KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia may have suffered embarrassing results in the 2019 Asia Cup qualifiers, resulting in the coach and players coming under severe criticism, but Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has no interest in engaging the services of naturalised players.
Malaysia’s exit from the 2019 Asia Cup Qualifiers has tongues wagging for the exit of head coach Nelo Vingada while the players were spared after losing twice by identical 1-4 scores to North Korea.
There were also various suggestions to salvage the lost pride of Malaysian football but Khairy said the revival of football in the country cannot happen overnight because there are many factors involved.
“We may get good results in the short term by using naturalised players but that is not the solution to the ills of Malaysian football or to improve the standard of football in the country. Many have suggested using naturalised players but I feel it will only make the situation worst,” he told reporters during a National Transformation TN50 question and answer session with CIMB youth, here today.
Khairy said a total change in the landscape of football in the country would need time and the support from all parties and stake holders.
“We had initially targetted to qualify for the World Cup, so I suggest we start to bid to host the World Cup by 2034 and by 2050 we can qualify for the World Cup as the host,” he said in zest.
A naturalised player is one who has acquired citizenship through living in Malaysia for a certain period of time or any other criteria enforced by the government and opening the door to naturalised players would also destroy the future of the younger players being developed here.
The situation is different for mixed-blood players because they have a birthright. Furthermore, how many players of mixed-blood can there be found? The football market will not be able to be dominated by players of mixed-blood.
Malaysia cannot be complacent with a passion to improve the quality of football in the country by selecting naturalised players. It is akin to sabotaging all future development plans that have been drawn up due to lack of opportunities at the top of the pyramid solely due to an excessive influx of naturalised players.
For the record, the National squad already has a number of mixed blood players, namely Matthew Davies from Pahang, Junior Eldstal (JDT), Brenden Gan (Kelantan) and Kiko Insa (Pahang). – BERNAMA