BUDDING football coaches are up in arms because they claim they are not being given a fair chance to make the grade and make a career out of coaching. While the
general perception is that not many quality coaches are coming through the
ranks, the real story is that many have been sidelined because of an individual
in the FA of Malaysia's coaching educators department, who has become very
powerful. So powerful that this person decides who can pursue a career in
coaching and who cannot.
For the record, I obtained my FA of Malaysia B coaching licence in 2001 Even then I noticed some irregularities. State and national players reported late for the course while one was injured throughout the two-week period and only attended classroom sessions. In fact, he did his theory on his test day.
Mind you, all of them got their licence. I have nothing against them — maybe as state and national players they had some advantages and made better coaches. But there was a distinct lack of fairness in the whole affair.
There was a candidate who was very interested in football and wanted to attend a course to learn something new, but was ridiculed for wasting his time and told he was capable of coaching only at club level.
So what if a B licensed coach taught at clubs? Maybe he would produce better players from the grassroots. Not surprisingly, this candidate did not get his B licence.
Recently, I approached the FA of Malaysia’s (FAM) coaching educators department to ask if it could admit a former Sikh M-League player from Kuala Lumpur — who is now coaching at club level — to attend a C licence course because his State FA could not list him for one.
But I was told it was not possible and he had to go through his State FA.
Yes, there are rules, but many complain there is favouritism at the State FAs and only the chosen ones get a break. Besides, the State FAs have a quota.
Here was a footballer who desperately wanted to coach and do it properly. Besides, how often do we get Sikhs wanting to be coaches?
I am not asking he be passed, but only be allowed to attend the course. If FAM finds he is not good enough, so be it.
I keep hearing all kinds of complaints about a certain individual in the coaching educators department and how he favours those close to him and finds reasons to reject candidates including them being too old or not having coached a team recently. FAM should investigate these allegations.
There are many who are willing to bring their grouses to FAM if they are allowed to.
It is not just about failing to get a particular licence but about not even getting a seat, ill treatment, abuse and, above all, not being given a fair chance.
Why aren’t we promoting coaches who are interested in football instead of handing licences to those who only display their certicates in cabinets?
If this continues, the coaching system is going to suffer as we will continue to lose interested and dedicated coaches.
TONY MARIADASS is a sports journalist with more than three decades of experience and is passionate about local sports. He can be reached at tmariadass@ gmail.com. Twitter handle: @ tmariadass