottles and other items, whereas
the area where Negri fans were seated, was almost spotless.
Surprisingly, FA of Malaysia did not take any action against the
Selangor fans and at worse, against Negri for not providing enough
security to prevent the unpleasant scene.
While the police personnel present took swift actions and even arrested
a few fans, it was still an unpleasant sight and certainly not a safe
place for a family outing to witness a soccer match.
But things got even uglier in Ipoh, when Kuala Lumpur's assistant
referee Syed Azhar Syed Kamar was knocked out after being hit by a bottle
thrown by Perak fans.
Luckily, Syed Azhar did not suffer any serious injury and he continued
to officiate after recovering from the shock.
This questions the behaviour of Malaysian fans.
They certainly did not display the sporting spirit which the game
professes and certainly had no regard for authority or rules.
FAM better act swiftly and come down hard on the culprits before a more
serious incident occurs and maybe even lives lost.
The last thing Malaysians need now is sports hooliganism.
Then, we had the national bowlers returning from the Women's World
Championships in Aalborg with news that there was resentment against the
This despite history being created by Esther Cheah to win the first
ever individual gold medal in the singles.
When athletes have no discipline, respect for their coaches or
authority and even going to the extent of hold their respective bodies to
ransom, sports is heading for disaster.
When athletes start thinking that they are prima donnas and feel they
are bigger than the sports, then all hell will break loose.
Malaysian athletes are a pampered lot, who will cry foul at a slight
increase in intensity in training, being disciplined or having to make
changes with time.
They are not prepared to make sacrifices because a majority of them do
not know what is hardship is all about.
Malaysian athletes are generally spoon-fed, given the best training
facilities, well looked after and rewarded handsomely, but when it comes
to end results, it does not equate.
As long as this comfort zone is misused, we are going to face
Until we have athletes, officials and fans who adhere to strict
disciplines in sports, no amount of money, ultra modern facilities, top
class coaches and whatever vision is professed will work.
But is there a solution?
It all boils down to how badly Malaysians want to be successful in
their respective fields and whether they are disciplined enough to make
the sacrifices needed.
It is going to be a long road ahead, but one must have the courage and
determination to take the path, if they dream of reaching the top.
Otherwise, we will only be kidding ourselves.

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