Last Saturday on the 25th of March, Johor Southern Tigers posted a vague, foreshadowing photo on their social media channels.
The photo had four JDT players who have “retired” from the national football team, namely Aidil Zafuan Abd. Radzak, Safiq Rahim, S. Kunanlan dan Mohd. Amirulhadi Zainal, with the caption “Welcome back”.
While rumours were rife that these four players were considering a comeback into the national team, it was confirmed by another social media post by JDT last night.
This time, the caption clearly states that these four players will be “returning to don the national jersey” and that they are “national assets”.
While a large chunk of Malaysian football fans are elated to hear the news, Malaysia’s former international Khalid Ali does not share the same sentiment.
He does not think that we should rejoice over players who left the national team and ignored the call of duty when the team needed them most.
These are the four players who announced their retirement from the national squad out of the blue – much to the horror of local football fans. The reason given for the retirement was that they were making way for younger players serve to national duty.
However, as our FIFA rankings continued to deteriorate, local football fans and former national head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee begged for their return to the national squad, but the plea was ignored.
Therefore, Khalid Ali doesn’t understand why Malaysian football fans are welcoming them with open arms, as opposed to giving them a cold shoulder.
He said players who leave the national team in dire times should not be given another chance.
“I am still disappointed with the action of players who turned their back on the National team when their services were needed for the AFF Suzuki 2016 championship.” Khalid Ali told Bernama.
“They ignored the call of duty to represent their nation.”
Khalid Ali added that we can make do without these four players, since their performance in the Super League has not been outstanding anyway.
Do you agree with Khalid Ali? Should we welcome these players back, or give them a cold shoulder?