Dato’ Azzuddin Ahmad, the general secretary of the FAM said that the national body is highly appreciative of the cooperation from the Education Ministry in allowing the players to represent the country and provide leeway for them to do so.
“There is no greater honour than to representing one’s country and we at the FAM are just glad that the matter has been resolved,” said Dato’ Azzuddin.
“The Education Ministry has proven that it is serious about helping sportsmen excel in their field and I extend our deepest appreciation to the Minister for making such an allowance to the players.
“I know that with the news filtering through that they will be able to represent the country, it will put them to try even harder in the qualifiers.”
At the centre of the issue was the change in dates for the AFC U19 qualifiers has forced eight players in the squad not being able to attend the meet scheduled to be held in Luizao, China on 6th – 18th Nov, 2007 due to the SPM examinations.
The eight players concerned are Shafizah Hafizi, Yushairi Che Saad, Mohd Syahid Zaidan, Mohd Nazrin Baharuddin, K. Sarthiya, K. Gurusamy, Ahmad Aminuddin Shahahruddin and Bashrol Abu Bakar.
However, Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin announced yesterday that the eight players concerned will be allowed to go to China and need not sit for the SPM examinations as required where they will still get their SPM certificates through other means.
Through a system known as Agrotat, the Examinations Board will take into account at the players’ academic achievement before the SPM examinations as well as how they fared during the trials SPM examinations held by their schools.
After the tournament in China is over, the eight players will be required to sit for a General Aptitude test conducted by the Examinations Board to assess their capabilities before deciding on their grades.
This method of testing is not new and where it has been used in other countries like New Zealand and Scotland.For the qualifiers, Malaysian have been placed in Group F against China, DPR Korea, Singapore, Macau and Timor Leste.
Looks like the Trial SPM examinations will be more like the actual SPM examinations for these 8 kids.