New Straits Times journalist Ajitpal Singh said that the Malaysian Football Federation (FAM) has a reason to naturalize a foreign player and has an origin to increase the team’s strength, but the rest is too precarious.
Currently, FAM is being fiercely criticized for its naturalization policy that makes Malaysia become a multi-ethnic national team.
However, according to Ajitpal Singh, this is not so important because many teams in Asia also follow this shortcut policy to increase the strength of teams like Qatar has been successful at winning the Asian Cup 2019. Coming soon, with this multiracial force, Qatar is also the host of the 2022 World Cup.
However, Qatar differs from Malaysia in terms of financial potential and a vast system to continue recruiting young talent from all over the country, including in the country for long-term training, naturalization and provision for the team.
Meanwhile, Malaysia can only fulfill half of this policy, which is to naturalize players for the current goal, while the policy of training young players from states and clubs in the M-League system is completely blank.
Not to mention, the downside of the naturalization of foreign players and ancestry requires pressure on the Malaysian team to achieve the desired results.
Those are the goals of winning the AFF Cup this year, or having to get a spot at the 2023 Asian Cup and go on to the third qualifying round to compete for the 2022 World Cup.
If the naturalized and current-born players (about 6-7 players) help Malaysia to achieve the above achievements, then hope the situation will turn around and FAM has reason to urge the clubs and the Football Federation. State has further strengthened the training of young players. But this problem is not easy.
According to Ajitpal Singh, most clubs in Malaysia do not have the financial resources to focus on training young players. Most still live from season to season on funding mainly provided by the state and the states, completely autonomous or funded by donors, and if any, only a trickle.
In the M-League, there are only two clubs that have quality young players, Johor Darul Ta’zim and Selangor. While the National Football Development Planning Center (NFDP) has so far only produced 1 quality young player, Luqman Hakim Shamsudin.
But NFDP is no longer interested in this after coach Lim Teong Kim (who worked at the Bayern Munich Club Academy), specializing in training children, left due to the failure of the Asian U.16 tournament 2018.
Therefore, Ajitpal Singh thinks that the current asynchronous Malaysian football plan is too precarious. If Malaysia is going to succeed in the AFF Cup and the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, it is just for now, but in the long run it will be a huge gap.