Monday, October 5, 2009

First Touch 'hijacked'

Was the First Touch football, exclusively organized by FA of Malaysia all this years through the employees’ company, Semi-Pro Sdn Bhd, being hijacked by the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFA Malaysia)?

That thought immediately crossed my mind when I received email from PFA Malaysia General Secretary, E R Subramaniam, few days ago, inviting media representatives for the launch of PFA Malaysia ‘First Touch Program’ on the 10th October 2009.

I know Subra was closely linked with the First Touch Program when he was still with FAM. The program practically existed because of his tireless efforts in organizing and coordinating the enrollment of players and rostering coaches for the weekend sessions.

But it doesn’t mean First Touch Program belong to him. It has been associated with FA of Malaysia for many years, back from the days when Datuk Seri Paul Mony Samuel was still the ruling body general secretary. It has name-recognition. It has value attached to it, simply because it is associated with FA of Malaysia.
There are many other talent development programs being run by various parties, but none carry the name 'First Touch' because every one know the name is associated with FAM. Why can't you do the same, Subra?

By ‘hijacking’ the First Touch Program, Subra will save valuable resources and time because what they are launching and promoting already enjoys the ‘familiarity’ factor. And trust me, there will be sizeable parents who will mistook this to be still under FA of Malaysia stewardship, when it fact, it will no longer be the case.

I heard the ‘hijacking’ was done with the consent of someone with authority in the FA of Malaysia Secretariat. The reason given was that First Touch not FA of Malaysia program. It belongs to the company jointly owned by all employees of FAM.

Well, if that’s true, it just goes to show how this particular leader never has the interest of his people in his heart. I also heard, though I could not confirm it, that some percentage will be channeled back to him. This is hearsay and if someone can confirm it please let me know.

Do you know that through fees collected from First Touch programs, employees of FAM will get some percentage which they affectionately called ‘bonus’, since the national body never give any ex-gratia payments for the last five years?

Now, looks like PFA of Malaysia and certain individuals only will enjoy the ‘bonuses. What a pity!
And I wonder how many members PFA of Malaysia already signed up? To carry out their primary objective of existing, which is to take care of the welfare of 'professional players in Malaysia.'
Since when kids below 12 classified as 'professsional footballers?' Another case of association losing its focus? For the sake of the game? C'mmon!


Anonymous said...

Soon they will steal FAM's bus also.

For the Game. For the World.

Anonymous said...

Well for the sake of the game, I hope Mr. Subra is in the know that the "First Touch" name has been trademark by a company here in Malaysia.

For the Sake of the Game said...


I dont subscribe to blogs but just to put one or two things in its proper perspective;

First and foremost you have to check the facts. You have some of the facts right but not all my friend.....
Way back there was a gentleman who started a first touch programme in Taman Tun in 2003-2004. Nobody said anything , not even FAM as this was not a trade mark registered. This program was conducted by FAM until 2007 and then there was no continuity. NOTHING HAPPENED. Where were you all this while and why didnt you get it revived if you feel so passionate about this. Nobody stole anything from anyone and knowledge cannot be hijacked.
Nowhere in the letter or our website have we ever said that we represent FAM. Football belongs to the masses and we dont need to hijack this programme from anyone. This syllabus that I have is my hard work and I wrote it. First Touch means - a kids first touch on the ball.
We have the knowledge to run a wholesome programme for kids and adults for your info.

On you question of since when 12 year old kids are considered professionals......shows how much you know about football professionalism......dont we educate our young players from small...when do you actually teach them to become professionals....when they are 20 ????
My friend, I will not tell you how to run SAM because I really would not know how you want to achieve your goals but i would have thought you would have done the same if not at least call me to ask first. PFA is very sure of its goals and we are sure about our direction. We did not cheat or hoodwink anyone, infact what we are doing will be complementing FAM in a small way !

Last but not least, we do not give anyone percentages to get anything done and we work tirelessy to seek legal and lawful means of ways to gather funds to run our programmes and not RELY ON FUNDS from various agencies.

Hijacking and stealing will be in the blood of those who are used to doing it !

Thank you

Subramaniam E.R
General Secretary
PFA Malaysia

Ahmad Khawari Isa said...

I would like to thank my friend subra for his prompt reply for this posting.

To be clearer, this posting is made more on the issue of the 'name', or branding of First Touch football.

This is not about accusation of someone stealing the knowledge, for i concurred with my friend subra that knowledge and experience could not be stealed.

As has been rightly pointed out, First Touch was trademarked by one gentleman, if i am not mistaken, some time in the late 1990s.

The gentleman in Taman Tun who started the program in 2003-2004 was merely using his knowledged gained from his previous association with the program to run his 'own' program.

I am not saying PFA of Malaysia could not run program to train young players. My only contention was, as 'First Touch' has been trademarked and PFA Malaysia was not the owner of the trademark, why then different name not being used?

Thru its association with FAM, whether rightly or wrongly, First Touch has been acknowledged as 'FAM brand.' My question is; again; why different name is not being used by PFAM?

I am not throwing wild accusations. I relay to my readers what i heard, just like we relay gossip that we heard to friends when we sit down for teh tarik with them. In fact, i 'qualify' my statements as such.

I dont tell my friend subra how to run PFAM, just like he would not tell me how to run SAM. This is clear. Lets focus on the issue.

Thank you.

For the Sake of the Game said...

Thank you my friend.

We are currently checking the trademark. If it has been trademarked by someone else, we would definitely remove the name. No problem. We do not need to ride on someone else's name to excel but the quality of our programme will eventually speak for itself. Thank you for pointing out anonymous. It is appreciated. We do not want to start something noble on the wrong footing.
"For the Sake of the Game"

Anonymous said...

First Touch is a concept based on introduction to basics in soccer to children. It has been in the grassroot market for a very long time , long before the facts given in this argument. No one owns the first touch program as most our contents and related activities are copied and modified from the Coerver Method.States like Penang, Kedah and Johore had the similar program. Can both of you check the facts with the respective states. They had their own branding and trademark such as Kenari Kids, J-Kids and Panther Cubs but the training and systematic approach behind this program is "The First Touch Approach". No one made noise then , why now. FAM had the privilege to run the program in their own compound with great facilities and qualified coaches.But this program at that time was only succumb to the Klang Valley kids. Let's not argue about the branding or trademark , looks toward grassroot development. I hope such programs should be extended to other states. FAM and now PFA must seriously thinking to extend their expertise and experience to the states.

For the sake of the Game, For Malaysia First , then the World.

Anonymous said...

Therefore it would be best for my dear comrades in FAM Exco/ Council to authorize/ unauthorize the transfer of First Touch to the PFAM...or maybe perhaps a joint venture.

For the Game. For the World.

Anonymous said...

Dear For the Sake of the Game, if not mistaken the First Touch was trademarked by a former coach of the First Touch program.
Come to think of it its actually laughable at how FAM actually protects or more so how it runs the office - like a bunch of monkeys.

Anonymous said...

No offence to PFAM,.but I think they should concentrate more on helping a number of our local pro who still haven't been paid their wages from last season.

Leave the development to FAM (Although they are not really doing a good job)..:)

Malaysian Scousers