I know Windsor John Paul (pix). Quite well, actually.
Our path first crossed in early 1990s, when I was just a rookie reporter and Windsor was coaching Selangor youth team. He then joined FA of Malaysia and helped the national body to be recognised as one of the best-run football association in the world.
Our friendship started then, and it remain strong until today.
And then he left, just few months before I joined FA of Malaysia in May 2001. First, to be the Executive Secretary of the Asean Football Federation. From there, he moved on to be the Development Officer for FIFA Goal Project. During that time, he established himself as one of FIFA top General Coordinators. Appointed as the General Coordinator for the final match between Italy and France at FIFA 2006 World Cup in Berlin was, undoubtedly, the icing on the cake for him.
Yesterday morning, Windsor called. He is resigning from Fifa Development Office, effective from this Wednesday, 30th September 2009. I was shocked, but considering the circumstances that he was in, I understood his decision.
He will forever deny it, but Windsor is a local sports celebrity. Proof? Few hours after our conversation - jaihomalaysia, malaysian sports and fair play news blogs - posted the news about his departure.
So what now, Windsor? Obviously, the first link will be with FA of Malaysia. With the FAM secretariat in chaotic state, Windsor is seen as the best candidate to put things back in order. This, however, should not be treated as my way of championing him for FAM.
On the same breath, I have few things to say about the current state of the FAM secretariat.
Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad might not like this, but as far as the truth goes, he has failed to perform his duties as a GOOD FAM General Secretary. I do believe that I have the right to say this because, in my own small way, I helped him to be there. Azzuddin knows this!
To err is human. It takes a great man to know when his time is up. Like the malay saying, 'jangan jadi seperti tikus membaiki labu.'
Its better to walk away when we still have some respectability left. Dont wait to walk away when its too late, when more unpleasant things are exposed. If FAM secretariat is not already a sunken ship, it is sinking now. Think about it.