Friday, October 30, 2009

SUKMA: Taekwondo dropped, 9 new inclusion

The 2010 SUKMA in Melaka will feature 34 sports after nine more sports were approved by the SUKMA Supreme Council that met here Thursday.

The meeting which was chaired by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek today included formula future, canoe, golf, rugby 7s, volleyball (beach and indoor), kabaddi, judo, fencing, synchronized swimming and water polo to the list of 18 compulsory sports and seven of the host's choice.

The 18 compulsory sports are weightlifting, badminton, cycling, football, lawn bowls, gymnastics, hockey, karate, archery, shooting, athletics, sailing, aquatics (swimming, diving), sepak takraw, pencak silat, squash, bowling and wushu.

The seven sports identified by the host were netball, basketball, equestrian, boxing, silambam, table tennis and petanque.

"I was happy with the presentation made by Melaka and I hope Melaka will be able to host a successful event," he told reporters after the meeting at the National Sports Council (NSC) in Kuala Lumpur.

Ahmad Shabery added that Melaka had also agreed to change the dates for the SUKMA from the initial date of May 28 to June 6, to June 10-19 so that it falls during the school holidays and the Gawai Festival.

He added that it was also decided that taekwondo be dropped from SUKMA in Melaka due to internal problems plaguing the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA).

"I am disappointed that MTA are not able to resolve the problems, so it is better for the sport to be dropped because it will not be fair for the host state to wait for a decision that may only arrive in the last minute.

"I sincerely hope MTA can settle the issues for the good of the sport," he said.

He added that during the meeting, the issue of the next host for the SUKMA in 2012 was also discussed.

"Perlis are entitled to be the host according to the rotation system but there were concerns that Perlis lacked the necessary infrastructure but at the same time we cannot deny the opportunity for a small state to host such an event.

"For example, Laos though being a small poor country with many shortcomings, it was awarded the host job in the spirit of the SEA Games," he said.

LIST OF SPORTS

Melaka's choice:
Netball, basketball, equestrian, boxing, silambam, table tennis and petanque.

Compulsory sports:
Weightlifting, badminton, cycling, football, lawn bowls, gymnastics, hockey, karate, archery, shooting, athletics, sailing, aquatics (swimming, diving), sepak takraw, pencak silat, squash, bowling and wushu.

New additions:
Formula future, canoe, golf, rugby 7s, volleyball (beach and indoor), kabaddi, judo, fencing, synchronized swimming and water polo.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Government to build rugby stadium in Sabah

The government has plans to build a rugby stadium in Sabah under the 10th Malaysia Plan (RMK-10) said Youth and Sports minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

Ahmad Shabery said the ministry was confident that Sabah can produce very good rugby players for the future.

"To me, rugby in Sabah need to be developed because Sabah has many rugby academies that has been producing national players," he told reporters at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport here on Tuesday after meeting Sabah Rugby Association president Dr Velayuthan Tan and the Sabah rugby team that won the Brunei Sevens title on Sunday.

Ahmad Shabery said Sabah who host the International Rugby Board's (IRB) Asian Rugby Seven Series 2009 from Oct 30 to Nov 1 at the Likas Sports Complex, would be able to organise bigger IRB tournaments once the stadium was ready.

"Having a rugby stadium will definetly help the development of the sport and we are happy with this announcement," said Malaysian Rugby Union (MRU) Secretary, L. Ramesh (picture).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

PBKL penuhi arahan Pesuruhjaya Sukan

Persatuan Berbasikal Kuala Lumpur (PBKL) akan mengadakan Mesyuarat Majlis ke-5/2009 pada 3 November ini bertempat di Velodrome Kuala Lumpur.

Langkah ini adalah sebagai memenuhi arahan Pesuruhjaya Sukan Malaysia, Datuk Nik Mahmud Nik Yusuf supaya PBKL memulakan langkah dalam menyelesaikan kemelut yang melanda persatuan itu sejak Mesyuarat Agung 25 Julai lalu.

"Pejabat Pesuruhjaya Sukan Malaysia telah mengadakan sesi perbincangan dengan wakil-wakil PBKL pada 19 Oktober 2009 yang mana Pesuruhjaya Sukan Malaysia menyerahkan kepada saya selaku Timbalan Presiden supaya memanggil Mesyuarat Majlis melibatkan Ahli-Ahli Majlis sesi 2006-2009.

"Ini adalah sebagai langkah dalam penyelesaian kemelut yang melanda PBKL sejak Mesyuarat Agung 25 Julai 2009 lalu," kata Timbalan Presiden PBKL, Daud Abu Kassim (gambar).

Mesyuarat Majlis 3 Nov ini, antara lain akan membincangkan surat perletakan Jawatan Presiden PBKL, Tan Sri Mohd Noor Abdul Rahim, bertarikh 17 Julai, serta status keahlian PBKL.

Pejabat Pesuruhjaya Sukan Malaysia telah memutuskan bahawa Mesyuarat Agung 25 Julai diadakan tanpa mengikut peruntukkan perlembagaan dan atas sebab itu ianya didapati tidak sah dan pemilihan yang dijalankan, terbatal.

16 teams for this years Cobra 10s

Despite the economic slowdown hitting sponsorship, the 40th HSBC-COBRA Rugby 10s, the premier tournament in the local rugby calendar, will go ahead on Nov 14 and 15 in Padang Utara, Petaling Jaya.

According to Bernama, this year's edition will feature 16 teams, including six foreign, playing in a four-group format for the Hui Weng Choon Trophy.

Combined Old Boys' Rugby Association (COBRA) Malaysia president Datuk Krishnan Tan said the prevailing economic situation had affected sponsorship contributions but the Cobra decided to go ahead with the tournament to continue the tradition that started 42 years ago.

"Rugby, like many other sports in the country, needs all the help which can be extended and I applaud HSBC for their generous support," he said after the presentation of the RM100,000 title sponsorship by HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad Monday.

Last year, the COBRA team lifted the Cup after defeating North Harbour of New Zealand 12-5 in the final at the Kelana Jaya Stadium.

The tournament returns to its home ground in Padang Utara which is adjacent to the COBRA clubhouse this year.

In addition to regulars such as the Penguins RFC from United Kingdom and NNK from South Africa, four new foreign teams are coming, namely the Indian national team, Fars RC from Iran, Swanbourne Nomads from Perth and the Royal Thai Navy Team.

The two-day tournament will have each team playing preliminary round matches on the first day and on to a knockout format on the second day.

The winner and second placed teams from each of the four pools will contest in the Cup competition, while, the third and fourth placed teams from each pool will contest the Plate competition.

The losers of the quarterfinals will contest in the Bowl competition.

The fast and open game of rugby 10s, which retains much of the character of the 15s, will be played over 20 minutes, with the exception of the finals, which will be played over 30 minutes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

F1 team can stimulate innovative investment

Malaysia's participation in the Formula One (F1) through the setting up of a 1Malaysia F1 Team can stimulate innovative and creative investment for the country, the Dewan was told on Monday.

Deputy Youth and Sports minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim said the initiative of setting up the 1Malaysia F1 team was in line with the Budget 2010 presented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Razali said the country would benefit from the branding and marketing strength of the F1 sport which has about 600 million fans worldwide, especially tourism, as it is one of the most popular sports in the world.

"With live telecasts throughout the year from strategic locations worldwide, this would help promote Malaysia continuously and stimulate our tourism industry," said Razali in reply to a question raised by Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) at the Dewan.

Lim had wanted to know the rationale behind the government's decision to invest in the team and whether it would be financially beneficial to the country in the long term.

Razali added that whatever revenue earned from the venture, would be used to build facilities including a research and development centre for the team, at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC).

"The returns from the venture will also depend on the placing of the team on the grid at every race and the team's ability to attract sponsors," he said.

Razali added that the '1Malaysia F1 Team' would also provide an avenue for the transfer of technology between Lotus and Proton, as well help Composites Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM) to build the chassis of F1 cars.

"Malaysians can also be proud of the F1 car as it will be produced locally and with components from Malaysia. This would increase the profiles of local companies involved in the motor industry and also boost the world's confidence in sophisticated Malaysian technology.

He said that at the initial stage, 30 percent of the workforce for the 1Malaysia F1 Team would be made up of Malaysians while participation from foreigners would account for 70 percent.

"For the first year, the management, Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer, Legal Department, Human Resource, Marketing and Public Relations will be filled up by locals.

"Once the facilities are in place and completed in two to three years, the proportion will be reverted to 70:30," he said. - Bernama

Beng Choo is new Sec-Gen

The International Softball Federation (ISF) has unveiled plans to modernise itself.

The plans to rebrand include a new logo and a revamped website as the ISF begins to come to terms with its failure to win back its place in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Softball, which was controversially dropped from London 2012, had mounted a strong campaign to regain its place on the programme but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose golf and rugby sevens instead.

Now, at its first Congress since the decision was announced at the IOC Session in Copenhagen earlier this month, ISF has unveiled plans to modernise itself.

Don Porter was re-elected as President of the ISF and Malaysian, Low Beng Choo (picture) as its new secretary general replacing Andy Loechner, who is retiring after holding the position since 1987. Beng Choo was deputy general secretary before last weekends elections.

In addition, the delegates at the meeting held at Margarita Island in Venezuela approved a constitution that took effect immediately and they awarded two future World Championships.

Two other women from Asia were among those elected by the congress, including a former Olympic softball coach.

In the five regions, a significant change was made in that each now has two vice-presidents, plus there is a new position called non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean vice-president, a role given to Romell Knowles from the Bahamas.

Canada's Dale McCann and New Zealand's Bob Leveloff were elected as the 1st and 2nd vice-presidents respectively.

South Africa's Guillo Marapjane and Botswana's Marumo Morule were elected as vice-presidents for Africa, E.T. Colvin from the United States for North America, Colombia's Antonio Morales and Venezuela's Jesus Suniaga for Latin America, China's Jiang Xiuyun and Japan's Taeko Utsugi for Asia, Israel's Ami Baran and Holland's Andre van Overbeek for Europe and Australia's Darryl Clout and Guam's Robert J. Steffy for Oceania.

In addition, IOC memebrs Beatrice Allen, from Gambia, and Meliton Sanchez, from Panama, remain as members of the ISF Executive Council.

The newly created constitution – which comes in addition to the standing ISF Administrative Code – will provide for the creation of an ISF Board of Directors and gives a new, forward direction for the world governing body.

Two events were awarded, the 2012 Junior Men's World Championships to Parana in Argentina and the 2013 Men's World Championships to North Shore City in New Zealand.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

No solution to MTA issue

The Malaysian Taekwondo Asociation's (MTA) problems seem to be getting bigger all the time. On Saturday, at a emergency general assembly, the state affiliates rejected a proposal to adopt an amended constitution for the association.

According to news reports, delegates voted 8-1 against adopting the constitution which would have allowed clubs to become vote-bearing affiliates, alongside the states.

The nine states which cast a vote each were Kedah, Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Terengganu and Sarawak while Negri Sembilan, Armed Forces and Malaysian Universities Sports Council did not meet voting requirements.



Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar called the rejection a "selfish act" which could spell the end of the still-suspended MTA.

"The proposal was meant to bring all the various stakeholders in the sport together but some states did not want to bring clubs into the system.

"They want to maintain in control of the sport themselves and unfortunately the states did not want to budge. They still want to cling to power which is a very selfish act.

"They did not think of the sport and the athletes which puts taekwondo in a precarious position," said Tunku Imran after chairing the meeting, in his capacity of the MTA ad hoc committee chairman.

The ad hoc committee was tasked by the previous Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob with formulating a new constitution to get the national body back on its feet and comprised representatives of MTA, rival bodies the Malaysian Taekwondo Federation and the Malaysian Taekwondo Clubs Association, National Sports Council and the Sports and Education ministries.

Tunku Imran said there are several options on the table to resolve the issue including direct intervention by Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

"We will make recommendations to the government on the way forward and one of which is for the minister to decree the constitution on MTA.

"Another is to utilise MTF as the governing body but we'll have to take steps for them to be recognised by the international body (World Taekwondo Federation)," said Tunku Imran.

The rejection also means national taekwondo exponents are barred from competing internationally while putting taekwondo's reinstatement into the Malaysia Games in doubt.

When asked if the national exponents will be allowed to compete in the Laos Sea Games in December, Tunku Imran said: "They can't. The ad hoc committee has been running taekwondo on behalf of MTA but with the rejection of the proposal, MTA remains suspended."

China studying Cricket in Punjab

China’s cricket chiefs are so keen to make a mark in next year’s Asian Games at home in Guangzhou that they have sent the women’s team to train in India.

The 15-member squad is learning the nuances of a sport unfamiliar in their country in the northern city of Mohali, where they are being hosted by the Punjab Cricket Association.

Team coach Mamatha Maben said cricket was virtually unknown in China a decade ago and it was not easy to find players.

“There are only a handful of women who play cricket in China and 15 of them are here,” Maben told local media. “They have the talent and the more exposure they get, the better they will become.”

In a Twenty20 tournament organized by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in Malaysia last year, China’s women reached the semifinals before losing to Thailand.

Maben, who took over in March, said the players were being taught only Twenty20 cricket since that format will be played at the Asian Games, where the sport is making its debut.

China gained automatic qualification in both the men’s and women’s competition by virtue of being the host.

While in India, the women will get a taste of big-time cricket when they watch world champion Australia take on India in Mohali on Nov. 2.

The women are in Mohali as the guests of PCA chief Inderjit Singh Bindra, an adviser with the International Cricket Council who is charged with making cricket a global sport. The ICC sees China as the next big market for cricket and regularly sends coaches and officials there to popularize the sport.

Selangor knocked out

Perlis, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu advanced to the Malaysia Cup semi-finals after beating their respective opponents in their second leg quarter-final matches Saturday night.

Perlis beat Johor FC on a 4-1 aggregate at the Stadium Utama.

In Saturday's match, Perlis beat the visitors 2-0, with the goals coming from Amar Rohidan with a header in the eighth minute and Nizaruddin Yusof provided the second goal in the 48th minute.

The match was marred by a fight in the field between two Johor players and a Perlis player in the 59th minute.

Mohd Saiful Sabtu and Sivakumar Munusamy of Johor and Perlis's Azi Shahril Azmi were sent off the pitch by referee R.Krishnan.

In ALOR SETAR, visitors Negeri Sembilan trounced Kuala Muda 3-0 at the Stadium Darul Aman to qualify for the semi-final.

The goals were contributed by Mohd Shukor Adan (12th minute), Mohd Zakuan Adha (28th minute penalty) and Shahurain Abu Samah (36th minute).

I Kota Baharu, Kelantan thrashed KL Plus 3-0 in front of their 20,000 die-hard supporters.

The 'Red Warriors' three goals were scored by Indra Putra Mahyuddin (13th) and two goals by Mohd Norfarhan Mohamad (75th and 78th).

With the home win, Kelantan advanced to the semi final with a 4-1 aggregate after a 1-1 draw in their first-leg match.

Meanwhile, Terengganu edged Selangor 5-4 in a penalty shootout after they were tied on a 2-2 aggregate in their second leg quarter-final match.

Terengganu's Abdul Manaf Mamat opened scoring in the 12th minute but in the 62nd minute, Selangor drew level through defender D.Surendran.

The 1-1 draw (2-2 aggregate) remained till the end of regular time and the 30-minute extra time which forced the match into a penalty shootout.

Terengganu won the penalty shootout 5-4.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

ASEAN FIFA World Cup?

Southeast Asia may make a coordinated bid to host the soccer World Cup, with countries sharing hosting rights, a senior Thai official said on Friday.

“Together we have 580 million people, together we would rank as the fifth-largest country in the world,” Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij (picture) said, “Why not?”

The deadline for submitting bids for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals passed last February and it was unclear whether the Association of South East Nations was looking beyond those tournaments.

Asean groups Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Brunei, the Philippines, and Indonesia, which has submitted a bid to host the 2022 finals.

Eight of the 10 countries could each host a group of four teams in the competition, Korn said, adding that Japan and South Korea had set a co-hosting precedent in the 2002 World Cup.

Southeast Asia has had experience staging a big soccer tournament, when Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia jointly held the 2007 Asian Cup, although the use of four host countries was widely criticized.

Speaking on the sidelines of an Asean summit in the Thai resort town of Hua Hin, the Oxford-educated Korn said Thailand’s premier liked the idea and it was being floated informally with other leaders.

“It is a great idea. Imagine the eight streams in the World Cup, you can easily have a country in charge of each stream,” he said. The costs, including the bill from building big new stadiums, would be spread around the region, he said.

Korn said Southeast Asia could hold an intra-Asean competition with the winner representing Southeast Asia, or could field a team representing the whole region.

“We are talking in 10 years’ time. But it is good to have preparations made many years in advance,” he said.

“It would be wonderful for football, great for the Asean people and very good for Asean as an organization, better than monetary union.” - JG/Agencies.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Todt is new FIA President

PARIS: Jean Todt (picture, left) has been elected president of motor racing's governing body FIA, beating Finnish candidate Ari Vatanen.

Todt was the big favorite to win Friday's vote after getting backing from outgoing FIA president Max Mosley and Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.

Todt is a former Ferrari team principal who revived the fortunes of the flagging Italian team and led it during Michael Schumacher's era. He also worked on FIA's World Motor Sport Council.

He will be charged with restoring stability to a body that has been rocked by a number of scandals in F1 and a highly publicized sex scandal involving Mosley.

Mosley is stepping down after 16 years in charge of the FIA.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Recognition more important for Idris

It was long time coming and even though he is almost at the end of his playing career, Idris Karim’s nomination for the Best Midfielder in the 100PLUS-FAM National Football Awards 2009 could not have come at a more appropriate time.

Already 33-years-old Idris, who has been playing for Negeri Sembilan for the past five years, will be up against nine other players including Azuan Roya from his former club Johor FC in the chase to win the recognition as the finest engine roon maestro of the 2009 season.

But the thought that his playing career might be over in these few years is not lost on Idris as he reflects on a career with full ups and down.

“It has been quite a journey for me as a player. There were some good patches and some bad ones. A few long-term struggle with injuries were the bad ones while I would count given the opportunity to play for the national team as the good ones,” said Idris.

“I know that I’m nearing the end of my playing career but it is not because of that I’m playing hard. I had always put in 100% in all the matches which I play and it is the same this year.

“I will be up against several good midfielders for this year’s award but I don’t think too much about it. Getting the recognition to be nominated is good enough. It showed that some people recognised the work that you put in.”

The other players whom Idris will be contending against are Mohd Amri Yahyah of Selangor, who had a fantastic match in a recent friendly against Manchester United, Kedah‘s Ahmad Fauzi Shaari, K. Gurusamy of Harimau Muda, Mohd Bunyamin Omar of MyTEAM, Safiq Rahim of KL PLUS FC, Azi Shahril Azmi of Perlis, Zairil Fitri Ishak of KELANTAN and Ashaari Samsudin of Terengganu.

For this year’s 100PLUS-FAM National Football Awards 2009, the nomination and ultimate decision to decide the winners will be made by the judging panel which consists of representatives from the Malaysian Coaches Association, the media and also the FA of Malaysia (FAM).

The 100PLUS-FAM National Football Awards 2009 will be held on 4 November 2009 at the PJ Hilton.

For the 100PLUS-FAM National Football Awards 2009, there will be a total of ten awards to be given out.

And following the absence of the award for Best Foreign Player, the judging panel has decided to introduce a new award which is for Best Club.

The FAM will decide the winners for Best Club, Best Football Association and Best Fan Club with the remaining seven awards to be decided by the judging panel.

The 100PLUS-FAM National Football Awards is among several football programmes and competitions supported by 100PLUS, Malaysia's leading isotonic beverage.
The others include the 100PLUS Super Cup Champions School and the Ministry of Education League Cup (MELC).

100PLUS is recommended by the National Sports Council.

100PLUS-FAM NATIONAL FOOTBALL AWARDS 2009
- SHORTLIST
1. BEST GOALKEEPER:
1. Farizal Marlias (PERLIS)
2. Hamsani Ahmad (SELANGOR)
3. Shahrizan Ismail (KELANTAN)
2. BEST DEFENDER
1. Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak (NEGERI SEMBILAN)
2. Khairol Anuar Baharom (SELANGOR)
3. Norhafiz Zamani Misbah (KL PLUS FC)
4. V. Thirumurugan (KEDAH)
5. Azizi Mat Rose (KUALA MUDA NAZA FC)
6. Nazrul Erwin (FELDA UNITED FC)
7. Sabre Abu (KEDAH)
8. Mohd Muslim Ahmad (HARIMAU MUDA)
9. K. Soley (PERLIS)
10. Rosdi Talib (T-TEAM)
3. BEST MIDFIELDER
1. Azuan Roya (JOHOR FC)
2. Idris Karim (NEGERI SEMBILAN)
3. Mohd Amri Yahyah (SELANGOR)
4. Ahmad Fauzi Shaari (KEDAH)
5. K. Gurusamy (HARIMAU MUDA)
6. Mohd Bunyamin Omar (MyTEAM)
7. Safiq Rahim (KL PLUS FC)
8. Azi Shahril Azmi (PERLIS)
9. Zairil Fitri Ishak (KELANTAN)
10. Ashaari Samsudin (TERENGGANU)
4. BEST STRIKER
1. Khyril Muhymeen Zamri (KEDAH)
2. Eddy Helmi Manan (JOHOR FC)
3. Mohd Safee Sali (SELANGOR)
4. Zaquan Adha Abdul Razak (NEGERI SEMBILAN)
5. Mohd Nizaruddin Yusof (PERLIS)
6. Farderin Kadir (KUALA MUDA NAZA)
7. Indra Putra Mahayuddin (KELANTAN)
8. Zamri Hassan (PROTON FC)
9. Shakir Ali (HARIMAU MUDA)
10. Haris Safwan (T-TEAM)
5. BEST COACH
1. K. Devan (SELANGOR)
2. Irfan Bakti (PERLIS)
3. Ramlan Rashid (JOHOR FC)
4. Che Ku Marzuki (T-TEAM)
6. MOST PROMISING PLAYER
1. Syazwan Zainol (PERLIS)
2. Irfan Ghani (JOHOR)
3. Mohd Muslim Ahmad (HARIMAU MUDA)
4. Mohd Fandi Othman (HARIMAU MUDA)
5. Ahmad Aminuddin Shaharuddin (HARIMAU MUDA)
7. MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
8. BEST FAN CLUB
9. BEST FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
10. BEST CLUB

The Real-NOA lives on

Despite attempts to close the chapter on the successful National Olympic Academy (NOA) Malaysia, it seems the organization will live on.

The NOA Malaysia became a recognized eductaional hub among the National Olympic Committees and other NOA's. Over the years NOA Malaysia attracted young participants from Asia, Europe and Iowa State, USA to fratenize and share their experiences in Olympism and Olympic Education.

The Fundamental Principles (No 6) found in the Olympic Charter states: "The Goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."

Chua Ah Tok, who played a crucial role in building the NOA was not re-appointed for some strange reasons and an Expanded NOA (E-NOA) is said to have replaced the "Real NOA" (R-NOA).

I don't want to write about that issue again, but just to report what I have been hearing from the ground - the R-NOA will live on, but with a different status and form. It may not function like before, but those involved want to keep the spirit strong.

As of now, there is not much details availabe. One thing is sure, the decision to close, replace or whatever the NOA did not break the spirit of Olympism among the young sports leaders in Malaysia.

Last minute preparations by Indonesia

With less than two months remaining before the Southeast Asian Games open in Laos, Indonesian teams are scrambling to squeeze in as much preparation as possible.

Among those hoping to sharpen their skills abroad is the karate team, which announced a 17-strong squad on Wednesday. It plans to send its 10 men to a tournament in Cape Town, South Africa, while the women compete in the Austrian Open.

Karate brought home 14 medals — two gold, four silver and eight bronze — from the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand. The Indonesian Karate-do Federation (Forki) hopes this international exposure helps it win even more in Laos.

However, Indonesian competitors won just four bronze medals at the Asian Karatedo Federation Senior Championship in Guangdong, China, last month, and they managed only one bronze at this month’s Istanbul Open.

“That’s why we invited a Japanese coach, Sakura Inada, to train them before going to Laos,” Forki athletes’ development chief Madju Dharyanto Hutapea said on Wednesday. “We see that our karateka are still lacking discipline and fighting spirit. We hope a new coach will help us overcome these problems.”

Indonesia’s wushu squad left for the world championships in Toronto on Wednesday, hoping to better its two medals from the 2007 worlds. Gogi Nebulana won gold in men’s jian in 2007, and Heriyanto brought home silver in men’s nanquan.

Wushu was also good to Indonesia at the 2007 SEA Games. It won one gold and five bronzes in Thailand. Team manager Ngatino said all 16 athletes competing in Toronto will represent Indonesia in Laos.

The Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) announced on Wednesday it would send 341 athletes, 91 of whom will be funded by their respective sports federations, to the Laos Games.

That number is smaller than the 586 who attended the 2007 SEA Games. However, the 2009 contingent will be expected to bring home 58 gold medals, two more than 2007, when Indonesia finished fourth in the medal table.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Puskas Award for most beautiful goal

The scorer of the most beautiful goal will receive the FIFA Puskas Award.


The introduction of the award was announced by Mrs Erzsébet Puskás, the widow of legendary Hungarian footballer Ferenc Puskás, who passed away in November 2006, and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announced the introduction of the FIFA Puskás Award during a press conference at Ferenc Puskás Fotball Academy in Felcsút, Hungary Tuesday.


The FIFA Puskás Award, created in honour and in memory of Ferenc Puskás (picture) , the captain and star of the Hungarian national team during the 1950s, will be inaugurated in December during the 2009 FIFA World Player Gala and presented to the player – man or woman – who has scored the “most beautiful goal” during the past year.


“It is important to preserve the memory of those footballing greats who have left their mark on our history. Ferenc Puskás was not only a player with immense talent who won many honours, but also a remarkable man. FIFA is therefore delighted to pay tribute to him by dedicating this award to his memory,” said the FIFA President during the inauguration ceremony.


Mrs Puskás added: “It is truly an indescribable honour that FIFA, which in the area of our youth is already one of the world’s most prestigious organisations, names such an important award after Ferenc Puskás. I thank you in the name of ‘Öcsi’ and on behalf of all those who admired Ferenc Puskás’ ability and personality and who appreciated and respected my husband around the whole world.


"In particular I would like to welcome here our old friend, Mr Sepp Blatter, who has done so much to create this award. I am very grateful to the Puskás Academy and the Hungarian Football Association, which assisted in the creation of the Puskás Award. I trust that the men and women who will win the FIFA Puskás Award in the future will be appreciative and that football supporters will also be proud of them.”


The winner of the FIFA Puskás Award will be selected via FIFA.com in the last two weeks of November. Videos of the ten most beautiful goals of the year, as chosen by FIFA’s Football Committee, will be posted on the website and the final decision on the winner will be the result of an online poll.


The name of the player who has scored the “most beautiful goal of the year” will be announced at the FIFA World Player Gala on 21 December 2009. The player in question will receive the FIFA Puskás Award trophy engraved with his or her name.


FIFA announced that the criteria for selecting the goal of the year would be that it has to be a beautiful goal and this should include long-range shots, team goals and overhead kicks. The importance of the match would also be taken into account when selection the most beautiful goal.


The goal also should not be a result of "luck" or mistakes by the other team. FIFA has also stipulated that the goald should support fair play, i.e the player should not have behaved badly in the game or have been charged with doping. Only goals scored from July 2008 to July 2009 will be considered.



Monday, October 19, 2009

More pressure on AFC to change

AUSTRALIAN coach Pim Verbeek (picture) has added his voice in support of his Oman counterpart Claude Le Roy and urged the Asian Football Confederation to bring its showpiece tournament into line with other major soccer competitions around the world.

Le Roy this week lamented the fact that only two of his adopted country's Asian Cup qualifiers were on FIFA designated matchdays, and on both occasions the tiny Sultanate from the Persian Gulf had to face Australia.

The fact that these games were scheduled on FIFA dates meant Verbeek was able to field his strongest possible team - as he did in Wednesday night's 1-0 win - because European clubs were forced to release them well ahead of the match.

On non-FIFA dates clubs can hold on to players until 48 hours before the international, and in many cases try to dissuade players from leaving at all.

It was Oman's misfortune to get Australia on those two dates, October 14 and November 14. But it is also a problem for Verbeek, because he had to field second-tier teams for the first two matches - a home loss to Kuwait and a draw in Jakarta - and will probably have to rely on A-League players to do the job away to Kuwait in January and at home to Indonesia in March.

''I think it's ridiculous of course, if you play Asian Cup qualification you want the best teams in Asia in the Asian Cup,'' Verbeek said. ''Oman is a little bit unlucky that we play them twice with our best possible selection. I think it's not good and Asian Cup [qualifiers] should be played on FIFA dates so you can bring in the best players available.''

Nicol wins fifth HK Open title

Top seed and world number one Datuk Nicol Ann David (picture) sealed her fifth successive Hong Kong Open squash title after defeating Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt in the final.

The 25-year-old Malaysia's squash queen took only 25 minutes to outclass sixth-seeded Omneya 11-4, 11-7 and 11-7 in the match held at the glass court at The Plaza Hollywood shopping mall in Kawloon, Sunday.

It was Nicol's first meeting with Omneya at the final of the Women's International Squash Players Association (Wispa) tours.

Omneya booked her berth in the final after defeating third-seeded Rachael Grinham of Australia in Saturday's semifinals.

Meanwhile, Amr Shabana of Egypt retained his title for the fifth successive time in the men's singles after second-seeded Gregory Gaultier of France retired halfway due to a knee injury.

Amr was leading the match 11-8, 9-11 and 11-3, and 5-2 in the fourth set before Gaultier conceded the game.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zaiton for IOC Women and Sport Trophy 2010

As a recognition for her contributions towards sports, Zaiton Othman (picture) has been nominated for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Women and Sport Trophy 2010 award.

The Women and Sport Committee of Olympic Council of Malaysia selected Zaiton as Malaysia's candidate for the prestigious award. The selection was endorsed by OCM President, Tunku Imran ibni Almarhum Tuanku Jaafar recently.

The IOC Women and Sport Trophies are awarded annually to promote the advancement of women in sport. The world body wants to recognize outstanding achievements and contributions made to develop, encourage and strengthen the participation of women and girls at all levels in the sports world.

Six trophies are awarded - one winner at world level and one each to Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Ocenia. Some would be given Diplomas. In 2008, Malaysia's nominee Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said was the international winner.

Zaiton, 50, who is the Director of Athletes Welfare at National Sports Council, has been an athlete and official for more than two decades.

She was know as the "Iron Lady" of Malaysian sports because of her domination ini the gruelling heptathlon event. Zaiton won a total of 10 gold medals at SEA Games and Asian Veterans Meets and a few silver and bronzes at Asian Games and Asian Track and Field meets from 1979- 1989.

Upon retirement from competitive sport, Zaiton, a graduate in Physical Education, did her post graduate studies in Sports Psychology and became a Sports Officer with the NSC so that she could devote full time to guiding, counselling and motivating women to pursue excellence as athletes, coaches and leaders.

Marriage and motherhood has not diminished Zaiton's passion and commitment to sports and she remain an inspiring role model for not only elit athletes, but for all youths, men and women.

Her contributiosn towards women and sports include talent identification of girls all over the country (5-11 years of age), conducting camps, seminars and workshops for girls in schools and adult athletes.

Zaiton also is actively involved in various organizations, including OCM's Women and Sport Committe headed by its Vice President, Low Beng Choo.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Taktik kotor musnahkan keharmonian PBKL

Ahli Seumur Hidup dan Pengasas Persatuan Berbasikal Kuala Lumpur (PBKL) sejak 1979, Daud Abu Kassim (gambar) kesal dengan taktik kotor oleh "kumpulan kecewa" yang memusnahkan keharmonian dan imej persatuan berkenaan.

Menurut Daud, kumpulan kecewa itu bertindak demikian sebagai membalas dendam terhadap keputusan Pesuruhjaya Sukan Malaysia bahawa Mesyuarat Agung 25 Julai 2009 lalu adalah tidak sah dan pemilihan yang diadakan terbatal sama sekali.

"Saya ingin menyatakan kepada kumpulan kecewa bahawa ini adalah soal peraturan Perlembagaan serta aspek rasional undang-undangnya, dan setiap pihak harus menerimanya dan bukannya menunjukkan emosi akibat kegaggalan agenda peribadi masing-masing," tegas Daud, yang memegang jawatan Timbalan Presiden PBKL sejak 1979.

Daud juga mendedahkan mengenai kandungan surat Haji Badri Haji Mukri (Pemangku Bendahari Kehormat) kepada Haji Fazin Saad (Pemangku Setiausaha Kehormat Jan-Jun 2009) yang mempersoalkan kenapa isu RM17,000 yang berkaitan dengan penganjuran PBKL pada program 50 Jam Tanpa Henti Kecergasan Merdeka 2007.

"Dana sudah diperuntukkan tetapi entah ke mana pergi wang itu. Jika persatuan diberi tugas menganjurkannya maka PBKL berhak menerimanya. Apakah wang itu disalurkan melalui sistem bisnes "Ali Baba" bagi tujuan pengeluaran pembayarannya.

"Saya kira kita perlu memberi waktu kepada pihak berkenaan untuk ceritakan kepada SPRM mengenai prosedur yang diguna pakai dalam hal ini. Siasatan tersebut akan membuatkan PBKL mengalami kesulitan mengadakan Mesyuarat Agung nanti," tambah Daud.

Daud juga menjelaskan bahawa tiada peruntukkan khas dari Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) kepada Tabung PBKL untuk mengurus dan mentadbir Velodrom Kuala Lumpur. DBKL hanya membayar mengikut tuntutan yang dikemukakan dan jumlah yang dituntut dalam bentuk gaji dan pembayaran-pembayaran lain. tidak boleh melebihi RM7,000 sebulan.

Sementara itu, Daud juga mendedahkan satu isu terbaru dimana Haji Fazin mengeluarkan Notis Mesyuarat Ahli Majlis ke 5/ 2009 bertarikh 12 Oktober 2009, selaku Pemangku Setiausaha Kehormat sedangkan jawatannya hanya bagi tempoh Jan-Jun 2009.

"Selain menuduh isu ini berpunca akibat kenyataan akhbar saya di New Sunday Times (sebenarnya Utusan Malaysia) pada 26 Julai lalu, surat itu menyatakan bahawa Pejabat Pesuruhjaya Sukan (PPSM) terpaksa campur tangan dengan memanggil Ahli Majlis sesi 2006-2009 mengadakan mesyuarat pada 19 Oktober.

"Amalan memfitnah dan pertuduhan palsu masih berleluasa dikalangan kumpulan kecewa hingga sanggup bertindak agresif dan terdesak untuk mendapatkan sokongan.

"PBKL adalah satu-satunya pertubuhan sukarela yang berkonsepkan kekluargaan dalam Sukan. Jika ada salah faham atau berlainan pendapat, itu biasalah," kata Daud lagi.

Daud seterusnya menasihatkan pihak-pihak yang berkenaan supaya hentikan taktik kotor ini kerana ianya merosakkan imej Sukan Berbasikal Wilayah Persekutuan dan keharmonian PBKL khususnya.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hammam should look to Africa

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President, Mohamed Hammam should look to Africa to find solutions to make the continent's premier tournament more exciting.

Former Malaysian national coach, Claude Le Roy (picture) said, AFC must realise that to build a competition so important as the Asian Cup, the teams should have their full teams and this has got to do with proper match schedules.

"Whether the AFC is happy or unhappy is not my problem, but they don't respect themselves," said Le Roy who now coaches the Oman national team, in an interview with The Australian, before his team played Australia in an Asian Cup qualification match at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Wednesday.

It is Oman's fate, he noted, to play the Socceroos at full strength twice in the qualification phase, Sunday, and in Muscat next month, where the other teams in group B, Indonesia and Kuwait, do not face a first-choice Australia at all.

Somehow, the two dates in the campaign recognised by FIFA, draw Oman and Australia together on each occasion, with a virtual A-League squad left to play the four other qualifiers when Australia's elite foreign-based players are not released by their clubs.

This works for and against Australia. The second-choice Socceroos could do no more than come away from Indonesia with a scoreless draw and a 1-0 loss to Kuwait in Canberra this year, which is why the highest-ranked team in Asia sits at the bottom of its group.

And yet, over the course of next month, the system will quite clearly make life more difficult for Oman than it has been for either Indonesia or Kuwait because of the scheduling inconsistencies.

Only one of the Australian players selected for Sunday's s match - central defender Craig Moore - was on the pitch against Kuwait. "You have to explain to me how it is possible to play against a team and not one of the players was in the game against Indonesia or Kuwait," Le Roy said.

"I cannot understand how it is possible and we are very, very unlucky because the only two games that are also FIFA dates are our two games against Australia.

"I think that we need 10 points to qualify. I think that will be enough. Which means we have to win two games in the next four, which won't be easy, especially with two games against Australia."

Le Roy suggested AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam look to Africa for a solution, where World Cup and continental qualification matches are played at the same time. This is an idea Australia coach Pim Verbeek might rush to endorse given that it would give him access to his best players far more often.

Still, for now, Verbeek can take comfort from the fact Le Roy's misfortune is his blessing, one he expects to translate into a commanding performance tonight.

He was unequivocal about taking all three points, even without the injured Vince Grella, who is likely to be replaced by Carl Valeri, and against a team that this year defeated Asian champion Iraq 4-0 on its way to winning the Gulf Cup.

Update: Australia won 1-0.


Atik inspires Indian badminton revival

Though it has some way to go to match the fervent support and financial muscle of cricket, badminton is once again making headway in India.

Aiding that push is the emergence of 19-year-old starlet Saina Nehwal, who surged into the spotlight this year after reaching the quarterfinals in the Malaysia Open and Swiss Open Super Series and winning the Indonesia Open women’s singles title.

She became the first Indian player to win a top-level tournament since Pullela Gopichand took the men’s singles title at the 2001 All England.

Nehwal is not the only Indian player making waves. Men’s singles shuttler Chetan Anand and men’s doubles pair Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas are on the cusp of breaking into the world’s top 20, with Kumar and Thomas reaching No. 18 after winning the Bitburger Open in Germany on Oct. 4.

The man behind this renewed success is the country’s Indonesian coach, Atik Jauhari (picture).

Atik, who signed with the Badminton Association of India in August 2008, was tasked with reviving a sport whose popularity was waning in cricket-mad India. He heads up the national team, with Gopichand as the manager.

“I like the challenges, and they pay me well, too,” Atik said in an interview with the Jakarta Globe last week as he oversaw Indian youngsters at the Tangkas Alfamart Junior Challenge in Jakarta.

Atik started his coaching career in 1974 with the Indonesian national team before moving to Sweden in 1999. He returned to Indonesia in 2004 before plying his trade internationally again, joining Thailand in 2006 before becoming India’s head coach.

The 61-year-old is responsible for overseeing all Indian shuttlers, from the juniors up through the senior national team. His main target is to bring the country a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

However, Atik said unearthing great badminton talent in the country was no guarantee, even with India’s massive population.

“Badminton is still seen as an elite sport in India, so not many people play badminton,” he said. “That’s what’s been hampering badminton development in India, and I hope I can help to change that.”

Nehwal, he said, is a one-of-a-kind talent, and finding and nurturing another shuttler like her requires a huge effort, but he also believes Indian players have what it takes to excel in a sport that has long been dominated by Asian powers China, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea.

“Indian shuttlers have the right discipline, and the culture really helps me a lot as a coach. Indian people take their guru or coach as a dewa [god], after their mothers and fathers,” he said. “So they really listen to their coaches’ instructions.”

The smile on Atik’s face last week was not just from being back on home soil. He was also delighted by the performance of another promising youngster.

Sai Praneeth Bhamidapati was one of only two non-Indonesians to reach the Tangkas Alfamart finals. The 17-year-old lost 21-16, 21-16 to Riyanto Subagja in the boys’ singles final, but that did not downgrade his showing in his coach’s eyes.

“I can hardly find a good player like [Bahmidapati] in India,” Atik said. “I didn’t give him any target in the tournament, but he played very well. I hope he will be at his best in the world junior championship.”

Atik’s contract ends in 2010, just after the Commonwealth Games, and he says he has yet to make any plans beyond then.

“I want to keep coaching, but I don’t know where. Let’s just wait and see,” he said. -JG.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sabotaj gaggalkan Mesyuarat Agung PBKL

Timbalan Presiden Persatuan Berbasikal Kuala Lumpur (PBKL) Daud Abu Kassim (gambar) mendedahkan bahawa ada pihak-pihak tertentu yang sedang berusaha untuk sabotaj dan mengaggalkan usaha persatuan itu mengadakan Mesyuarat Agung seperti yang diarahkan oleh Pesuruhjaya Sukan Malaysia.

Pesuruhjaya Sukan, Datuk Nik Mahmud Nik Yusuf telah memutuskan bahawa Mesyuarat Agung PBKL yang diadakan pada 25 Julai lalu adalah tidak sah kerana tidak mematuhi perlembagaan dan seterusnya pemilihan Ahli Majlis bagi sesi 2009-2011 adalah terbatal.

Dengan ini, Majlis PBKL yang sedia ada akan bertanggungjawab untuk mengelolakan PBKL dan mengadakan mesyuarat majlis dan dan seterusnya pemilihan baru yang menurut perlembagaan persatuan itu.

"Ahli Majlis, Nor Effendy Rosli diugut supaya ikut kumpulan yang membuat kacau ini dan jika tidak, mereka mahu melaporkannya kepada Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) bersabit cek-cek yang dikeluarkan atas namanya.

"Kumpulan itu mendakwa hal itu melanggar peraturan perlembagaan Fasal 21.4 yang menyebut bahawa pembelanjaan yang lebih daripada RM 10,000 bagi sesuatu masa tidak boleh dibayar tanpa kelulusan Majlis.

"Bagaimanapun, pembelanjaan ini tidak melibatkan sesen pun dari Tabung PBKL, sebaliknya ia adalah sumbangan Majlis Sukan Wilayah Persekutuan (MSWP) bagi jumlah tuntutan Nor Effendy perbelanjaan pasukan berbasikal Wilayah Persekutuan di SUKMA 2008 di Terengganu," kata Daud, yang memegang jawatan Timbalan Presiden sejak 1979.

"Cek itu adalah "transit". Ia adalah jumlah yang dituntut Nor Effendy dan merupakan sumbangan MSWP. Saya nasihatkan kumpulan berkenaan supaya jangan terlalu asyik menghakimi kesilapan dan kelemahan orang lain hingga terlupa risiko dan implikasinya.

"Apa pun terjadi, ianya tidak melemahkan semangat saya selaku orang lama penuh berpengalaman dalam politiking sukan berbasikal bah kata orang' alang-alang menyeluk pekasam, biar sampai ke pangkal lengan," tambah Daud, pengasas dan Ahli Seumur Hidup PBKL.

Menrut Daud, kini yang tersurat sudah pun terbongkar cuma yang tersirat akan ditentukan apabila usaha melaksanakan garis panduan yang diberi oleh Pesuruhjaya Sukan Malaysia, untuk tujuan mengadakan semula Mesyuarat Agung Kali ke 20 selewat-lewatnya akhir tahun ini.

Daud juga mendedahkan, Laporang Kewangan 2006-2008 yang dibentangkan semasa Mesyuarat Agung 25 Julai lalu adalah penyata yang palsu. "Malah tanda tangan Haji Badri Haji Mukri (Pemangku Bendahari Kehormat) juga dipalsukan," dakwa Daud.

Daud seterusnya meminta Ahli-ahli Majlis supaya memikirkan cara terbaik demi kemajuan Sukan Berbasikal Wilayah Persekutuan khusus imej PBKL, amnya.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Flying start for Robert Alberts

Robert Rene Alberts enjoyed a winning start to the Indonesian Super League campaign Sunday as Persija Jakarta’s double dreams suffered an early blow.

Alberts, who took charge of Arema Malang in August, led his team to a 1-0 win over Persija in its league opener at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang.

The victory was Arema’s first over Persija in the top flight in four years. The last time Arema won was in 2005, also by a 1-0 margin. Persija held Arema to a 2-2 draw in Malang and won 1-0 at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium last season.

Midfielder Muhammad Fakhrudin scored in the 53rd minute, slotting home into an unguarded net after Roman Chmelo’s cross eluded Persija goalkeeper Muhammad Yasir and one of his defenders.

For Persija technical director Benny Dollo, who led Arema to back-to-back Copa Indonesia titles in 2005 and 2006, it was not a great homecoming after he left the club in 2007 to take the reins at Persita Tangerang.

Benny, who is also the Indonesian national team coach, sat on the bench throughout the match, even though Maman Suryaman holds the title of head coach.

Benny’s deal with the National Team Body allows him to be on the bench as technical director as long as he doesn’t give the team direct instructions in league games.

Persija players looked confused throughout the match and tried to stay tight at the back while containing Arema’s fierce attacking play. That was largely achieved thanks to a standout performance from Yasir.

Another focal point of the match was the performance of the new Singaporean imports, but they clearly needed more time to adapt to their new surroundings.

Of the four former S-League players in the match — two each for Arema and Persija — only Muhammad Ridhuan put on a promising performance.

His runs on Arema’s right flank posed problems for the Persija defense, which was marshaled by his countryman Baihakki Khaizzan.

Elsewhere on opening day, Persib Bandung made an unconvincing start as it looks to improve on last season’s third-place finish.

The West Java side fell 2-0 at Persiba Balikpapan, with Johan Yoga Utama opening the scoring on 26 minutes and former Persija midfielder Robertinho Pugliara adding the second in the 58th. -ISL.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Only 250 athletes to SEA Games

The Indonesian Sports Ministry has approved a plan to send 250 athletes to the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos, says a senior ministerial aide.

“We have approved KONI [the National Sports Council] to send 250 athletes to the SEA Games,” Tunas Dwidharto, deputy secretary at the minister’s office, told The Jakarta Post.

He added the ministry was also ready to channel Rp 5 billion in financial aid to reach the total Rp 19.5 billion needed for the Laos mission.

The announcement comes a day after Djoko Pramono, the KONI chief in charge of preparing the contingent, said the council was awaiting a ministry decision on whether to send 250 or 155 athletes to the Games that will run from Dec. 9-18.

“The Rp 5 billion will be available as soon as possible after the contingent is formed,” Tunas said.
Djoko confirmed the agreement between the ministry and KONI, and said the final phase of training would start on Oct. 19 instead of Oct. 12 as initially scheduled.

Indonesia plans to compete in 22 of 26 sports on offer at the games.

Twelve of 22 sports associations have submitted their list of athletes: billiards/snooker, tennis, wrestling, tae kwon do, sepak takraw, archery, judo, pencak silat, shooting, badminton, fin swimming and wushu.

Others, including weightlifting, golf, table tennis, volleyball, track and field, karate, cycling, soccer and boxing, are expected to follow suit by Oct. 25, when KONI must submit its final list to the Games organizer.

Malaysia Cup: Selangor in quarter finals

Selangor booked a ticket to the Malaysia Cup quarter final after it drew 2-2 with Police (PDRM) at Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Petaling Jaya, Kelana Jaya on Saturday's night.

The Red Giants lead Group D with 13 points followed by Kuala Muda NAZA with nine points who beat Sabah 3-1 at Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Tawau.

In Group E, Kedah beat Kelantan 1-0 at Stadium Darul Aman, Alor Setar. Kelantan had already booked a place in the quarter-final.

In Group A, KL Plus drew 1-1 with Pahang at Stadium Darul Makmur while in Group B, Negeri Sembilan beat Sarawak 1-0 at Stadium Sarawak while Terengganu beat Johor 4-0 at Stadium Tan Sri Datuk Hassan Yunos, Johor Bharu.

In Group C, Johor FC beat UPB-MyTeam 4-1 while Perak drew 1-1 with Kuala Lumpur.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

IOC confirms Rugby 7s and Golf in 2016 games

The sports of golf and rugby sevens have been voted Friday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session for inclusion in the programme of the 2016 Olympic Games - awarded last Friday to Rio de Janeiro.

The two sports had been recommended by the IOC Executive Board (EB) in August following an extensive evaluation by the Olympic Programme Commission of the seven sports seeking to enter the programme.

“Both golf and rugby are very popular sports with global appeal and a strong ethic,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “They will be great additions to the Games.”

The two sports, voted on separately in alphabetical order of the sports, golf then rugby, received a simple majority of votes cast by the members of the Session. The result of the first vote was not revealed to the Session until the vote for the second sport had taken place. The IOC President elected not to take part in the vote.

“The International Golf Federation is absolutely delighted by today’s results. We thank the IOC for the thorough process and we are looking forward to playing our part as a member of the Olympic Movement,” said Peter Dawson, Secretary General of the International Golf Federation. “This is great for golf and we hope to be of great benefit to the Olympic Games as well.”

Bernard Lapasset, President of the International Rugby Board, said: “I am so delighted and proud. My thanks to the IOC members for their wonderful support. Rugby is honoured to be a part of the Olympic Sports Programme and we are already looking forward to Rio 2016.”

Golf was played at the Games in 1900 in Paris and in 1904 in St Louis, while rugby was part of the programme of four editions of the Games between 1900 and 1924.

In addition to the two new sports, the Session also voted to accept the list of 26 core sports on the programme for the Olympic Games in 2016.

During the 119th Session in Guatemala City in 2007, the IOC approved a simplified voting process for new sports to enter the programme. The IOC members also requested guidance from the EB in the selection of the new sports and entrusted it to make a proposal to the Session based on the work of the Olympic Programme Commission.

In 2002, the IOC decided to conduct a systematic review of the Olympic programme after every edition of the Games to ensure that it remains exciting and relevant.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dollah had serious health conditions

FORMER Singapore soccer star Dollah Kassim, in a coma and fighting for his life in hospital, had serious underlying health conditions before he collapsed last Sunday.

His doctor revealed on Wednesday that 60-year-old former striker was a diabetic with significant coronary heart disease that had gone undetected earlier.

Dollah also developed a lung infection after his heart attack during half-time at the Sultan of Selangor Cup veterans match at Jalan Besar Stadium.

He suffered brain injury too, as his brain did not receive enough oxygen immediately after the heart attack.

Still, Dollah is lucky to be alive and putting up a fight, said Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) consultant cardiologist Dinesh Nair on Wednesday.

'He is actually very fortunate to have survived that trip to the hospital, as most out-of-hospital (cardiac) arrests do not make it to hospital,' he said.

No Malaysians in AFC shortlist

The Asian Football Confederation announced Thursday the first shortlist of 15 players who are in contention for the prestigious AFC Player of the Year 2009 award.

Japan have three players in the list, which will be revised after each match day until the award is given out in late November.

Two Saudi and DPR Korea players have also made the cut. Bahrain, Iran, Syria, China, Indonesia, Qatar, Uzbekistan and Maldives have one nominee for the award, which goes to the best player in Asia, at this stage.

Making the initial list are Japanese internationals Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka) and AFC Champions League semi-finalists Nagoya Grampus defender Yoshida Maya.

Though, Kawasaki and Gamba are no longer in the AFC Champions League fray, Nakamura and Endo have chances to earn valuable points when Japan meet Hong Kong on Thursday and on November 18 in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

Sayed Mohamed Adnan, whose heroics at the back earned Bahrain an inter-continental play-off berth, also made it to the list along side Iran and Sepahan defender Hadi Aghily.

Saudi Arabia’s Nasser Al Shamrani and Mohammed Noor, DPR Korea’s Hong Yong-jo and Ri Myong-guk, Syrian Firas Al Khatib, China’s Li Weifeng, Indonesian Markus Rihihina, Qatar and Umm Salal goalkeeper Baba Malick, Uzbekistan’s Alexander Geynrikh and Maldives’ Ali Ashgaq are also on the roster.

With the list undergoing revisions after each match day, several changes are expected, leading right upto the moment when the lucky winner is announced on November 24 in a grand function at the Shangri-la Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The best player of Asia is chosen on the basis of a weighted ranking system which takes into account Most Valuable Player nominations at key AFC and FIFA tournaments (see below).

Server Djeparov (Bunyodkor and Uzbekistan) is the reigning AFC Player of the Year.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"An expanded NOA" ....hahaha

Here is an interesting report in the Olympic Council of Asia's website. The report gives a clear picture of what was earlier proposed as an Olympic Academy. For now I would not comment on this because I am busy planning a script for a movie. The title is "Dirty Old Men Will Travel".

The Olympic Council of Malaysia’s Executive Board has approved the expanded scope and structure of the National Olympic Academy of Malaysia.

With Prof. Dato’ Dr. Zakaria Ahmad as the first chairman of the NOA Board, the Academy aims to produce well-trained, highly-skilled officers and staff in the National Sports Associations.

Vision: To be a centre of excellence for sports education, training and human resources development in accordance with the ideals and aspirations of the Olympic movement and the values of Olympism.

Mission: To develop and nurture knowledgeable, skilled and ethical human resources for sports and the Olympic community through sports education and training. To develop and manage programmes and activities as well as provide resources, expertise and opportunities for individuals and sports organisations.

Aims: To design and monitor sports education and training programmes of the OCM. To provide opportunities for personal and organisational growth and development in sports management and related disciplines for members of the Olympic community and its associates.

Programmes: 1, National Olympic Academy programmes; 2, Core training courses (funded by Olympic Solidarity) in sports management, administration, leadership, coaching and medicine; 3, Elective and seasonal training courses in a variety of subjects such as venue and equipment management, sports science and sports law; 4, Seminars, conferences, conventions and exhibitions.

Meanwhile OCM has selected two women to attend a study tour in Japan, one from Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM) and Malaysian Ice Hockey Federation. The Study Tour Project for Leaders of Asian Youth Sports 2009 would be held from November 4-11, 2009.

P/s If you have ideas for the movie script, please let me know. Thanks.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dollah still unconscious

FORMER Malaysia Cup star Dollah Kassim (picture) is still in critical condition after suffering a heart attack at Sunday's Sultan of Selangor Cup veterans game.

A spokesperson for Tan Tock Seng Hospital said the 60-year-old remains unconscious, but his condition 'has not deteriorated yet'.

Dollah, one of Singapore's most recognisable football legends, collapsed at half time after playing just 10 minutes of the first half for a Singapore Veterans side.

He underwent an emergency angioplasty on Sunday night to clear up a blocked artery leading to his heart.

Families and friends, including his son and daughter, are currently keeping vigil at the hospital.

Said Dollah's former national teammate, Quah Kim Song, who is also the director of competitions at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS): 'The next 24 hours will be very telling. We are all praying for him." - ST.

Laos win pre-SEA Games soccer

Despite only managing a 1-1 draw against Malaysia in their final round robin match in Vientiane, Tuesday, Laos still emerged at the top of the standings at the pre-SEA Games on better goal difference.

In the match that was played at the newly unveiled National Stadium, the Laotian players found the Malaysian defence had to crack in the first half.

But coming at the back of their 2-2 draw against Vietnam in their first match and then a 3-0 win over Thailand in their second game, the Laos Under-23 side duly found the lead through Paseuthsack Souliyavong 81st minute.

Three minutes later however, Malaysia made it all even when striker A. Thamil Arasu blasted in the equaliser to share the spoils.

Both teams ended the pre-SEA Games tournament on the same five points each although Laos have a slight one-goal advantage to finish on top.

In the meantime, the U19 team of Thailand got the better of their counterparts from Vietnam with a 3-1 beating in the second game of the day.

The win proved that the win Thailand scored last month over the same rival in the AFF U19 championship in Ho Chi Minh City was no fluke.

The score at the break was 3-0 with Thailand scoring off Piyarat Lajungreed in the 12th minute, Natthawut Khamrin in the 16th minute and then Sarach Yooyen in the 44th minute.

Vietnam scored their only goal of the game from Trinh Dui Long ten minutes to the end.

Astro pays Rm800 million for EPL rights

Malaysia's pay-TV operator Astro All Asia Networks said on Wednesday it had won the rights to broadcast the English Premier League (EPL) for the next three years in the Southeast Asian country.

Astro, which won the bid jointly with sports content provider ESPN, did not specify how much it bid for the rights but The Star newspaper cited sources as saying the firm had forked out 800 million ringgit ($233 million).

Analysts say the company, owned by reclusive tycoon Ananda Krishnan, beat Telekom Malaysia after a fierce bidding war.

"Given our belief that Astro probably submitted a fairly aggressive bid this time round (versus a reported $150-200 million in 2006), content cost is expected to balloon," said investment bank OSK in a research note.

"Management had previously guided for content cost to be some 35 percent of pay-TV revenue for FY10. We expect Astro to pass on the higher cost to subscribers with a subscription price hike for its sports package in the interim."

Astro shares were up 0.6 percent at 3.41 ringgit by 0256 GMT in a broader market up 0.4 percent. KLSE ($1=3.433 Malaysian Ringgit).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More teams in 2nd MIBC

Malaysia Basketball Association (MABA) will be hosting the 2nd Malaysia International Basketball Championship (MIBC) which will held, begining Wednesday till 12th October 2009 at the MABA/DBKL Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

The Championship proved big success last year and this year the event will include both men and women category. The participating countries for men and women are as follows:

Men
1. Chinese Taipei
2. China
3. Korea
4. Philippines
5. Hong Kong China
6. Malaysia

Women
1. Chinese Taipei
2. China
3. Singapore
4. Malaysia.
For more information please browse:
http://www.malaysia-basketball.com/MIBC/teamrosters.htm#teamrosters).

Devan's promise

Selangor coach K. Devan has vowed the Malaysia Super League champions will add to their arsenal before their return to continental competition in the 2010 AFC Cup.

“We will strengthen next year for the AFC Cup, and we will see a better Selangor side,” Devan told the S.League.com following his side’s 3-0 defeat to Singapore in Sunday’s Sultan of Selangor Cup.

Selangor, who reached the quarter-finals of the AFC Cup in 2006 before bowing out to Lebanon’s Al Nejmeh, took on a Singapore side containing most of the players that will be in the squad for the Lions’ forthcoming 2011 AFC Asian qualification double header against Thailand and went down to first-half goals from Indra Sahdan Daud (28), Aleksandar Duric (35) and John Wilkinson (45).

“I told my boys to be more aggressive to win the ball in defence. They were not doing that in the first-half, whereas the Singapore team kept the ball well and finished well.

“In the second half, we put more pressure up front, and then I think we managed to show a better performance where both sides were balanced. But this is a Singapore team that has been together for four to five years, and this is my first year with Selangor."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dollah Kassim rushed to hospital

Former Singapore international Dollah Kassim, 60, (picture) was rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital Sunday evening after he took ill at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

The legendary footballer had started the curtain-raiser between Singapore and Selangor Veterans in the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup and played for 10 minutes before he was substituted out. He was resting on the team bench when he was taken ill.

Immediate medical attention was rendered to him by the doctor on duty before he was transported immediately to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he is in stable condition after undergoing an emergency angioplasty.

Teammate Samad Allapitchay, who was next to Dollah at the time, told the media: 'His eyes were white and he just stopped breathing, so I immediately shouted for the doctor. From what I know, he suffered a massive heart attack but he's in stable condition now.'

In the main match for the Cup, Singapore showed their domination, scoring a convincing 3-0 win over Selangor.

Skipper Indra Sahdan opened the account for the Lions in the 27th minute and Aleksandar Dunc stretched the lead seven minutes later.

A minute before the breather, Singapore were up 3-0 when John Wilkinson’s free kick sailed past a rooted goalkeeper Mohd Hamsani Ahmad. - AFC.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rio to host XXXl Olympiad in 2016

For the longest time, a joke about Brazil made the rounds in the halls of international financial organizations: Latin America's largest and most populous nation had a great future — and always would.

No one's laughing anymore, as Brazil joined the ranks of the big-boy countries after Rio de Janeiro , a city known for sun and sin, was named the host of the 2016 Olympic Games on Friday.

The win, on top of an earlier award to host soccer's 2014 World Cup, recognizes Brazil as one of the pillars of the global economy. It's an amazing transformation, considering that just eight years ago it elected Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva , a fiery former union leader who critics warned would lead his nation into socialism, or, worse, communism.

It didn't happen. Instead, Lula has become a global figure, aided by Brazil's booming economy and recent discoveries of vast offshore oil deposits.

"It's sort of a recognition that Brazil has arrived. That it is a global player, that it is a regional power, and it reflects a very impressive performance and progress in the country," said Michael Shifter, the vice president of policy for the Inter-American Dialogue, a research center that specializes in hemispheric politics. "This is just a measure of its increasing stature and protagonism on the world stage."

Indeed, Brazil was front and center earlier in the decade when developing nations stormed out of global trade talks in the Mexican resort Cancun , drawing a line in the sand for emerging markets, which demanded that rich nations take their concerns seriously.

That effort culminated last month at a meeting of the Group of 20, composed of the world's most developed economies. Leaders meeting in Pittsburgh agreed to do away with the old Group of Eight structure dominated by the United States , Japan and Europe , and instead create a new, larger mechanism that brings in big developing economies.

"No country has done so much, with so much, in such a short period of time," said Jerry Haar , associate dean of the Florida International University College of Business in Miami . " Brazil has really matured. It now has crossed the line and is a middle-class country."

All the more remarkable given Brazil's troubled recent past, which included a long and tortured rule by successive generals.

"This is one of the great stories in the world, of a country that had 21 years of military dictatorship, economic disorder, and today for all of its problems seems to be pursuing a productive course," Shifter said.

Hosting the Olympic Games also will put Brazil and Rio under greater scrutiny, both for their long-standing crime problems in the mountainside slums, called favelas, and for their stewardship of the Amazon region, vital for the globe's environmental health.

" Brazil has always responded well to external pressure, so I believe issues related to Amazon, to safety, to governance, people in Brazil know we will be under not a microscope but more attention," said Paulo Sotero , a Brazilian who runs the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars , a research organization in Washington .

The Olympics are likely also to cement a long legacy for Lula, who helped bring down the dictatorship in the late 1980s and may go down as its most important contemporary leader.

"It seems almost like it is Brazil's decade. Lula keeps saying it is Brazil's century. ... It sure as hell is a good start of a last year in office for Lula," said Douglas Engle , a photographer and cameraman from Hendersonville, N.C. , who's spent more than a decade working in Rio. "It really makes his legacy. Even people who complained about him must admit this is pretty good."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thomas Cup: Prepare for "war"

"If you want peace, be ready for war. Indonesia's Thomas Cup team must be ready for war, failling which, they will be humiliated".

That was the introduction of an article in Kompas, a report by A Tjahjo Sasongko which reminded the Indonesian players of how "terror tactics" were used to frightened them during the 1992 Thomas and Uber Cup final rounds in Kuala Lumpur.

The report was published Thursday.

This reminder came as Indonesia prepares to participate in next years Thomas Cup finals to be held in Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil in May 2010. Malaysia lifted the prestigious cup five times since 1949, the last being in 1992, where they beat Indonesia 3-2 in the final.

The writer reminded the players that 17 years is not a short period and "do not be surprised if they (Malaysia) has a great desire to win next year".

Singles player, Hendrawan Susanto talks about how his team were harassed in 1992. "We felt the pressure during trainings.....the lights would suddenly go out and at times we had to find a venue to train."

The same pressure was felt by Alan Budi Kusuma, who was 17 years old in 1992. " We begin to feel things were not right when we came out of the hotel. Sometimes our transport come very late and when it came it was a bus without air condition."

However, the report also admitted that Indonesian fans did the same things when the tournament was held in Jakarta in 1994 and 2008.

The report went on to discuss other events and also certain issues that has come up recently. But, one thing is clear, Indonesia is preparing to give a good fight when the Thomas Cup is held in Kuala Lumpur again.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New hosts for 2013 SEA Games?

Delays in construction of Singapore's $1.3 billion Sports Hub may cost the city-state its hosting rights for the 2013 Southeast Asian Games, said the republic's Sports Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan.

Revealing that work on the project could be further delayed, the Minister added: "Frankly, I think it's unlikely that it will be ready for the 2013 SEA Games.

"We will not be rushed into this, and I'm quite prepared to postpone our offer to host the SEA Games to a later date," he told reporters in Singapore Thursday.

"The key point is, we want to make sure that when we... put an offer on the table, it is a good offer, and something that we can deliver."

The Singapore Sports Hub Consortium won the contract to build and operate the Sports Hub on a 25-year lease. It includes a 55,000-capacity National Stadium with a retractable roof and 41,000 sqm of business, commercial and retail floor space.

The project has been repeatedly delayed due to high construction costs and the global economic downturn. Construction is now expected to begin early next year and will take four years to complete.

The 25th staging of the Southeast Asian Games takes place later this year in Vientiane, Laos, from Dec. 9-18.

The 11 competing nations are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, hosts Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor and Vietnam.

Indonesia are due to stage the 2011 Games in Bandung and Semarang with Singapore due to host the 27th Games.