Bayern's Lim condemns Malaysia's football state

Former Malaysian international, Lim Teong Kim, said he was not surprised at all over the sad state of affairs in Malaysian football. A member of the national team which won the gold medal in the Kuala Lumpur South East Asian Games in 1989, the last time Malaysia emerged as the champions of the tournament, Lim is now the assistant coach of Bayern Munich U-19 football team. He said that the dismal showing of the national team in the Asian Cup was expected and the lack of infrastructure had hindered the growth of the game in the country.

“Bayern Munich are the top club in Germany. We have a very good infrastructure – five training fields and more coming up soon,” who is here to check out the facilities for the club's participation in the Champions Youth Cup, told Eric Samuel of The Star. "When football is still the same here after so many years, how can we expect to see any changes to the game or standard? We have a complete infrastructure to cater for the professional team and also the youth teams. In fact, we have 11 youth teams in age-group between eight and 23. The other clubs in the Bundesliga also have a similar set-up,” he said.

The 44-year-old Teong Kim said it was not fair to put the blame on the team when changes were not made to check the rot in the system. He added that he had left the country for almost two decades but he had not seen changes or concerted efforts to develop the game, even in his home state Malacca where he started out playing for at the age of 17. “When football is still the same here after so many years, how can we expect to see any changes to the game or standard? Why criticise the present batch of players and keep banging them on their heads for failures when no one cares for the development of the game. Football is a national agenda. I feel that every state should have an ideal infrastructure to develop the game.

"I have been in Bayern Munich for eight years now. Even the eight-year-old players travel extensively to play in invitational tournaments to gain experience. There are eight professional coaches at the youth level and players get plenty of exposure. The facilities are well-equipped with dressing rooms, rehabilitation rooms, physiotherapy, sauna and relaxation rooms. In Germany, we have technical problems but no infrastructure problems. If there are no fields how can the coaches get to work? The National Sports School in Bukit Jalil alone is not good enough. State FAs must get their infrastructure in place otherwise they cannot expect to produce results. “I am just trying to pass my experience and knowledge learnt in Bayern Munich. It is difficult to see success if changes are not made. There is a saying in Germany – changes bring prosperity, contentment brings complacency,” he said.