Slouching Tiger Hidden Talent
Image taken from : http://www.nikefootball.com.my/NTK/index.html
Malaysia was once a dominance force in Asia especially in South East Asia. As a respected football giant in Asia, Malaysia was home to one of the oldest football event in the Asean region like Merdeka Tournament. The said tournament was organized in conjunction with Malaysia independence in 1957. Malaysia maintains its dominance in 1950s until 1970s and early 1980s. The success of the Malaysian football includes qualifying for the 1972 and 1980 Olympic.
Malaysia Cup originated from Malaya Cup in 1921. The original trophy was presented by the officers and men of a British battleship of HMS Malaya. The competition was renamed the HMS Malaya Cup in 1933. A new trophy was introduced in 1967 and was renamed Malaysia Cup.
However, the Malaysian football glory is a distant memory. FIFA ranking at the time of this paper is written is 170. To rub the salt to the wound, the said ranking is lower than Chad, Lesotho and Swaziland. According to Rizal Hashim, a veteran Malay Mail sport journalist, state teams are basically run by person connected to the states. The whole set up being run by the state secretary, it can be said that the Malaysian football performance can be attributed to the poor management.
For the last Asian Football Confederation Cup held in Malaysia in 2007, Malaysia was seeded lower than war torn Palestine, Island State of Hong Kong, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, cricket mad nations of India and Sri Lanka. The embarrassing strings of defeats in Asia Cup were dubbed as ‘national disaster’ by the Malaysian public.
Based on the Aljazeera report, the FAM president had refused to step down but instead had fired full cylinders to improve the performance of the Malaysian football team. The Malaysian main stream newspaper, The New Straits Times had invited Malaysian to give our views on how to save Malaysian Football and to react to that invitation, we say; why don’t we commercialize the Malaysian football?
P/S: Kudos to the geniuses in Nike Malaysia. You really boiled up my patriotism.