My former boss once told me: “Never do anything when you are angry.”
However, I am furious as I am writing this column. And I will tell you why.
Just a few months ago, football in Malaysia was crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic. The teams and players faced all kinds of issues, including loss of income, and it will take some time for things to get back to what it was during the pre-Covid-19 days.
Today, however, the M-League is back. Having already played several matches, the local media is still only providing less than 50 per cent of their space to cover the local football scene.
I understand F1, cricket, golf, tennis and basketball are all rather important to the average sports fan but we have the internet for that. Why not give less than 50 per cent of the sports pages or airtime to foreign sports news instead?
Foreign leagues and sports do not need the space. They are already a billion-dollar industry and even without coverage by the Malaysian press, they will continue to be big business.
Media companies in Malaysia should start focusing on local sports. While football tends to enjoy attention most of the time, hockey desperately needs coverage. So do sepak takraw and other sports played widely in the country.
I understand the print industry is dying but what a better time to serve your purpose now to help the industry recover and also be the platform to provide the country with the best local sports coverage.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) or being left behind in world news is ridiculous.
In Australia, 90 per cent of the sports pages are dedicated to the local leagues, dominantly the Australian Rules Football League (AFL). If you pick up a paper in England, the Premier League will obviously rule the sports pages.
However, the same cannot be said in Malaysia.
It is the responsibility of sports editors to take this matter up to their editors-in-chief or chief executive officers and fight for the space the local sports industry deserves.
After all, foreign news gets published one day later – and ironically makes the back page of some Malaysian dailies!
This is also dedicated to the many online news websites and platforms in Malaysia.
It’s time the Malaysian press took the lead to provide local sports the coverage it deserves and take it to new heights.
If the Malaysian media do not give maximum coverage to Malaysian sports, there is no other country in the world that will do so. Let that sink in!
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.