No quick fix – 10 years for Midas touch to work
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s football fortunes will take some 10 years to turn around, to relive the golden age of the 1970s and early 80s, said former national player Khalid Ali.
He believes a decade is about enough time for the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) led by Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim to bring back the golden era of Harimau Malaysia.
The Tunku Mahkota of Johor’s ( TMJ) Midas touch, said Khalid, changed the fortunes of the Johor Darul Ta’zim squad, underscoring his capability to realise the dream of all Malaysians after three sombre decades.
“From the vision and mission outlined by Tunku Ismail, I believe that in 10 years from now, fans in the country can definitely see the national team show its prowess in Asia again. Tunku Ismail’s Key Performance Indicators ( KPIs) in JDT proved his ability and it is not
Tunku Ismail’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in JDT proved his ability and it is not surprising if it can be done with the national team as well. Khalid Ali, former national player
surprising if it can be done with the national team as well,” he told Bernama yesterday.
Recognising the fact there were no shortcuts to re- conquer the Asian stage, Khalid, a key player behind Malaysia’s success in the qualifying campaign for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, believed FAM should produce more talented players.
He said the desire to recapture Asia in the next 10 years was not impossible if the FAM produces players of quality on par with neighbouring country Thailand.
“It is impossible to achieve the level of greatness such as that of Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia as long as we still lack quality players.
“We cannot yet cope with the Thai team who are now competing with the big Asian teams in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers,” he said.
Khalid said fans should also play their role as the twelfth player of the squad through their support.
Hence, fans should not hope for a quick fix but to give a little time to Tunku Ismail to steer his fleet to formulate an agenda to restore the dignity of the country in football.
Khalid also described Tunku Ismail as an open-minded person ready to accept any form of constructive criticism.
He said this freed up everyone to voice any opinion for the progress of footbal l in a professional manner.
“TMJ does not like people who like to curry favour. TMJ is a leader who is decisive, but can accept constructive criticism from supporters for the common good,” he said. — Bernama
Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim