Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's not that difficult, right?

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?


Doctor Romario said...

There are many options for the development of football and sports for Malaysia...we must study all aspects wisely before selecting the right strategy.

For the Game. For the World.

tonymariadass said...

Dear Mr SAM President and friend Khawari,
I am equally flattered that you have decided to post my postings and answer it.
I am also very happy that the passion in you, has finally surfaced to make a passionate plea.
Sometime ago a similar proposal was up in the air, but it was shot down without mercy although it was meant for 15-years to 19 years.
But Khawari, you having been on both sides - the media, FAM and now back to the media - should have a better picture of the on goings not only in soccer, but sports in general.
I had a fair share of criticisms, pot shots and accusations hurled at me, when I was on the other side of the fence for a while.
The sportwriters have more often than not had the privy of extra facts and figures of any subject they are reporting on and that is why the reports, most of the time differ from public opinions.
But coming back to the issue at hand, I believe a majority, be it sportwriters, coaches, sports officials and the public, are against the full time national team.
It is not a bad idea, but it is not feasible for players who are already set in their way of playing and life.
There are many ways to skin a cat and probably a different approach need to be taken to uplift the national soccer standards.
But one thing that nobody can deny is that, emphasis must be given to grassroots development, especially in schools.
I can understand why you want to give this idea a chance. It is probably that you too are fed up with all the attempts to revive Malaysian soccer and with nothing happening, you just want to see something tried differently.
Yes, we can try it differently, but we cannot abandon the M-League, which is part and parcel of the system for development of the game.
We spend millions at the pinnacle, but have decided to cut at grassroots which has resulted in the MSSM Under-15 national soccer championship being scrapped.
We have to work in sync and not at odds!
Lets hope something sensible comes out of all this.
And for heaven sake, stop calling me Sir!
We former colleagues and friends Khawari.
Let the passion in you burn and shine brightly!

rizal hashim said...

heheheh bloggers can condemn and praise their fellow bloggers...unlike the mainstream media! hahah. I think perhaps Khawari is right that we give the Minister a chance to prove us wrong. At a glance he appears to be someone who has the political will to deliver. I hope he does. At the same time he must be seen to be listening to the right people...