Monday, August 4, 2008

The end of foreign pros

Karel Stromsik, Zoran Nikolic, Fandi Ahmad, Stephen Keshi, Emile Mbouh Mbouh, Alex Freeman, Alan Davidson, Zsolt Bucs...these are some of the foreign pros I can remember off hand who provided and injected the spark, inspiration and excitement into the domestic football scene over the years.

The FA of Malaysia council members on Saturday decided it was time to close the door on foreign pros...

Personally, I feel it is the wrong decision to take. Then again, how many foreign pros really contribute something to the team and in the process help educate their Malaysian team mates?

I feel sorry for the likes of Cornelius Huggins and Marlon James. They are the real cornerstones of the Kedah team, aided by Victor Andrag's steadying influence and Ahmad Fauzi Shaari's non-stop running and abetted by the emerging talents of Baddrol Bakhtiar, Khyril Muhymeen Zambri, Fadly Baharom and Shafiq Jamal.

If Kedah can afford to employ foreign players, let them. Why punish them with this blanket ruling?


mzbb70 said...

How on earth is Roman Abramovic to buy Selangor then if he cannot bring Andriy Shevchenko to our shore?
Blanket ruling? Weird huh...
I'm all for the states to import player if they can afford it but then who are we, for we are nor walking in the corridors of power

Anonymous said...

Rizal, its a case of the states cannot afford foreign players. Its a case of bad management. I could only sympathise with FAM whom were pushed into a corner and had to accomodate a backward decison collectively made by the states.

Lets be honest here, some local players are also paid as much as the imports, so, why the hypocrisy? the likes of safee sali, indra putra, hardi jaafar are paid astronomical figures.

I agree with the point that imports make a diffrence, although in the long run thier performace dwindles as the locals mentality and game in affects them.

Samir Nasri's big bro

Anonymous said...

Mutu liga M atau Skuab Kebangsaan bukan pasai pemain import ni tapi pasai perancangan yang tak betui.
Drastik changes has to be made.
Kudos to FAM and their officers to take malaysian football to the level we know today,but so much need to be done. Not today but suppose to be started yesterday or last five years.
To take away import player does not solve the problems nor create problems. They have provided entertainment and the goals, which our local players lack off.The tag line from FAM when they introduce these imports some 15 years ago " That our local players can benefit an learn". What benefit and knowledge. Are these player are required to hold clasess, did any local players actually asked how to perfect the turned and shoot to M.A.James.
So many questions and hopes and its all lied to those who said Malaysian Football is still best in the region.

mohamad mroweh said...


Othman Abu Bakar said...

This flip-flop decision has maligned Malaysia over the years, be they sports, government, etc.,etc., etc.

We seem to be SO good at doing these flip-flopping acts. Hope this is not endemic to other Malaysian sports, and let football find its own cure for this deadly disease.

M.Zul said...

Bro, you forgot to mention Ervin Boban and Abbas Saad. Abbas even had Beckham-like effect in down south in Singapore :) Not Tony Cottee though... hehe

Ahmad A Talib said...

Stopping foreign players from playing in the M League may not be a good idea. Granted there are downsides too. We dont want to see foreign players who are average at best playing in the M league. Then again, our own players are by no means quality ones as well. Let's pick and choose who can play in the M League.

Better still, can we get our players to play abroad in the EPL (even if they play for the second stringers or in the lower divisions)? Or even play in Japan? or in the middle east?

African players do well abroad in Span, England and elsewhere..

pahit manis

BorakBola said...

it's a short-term, hastily thought after plan by FAM. but considering the level of intelligence of most of the people at FAM, i really shouldn't be surprised. it's just sad to know that i won't be able to see players like Marlon James and Elie Aboy playing for Kedah and Selangor anymore - there are good foreign players here and there. it's just all about the scouting and the hiring.

to me, FAM should just let it be. if you can afford the foreigners, then go ahead, if you cannot then shut up and go to management class or business school on how to run a club.

on the other hand, i really believe FAM should consider allowing Asean players to be in the league instead, ala how EU players are considered in EPL, La Liga etc. there are more talents there in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia that can do well. ah, those Piyapong, Bambang, Ponaryo and Fandi days.

but again, knowing FAM. i'm not holding my breath. expect to see an even more lacklustre M League next season.

othman abu bakar said...

Datuk Mat,

There is no dearth of Malaysian soccer players who can ply their trade overseas.

I believe the current system of soccer management in Malaysia inhibits, or rather discourages, Malaysian players from going overseas.

There is not much of a support system for those who want to try their luck overseas. It's not necessary that they go straight to top European clubs. They can start with some clubs in USA or Mexixo or Turkey or even Japan first.

The mentality of the FAM has to change. Better late than never.

t said...

i love you karel stomsik! robert dunn is cool!

those were the days when i can name the first XI & the reserve players of Selangor squad.

Condrad said...

While such a drastic proposal wouldn't get past European lawmakers, in Malaysia football and politics are closely intertwined. None more so than in the case of the man who was left to sell the foreign-ban - Khairy Jamaluddin - a man who holds the somewhat unusual dual posts of being both Deputy President of FAM and a member of the Malaysian Parliament.
The 32-year-old Kuwaiti-born politician, son-in-law of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Chairman of Liga Super side UPB-MyTeam FC amongst a lengthy list of titles, defended the move by saying the influx of foreigners had denied locals the opportunity to play at the top level - hence weakening the national side.
The rapid fall from grace of the senior men's team was highlighted in stark terms by their dismal Asian Cup showing last year - three losses from three outings with only the single goal scored - and hasn't improved much since then.
Two of their three most recent outings ended in draws (against Indonesia and India) and the other was a loss to a Chelsea side in pre-season mode.
So one of the arguments FAM is using to justify the ban on foreigners has more than a little basis in reality - the national team is struggling - and struggling to produce quality players from the local leagues (where the entire national team ply their trade).
We'll get to the counter-argument in a moment (that foreign players actually raise the standard of local competitions) but firstly it's worth noting that the impact of foreign players on local development is hardly isolated to Malaysia - which makes the ban somewhat questionable.
For the season just finished in Malaysia, there were 43 import players - many of them long-time residents of the country. The trend was to strengthen the spine of the side; hence most teams employed a defender, a midfielder and a striker. With two of the three 'attacking' positions taken by overseas players it's hardly surprising to see them dominate the goalscoring charts - in fact seven of the top 10 scorers in the 2007-08 season were from overseas, headed by 31-year-old St Vincent & Grenadine marksman Marlon James with a healthy 23 goals.
But the trend in many other Asian nations, including Australia, is to utilise a side's entire foreign quota in attacking positions - and the results for development and the offensive ability of the national team are even more disastrous than in Malaysia.
With Japan's J-League more than halfway complete, there is only one Japanese player in the top 12 scorers and that player, Marcos Tulio Tanaka, was born and partly raised in Brazil. Even in the Japanese second division two of the top eight scorers are foreign.
Those numbers are reversed in the K-League with only two Korean players in the top eight goalscorers. In China, after 13 rounds of the Super League, three of the top four scorers are non-Chinese while there hasn't been a Qatari top scorer in the Q-League since 1999.
In all the nations mentioned above, there's a constant when looking at their national team - a distinct lack of top-class strikers. China, since the departure of Hao Haidong, has not produced any real out and out strikers; the Japanese cupboard, with the possible exception of Tatsuya Tanaka, is all but bare, while Korea have also struggled for a real out and out striker.
Conversely, nations where local strikers dominate, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia spring to mind, have the leading stars of Asian football in front of goal. It's little wonder that the likes of Younis Mahmoud, Yasser Al-Qahtani, Bashar Abdullah and Mohsen Khalili all were raised in leagues where local strikers were afforded real opportunity.
So while FAM's decision to ban foreigners will certainly afford locals more playing time, will it necessarily improve either the league or the national team?
The impact of Fred for Melbourne two years ago, and the likely domination of Song at Newcastle this year, is two examples where if the right players come, the league unquestionably benefits, but for every Fred or Song there's a Brian Deane or Mario Jardel.
This was another of FAM's arguments - that the standard of foreign players was not sufficient to raise the overall impact of the league. Crowd figures have fallen dramatically in recent years and overseas stars are often seen as a way to remedy that problem, but in a league where many of the foreigners are actually being paid less than the locals, the imports may add athleticism but not always pulling power at the gate.
FAM has also claimed that financial demands of foreign players was draining the resources of smaller clubs and hence the move is a way of ensuring greater parity across the league but the reality is there will always be the wealthier clubs - and now, instead of the best foreign talent they'll simply snap up the best available local players, and in all likelihood continue to dominate the league.
While that may kill competition from a league point of view, it oddly may actually strengthen the national side, if the majority of those involved play their club football together.
And that was at least part of the reasoning behind the move.

epain said...

bro rizal...

apa kata cadangkan kat FAM, laksanakan peraturan mcm kat EPL....diorang ada "non-eu" n "eu players"...

so kat msia ni apa kata buat "non-Asean" n "asean players"...

sama mcm import, tai tak strict, but still limit the numbers....

Anonymous said...

Read this from the Bernama website...unrelated but feel it's appropriate

Increasing Duplication In NSC And NSI Functions

By Zulhilmi Supaat

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 (Bernama) -- A sports science expert has claimed that the programme to churn out excellent athletes in the country is becoming less effective due to the duplication of functions between the National Sports Council (NSC) and the National Sports Institute (NSI).

The Chairman of the National Coaching Board, Sheikh Kamaruddin Sheikh Ahmad said 90 per cent of the tasks of identifying the athletes' potentials actually lie with the NSI and not the NSC.

"But under the current practice, the function has been taken over by the NSC while the NSI only plays a complementary role or an addition to the athlete development programme. This is one of the reasons why Malaysian athletes are lagging further behind in sports science development," he told Bernama, here today.

He said that local sports associations should contact the NSI beforehand to enable the institute to undertake a study on the potentials of the athletes concerned in terms of their physical capability, mental condition, psychology, bio-mechanics and sports medicine.

It was only after the study had been done that the athletes should be handed over to the NSC for development because the NSC should play the role of athlete manager in providing continuous training programmes, he said.

"But now, the associations contact the NSC directly and ignore the NSI. The NSI only comes into the picture as a reference point whenever an injury occurs or when a doping test is to be carried out," Sheikh Kamaruddin said.

He claimed that this was because the NSI was not given a big financial grant while the NSC acted as the pay master or employer who determined the allocation of annual grants to the sports associations.

That was the reason why Malaysian athletes were not outstanding as they did not get full assistance from the sports science facilities and relied merely on their skill in a particular sports event.

"Malaysia actually has adequate sports science facilities to churn out excellent athletes but these are not fully utlised because of the lack of expert manpower or the coaches don't know how to utilise the experts at the NSI to assist the athletes," he said.

Sheikh Kamaruddin said the move by the Ministry of Youth and Sports to transfer the National Coaching Board, which was previously under the NSI, to the NSC had aggravated the situation when various efforts were being taken to raise the level of sports excellence in the country.


Ahmad A Talib said...

Brother Othman,

You are right. I used to have a football team and we played everywhere. There was good team spirit. We pay for our own jerseys, share boots and get friends to buy stockings and footballs. Then we had a few "imports," ie outsiders who come from a different part of town and wanted to join us. We allowed them to play, provided they chip in to buy drinks and bananas. Later on, we got better because the 'imports' were good. Football is such an emotional game.

I'm sure our players can play in Australia and elsehwre but we need to guide them. They must survive hardship etc. Georgie Best was homesick when he came from belfast to join Man U. But he had help. Our players will get better if they are exposed overseas. This has to be done in a well-planned manner, with proper execution and sufficient funds.

I'm sure we have our own Etos and Drogbas playing somewhere in some kampongs or estates. We can't blame foreign players for the decline in the standard of our football.

Glory, Glory...

Othman Abu Bakar said...

Datuk Mat,

Very interesting! That you had your own football team and had "imports" as well. Good guidance is the word. Maybe George Best thrived because he had both mental and financial support from "enlightened" football officials in the UK.

Permatang Pauh
Aug 7, 2008
4.00 pm


Anonymous said...

Bro satu keputusan yang paling bodoh oleh FAM

Tak ada satu pun liga dalam dunia ini tanpa pemain import.
banyak benda yang kita perlu lihat, bukan faktor duit yang menyebabkan FAM bangkrup sekarang ini tapi di sebabkan pengurusan yang ada tak ada perancangan cuma ingat "command and conqueror" je sebab di ketuai oleh seorang Jenderal perang.

Banyak benda yang kita perlu lihat terutamanya macam mana nak buat satu pemasaran bagi mendapatkan penaja (bukan nak habiskan duit penaja macam sekarang ini),Pemasaran penajaan di peringkat negeri juga perlu di laksanakan dan bukan berharap dengan duit grant daripada FAM sahaja.

Setiap negeri atau kelab perlu mengemukakan budget dan juga sumber-sumber kewangan pasukan, ini dapat memastikan dimana pemain-pemain akan dapat gaji on time.

Pemain import yang di ambil oleh negeri perlulah mengikut kemampuan poket masih-masing bukan untuk glamour sahaja. Pemain import juga merupakan satu kaedah untuk pasukan tersebut menarik penonton ke stadium. kita lihat macam mana selangor dapat menarik biangan penonton yang ramai pada 2005, dengan kehadiran bambang dan alley boy pun dah dapat purata 30000 penunton bagi setiap game, begitu juga dengan kedah dengan adanya marlin dan martin cukup utk memenuhui lebih kurang 3/4 dpd kapasity penonton. Pada masa zaman stromsik main utk selangor juga stadium merdeka penuh beb.

Persoalan yg timbul kenapa FAM tidak mengambil kira akan sumber pendapatan utk pasukan negeri ini.

Pada pandangan saya tak payah kita buatsatu percambahan fikiran sekiranya keputusan nya telah pun kita ketahui, cuma yang perlu kita lakukan ada lah dapatkan mereka-mereka yang benar-benar ingin memajukan sukan bolasepak tanah airkita dari segi mutu permainan, pengurusan pasukan yang lebih nilai komersial dan juga jumlah pemain berbakat yang ramai

jangan kita terlau memikirkan akan "COMMAND AND CONQUEROR' JE


Anonymous said...


kita tutup fam dan buat fam baru
bikin baru la kita belajar daripada kesilapan

Kita bukakan asean player bukan sebagai foreign player, sekurang-kurangnya dapat bantu state utk tari penonton daripada pendatang-pendatang yang ada kat malaysia ni.

banyak foreign player yg bagus masa dulu, Abbas saad, Scort (sabah), john hunter, alister edward, piaporn,stromsik banyak la lagi

MatRock said...

hehehehhe piaporn....

Anonymous said...

Perlis & Co. Padrupan Jarumnya.

Arnaz M. Khairul said...

Again it is the reformat syndrome.. When the national team fails, FAM reform the league. This started with the semi-pro two-tier league, which evolved into a fully professional (really?) premier one and two, then the MSL...etc. They bar foreign players as and when it suits them, and... well, in case anybody forgot to check, the ones behind the decisions, bar one prominent politician, are mostly the same...
Restructuring, reformatting, redesigning, re, re, re-whatever.. re-FAMed, that's how Malaysian football has got itself screwed.

The Blueberry said...

Encik Rizal,

Laa betoi ka? Teruknya... Ni mesti kes Selangor jealous dengan pencapaian multi-cup Kedah ni. Isy isy... Kejap boleh ada import, kejap tak boleh ada, kendian ada balik, la nie tak ada balik... Kalau macam tu pemain bola kat Mesia ni jadi katak bawah tempurunglah. Isy isy... Cuba bayangkan kalau EPL tu takdak pemain luar. Best ka balik-balik tengok Mat Salleh English tu aja dok ligan-ligan bola tu? Tak best kan? Mat Salleh kata takdak variety.

Walau apa pun, cek tetap suka kat Abbas Saad yang dulu posternya cek tampal dalam almari baju cek hahahahaaaaa...