Fri, Jul 20, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Sacked Malaysian coach lashes out after his dismissal


Sacked coach Norizan Bakar has hit out at his dismissal as Malaysia's Cabinet ordered the embattled soccer association to explain the "national disaster" at the Asian Cup.

Norizan said he should not be blamed for Malaysia's triple defeats, capped by a 2-0 loss to Iran, which follow more than 20 years of decline in the country.

Malaysia were earlier hammered 5-1 and 5-0 by China and Uzbekistan, prompting the Football Association of Malaysia's (FAM) deputy president and two independent council members to quit.

"I think it's unfair. I've tried to do my level best with the talent that Malaysia has," an irate Norizan said.

"As you know I'm a teacher. I don't think that when a student fails I have to stop teaching," he said.

"There have to now be solutions to the problems. There were problems related to our preparation and these problems always need to be solved," he said.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet ordered the FAM to submit a report on the Asian Cup fiasco.

"Most of the Cabinet members are utterly disappointed by what has happened with the national team," Malaysian Sports Minister Azalina Othman Said told the New Straits Times newspaper.

"FAM's failure is a national disaster and it shouldn't be this way. FAM must tell us what the problem is and the government is ready to help," she said.

Soccer is one of the country's eight core sports, meaning the government funds its development from the grassroots, she added.

"But instead of getting better, soccer is going from bad to worse. Most of the ministers are very upset, the same as many Malaysians who have voiced their disappointment," she said.

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