Friday, February 6, 2009

We Split Responsibility And We Share The Blames

The minister and the sultan: Clueless couple

At least that is how it seems when FAM President, Sultan Ahmad Shah welcomed the decision by the Sports Ministry to adopt U-19 Malaysian team, popularly known as Harimau Muda (Young Tigers).

“We did the programmes before but could not continue due to financial constraints,” said Sultan Ahmad Shah, whose 25 years tenure as the president saw FAM receiving RM300 million in sponsorship from tobacco company Dunhill from the year 1997 to 2005.

“It cost around RM40 million annually to organise tournaments at grassroots level but FAM sponsorship revenue is only RM19million,” added Sports Minister Ismail Sabri who will be managing the Harimau Muda squad soon.

The Ministry of Football was quick to bring out our ever trusted abacus and simple mathematic calculation shows that RM300 million from 1997 to 2005 equal to RM37.5 million annually, plenty enough for football development at senior and junior levels.

But what actually happened to the RM300 million given generously by Dunhill?

Poorly managed grassroots level tournament which now ceased to exist, a top flight league which suffer from constant changes and a national football team that performs well on a downward spiral.

Surely something is wrong with our national football governing body?

“We should not point fingers and put the blame solely on FAM,” said Ismail Sabri further, gently reminding that the next time Malaysian football enter another episode of humiliation we can also channel our frustration to his ministry.

Maybe the decision to split the responsibility, FAM managing the senior side while Sports Ministry taking the junior team, has been made to serve either of these two purposes.

One, to lessen the burden on the shoulder of our vain and worryingly clueless Football Association of Malaysia.

Or number two, to ensure when thing goes wrong again with our football, FAM will have partner in the Sports Ministry to absorb all the blame, aggravation and anger from Malaysians.

All credit goes to the sultan and the minister for this marvellous idea.

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