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!