Can KLFA be truly saved?

1. Kuala Lumpur FA (KLFA) hogged the backpages of local dailes in the 80s and 90s, winning the Malaysia Cup for three consecutive years - 1987, 1988 and 1989.

2. However, the city team has been struggling to make an impact since mainly due to financial issues - despite the various politicians elected as the president.

3. In 2011, a Save KLFA campaign was initiated, as reported by Foul!

4. Yet, eight years later nothing has changed with the office bearers singing the same tune, hoping the team will be "among the best in the country".

5. That statement is as lame as "bola itu bulat". Shallow, expected, unimaginative and sheer rhetoric.

6. Over the weekend, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who is also the Federal Territories Minister, was named president. He will serve from 2019-2023.

7. Khalid joins the likes of former Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and several others in playing a role in KLFA. I wonder how different will it be this time around.

8. In August last year, the Youth and Sports Minister said he does not want politicians to be involved in sports associations, as reported by The Star. MalaysiaKini had in October last year quoted the minister as saying: 

"It is to ensure the country's sporting landscape is driven by sports enthusiasts and those who are qualified, if only based on political positions, I advise to stop them."

9. Despite the call made by the minister, Khalid agreed to take up the post. 

10. Similar calls to rid politicians from sports associations have been made in the past.

11. In 2013, KLFA exco member Rusli Baba was told to quit after he decided to contest as an independent candidate in Lembah Pantai, going up against among others Barisan Nasional's Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin who was KLFA patron then. 

12. It's sad that the team from the nation's capital struggles to captivate fans and field a decent side.

13. It would be more meaningful if KLFA starts focusing on youth and start building up more players. The association should forge relationships with schools in Kuala Lumpur and focus on grassroots. 

14. KLFA should also look at its monetisation plan instead of spending millions on a team that does not guarantee any profitable returns.

15. But judging by the outcome of the elections, it is safe to say the affiliates want the easy way out by getting someone influential or with money to bail the association out instead of finding a sustainable business-like formula to progress for years, if not decades. And it looks like we will be seeing a 'Save KLFA Campaign 2.0 soon. 


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