While Football fans continue to attack the FA of Malaysia (FAM) over so many issues, ranging from stadium management, calling for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) as requested by Kelantan FA president Tan Sri Annuar Musa to issues of bookies rigging into the Malaysian League, it all seems that nothing is going right for the national football governing body.
However, despite all the sad episodes that have engulfed the local scene; there is still that one piece of good news coming out of the incinerator - one man continues to keep the Malaysian flag flying high at the world stage. He is Windsor John Paul.
Windsor is once again appointed by FIFA to ensure that the FIFA Confederations Cup is managed and organised well in Brazil. The Confederation Cup kicks off on June 15-30 with participation by Brazil, Japan, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, Nigeria and Tahiti.
The Malaysian has done the nation proud; once again, as he has been tasked to perform a certain job in every World Cup, Confederation Cup and Olympics since France hosted the 1998 World Cup.
Even Spanish manager Del Bosque reacted with amazement when he posed Windsor this question: “Are you from Portugal?..Paul’s instant reply was: “No, I am from Malaysia.” Bosque was in disbelief, perhaps even wondering just where is Malaysian Football on the world map!
I was privileged enough to work with this man whilst I was in FAM, and the football education that I have been exposed to is partly due to Windsor, and his mentor, Dato’ Seri Paul Mony Samuel.
Windsor serves as the AFC Executive Director now, and his experience and knowledge is still very much sought after by FIFA. Just two months ago he was in Brazil to submit a report to FIFA on the progress of the six venues under his care.
A monumental task indeed but it’s all within Paul’s ability to see it through. The six stadiums under his supervision are Maracana Stadium (Rio De Janeiro), Castelao Stadium (Fortaleza), Mineiro Stadium (Belo Horizonte), Nacional de Brasilia Stadium (Brasilia), Pernambuco Arena (Recife) and Fonte Nova Arena (Salvador).
The question that everyone begs an answer now is shouldn’t FAM, or even the government, particularly Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, seek Windsor's expertise and opinion on the status of football in the country. He may just have the right answers to all the problems that have plagued FAM.
While FIFA recognises his ability, I believe Malaysians should be humble enough to approach him for advice. Having known Windsor for a long time, he is quite a down to earth person who is ever willing to share his knowledge to those who seek his help. The grapevines have it that there are several ‘experts’ who believe that the Malaysian League should be privatised, just as our highways, for better revenue. I am dumbfounded by this suggestion as I wonder do they really know what they are talking about.
As to Windsor, we wish you all the best. Though it will remain a dream for Malaysia to qualify for the World Cup, I am confident you will always keep the Malaysian flag flying high!.