Drastic hike in national football squad’s ranking lately – Observer


KUALA LUMPUR – Local football observer and academician Dr Pekan Ramli has refuted an allegation by owner of Kelantan FC Norizam Tukiman that the national football team was experiencing a drop in ranking.

Pekan, who is also the Higher Education Ministry (KPT) Sports Unit head, said although the ranking of the national team had been dropping since 1993, but it had started to show a drastic hike since 2018 with the national team squad successfully improving its 178th position in March 2018 to 153rd.

He said this proved that the ranking of the national squad under coach Tan Cheng Hoe was rising and in the best momentum to continue climbing to join the top 100 teams in the world.

‘’So, to say the national squad’s ranking is on the downslide is not accurate and not based on facts.

’’But, based on FIFA’s (International Football Federation) latest point calculation ranking system, admittedly, it is difficult for us to leap to 100th spot, for example, that is impossible,’’ he told Bernama.

Prior to this, Norizam, or more well-known as Zamsaham, openly condemned the national football team’s world ranking, regarding the 153rd position as shameful.

According to Norizam, the Harimau Malaya squad should not be at that ranking, based on the development in the aspect of football in the country including the constructions of infrastructures such as stadiums and several football academies.

Pekan said the COVID-19 pandemic situation currently also affected the effort of the national football squad to continue its mission to climb up the ranking.

As such, he urged Norizam to issue statements based on facts and not be hasty in criticising the world ranking of the football team.

‘’Realistically, based on the hike in ranking, I see the national squad is on the right track to achieve the FAM Direction Map mission (F:30).

‘’And with the effort to boost performance and improve the quality of matches, it is not impossible our ranking will continue to go up,’’ he said.

In the meantime, Pekan reminded that all quarters stayed positive, co-operate and look forward to ensure the upgrading and success of the national squad.

‘’We cannot live in the shadow of past history, we must look at what is available currently and co-operate in boosting the momentum of Harimau Malaya,’’ he said.

The best ranking that Malaysia had achieved was 75th position in 1993.