KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — A KUALA LUMPUR-based football academy was baffled to see three of its players donning the jersey of another club in the on-going Frenz United International Cup.
Youth Football Academy (YFA) chief coach N. Radhakrishnan admitted he was unsure to why three of his former players — M. Kogileswaran Raj, R. Dinesh and Muhammad Syazwan Salihin — were part of Frenz United Malaysia’s first eleven instead of the national Under-16 team.
“I am confused. We trained the boys since they were 10 and handed them over to the national set-up as they had impressed the national junior selectors,” said Radhakrishnan.
“Now I see them in a jersey of a different club. I thought they would be playing for the national team. Why should I supply my players to another club?”
Radhakrishnan, who has been with YFA since 2000, said this episode would discourage other academies from supplying talents to the national set-up.
“YFA have not obtained a single sen from the government or the FA of Malaysia (FAM). With the help from CIMB, we have been able to sustain and groom young talents.
“We are doing this for the love of the game and to help FAM develop the sport. We are ever- willing to help FAM in any way possible but at the same time we hope FAM would ensure the boys played in the national colours and not represent another club.”
Radhakrishnan said he now hoped FAM would be able to release his players if YFA were to play in the Great Wall Cup (Under-17) scheduled July 27 to Aug 1 in Beijing, China.
“Since they are able to play for another club, I presume they would surely be able to play for their original club when the need arises,” Radhakrishnan said.
The issue of the national Under-16 team playing as Frenz United FC raised eyebrows during a friendly match against Liverpool’s Under-17 squad at the Selayang Stadium on Jan 4. This was highlighted by Mailsport on Jan 7.
The arrangement between FAM and Frenz United remains unclear while the Education Ministry claimed they were still in the dark over the whole deal. Sources revealed the ministry, had through its sports unit, sent FAM a letter yesterday expressing their regret over the fiasco.