Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Johnny Foreigner

OK, I know, this entry is terribly outdated but I have to write it somehow.

The Malaysian national football team has been eliminated from getting a place in the Group Stage of the Asian Qualifying Rounds for World Cup 2014 by Singapore. Many of the local supporters felt that Singapore 'cheated' by fielding naturalised players (up to 5, IIRC, during the second leg). In actuality, the FAS simply exploited the loophole in the FIFA regulations regarding naturalised players, so they can simply say they are not the Singaporeans can claim that their population base is relatively small!

Even though allowed under FIFA regulations, I feel that creating a national team which includes frustrated footballers who can't get into their respective national teams is morally cheating. Players who until several months (at most, a few years) before were citizens of PRC, Bosnia-Herzegovina and England were suddenly Singaporeans! Then, there is another FIFA ruling, the 'Grandfather rule' which allows players to represent the country of his grandparents' origin. This ruling allows players like Vinny Jones (who is English) to represent Wales, or that a number of Jamaica's players at World Cup 1998 have never set foot at Jamaica! At least the Grandfather Rule tie the player (more-or-less) with his roots....