KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — Rather than progressing, Malaysia will only move “backwards” in football and in other fields so long as there are people who resort to the paranormal for their failures, Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) said.
Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman, president of the Islamist group often seen as conservative, was weighing in on a so-called “Islamic” medical expert’s hypothesis for Malaysia’s stunning 10-0 defeat at the hands of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in last Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier.
“This kind of comment would not help the football teams to grow. It is incapable to fix our team’s performance. We have to link realistic reasons to real issues correctly,” Abdullah told Malay Mail Online over the phone when contacted yesterday.
“This is a backward way of thinking and will not help in achieving progress,” he added.
Yesterday, Malay tabloid Kosmo quoted Datuk Shamsuri Shafie who claimed that “makhluk halus” or paranormal beings may be to blame for Malaysia’s loss in the qualifying match on Wednesday.
While pundits and fans alike have pointed to obvious weaknesses in the Football Association of Malaysia as the reason for the country’s stunning defeat, Shamsuri did not discount the possibility that such paranormal beings were employed to distract the national players on field.
The players may have been disturbed by the entities because they forgot to recite prayers before playing, he was reported saying further.
Malaysia lost to UAE in Abu Dhabi in the Asian Zone World Cup qualifiers, after the latter led by 7-0 in the half-time, setting a record for the country’s worst ever defeat in a competitive match.
The loss resulted in the resignation of national football coach Dollah Salleh and he has been replaced by Under-23 Harimau Muda coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee.