KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today bemoaned the state of Malaysian football, saying countries such as South Korea have since surpassed us.
The prime minister said that in the past, Malaysia was renowned for its football prowess.
“We played with boots, the Koreans played with their bare feet. But today, those who played with bare feet, made it to the World Cup,” he said when officiating the National Sports Day celebration in Bukit Jalil here.
Also present was Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
South Korea created waves in the last World Cup when it knocked the defending champions, Germany, out of the tournament.
In the 70s and 80s, Malaysia produced one of Asia’s most formidable teams with footballing legends such as Mokhtar Dahari and Soh Chin Aun in the squad.
Malaysia also qualified for the Olympics Games in 1972 and 1980, but boycotted the latter in protest over the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.