If only Faiz's critics could score award-winning goals

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COMMENT The political situation is deplorable, the cost of living is terrible, the currency is unbearable and Malaysia has been courting attention for the most unflattering of reasons - we are at the centre of several international investigations for alleged grand corruption involving a number of prominent individuals.

But on the sporting front, there were several bright moments. Our Paralympians delivered golds, while our Olympians brought back silver and bronze medals.

On the race track, Khairul Idham Pawi won two Moto GP titles.

Then came a magnificent goal, which appeared to defy the laws of physics. And once again, the world took notice.

Securing more than 60 percent of the popular vote, Malaysian footballer Mohd Faiz Subri clinched Fifa's prestigious Puskas award.

Instead of celebrating such an amazing feat, some chose to criticise the 29-year-old footballer's proficiency in the English language during his acceptance speech.

Yes, the education system in Malaysia is lamentable and the quality of English has eroded.

But grammar, punctuation and tenses have no place on a football field as much as one would not expect a writer to produce excellent articles sitting at his or her desk labouring over a computer wearing a pair of football boots.

Previously, Khairul Idham was also similarly panned after he won the Argentinian Moto GP title.

When negotiating sharp bends at breakneck speed, the Queen's English or any other language for that matter, would not determine if the rider stayed steadfast on his motorcycle or crashed.

What matters is courage as well as the technical know-how on acceleration, lean angle and braking.

Similarly, national badminton ace Lee Chong Wei's proficiency in the English language is far from perfect as well, but that did not stop him from becoming the world number one, or prevent others from marvelling at his on-court brilliance, as well as serving as an inspiration to others.

Therefore, it is disheartening to read such trivial criticism being heaped on those who have managed to accomplish greatness and made the nation proud.

It is in poor taste to use these individuals to take pot shots at politicians and the education system.

Faiz should be showered with bouquets, not brickbats. Furthermore, being put in the spotlight and in the presence of footballing legends, he could be excused for feeling a little loss for words.

As for his critics who have a better command of the English language, one wonders if these individuals could kick a football in a straight line, let alone, score an award-winning goal.

We congratulate Faiz for winning the Puskas award and hail him for making all of us proud.

VIDEO | Mohd Faiz’s superb goal

This article is written by RK ANAND, who is a member of the Malaysiakini Team.

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