Thursday, April 9, 1998

Act before it's too late (08/04/1998 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 08/04/1998
Headline : Act before it's too late

HAVING seen their authority kicked in the face, the Kuala Lumpur FA must
show they have the firmness to deal with issues.
Though Monday's boycott of training by their Premier One team was seemed
to be resolved, the team management, especially, cannot just let it blow
What assurance is there that it will not happen again?
By all counts, the players were wrong in boycotting training and going
instead to see KLFA president Datuk Seri Megat Junid Megat Ayob to voice
their unhappiness and grievances.
No matter what their reasons for snubbing coach Chow Kwai Lam (above),
their action in staying away from training cannot be condoned or
The KLFA will only be showing their weak side if they allow the matter
to be swept under the carpet.
The players have shown an open defiance of Kwai Lam and, unless action
is taken, the credibility of the latter is on the line.
Above all, the "rebels" did not show respect for the management
committee to whom they should have brought their grievances.
Although the players claimed that the management committee comprised
mainly of officials involved with the team, there are others who are not
linked directly.
One of them is Datuk Wan Adli Datuk Wan Ibrahim, the chairman of the
management committee and vice-president of KLFA.
Even if the players felt they had no other alternatives but to approach
Megat Junid, they should have done so after training.
The KLFA should issue all the players involved a show-cause letter and,
if they do not get a satisfactory reply, a fine be slapped on them for
their unbecoming action.
The ring leaders or instigators should be identified and suspended.
There were claims that not all the players were in favour of the
boycott, but they had to follow the majority.
But that is no excuse. Doesn't every player have his own mind?
At least, those not in favour of the boycott should have tipped off the
team officials.
The two foreign players who followed suit should also be brought to
book. As foreigners hired to help uplift the game in the country, they are
not here to play politics.
The KLFA should take a cue from the Olympics 2000 management committee
who had shown no hesitation in suspending three players for indiscipline.
No one is indispensable. The management committee took the decision
despite the key trio being involved in the M-League qualifying tournament.
It is about time the management committees of our soccer teams take a
stern stand on discipline of players in the best interest of the game.
Senior or junior, every player should have respect for officialdom and
for law and order on and off the field. Those guilty of breach of conduct,
no matter to what degree, should be dealt with accordingly.
It is hoped that the KLFA will not take the recent flare-up lightly.
Appropriate action has to be taken before the rot sets in.
Kuala Lumpur, once the kings of Malaysian soccer, are now back to the
days of struggle. But don't let players make a mockery of the association
who used to take pride in being a role model.