WHEN the 2023 edition of Malaysia Super League kicked off on Feb 24, the name Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) immediately became a hot topic of conversation among local football fans and pundits.
After all, it has already been predicted that the Southern Tigers will retain their Super League crown for the record-breaking tenth consecutive season.
On Monday (March 6), JDT humiliated Negeri Sembilan Football Club 7-0 at Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi with the score line demonstrating why JDT will be a major force to be reckoned with again this season.
With JDT’s total domination on local football scene for the past decade, this begs the question as to whether they are competing on an even playing field, and does JDT’s dominance benefit Malaysian football.
According to legendary former Malaysia football defender Datuk Santokh Singh, the Malaysian Super League has been heavily favouring the southern giants for the past decade due to their crazy spending power which has left the Super League’s remaining 13 clubs in their wake.
“How can you have one team that has so much money while others can’t even meet their expenses or pay salaries?”
“JDT have all the money and perks, leaving other teams unable to do anything to catch up,” he told The Vibes.
Santokh further pointed out that JDT’s decade long domination will create an imbalance within the league which will not benefit Malaysian football.
“In my opinion, it is not good for the league, and it is not good for Malaysian football,” he told the news portal.
“To be frank, I think the FA of Malaysia (FAM) is not doing enough to improve the standards of football in the country.”
Santokh recalled how – back to his glorious playing days for Selangor FC from 1972 until 1985 where he won 9 Malaysian Cup as Captain – The Red Giants had dominated the local football league when there were no foreign players in the other local clubs.
“During my time in Selangor, we dominated the league without foreigners. JDT is dominating because of their foreign players. Why aren’t they playing their local players?” Santokh questioned.
“What will happen to our local footballers? They don’t have the opportunity to come up in a team filled with foreign players.
“Clubs like JDT are basically just thinking about excelling in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), that is why they are bringing in foreign players.” – March 8, 2023
Main pic credit: Semuanyabola.com