Malaysian Football – Can we let TMJ go?

The morning after.

I pen this entry having slept over the issues plaguing Malaysian Football.

Having been informed yesterday afternoon about the departure of the JDT players from the national camp, I pondered for a while, trying to understand what was really going on.

Never mind the fact that the precious day we drew 2-2 with 189 ranked Mongolia.

There was light at the end of the tunnel, hope on the horizon for our Football as for the first time in years it was the best players assembled for the national team.

Prior to this it was always the case of “ best available” players but this time things were different.

So I picked up my phone and called Dato Hamidin Mohd Amin, the General Secretary of FAM and sought out his view on the matter.

We share a cordial friendship and he was open about it and discussed at length as to what transpired.

Next was a call to coach Tan Cheng Hoe, whom I developed a friendship during my stint at FAM in 2005 as we were both invoked in the initial Harimau Muda team.

Cheng Hoe was philosophical, looking for advice rather then what the situation entailed. We chatted for a while and he made it crystal clear he searched his conscience before coming to that decision.

For the first time I dealt with him over 13 years I felt a crack in his voice but he was the ever soft spoken one.

“ Boss, it was my decision, I was not influenced, you have to trust me,” pleased Tan.

Prior to all this I had a discussion with Vijay Vick, who I have known since his days with the newspapers, a person who tells it as it is when it comes to writing about Football.

So the next couple of hours were spent going through online portals, social media as I underwent dialysis for 4 hours.

FAM then made a blunder, issuing a rather weak statement on Facebook to state that the 14 players were released and 9 were called up.

Now FAM could and should have handled this matter better- once the players were “ released” they should have issued a statement and made clear the decision. An impromptu press conference should and ought to be held.

Now going back to the crux of the issue, the criticism on social media regarding the inclusion of 14 players from JDT into the camp and fielding of 9 players in the starting XI of the match.

Of course all guns, I must say as usual, pointed towards Tunku Mahkota Johor, that he called the shots, that he decided the call ups and he decided the staring XI.

But before gunning for him, have we ever once stopped, sat down and pondered on just how much of time, money, passion, effort he has spent on Football?

He can be like just any other royalty, enjoy the perks of being born with a silver spoon , but he opted to be one of us, to try do something meaningful in life, to contribute towards Football in malaysia.

He could have picked just any other sport to help out with, Badminton, Hockey, Squash, Cycling, diving – all with world class athletes, but he picked Football.

HRH is one of his kind, for he. believes in trying to do good for sports.

But while he has all the resources, the game, the money, we tend to forget one thing- he is after all human!

That man Hasan emotion and at times he lets emotions get the better of him.

Don”t we all do rash things at one point in our lives when we feel that the whole world is against us?

It’s been 365 days since TMJ assumes office and today could well be his final day as President of FAM.

Though many have claimed he will hang on to his position as FMLLP chairman but Football belongs to FAM and by not being there he will not be able to change things.

FAM could one day pull the plug on FMLLP as it belongs to FAM and decide to run the M League in a different way. Has anyone given that a thought by accusing TMJ that he wants to retain control of Malaysian Football by staying on as FAM President?

To TMJ I can only offer one piece of advice – do not let criticism affect the good you are trying to do.

We will never be able to satisfy everyone and TMJ must remember that not all fingers are of the same length.

As for social media , it was wrong to issue statements on social media, enhance your website, do things the right way in sending out information, not half baked one liners that are easily misconstrued.

Stay on a President, sleep over it, let’s not let our great nation down for only together we can put it on the world map.

And to fans, the departure, Release dropping of the 14 players ought not to be further sensationalised SS let it be, move on, if it’s not meant to be then it never was meant to be.

14 players do not make a nation, it’s the 33 million that does.