It’s a sign of how far they have fallen that two of the country’s most popular team sports – football and hockey – will again be missing when the 2020 Tokyo Olympics get underway on July 23.
Our national football team, or Harimau Malaya as they are fondly called, have qualified for the Olympics twice – the 1972 Munich and 1980 Moscow editions. They, however, boycotted the Moscow Games.
With the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) dreaming of qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics, the 71-year-old former defender admitted that it won’t be easy for Malaysia to qualify as other countries have improved a lot.
“Of course playing in the Olympics is the highest achievement in sports. It is great to be able to play in the Olympics. Wish them the best, (but they will) need to put in the effort to qualify.
“As far as we are concerned, it is becoming more and more difficult to qualify because it looks like other countries, especially Asian teams like South Korea, Japan, and the Arab countries, are so far ahead of us,” Chin Aun, or ‘Tauke’ as he is more popularly known for his astute and firm leadership on and off the field.
While football, the country’s number one sport, has only managed to qualify for two Olympics, Malaysia’s second most popular team sport – hockey – has made it to nine editions of the world’s biggest multi-sports Games.
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