I knew our footie teams were not gd. But I didn’t know they were this bad, winning in 2011 only 24%, or seven of 29 matches, across all age groups. The full national squad won only one of seven games (14.2%) played this year, not counting friendlies.
A year ago the Lions team could only remain in the group stages of the AFF Suzuki Cup, and the players and coach Radojko Avramovic were criticised. Our footie authorities did shumething unique, not seen in footie. They sacked the team but kept the coach even though the coach had been around for a decade. When an EPL, Serie A or La Liga team does badly, the manager (we call him “coach”) gets sacked. They don’t dismiss the players and build a new team around the manager.
But if the Lions are replaced again, but the Lions’ coach remains unchanged, it would again remind me of what Bertolt Brecht German and Marxist playwright and poet wrote. After an uprising in East Germany that was brutally crushed, he wrote:
After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
And while I’m on failure in sports, three cheers for Dr Tan Eng Liang. After the SEA Games in November, he clinically and dispassionately assessed the athletes and sports bodies, giving grades A to D based on medals won, or not won. He gave a D to eight sports – sepak takraw, weightlifting, archery, basketball, football, golf, dragon boat and petanque. They didn’t win a single medal.
He said, “I will make some recommendations to the SNOC and expect the players and NSA (national sports association) to do something with the situation. There could be tightening of selection criteria for example, sports that didn’t get any medals, we might be more strict with selection.”
As taxpayers money and national pride are involved, he is right expect high standards from the sports bodies and athletes.
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