Thursday, June 25, 2009

Courting foreign disaster

The question of readmission of foreign players in the Malaysian League has surfaced only after a year after the FA of Malaysia had taken the bold move to ban them.

First, it was hinted at the FA of Malaysia Congress last Sunday by deputy president Datuk Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad, and secondly, it was further fueled after the humiliating 8-2 defeat suffered by Kedah at the hands of Vietnam's Bihn Duong. The latter had the services of foreign players, while Kedah did not.

Then there are some quarters, especially State FAs, who claim that they Stadiums are empty because of the absence of foreign players.

All these are the same old reasons. But nobody stops to think about the soccer standards in the country and with the national team at heart.

There all still many who argue that, with foreigners, our standards will go up! Did it gone up all those years when we had the foreigners? Did the full Stadiums raise our standards?
The last time Malaysia won the Sea Games was in 1989 in Kuala Lumpur.

We had filled Stadiums with just locals playing not so long ago.

If the foreigners are readmitted to the League, this will be the second time FA of Malaysia will be doing so, after the ban.

I have written many stories on this subject and I strongly believe that bringing back the foreigners would mean denying our local players, especially strikers and midfielders, an opportunity to get exposure and thus the national team suffering in the end.

I am just going to add links to all the stories I have done in the past to justify my stand.

These stories can been viewed here : foreign players.

Personally, I feel that it would be better to hire a top foreign coach to do develop work and build the future, rather than hiring all the foreigner players who hardly contribute to the development of Malaysian soccer.

I wonder if anyone remembers Marko Bilic? (read this story). Or Pahang's English coach Fred Binney, who was banished to handle development in Pahang in the 80s. He took over from former national coach Frank Lord in Pahang, but did not last long as the chief coach. He was asked to handle development and within a year, spotted and groomed talents from the outskirts of Mentakab, Maran, Termerloh, Jerantut, to name a few. Do remember players like the late M.Ravindran, Fadhirul Annuar Wahab and A, Anbalangan who rose to prominence under the guidance of Binney.

The money spent on foreign players will definitely be better spent on top foreign coaches, not to handle the State team, but to develop young players, talent scouting, conducting coaching courses - basically laying the foundation for a good football system. And hire these coaches not for a year or two, but at least five years.

Food for thought, but it is unlikely to appeal to the State FAs.

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