Oh Why Malaysia!

Malaysians can only dream of seeing the Football World Cups or Olympics ever being held on their shores.
With a shift of policy by the government in not allowing visas to citizens of countries it does not have diplomatic relations with, Malaysia will not be able to bid for any sporting event that allows global participation in sports, especially one that has a qualification system that might see a country denied entry into Malaysia.
Questions and eyebrows are being raised as to why the Football Association of Malaysia had bid to host the FIFA Congress in the first place when they could not assure the parent body of entry for all the delegates.
Was in an oversight, a blunder or a shift of government policy that caught all unaware.
In order to understand the situation better, one has to look into several past events to get a more comprehensive idea as to what actually transpired.
In 2002, there was a meeting of the Association of National Olympics Conmittees (ANOC) hosted by Olympic Council of Malaysia and there was participation from Israel. Although their flag was taken down, they still had a small flag placed on their table at the conference.
Next was the Sports For All Conference that was held by OCM in 2008 and this also saw delegates from Israel being allowed to participate.
There was also an IOC Conference hosted by Malaysia last year and although there was an individual from Israel, he travelled to Malaysia on his American passport.  
But over the past year, two sporting events have been affected by the unwritten rule of barring participants from certain countries.
First it was the International  Sailing event followed by the World Cup Table Tennis, both that saw the government denying participants from Israel to compete. However there was no international furore as it was settled amicably.
And when FAM submitted its bid to host the Congress in 2013, they sought support letters from the various agencies, even the Sports Ministry.
Over the past three years surely someone within the government should have realised that FIFA has 209 members, more then even the United Nations and it will consist of countries that have no diplomatic relations with Malaysia. 
Preparations were at the end stage, with a team from FIFA due to arrive this month to evaluate matters and finalise various details. But all that is now gone, no thanks to politics taking precedence over sports.
Sport is supposedly a unifying factor as it has no boundaries, Colour or political divide.
But how wrong we are when it comes to our country as this incident will put us in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Hosting the FIFA Congress would have given us a spot to be on the World map, for the right reasons but today we can only blame the Politicians, for dividing the country through a perfect weapon – sports.
FAM is not to blame, not a single bit as this decision is beyond them. Sadly for once FAM tried to do the right thing but even that went awfully wrong for them.
We can only offer our sympathies to FAM but while the tears will one day dry up, the scars of the day when politics triumphed over sports will remain forever.