Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin urged all Malaysians to unite and help the national team fulfill its potential and dream of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup one day
As for the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin, he retains a strong belief in the nation's ability to make the cut one day, though he claims that fans must unite and inspire the team in order for that to happen.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the FIFA World Cup tour in Malaysia at the Putra World Trade Center, he said: "When we talk about football or watch a game, all barriers disappear as we focus on our common passion. Football, like any other sport, is colour blind. Playing sports with friends of different races will help unite people of different creeds and colour.
"So much so, supporting a national team regardless of the racial identities of its players will also enhance national unity. Let us all work together towards greater excellence so that trophies do not become a forlorn hope. I am confident that trophies can be won and must be won for Malaysia by Malaysians.
"Who knows that amongst us this weekend, looking at the trophy is a young boy who will be inspired by this historic event and will lead the national team and qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time ever," he said.
The growth of Malaysian football has always been a hotly debated topic, especially with the inconsistency of the national team when it comes to international matches. More recently, the Sports Ministry derived a National Football Development Programme (NFDP), something that Tan Sri Muhyiddin believes will help create a paradigm shift for Malaysian football.
"It is very reassuring to know that the plan will focus on nurturing our own football DNA which includes character building and mental strength development of the players from an early age," he said.