Bernama | Updated: June 16, 2014 (First published on: June 16, 2014 16:24 MYT)
KUALA LUMPUR: Some lawmakers in Parliament today hit out at the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for failing to fulfil its promise of making Malaysia qualify for the World Cup 2014.
The matter was raised by Datuk Wan Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad (BN-Kuala Kangsar) who questioned the national squad's inability of making it to the prestigious world football competition now being held in Brazil.
In response, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he did not have the answers for that as the target was made by FAM which should be responsible to make it a reality.
However, he was confident that the national team would one day be able to compete in the World Cup through the ministry's football development programme.
Nevertheless, it did not want to set a specific target (of when) like FAM did, he said.
"I am not the FAM president, so I'm not able to reply to the question raised. But hopefully, through the programme, we will one day quality for the World Cup," he said at the Dewan Rakyat sitting, here.
Khairy said: "Through the football development programme, we have to restart from the beginning. We have also discussed before that size is not an obstacle.
For example, this morning my favourite team Argentina could still win although the players are not big-sized."
He said the problem of Malaysia still being unable to qualify for the World Cup was due to the lack of focus on football development.
Khairy, who was once FAM deputy president, said he realised that the allocation for football development was very small, and likewise, the states' football associations focused more on paying the salaries of the senior players.
On the development of sports infrastructure for the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Perlis recently, he said it would not be a white elephant but would be used for sports development, especially to train new talents.
Khairy said only Kelantan had not hosted Sukma as the state had never applied to organise the event, which could actually serve as a jumping board to having better sports infrastructure in the state.