Publication : MM
Date : 03/12/1993
Headline : Need for more professional approach
MALAYSIAN soccer enters a new chapter with the Malaysian League making its
debut next year and, unless State FAs and its officials, players, coaches,
agents and parents exercise total professionalism, the league will be no
better than an amateur league.
The FA of Malaysia, since introducing the Semi-Pro League in 1989, have
made endless efforts to ensure that a professional approach is adopted by
all to prepare for the league to go fully professional, but it has been
five years now and there are still many problems simply because a
professional code of ethics more often than not takes a back seat.
The 1993 season has just ended and already several controversies have
Among the problems which have arose are States trying to get the
services of players who still have more than six months' contract left
with another State; sacking players who still have valid contracts without
concrete reasons or compensations; players with more than six months'
contract left with a State trying to secure deals with another State;
players making deals with several States at the same time; coaches
applying for jobs in States where existing coaches still have a contract,
and parents marketing their sons to other States despite having contracts
with a certain State.
These problems have surfaced every year since 1989 and, despite the
State FAs and their officials being educated on the dos and don'ts year in
and out through seminars conducted by the FAM, most seem ignorant of the
rules and guidelines. Although State FAs come out to say that they intend
to do everything above board, time and again they are at fault.
So much so that contracts signed every year between State FAs and
players hold nothing concrete except just a piece of paper.
Players themselves have to be partly blamed because many really do not
realise what they are signing or what their rights are.
Youth players especially sign long-term contracts without giving it a
second thought because they look very attractive when offered.
But a season or two later, when these players shine and other States
show interest in them, they want out.
State FAs are no better. Many a player have been made to sign blank
contract forms and do not even get a copy of their contract.
State FAs have been known to stop paying wages the moment their team
bows out of the competition, when all contracts are to end at the end of
the year season.
Unless all parties concerned exercise professionalism and adhere to all
rules of signing on and terminating players and coaches alike, it will
just be like a circus for those watching from outside.
It is really amazing and funny how rules are blatantly broken, or people
coming up with deals outside the system by using top level powers or even
It should be pointed out than no one is bigger than the game itself and,
unless all measures are taken to ensure everything is done according to
the rules and fairplay is strictly observed, the game will be the loser.