Sathia, OKS defend KJ’s statement amidst criticism from TMJ

Football Coaches Association of Malaysia (FCAM) president B. Sathianathan has revealed that he agrees with Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on the quality of the local players in the country and how they are miles behind players from other Asian countries.

“We all know who our players are. We’re miles behind if we compare them with the likes of Saudi Arabia or United Arab Emirates (UAE),” Sathianathan said as quoted by Berita Harian.

“From what I can see, we do not have development program for all the clubs in the district level. We may have a number of academies in the country but we do not have coaches of a certain calibre to train the players consistently and not only on the weekends.

“The academies do not have enough matches for the players, so how do we expect them to have enough exposure? We cannot blame the players when their upbringing is all wrong.

Photo Credit: Prashant Kharbanda /
Photo Credit: Prashant Kharbanda /

The former national team head coach said that the only way to solve this long-term issue is to prioritize grassroots development in all villages, districts and states in the country.

“The only two development programs out there are the National Football Development Programme (NFDP) and the Johor Darul Ta’azim (JDT) initiative. Schools and clubs in all districts and states should follow both of these models in order for the country to succeed.

Harimau Malaysia head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee also agreed with Khairy’s statement.

Photo Credit: Pesta Bola Merdeka
Photo Credit: Pesta Bola Merdeka

“What YB Khairy said was right. You cannot expect us to improve our FIFA ranking to 150 at the end of the year with these players,” Ong Kim Swee said as quoted by Utusan Malaysia.

Khairy’s statement didn’t go too well with Johor DT owner, Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim, who publicly slammed the Youth and Sports minister for trivializing the quality of local players.

He even went on to suggest that Khairy should step down and resign, if he isn’t able to help relevant parties maximize the existing talent pool within Malaysian football.

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