Wednesday, September 09, 2015


Malaysia's Efforts To Regain Credibility Marred By Unruly Fans

After Malaysia's 10-0 humiliation last week against the UAE heads rolled. Out went the coach Dollah and in came Ong Kim Swee who has enjoyed much success with the Under 23s in recent years. And in response Malaysia put on a bit of a show. Scott Ollerenshaw, former St George legend who also played in Malaysia, was impressed by the home side's showing against Saudi Arabia, describing it as 'a very tactictally disciplined performance' under a new coach who hadn't had long to work with the squad but had responded to last week's debacle with a number of new faces.

Malaysia even took the lead through Safiq Rahim but were to only enjoy the sensation for a few moments before the visitors fought back and within minutes were 2-1 ahead. Towards the end of the game things turned nasty with a section of the home support setting off flares causing the game to be halted with two minutes on the clock.

Excellent stuff. On the pitch last week the players humiliated everyone, now off it the fans have done their bit.

I have said a few times how the Malaysian support has improved over recent years but all that work has sadly been pushed back by the actions of those involved in last night's scenes. They have organised boycotts of pointless friendlies against EPL tattooed pretty boys because they felt, and rightly so, they offered no benefit to the national team. The proof of their actions lie of course in the debris of recent heavy defeats against Oman, Palestine and the UAE.

It is a shame that on a night when the players at least made an effort to show what they could do they were unable to carry the supporters with them as many on the terraces were more fixated with the FAM and their incompetence. And for sure, in the eyes of many the FAM do stand accused of doing little to improve the local game while queuing up for selfie opportunities with those aforementioned visiting EPL tattooed pretty boys.

Of course the scenes, and the stenches, from last night will long linger and the FAM will face many searching questions over the next few days. Not to condone the actions of the few but surely given the tensions that have been raging over recent months in some football circles, brought to a head by last week's massacre, some kind of security presence would have been necessary last night? And I don't mean a security presence that allegedly searched visiting supporters and stripped them of lighter but allowed home fans to walk in with flares.

It's not as if this is the first time the national team's efforts on home soil have been hindered by the antics of a few of their followers. A friendly against the Philippines was also marred by flares while the AFF Cup semi final against Vietnam last year saw images of Vietnamese fans being attacked inside the stadium being broadcast around the world. There has also been a spike in incidents of crowd trouble at domestic games which has supposedly led to the FAM taking action...but what action is the question after last night?

On a night when Thailand came from 2-0 down to draw with Iraq 2-2 it was a reminded that the Thais remain by far the dominant power in South East Asia. They have been hoovering up titles for fun in recent months and if there was an ASEAN Song Contest they would probably win that as well. Meanwhile Indonesia, who of course aren't even allowed in the WCQs, and Malaysia with their own demons continue to plod along in their own little worlds where Cristiano Ronaldo is king, Anfield is heaven and football administration is a good job title that requires little in the way of competence.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?