- Published: November 22, 2021
- Updated: November 22, 2021
- Language: English
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Two centuries after the British colonization of Malaya, the British introduced football to the peninsula at the turn of the 20th century. It rapidly evolved since then. Although unstructured, football was the focal point of all sports clubs in Malaya, and regional competitions took place in Malacca, Negeri Simblan, Selangor, and Perak. Soon enough in 1921, the national tournament of HMS Malaya Cup (later Malaysia Cup in 1963) was introduced and ever since, it had been an annual occasion observed by the citizens of Malaya, that is except in the years of the second world war. It essentially became the oldest football competition in Malaysia. The name came after a 2-cup trophy contribution by the crew of British Royal Navy Ship HMS Malaya (The Singapore Free Press, 1947), which was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship under Captain H. T. Buller, when the crew played a friendly football match against Port Swettenham, Port Dickson, Melaka, Penang, and Singapore during their 10-day stay on the 17th of January 1921. (The Straits Times, 1932)
1926 rolls by and the amateur football associations integrate under one name to form the Malayan Football Association on the 18th of September (The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 1926), which was later renamed the Football Association of Malaysia and was initially based in Singapore. The first president of the association during the interval that the FAM was based in Singapore was Sir Andrew Caldecott, and the administration remained exclusively British. It wasn’t until 1940 that the governance was transitioned to Malaya, with A. R. Singham as the first ever Asian secretary for the association, however the administration remained solely British until after the second world war.
Six years prior to the independence of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman was assigned as the Football Association Malaysia president. Shortly afterwards in 1957 “ Pestabola Merdeka”, or Merdeka Tournament, was initiated and was observed at the Merdeka Stadium. Tunku Abdul Rahman was extremely encouraging and appealed particularly to the youth as he could see their potential. He remained in his administrative position until 1975.
According to the official website of the Korea Football Association, football was introduced in Korea in a similar manner to that of Malaysia’s, albeit earlier; the crew of HMS Flying Fish, Fantome-class warship of the Royal Navy, was observed playing the sport after docking near Jemulpo in Incheon in 1882. Similar to Malaysia’s case, it spread like wildfire through the country. By 1902, Baejae Academy established a football club, and by 1905, the first ever official football match was played between the teams Hwangseong Christian Youth Association and KoreaSports Club. Two decades later, in 1928, with the ever-increasing passion for the sport, Jeoseon Referees’ Association was founded during the Japanese colonization of the Republic of Korea. Jeoseon Football Association was 5 years later established to be the first governing body for the sport in Korea, which created a very positive impact of lifting the spirits of South Korea’s citizens and uniting them more closely during the colonization era.
Two years following the liberation from the Japanese colonization in 1945, the Jeoseon Football Association became affiliated with the FIFA and changed its name to Korea Football Association on the 8th of September 1948. Becoming under the Fédération Internationale de Football Association allowed South Korea to be able to compete on the international football arena as it qualified for world cup in 1954, granting it the title of the second ever Asian country to compete in the World Cup, and were able to reach quarter-finals as they won 5-3 against Mexico.
In 1960, the KFA played at Malaysia for the third edition of Pestabola Merdeka Cup. It’s worth noting that the first and second professional football clubs were initiated roughly around 2 years apart, Hallelujah in December 1980, and Yukong Elephants in 1983.
In 1994, the KFA showed interest in wanting to host the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Their desire became a reality when the Republic of Korea was chosen to jointly co-host the 2002 World Cup along with Japan two months after the election of South Korean Chairman of the Grand National Party Chung Mong-Joon as the FIFA Vice President.
The current national football head coach for the Malaysia national football team, or “ Harimau Malaya”, which is governed by the Football Association of Malaysia is Tan Cheng Hoe, who took over the place of Eduardo Vingada after a series of weak and underachieving scores and losing 7 consecutive matches (The Star Newspaper, 2017). Tan Cheng Hoe’s experience was the product of his participation in the TM Piala Malaysia from 1988 till 1990. The former Kedah head coach revolutionized the tactics of football playing (StadiumAstro, 2018) by introducing daring and straightforward strategies to the national team. Tan has been praised for leaving a huge positive impact on the national team as he’s been hailed “ M-League’s Best Coach of the Year” on the 23rd of December 2016. (The Star Newspaper, 2016). On the 1st of April 2018, Harimau Malaya managed to score 7-0 in a friendly match against Bhutan under the leadership of coach Tan Hoe.
In South Korea, Shin Tae-Yong was appointed on the 4th of July 2017 as the head coach for the Korean National Football team following “ a wake of a poor run of results” by the previous head coach Uli Stielike after a 3-2 defeat to Qatar (The Straits Times, 2017). Shin Tae-Yong has represented South Korea numerous times in the past, such as by scoring during FIFA U-16 World Cup 1987 against the United States and against Canada, and the 1996 AFC Asian Cup. In an interview during 2017, the realistic nature and attitude of Shin can be observed as he speaks of a match that was played in which he didn’t expect a victory from his team, but rather mainly to examine the movement, flow, and weakness of his team.
In Malaysia, the national football team gets to practice their skills in two stadiums; Wisma FAM and Bukit Jalil National Stadium, located in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur respectively. The facilities in these stadiums include but are not limited to fully equipped sports gyms, futsal pitches, both grass and artificially-turfed football pitches, and warming up tracks. While in South Korea the Paju National Football Centre, or simply the NFC for short, situated in Kyounggi Province, serves as the main ground for practice and training purposes of the Korean National Football team. According to the official KFA website, the centre facilitates seven football pitches, one of which is artificially turfed, several conference halls, physical therapy and medical rooms, and other recreational accommodations such as restaurants, pool rooms, and spas.
Governance and Transparency
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s code of conduct and ethics is usually the standard that countries play by, even on a national and local level, as it is set by the oldest world-governing football body. The Korea Football Association and the Football Association of Malaysia are no different when it comes to following the code of conduct and ethics established by the FIFA. Both the current (2012 version) and the upcoming code of conduct, which will be in effect on the 12th of August, mention the disciplinary sanctions and punishments that could befall officials, players, and their agents.
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