FAM needs to have a re-think on Nomination cap.

The Football Association of Malaysia’s decision to impose minimum nomination criteria for a candidate to contest their positions has received irate responses from many in the sports world.

While many called it undemocratic, there was one response from a ex senior civil servant that perhaps summed up the feelings of all with regards to how FAM operates.

“ I refrain myself commenting about Football for a long time as there are many clever people in Football. So I wish to keep tat way .”

So in stating the obvious, this elder statesman of sports actually hit the sweet spot in highlighting what the FAM echelon is all about.

Former Olympic Council of Malaysia Secretary General Dato Sieh Kok Chi was direct in his response and posed some hard hitting questions.

“ Why change for the sake of changing,” asked Kok Chi.

“ FAM needs to justify the change

Have there been abuses or failures of the present system ?”

“ Are the changes to protect the interests of the elite?

“ The propsed change is against the fundamental principle of democracy and is an insult to the intelligence of FAM’s members .

“ The change will increase politicking in FAM and will result in cliques or ‘parties’ being formed in FAM which is unhealthy and against fair play and sportsmanship.”

But while Kok Chi was scathing in his comment, former Malay Mail Sports Editor Johnson Fernandez was somewhat supportive of the move but with some tweaks.

“ They need to establish that candidates have enough support before being included” contends Johnson.

“ Otherwise, it becomes too much of a free-for-all.

“But on the other hand, 6 nominations for President will result in only 2 candidates.A fair number for nominations should be 4 for all positions.

“ It is still democratic, albeit guided democracy.”

Veteran Football writer and former Sports Editor of Malay Mail, Tony Mariadass however did not see the logic in this FAM decision.

“ Elections should be a democratic affair. Anyone who is nominated

, correctly proposed and seconder, should be allowed to contest” said Mariadass.

“ Credit as candidates to be nominated to be determined by minimum number of nominees does not hold water because in the end if say a candidate gets two nominations and another 16….obviously the one who gets 16 nominations already holds an advantage.”

The question therefore is whether the decision breaches the basic fundamentals of democracy?

And this perhaps was best answered by Frankie D’ Cruz, the former Editor in Chief and a renowned sports columnist.

“We must be seen to encourage people to vie for leadership positions and not stifle them by having dodgy and undemocratic rules” countered Frankie

And sports administrator cum former sports editor of Utusan, Rosmanizam Abdullah was equally vocal in his assessment.

“ Kenapa menyusahkan penyertaan dan pembabitan mereka yang ingin berkhidmat? Biarkan seperti dululah” added Rosmanizam.

In conclusion the decision was best countered by another senior sports official,

“ It is very undemocratic. A political party had a similar provision before but amended its constitution to do away with it realising it was difficult to get the real clean leaders to rise and serve on the Supreme Council” he wrote,

“ What FAM has done is taking a step back from being a truly democratic association.”

And in having the final word, Kok Chi had this to add;

“ More important is the sport background of the candidate and whether he has a sport culture or is using sport for his ego and personal advancement and benefits ,” said Kok Chi,

“ Many think they’re God sent for sport and become very arrogant and big bullies.

“ Unfortunately this is impossible because when a sport person is still practising and participating in sport a non sport person will be studying sport management and get appointed as a sport leader,

“ By the time the national athlete decides to try to get into sport management it is too late as all the posts are taken by the well connected leaving the retired national athletes licking their boots.

“ We should follow the professions. One cannot be a doctor or engineer unless one is qualified in that profession. Only in sport it is a free for all.!”