Wednesday, July 2, 2014


By Mansor Puteh

The FIFA World Cup Brasilia now halfway done with many of the teams having been sent home including those from countries which are famous for such sport.

Fortunately, this time around I do not see many Malaysians glued to the idiot box to watch the games. Malaysia is not in the finals.

So why bother waking up to watch any of the matches which are being shown live on satellite television anyway?

I only see the television stations and the newspapers which are excited with the games. The rest of the country is not.

And worse, there are some of the television stations which have special programs where they invite some sports or football commentators to talk about the matches that had taken place.

But all of them sound like they are robots; they do not have original views or ideas on what that they can say.

Football did not come from Malaysia and the game is one of the more popular and regular ones. Yet, Malaysia has never ever made it to the finals of any international matches except once when it qualified for the Olympics in Munich in 1971.

Other than that, they are lucky if they can get into the finals of any international meet, being knocked early in the first rounds of the World Cup.

And in the past the World Cup matches were well-watched, even when Malaysia was not playing; with many Malaysians happy to don the jerseys of the countries which are in them, with some even painting their faces with small flags of those countries.

How could any Malaysian want to do that flying the flags of another country?

And how could any sane Malaysian want to be proud to pick a popular team in the English Premier League (EPL) or those in Europe and South America like they were born in the cities where the teams are based?

Malaysians are some of the weirdest supporters of foreign football; they are proud to call themselves die-hard supporters of Manchester United and other teams in England with most of them not having been to Manchester City or lived there.

There are probably a few Malaysians who are proud to have spent their hard-earned income to go to Brazil to watch some of the matches spending thousands of ringgit.

And all that they can be proud of are the souvenirs and photos that they can bring back home after the games are over.

They can only say things that the others have said repeating everything they had heard or read in the papers on how the matches were held.

Malaysians are not known to be smart in talking about football or other sports for that matter, including films from America.

They only know how to repeat what has been said by foreign experts who ought to know better since they are talking about their sports team and films.

Worse, when there was a young Melayu boy who was dying of cancer, he hoped to be given the chance to go to Manchester City to watch his favorite team, Manchester United.

He probably thought he could go to heaven if he had gone to Manchester City, and not to Mekkah in Saudi Arabia to view the Holy Kaabah.

Whoever had taught him to think like this? The media in Malaysia. And why didn’t his own parents tell him not to consider going to Manchester City and go to Mekkah instead? 

And in this year’s FIFA World Cup, two Muslim countries are in the finals, they are Iran and Algeria.

Apart from the Iranians, who would definitely fast, only the captain of the Algerian team has said he is fasting. The other players declined to comment on the matter, which sounds like they do not dare to admit that they are not fasting during Ramadan this year when the World Cup games are being held.

It is therefore unfortunate that the Muslim players would forgo fasting because they believe that winning the Cup serves a higher purpose than to fast.

Yet, their country does not seem to care.

They are no different to the female Muslim athletes who would parade half or almost naked taking part in swimming events in international meets including the Olympics because they believe they too are serving a higher cause that they can forgo Islamic values, with the religious leaders in their own countries looking elsewhere and praying that they could win some medals for the glory of their country.

It is also unfortunately and ironic that the same religious bodies would conduct searches and ambushes on unmarried couples who behave indecently and those who eat openly during Ramadan, yet, they can look elsewhere at the female athletes who parade naked in public.

I had never ever tried to admire foreign football. I had my earlier experiences watching football at the state level in Melaka where I was born and grew up in.

My father was a football fan. But I did not know which team he supported. He would take me to some of the matches including those that were held away from where we lived.

But since he had a car, we could go there and anywhere in the state.

Fortunately, too Melaka is not so large and there were only few football fields where the matches were held.

I did not acquire the taste of watching football matches when I grew up later.

In fact, I hated the World Cup and EPL and whatever international leagues they are, unlike the many others who would go out of their way to stay up to watch the matches that are being shown live on satellite television in Malaysia.

To me it was nothing but a sheer waste of time and energy!

And I am glad this time around the World Cup finals in Brasilia seems to be dead in Malaysia; they are nothing for Malaysians to scream about. 

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