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Khairy jumps to Malaysian football team’s defence

 | November 14, 2017

Youth and sports minister urges the public not to be too quick to criticise the team.

Khairy-Jamaluddin-malaysia-football-team-nationalKUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has urged critics not to be too quick to judge the Malaysian football team despite its seven consecutive defeats.

Coming to the defence of national coach Nelo Vingada, he pleaded with fans and critics to give the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) time to fix its structure.

“We should look at the performance level of the national team in a bigger picture, so do not be too quick to criticise.

“Their performance reflects the structure of the previous association that needs time to be fixed,” he said at a press conference after a TN50 dialogue session at Menara Felda here today.

Khairy said the senior football team was haunted by its past structure which had been in place for years. He added that its performance had nothing to do with the potential of the players.

He said the current FAM management was making efforts to revamp and fix the structure.

Khairy also expressed confidence that FAM’s long-term plan to develop players from the grassroots would improve the standard of Malaysian football.

He said this was a long-term challenge which would require a strong national spirit and support from the people.

“Just because they (the national football team) have not done well this year, you should not be too quick to punish the team, as the under-21 football team had recorded successes and may be the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Football legend Santokh Singh previously expressed his disappointment after the national squad suffered seven straight defeats, including a 1-4 defeat to North Korea in the Asian Cup Qualifier on Monday.

He had urged Vingada to step down from his position as the national coach and apologise to fans for the dismal performance.

“The FA of Malaysia is getting stranger. I think we are one of the few teams in the world who still keep their coach despite not having won in seven matches. Other countries would have long changed (the coach).

“Perhaps it is because the coach is a foreigner. If it was a local coach, I think FAM would have fired him a long time ago,” he said in a New Straits Times (NST) report today.

Responding to Santokh’s criticism, Khairy said changing the head coach was not going to solve the problem as long as the management structure remained the same.


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