With many anticipating that the Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) will have a new president come 28 January 2023, the job at hand for the incoming president needs to be outlined.
If history was to be used as a yardstick, FAS naturally manages and plays an important role in ‘managing’ and influencing a team which carries the name ‘Sarawak’ in the Liga Malaysia (M-League).
However, with fans now being more aware of the the privatisation of football clubs in Malaysia, as well as the stable situation of Kuching City FC which is not managed by FAS, fans are calling for the role of FAS to change entirely.
Based on feedbacks on the ground, there’s a growing number of Sarawak football fans that feel that FAS should stop running or even having any stake in professional football clubs.
Many are now urging that FAS focus entirely on football development in Sarawak minus having a team to manage or be affiliate with.
These same people are also keen to see FAS detaching itself entirely from professional football in the Liga Malaysia, and focusing on having a ‘national team’ of Sarawak that competes in inter-region or inter-state competitions like SUKMA, in which players of the team are the best Sarawakians playing in football clubs worldwide.
They argue that it is wrong to use state owned funds to carry a professional team, and these funds should be better spent in developing football facilities in Sarawak, as well as talents among Sarawakians.
They also say that FAS should also look into organizing long term Sarawak based football competitions or leagues to mature local based clubs so that they can be not only sustainable, but also able to compete in the Malaysia League in the near future.
It will be nice to have teams from Miri, Sibu, Kuching or from towns as little as Lacau, being able to have a football club they can call theirs, which is playing in a local league, or the M-League.
In fact, the demotion of Sarawak United, and the possible stepping down of it’s owner, Posa Majais, from the helm of FAS, is therefore seen as an opportunity to make this happen given that that the direct affiliation between FAS and a professional football club can be terminated, hence making it possible for change.
That said, it is hoped that whoever would helm the top post of FAS this coming January 28th, would look into such matter so that Sarawak football can shine again.