PETALING JAYA, April 13 2016 : Malaysian football may have hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons in the past but there is every reason to believe that two high ranked individuals can change the country’s football fortunes, albeit through a debate.
In a first of its kind, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has accepted the Tunku Mahkota of Johor (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim’s challenge for a debate on Malaysia’s football fortunes.
It is no secret that Malaysia’s ranking has continued to drop at an alarming rate due to inept performances and the recent developments in the football circle saw TMJ calling Khairy for a debate.
Without revealing any date or place, Khairy said he was ready to debate with TMJ who is also the owner of club side Johor Darul Ta’zim that went on to create history as the first team in Malaysian football history to win the AFC Cup last year.
“Yes mean yes, I am a very simple guy. This is a good thing for (our) football (team). I do not want people to think that I don’t want to accept..,” said Khairy at the SAM-100PLUS 2015 awards night, here Wednesday night.
Tunku Ismail had in JDT’s official Facebook page, The Southern Tigers called on Khairy and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to a debate as a means to find a solution to the drastic drop in Malaysia’s football fortunes.
Critics had taken the FAM to task after the latest FIFA ranking revealed that Malaysia had dropped to 174th position, the worst since FIFA had introduced the system in 1992.
Khairy when commenting on the drop in ranking had said among reasons for the drop was the lack of quality among the players.
Speaking of claims on social media that cash prizes awarded to winners in the Junior Cycling Malaysia (JCM) championships did not match the status of the competition, Khairy said the incentives was just a recognition from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
In Australia for example, winners at age group competitions do not receive any cash prize but rather only medals and certificates.
“The objective of the competition was to find talent and provide a platform for young cyclists to showcase their ability. Money is not the main criteria,” he said when commenting on the JCM competition held on April 9, at MAEPS in Serdang. – Bernama