The recent incidents surrounding Sarawak football is taking its toll. News are going viral about how the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) is acting up again, with Sarawak being clear victims as they are not only fined, but slapped numerous times with bans which many say will ‘kill Sarawak football’.
Supporter groups of Sarawak are up in arms with many feeling victimized. Some went the extra mile by creating a petition requesting the Sarawak Football Association (FAS) to leave FAM like what transpired years back.
I was watching news tonight, and it was clear the petition caught the nation with great interest with TV3 highlighting the President of FAM commenting on such petition. Part of his words were “Don’t make a stupid statement unnecessarily. Bila kita buat stupid statement, it will reflect on you…” as he went on to say “Sarawak people…”
I can’t really capture the whole sentence, but it gave me a negative impression. I was indeed outraged, but maybe my poor English was of fault for probably misunderstanding the statement.
To me, the whole incident, including how Sarawak seems to be always victimized by those when it comes to FAM is very upsetting and depressing. I am angry and disappointed with FAM with their poor handling of Sarawak and FAS, and the statement by the president makes me even sadder because for me, such words should have not been said.
Anyway, the talk of the town is that Sarawak should pull out of FAM, but unfortunately I see this move creating more harm to Sarawak than gain.
The plus of such actions would of course be that Sarawak will be deemed as retaliating towards FAM, but the minus(or disadvantages) weighs even more. Here are my personal points on what will happen shall Sarawak pull out of FAM:
- Sarawak will be deemed as sore losers because they retaliate when decisions do not go their way
- The Sarawak players will not be able to play any competitive football outside of Sarawak as FAM is the sole body sanctioned by FIFA, and with no approval from a national body, the Sarawak players are to only play domestically.
- There will be no league, and no games to watch because the Malaysia Super League is a crowd puller, and if Sarawak were to come up with a local league of their own, it won’t be as grand, or as great.
- FAS may face further sanctions from FIFA, and may just be banned, thus effecting players, officials and many more.
- Those directly involved in FAS may need to find new jobs and this includes the players. Sarawak may loose the talent they have.
The fact is, FAS pulling out of FAM will directly kill football in Sarawak, and as a state under the federation of Malaysia, we are at the mercy of FAM regardless if we like it or not, and FAM knows it.
What we can hope for now is that Sarawak prove all their critics wrong by winning their games and showing that Sarawak football is on a revival regardless of how ‘ill treated’ we are by those in power.
I am also worried that this issue will boil on to become a national issue which will harm the already thin integration between Sarawak and those in the peninsular.
I hope that it doesn’t boil over, but if FAM keeps penalizing Sarawak for even the smallest issue, it may just….
With that said… Sarawak Selamanya.