HARIMAU MUDA, A FRESH PERSPECTIVE

FAM have blundered with regards to the Harimau Muda team, and the sooner they accept that fact, there will be closure and we can all move forward.

No point in beating around the bush anymore as the decision to withdraw the team from the Super League and hand their place to Pahang was done to appease certain quarters. In the process, FAM has shot themselves in the foot.

Requesting a place in the S-League and being denied of the spot by the Singapore FA was not surprising as it was evident Singapore would have wanted a reciprocal invitation. If one were to recollect, Harimau Muda in 2006 played in the Singapore FA Cup as did their Under 23 team in our FA Cup. Something in line with that would have been acceptable with the Singaporean FA.

But how on earth did some personalities in FAM think that Singapore would welcome us with open arms?

So we have now a squad that has no where to go, with the Sports Minister completely off cuff when talking about exposure internationally through his brainchild attachment schemes. FAM employed Azrai Khor as coach, wasting tax payers money as he is left with a team that has nothing to look forward to.

Do not despair Azrai as there are means to ensure that the players get the desired exposure and help them excel in the future years.

In 2005 and 2006, K. Rajagobal was the coach of the original Harimau Muda, and my records show that in 18 months, the team played some 85 matches, both international and domestic. Right from the AFF Cup, training stint at Carrington which is the training ground of Manchester United, Slovakia to participation in a world class tournament in Belo Horizente, Brazil until they were accepted into the Premier League, thanks to the initiative of FAM deputy President YB Khairy Jamaluddin, the team benefitted.

In reality it is not so difficult to expose the team provided those people entrusted with the responsibility are sincere and not just form companies to be awarded FIFA Match Agent license so as to broaden their control over Malaysian football.

The key word here is sincerity and hard work, the same as it was when Rajagobal took some convncing to allow his team to be funded by the government in 2006. As stated earlier the target then was the 2009 Sea Games gold, something that Rajagobal made into a reality but others took credit, so much so that those in NSC have forgotten how they tend to laugh off targets set by people who know te sport inside out.

So Azrai, no point crying over something that you had no control of. Take the next bold step and tell them FAM Exco ( I doubt the 3rd floor people will let you into the room though) that you want to expose the players. Get a good team administrator, work out the schedule.

And yes, make sure your name is also in the list for the World Cup this June as many in FAM would have lobbied already.