KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 -- Malaysians today witnessed a rare version of sport’s most beautiful game, when Malaysian and Indonesian little people stepped into the pitch to have a football friendly match for the first time.
Twenty two players from the National Organisation of Dwarfs Malaysia (PKOKM) and from Unit Berkarya Orang Mini Indonesia, put up a spectacular game which had the crowd on their feet to cheer them on.
Amirul Zamel Daud, 29, who came to see the match with his wife and child, said he had turned up at the National Sports Council Mini Stadium in Kampung Baru, here where the game was held to give his support for the Malaysian team, but was surprised by how well the players from both sides were playing.
“I’m actually surprise at what I’m seeing as this is my first time watching little people playing football. I didn’t think they could be so fast, as they were able to shoot the ball at the goal and were able to run for every ball, its amazing. This match is actually more exciting than watching our regular team play,” he smirked.
Maizatul Jamilah Hassan, 57, who accidentally caught the match with her husband and two grandchildren said that they came to the stadium for a walk and thought there was a children's football match going on, but to her surprise, it was grown up adults and she didn’t even know that people with dwarfism would be able to play football as it is quite rough, and they looked very fragile to her at times.
“I think from the match we could see many people including myself have underestimated the capabilities of these individuals, and I think many would enjoy seeing more from the little people in their contribution to national sports in this country.
Meanwhile PKOKM president, Jasmi Shafie said he is also in discussion with Unit Berkarya Orang Mini Indonesia head, Usnan Batu Bara, who brought the Indonesian players to Malaysia to further establish the event at Asean level in the near future with different sports.
“We can expand more sports by establishing at an Asean level Games for little people with the hope that more individuals with dwarfism would be recognised as professional athletes,”
“If we can establish at an Asean level championship, we can have a football tournament between countries with a tournament cup for this division,” he said during the second half of the match at the mini stadium.
Although both teams seemed evenly matched in the 60-minute game, the Malaysia team emerged winners with a 4-1 victory over the Indonesians.