Sport: MSSM Meet/Soccer: Embarrassing, shocking

by Fariq Rahman

Sat, 31 May 2003

IT was an embarrassing end to the MSSM soccer meet in Ipoh on Thursday.

The free-for all incident in the Under-18 final between Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur at Tuanku Abdul Rahman Secondary School shouldn’t have happened. This is not the first time it has happened. It was the same last year. It gets worse when teachers and officials get involved in a free-for-all. This was the case when Terengganu team officials and teachers attacked Kuala Lumpur players and officials.

Aren’t they supposed to set good examples to students instead of instigating them to go on the ‘warpath’? Those players from the Terengganu Under-15 squad who emerged champions in their category should be hauled up for disciplinary action for joining in the fight and attacking the KL players. These unruly incidents were captured on camera and published in all the major newspapers.

In fact Terengganu reserve goalkeeper Shahrul Hazwi should be hauled up by FA of Malaysia for his “kung-fu kick” on one of the KL players.

MSSM and FAM must take a serious view of this matter and stern action should be taken against the players, officials and the teachers. It surprised many when Datuk Adnan Ibrahim, the Perak Education Department, said in his closing speech that the incident was “normal” and it had happened even at the World Cup. One wonders how Adnan could have said it knowing pretty well that the incident was an embarrassing moment for Malaysian soccer. These players and officials have no business being involved in the free-for-all. Discipline. That’s the word. At this age, the teachers must educate the players on the importance of being disciplined on and off the field. The players must take pride in wearing State colours and play their best with full commitment and discipline. This is when they should prove their capability and get selected by talent scouts who are on the move.

It is sad that this tournament which is supposed be the showcase of raw talent has turned out to be the place to identify “kung-fu” fighters. Who should take the blame?