Thursday, January 26, 1995

High hopes for a honest season (25/01/1995 - The Malay Mail)

Publication: MM
Date : 25/01/1995
Headline : High hopes for a honest season

THERE is a good chance soccer will be played honestly in Malaysia in the
new season.
The FA of Malaysia, the State FAs and the Police have gone all out to
clean up the game.
The outcome of investigations, which included the arrest of more than 80
players, will be known by the end of the month.
Most of the players who have admitted to accepting bribes to fix matches
would have seen the last of their playing days.
Some of them will undergo rehabilitation programmes and a handful, who
had helped in investigations but did not take bribes, will return to play
While fans would get a proper deal for their money, the overall standard
of the tournaments could suffer a little as some of the better players
will not be playing.
But it will be a price worth paying because it is only a matter of time
before the youngsters mature and standards rise again.
However, we should not tolerate amateurish State FAs.
It is time the FA of Malaysia ensured State FAs acted professionally.
Surprisingly, some State FAs still have the word `amatuer' in their
association's name.
While players have made soccer their career, we still have many
volunteers or part-time officials running State FAs.
With nothing at stake, many of them take things for granted and just
make up the numbers in the set-up.
Professionals should be running the game at all levels and there should
be accountability from all quarters.
State FAs should start the season right by appointing their coaches as
Managers, especially those with hardly any knowledge of the game, only
get in the way of progress.
There is no need for a council member to be the team manager as is often
the case.
A fulltime coach will be fully answerable to the FA. If he does not
produce results or provide satisfactory reasons for his team not doing
well, he gets fired.
That brings us to the next step.
Coaches too should be fulltime.
Most local coaches, who have been handling M-League teams, hold other
This is a `safe' situation as even if the are fired as coaches they can
return to their normal jobs.
To get the best out of a coach it is only logical to have him on a
fulltime basis.
He must have a full say in the selection of players, training methods,
naming of players for matches and the day to day running of the team.
Sarawak and Negri Sembilan have done so and they should be commended for
If State FAs insist they should have someone on the team, it should be
purely for administration purposes.
State FAs, in signing up players, should keep their end of the bargain.
Some players under Police investigations have cited that one of the
reasons for accepting bribes is because they are not paid on time.
Some State FAs do not work within their budget and sign on expensive
It all boils down to professionalism - or the lack of it. What's the
point in calling it a professional league when everything else about it is

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