Applauding a Sub-Standard Team … Truly Malaysia Boleh

How can our footballers not think that they have now made it? How can a team that played four, won one against a lower ranked team but lost the next three feel a lump in the throat or feel like hiding in the washroom until the crowd at the arrival leaves when they are treated almost like superstars?

By mana-mana

I’M almost at a lost for words whenever I see how some amongst us, including the press boys, react to the minutest of success by our national footballers, nothing though this is compared to the highs achieved for a period of about 15 years from the early 70s.

We went over the top when the Under-23 team won gold in the Sea Games in Laos last December, the lowest level regional/international competition ever for us. Such was the euphoria that the government was coaxed into giving a big cash contribution to the squad although without a doubt it was the achievement of the women’s badminton that deserved a better accolade.

Now the press is going berserk again, despite the team being already home while the other footballers are fighting it out for the medals in Guangzhou. By my reckoning we are again not looking at the football team’s outing in the right perspective.

True that we beat Kyrgyzstan 2-1 but those blokes are ranked by Fifa at a lowly 173, 24 places down from us!! I hesitate to imagine what the coverage would have been like had we won all the four matches, even if these had been against Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

What happened next? We lost to Japan and then played out what a friend texted to my handphone what he thought was a disgraceful and shameful performance against China. We had three red cards while seven others got yellow, meaning only one bloke escaped “unscathed”. But never mind — we qualified for the second round for the first time in 32 years after being one of the best four third-placed teams. Never mind the fact that three decades ago we won bronze.

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