Saturday, July 18, 2009
The Manchester United team probably never had a training session like the one they had at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, yesterday evening.
My assumption was confirmed by manutd.com's (mu official) blogger, Nick Coppack, who said: "I've never seen anything like this! About 30,000 fans have turned up to watch training. (Refer to his latest posting on the site)
They had about 25,000 fans all in MU colours cheering and chanting names of their players, as they trained for about an hour.
Malaysians certainly made a good impression upon MU, who must be pleased with the fan base in this sporting nation.
I was there at the Stadium, and I would have excused the fans for their fanatic behaviour, if only they had given the same support to the Malaysian team who were trained earlier. After all we are talking about Malaysians here.
Even, if the fans had remained silent during the Malaysian team's training, I would not have minded.
But when they started to jeer and call names at the Malaysian players, I felt embarrassed.
I could not come to terms that these Malaysian-born fans would support a foreign team with such passion only to embarrass their own national team.
I understand that there is a great following for the English Premier League and that Malaysian soccer has gone to the pits with and many frustrated with Malaysian soccer.
But at least say nothing if you do not fancy Malaysian football. But do not ridicule the national team in front of guests, is another thing altogether.
However, in all fairness to some die hard Malaysian fans, there were moments where whimpers of cheering for the Malaysian team that could be heard in the Stadium. And when the Malaysian team were walking to the dressing room after their training, again there were some cheers and the players' duly responded with waves.
There were also a handful of the 25,000, who wore the national colours.
I sincerely hope that the Malaysians colours will not be drowned by the sea of Reds. At least, let us see some colours of yellow or blue, and a little support for this young national team.
To expect the national team to beat MU, would be hoping for too much. But I believe that Rajagobal's team will be fired up enough, to put up a determined fight against MU.
Cheer MU all you want, but when the Malaysian players display some fine qualities or take shots at the MU goal, cheer them too.
After all, we are Malaysians first and fans of foreign teams, second.
Here's hoping for some kind of support for the Malaysian team. All the very best Rajagobal and let your players shine with the same passion as you have displayed during your playing days and still oozing with as a coach.