LETTER | Although it will be in 2034, many of my friends and I are excited with the prospect of Asean bidding and hosting its first World Cup.
For many of us in our golden years, we used to joke among ourselves – we are counting our remaining years here in terms of number of World Cup we will get to see!
I got interesting ideas from friends this morning when we talked about Asean staging its first World Cup.
A friend, who is almost a “football expert”, immediately said Asean may not be a suitable venue to host the World Cup. Heavy rain here will alter the football fields into paddy fields, rendering the play almost impossible.
Another “expert” quickly shoots back. Look, weather is not a problem. What we need is indoor stadiums with temperature control. With 5G, whatever Asean needs, China will invent and deliver. Catch the nuances?
Okay, we have solved the weather problem. But another expert asked another question – what if Israel qualifies and is slotted to play in a venue in Malaysia? A quick answer to this was “it is unlikely that Israel will qualify”. We knew this was more of wishful thinking than real answer. We “wish” Israel will not qualify because we want to host the World Cup so much.
Another feeble suggestion was “walkover” if Israel can’t play in Malaysia. Again, we knew this was more of a ridiculous suggestion than a real solution. The moral of the story: all policies have consequences, both intended and unintended.
Finally, it is obvious not all 10 Asean countries hosting the game will get to play in the final. Most likely we will have to decide among ourselves through playoff. Whatever the playoff format, this will probably be the best opportunity ever for any Asean country to play in the World Cup final.
Although it is still 15 years away, another expert friend said it is about time for footballers in Asean to start playing on real football fields rather than on “paddy fields” from now on. In 15 years, who knows, but then the process must start from now.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.