Football is a beautiful game. It evokes passion.
That's the best explanation that I could come up with when, out of a sudden, my so-called 'soft stand' on the suggestion to send national under-23 football players was being highlighted and questioned by few of my fellow bloggers.
Take this one from blogger Level-Field, Tony Mariadass...
"Khawari's posting simply stumped me because he was taking a different stand from Rizal and he was actually pleading to give the Sports Minister, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, a chance to go ahead with the idea.
"Khawari has been known to be critical writer especially when it comes to soccer and the powers that be.
"But his soft stand really took me by surprise. Does he know something the rest do not know. And Rizal's comment to Khawari, where the former virtually apologised for his earlier stand and said that he should have checked with the Minister, again suggested that something is classified information for the 'chosen ones' only."
To my friend Tony, thank you. I am, honestly, flattered. But rest assured, sir, I am not 'the chosen ones.'
Let me try to explain why I choose this stand.
When I first heard the idea, my initial reaction was to oppose it. I have been in this line for more than 15 years, and believe me when I say that 'I have heard and seen it all.'
I am sceptical, sure. But at the same time, I would like to believe that out of what many people called this 'ridiculous idea', something good might emerge from it. Maybe not all that players will be able to utilise their chances with clubs in Europe, but a few maybe.
I chose to be different not to be popular, neither because I like to be the subject of ridicule by my fellow bloggers.
The sole reason? I was there in Vientiane. I was a witness to something that many people thought was not possible. I agree with Tony that we should not gone overboard with it. But I also saw something which I have not seen in the many national teams that I covered since the early 1990s.
I would like to believe, again. Call me a romantic, a fool, or whatever that you like. As mentioned in my earlier posting, all that I would ask is for us to give the idea 'a benefit of doubt.'
Please also note that I reserved my rights to condemn it if it's failed. But at this moment, let they try to make it work. It's not that difficult, right?