Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday on 31 Dec

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has declared Friday, Dec 31 as a public holiday to celebrate the success by the Malaysian football squad in winning the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, Wednesday night.

Najib also congratulated the Malaysian squad for beating the Indonesian team in the final on a 4-2 aggregate, describing it as "the greatest night in Malaysian football".

"The young team had done us proud and we must build this success to propel Malaysian football to greater heights," he said in a statement to Bernama.

Monday, December 27, 2010

PM: Seluruh negara amat berbangga

Kejayaan Malaysia menumpaskan Indonesia 3-0 pada perlawanan akhir pertama Piala Suzuki AFF di Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil, Ahad, membuktikan mutu permainan skuad bola sepak negara semakin meningkat, dan kejayaan itu amat membanggakan negara, kata Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“Saya amat gembira dengan kemenangan itu. Pasukan negara menunjukkan persembahan baik malam ini, dan seluruh negara amat berbangga dengan pasukan kita,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan kepada Bernama di Kuala Lumpur.

Perdana Menteri bagaimanapun mengingatkan pasukan negara supaya tidak terlalu selesa dengan kemenangan malam ini kerana mereka masih mempunyai satu lagi tugas penting di perlawanan timbal balik akhir di Jakarta, Rabu ini.

“Mereka perlu menampilkan satu lagi persembahan mantap di Indonesia,” katanya.

Gol-gol Malaysia yang dijaringkan oleh Mohd Safee Mohd Sali pada minit ke-59 serta 71, dan Mohamad Ashari Samsudin pada minit ke-67, membolehkan Malaysia membawa bekalan selesa untuk bertandang ke Stadium Gelora Bung Karno di Jakarta pada perlawanan akhir kedua Rabu ini.

Seramai 85,000 penonton membanjiri Stadium Nasional di Bukit Jalil malam ini, bukti jelas penyokong tempatan kini kembali memberi sokongan padu kepada kebangkitan skuad kebangsaan.

Sokongan dan minat Perdana Menteri kepada bola sepak negara terutama dalam saingan Piala Suzuki AFF terserlah apabila beliau sanggup duduk bersama penonton di atas jalanraya di kawasan Bukit Bintang, untuk menyaksikan perlawanan separuh akhir kedua antara Malaysia dan Vietnam, melalui skrin besar di kawasan itu pada 19 Disember lepas.

Malaysia menewaskan Vietnam 2-0 pada perlawanan di Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil dan mengikat lawan tanpa sebarang jaringan pada perlawanan di Stadium My Dinh di Hanoi untuk melangkah ke perlawanan akhir.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Olympism Amazing Race

All those who were involved in OAR

An "Olympism" Amazing Race was organized by the Penggerak Belia Tempatan (PeBT) Zon 10 MPKj and the Pierre de Coubertin Society of Malaysia (PCSM) last Sunday at Bandar Damai Perdana. 

The program was organized for the youth of the Bandar Damai Perdana community and was aimed for them to have a fun day out in the sun and at the same time educating them about Olympism and sports.

This is the first time that an "Olympism Amazing Race" has been organized, thanks to PeBT, PCSM and Pilot Pen Sdn. Bhd for sponsoring the prizes.

(For more information, please do not hesitate to call Ms. Tay Li Neo, PCSM Secretary at 016-2798127 or Mr. Sebastian Chan, PeBT President at 0129111619).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tough for Indonesia

Indonesia may have thumped Malaysia 5-1 in the opening group stage game of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, but that was a long time ago. Malaysia has proven its quality with results — and blank sheets — against regional powerhouses Vietnam and Thailand.

The Philippines may have put in some sterling defensive performances during their surprise run to the semifinals but Malaysia has more in its locker. The Malaysians have potent scorers, such as Norshahrul Idlan and Safee Sali. Both are very intelligent players and very mobile, electing to play the whole width of the pitch rather than ploughing a furrow down the middle.

Given the estimated two million Indonesian guest workers in Malaysia at any one time, it is fair to say the Merah Putih won’t be friendless at Bukit Jalil Stadium on Sunday night when it steps on the field and it’s expected a fair few Indonesians, attracted by a first ever AFF Cup triumph, will be making the two-hour flight to catch the game.

While Malaysia will pose a far greater attacking threat than the Philippines, Indonesia will be confident enough in its own form and strength in depth. For example, against the Philippines in the second leg, coach Alfred Riedl had to do without poster boy Irfan Bachdim. No problem though. In came the hugely promising Yongki Aribowo and his performance would have given Riedl just the sort of headache a coach loves.

The flanks are the key area in Riedl’s strategy. Through the middle there isn’t a lot of pace, and striker Christian Gonzales likes the ball played to feet. That’s why the role of the wide players has been so important.

Oktovianus Maniani has had the fans on the edge of their seats ever since he joined the national team. Certainly there’s a big roar around the stadium when the 20-year-old gets the ball as fans sense he is always likely to make things happen.

Mohammad Nasuha and Muhammad Ridwan have also done their bit in spreading the play and getting to the bye line. Indeed Ridwan, a teammate of Oktovianus at Sriwijaya, has also chipped in with two goals. Nasuha, with his bandaged head, has become a defining image of this team built on flair but grounded in self-belief and hard work.

On the bench, Riedl has a couple of options to keep pulling wide. Arif Suyono, yet another Sriwijaya player, has been in and around the national team for a number of years now and made a strong impression in Myanmar back in 2008 ahead of the AFF Cup that year. Interestingly, Riedl has been using Arif as an impact player, coming on to replace Oktovianus with some fresh legs and providing yet more cutting edge to the Indonesian front line. With two goals scored and a couple of assists, Arif has done more than enough to hold down a regular first-choice slot on his own.

At the heart of the midfield, again Riedl has like-for-like options on the bench. Firman Utina is finally showing the talent we all know he possesses. There’s a touch of Roy Keane about the midfield dynamo. He tackles, he creates, he scores and he leads. All in one tiny little package.

And if Firman is for some reason unavailable then there would be no qualms in throwing Eka Ramdani into the mix. A younger Firman but no less inspirational and a folk hero down on the Persib Bandung terraces.

If Indonesia does have a weakness then it is at the back where defenders and keepers are prone to the occasional blooper. This makes Ahmad Bustomi’s job just in front of the back four doubly important. The Arema Indonesia midfielder is another player for whom international football seemed to pass by, but his consistent performances during the AFF Cup have impressed fans and critics alike.

It’s been a long time since Indonesia has boasted such strength in depth and cover for every position, just another contributing piece to the current feel-good factor among fans.

But for all their 15 goals scored and two conceded, Indonesia remains very much untested in one key area. Under Riedl they have played nine games and won eight, just that 7-1 reverse against Uruguay blotting the record book. But all the games have been played in front of passionate home crowds. They have yet to be tested in a hostile arena, unlike the Malaysians who have played two group games in Jakarta, where Malaysians tend not to be too popular, and that famous draw in Hanoi which secured their spot in the final. - The Jakarta Globe.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

W.Y.Chin steps down

City-based businessman Raymond Lim is the new Malaysian Snooker and Billiards Federation (MSBF) president, representing a change of leadership after over 20 years.

At the MSBF biennial general meeting (BGM) in Kuala Lumpur on Friday night, incumbent Datuk W. Y. Chin, who has served as president since the early eighties, stepped down on condition that Lim be given the reins of the federation. Lim has been Chin's loyal deputy for the past 15 years.

Affiliates at the BGM unanimously supported the move by the 73-year old Chin, an architect by profession and also vice-president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, and gave the greenlight to his 59-year-old successor.

"It was a smooth handover of power and we thank Datuk Chin for his past services.

"I guess he (Chin) felt that it was time to hand over the federation to a younger man. He has taken the association this far, and now maybe, there is a need for change.

"Raymond (Lim) knows the ins and outs of snooker and has also served the MSBF for a good many years. We are confident he will lead the association to even better days ahead," said MSBF secretary Melvin Chia.

In fact, there has been speculation that Chin would be challenged at the federation's BGM, with certain affiliates clamouring for change. The lack of success at the international level and the dearth of talents coming through the ranks are the reasons why.

But, out of respect for the 'Grand Old Man of Malaysian Snooker', as Chin is affectionately referred, the campaign to oust him never really got off the ground.

That was until Friday evening, when a few senior leaders within the MSBF sat down together to take a long hard look at the situation and decided it was time to act.

Lately, the MSBF has gone through some tough times in the international arena, and Moh Keen Ho's gold medal in the Korat Sea Games in 2007 and Ibrahim Amir's silver medal in the eight-ball at the Guangzhou Asian Games recently, are about the only notable achivements.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Goodbye my friend

My dear friend Daud Abu Kassim (picture) passed away around 4am this morning after sufferering a heart attack at his home in Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya.

According to his daugher, Norsyeena, he was brought to the Assunta Hospital after he fell uncouncious at his home. He died on the way to the hospital. He was 62 year old.

Daud leaves behind wife, Normah Mohamed and three daughters - Noreen (31), Nordiana (28) and Norsyeena (26). Noreen is married with two children.

His remains will be taken to his late mother's house at 32, Jalan Hamzah in Kampung Baru. According to Norsyeena, he is expected to be buried in Kampung Baru later in the day.

(For details, please call Norsyeena at 0123181060)

"He fell sick after coming back from Bandung on 4 Dec. And this morning he fell uncouncious and we rushed him to the hospital.."

I have known Daud since 1982. He is very, very passionate about cycling and would speak out againts anyone whom he felt was damaging the sport. He and a few friend were instrumental in forming the Federal Territory Cycling Association, which is undoubtly the most active and financially strong cycling association.

Although he did not hold any position at national level, he had much influence in cycling. Most state associations seek his advise on practically every matter. Daud knew the rules and regulations of cycling - national and international - and no one could take him for a ride.

He also had a good relationship with cycling associations and clubs in Indonesia and the Philippines. Daud also had a cordial relationship with the media, not just the sportswriters, but also the top editors, who often visit him at his office in Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur.

His office, was not a place where he ran his businesses, but also a centre of activity for cycling matters. I have personally seen how he got jobs for cyclist, saw to it that they got good promotions and salary. I also know of the many people he helped put in top posts, through his connections with the people in power.

Daud has plenty of friends from all walks of life. It was very common to see a high ranking civil servant, a politician or senior police officers in his office. And, those who vist him include the normal man in the street, including journalists.

I have known Daud be firm in his stand, a man who never walked away from a fight. He loved sport, he loved his friends and most of all he loved his family dearly.

As a rookie reporter, it was Daud who taught me about cycling, a highly technical sport.

Of late, Daud had one major complain. Many ex-cyclists and officials have bicycle shops or businesses related to cycling. And they jostle with each other to be appointed as coach or manager of teams. He was not happy with their motives in wanting to be part of any team.

On 11 Nov, the other Daud in cycling, former national cyclist, Daud Ibrahim passed away after being involved in a road accident.   

My condolence to his family. Sports, especially cycling, has lost an influential and passionate official. I have lost a good and dear friend. May his soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Malaysia in semis

PALEMBANG - Host Indonesia did Malaysia a big favour by beating Thailand 2-1, a result that helped Malaysia who beat Laos 5-1, move into the semifinals of the AFF Suzuki Cup when both the group matches ended in Jakarta and Palembang respectively Tuesday night.

Malaysia who lost to Indonesia and drew with Thailand in their first two matches, needed a win over Laos in Palembang to keep their hopes alive and depend on the outcome of the match between Indonesia and Thailand which was held simultaneously in Jakarta.

If Thailand had beaten Indonesia tonight, Malaysia's win would not been academic and coach K. Rajagobal's boys would have started packing for home.

Indonesia who were trailing Thailand 0-1 until the 70th minute, however scored twice from the penalty spot, incidentally through Bambang Pamungkus, a player who needs no introduction to Malaysian fans as he had made his mark with Selangor in the M-League a few years ago.

Malaysia on the other hand took an early lead through Amri Yahya in the 4th minute but Laos who had held Thailand to a 2-2 draw, hit back in the 8th minute through Lamnao Singto to cancel the advantage but Amri was on cue again in the 40th minute to restore the lead before half time.

With news that Indonesia and Thailand were still scoreless, the Malaysian boys trooped out of the rest room with renewed vigour and determination while the injection of K. Gurusamy for two goal hero Amri, also proved timely.

Mohd Amrulhadi Zainal (73rd) and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (76th) took advantage of some poor defending by Laos to put Malaysia in a comfortable position while an own goal by Kitsada sealed a much deserved 5-1 win for the Malaysians in pouring rain.

With the outcome, Malaysia advanced to the semifinals as Group A runner-up behind Indonesia and meet Vietnam, Singapore or the Philippines who decide on the outcome Wednesday.

In Wednesday's matches, Philippines, the surprise package of the tournament who lead Group B after beating defending champion Vietnam and holding Singapore to a draw, take on Myanmar in their final match while Vietnam and Singapore meet each other in a do-or-die encounter.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Malaysia achieve 9-gold target

GUANGZHOU - Malaysian Chef-de- Mission (CDM) Datuk Zolkples Embong who has been under tremendous pressure since the Asian Games started, breathed a sigh of relief after the Malaysian contingent achieved the 9-gold target Thursday.

Malaysia achieved the 9-gold medal target for the Games when the women's squash team comprising Nicol Ann David, Low Wee Wern, Delia Arnold and Sharon Wee beat Hong Kong 2-0 in the women's team final.

Zolkples said he had been under tremendous pressure, wondering whether the athletes would be able to deliver the targeted gold medals.

"The pressure has been mounting as the Games started drawing to a close. I was really concerned with the outcome of today's women squash final as it was going to decide whether we can achieve the target or not," he told reporters at the Sport City Gymnasium after watching the final here.

Zolkples who thanked all those who helped achieve the target said it was the third gold medal from squash while karate (2), tenpin bowling (2) and one each from wushu and cycling contributed the other gold medals.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tickets touts spoils Asian Games image

Groups of ticket touts are indeed spoiling Guangzhou Asian Games 2010 image by systematically hoarding venue tickets,thus denying passionate,keen and patriotic supporters and parents of athletes from Malaysia, from enjoying the Games.This scenario also applies to supporters from other Asian nations as well.
Kelab Penyokong Sukan Malaysia or Kelab Famemas Malaysia is currently in Guangzhou for 8 days from 20-28 Nov to give fervent support and uplift the morale of  our Malaysian athletes to ensure that the 9 gold medals target are met.
However, they have not been able to gain access to the sports venues and games that involve Malaysian athletes, from the date and time of arrival, up to this time of press release.

An example is the price of tickets for the Lin Dan - Dato' Lee Chong Wei final was priced by touts of up to RMB3500 (RM1750) whereas the original ticket price was only RMB50 (RM25) only.  Athletics price tickets shot up to RMB50 whereas counter price is RMB10...the ticket touts are having a field day with the exhorbitant prices up to a point of paralysiong the attendance at venues where it remains empty and only a handful of spectators were able to attend albeit local people getting free ticket through government lottery type allocation.

The Olympic COuncil of Asia (OCA) and OCM (Malaysia) shoul allocate reasonable accreditation passes to deserving people to ensure that the attendance of these people are truly menaningful and contribute to the sports success of the nation.

This is a shamble and an utter disgrace to the Guangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (GAGOC) and the very people who are supposed to cheer on our team were denied the opportunity.

Most stadiums were not full and yet ticket counters display notices that tickets are sold out eg hockey and diving venues.  We suggest that a selected number of tickets be made available on the day of events prior to the start of the games and to foreigners,should audience attendance be not forthcoming.

We call upon our Malaysian sport authorities to take up this matter with the relevant Organising Committee seriously to ensure this fiasco is not repeated.

Attached pictures show Malaysian supporters idling by roadside upon hearing that access to the venues are not available and tickets touts freely mingling with public offering exorbitant ticket prices for sale.

For further information,please call Lee Hui Seng at Guangzhou local number 0086-13247687357 or 6012-329 3378 and Hafidz Zihim (Secretary) on 0086- 13794341134

Sent on behalf of Kelab Famemas Kuala Lumpur and Selangor
(Kelab Penyokong Sukan Malaysia)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Historic win for hockey team

GUANGZHOU - A golden goal by Muhammad Amin Rahim five minutes into extra time saw Malaysia beat India 4-3 and march into their first ever men's hockey Asian Games final since 1958.

The historic win against the former World champion and the recent Commonwealth Games gold medallist, sent the Malaysian camp into a frenzy and opened a new chapter in Malaysian hockey.

Malaysia came from behind twice against the Indians to tie the match at 3-3 in regulation play, forcing the match into sudden-death extra-time.

With the win, the Malaysians who failed to win a medal in Doha four years ago, avenged the 2-3 defeat to India at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games last month.

"The boy's played very well and we did a great job in defence and the penalty corner conversion. The win was a result of solid teamwork...from the goalkeeper S. Kumar to our forwards," said national coach Stephen Van Huizen.

The thrilling match was also witnessed by Sultan Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, Malaysian Hockey Federation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Malaysian chef-de-mission Datuk Zolkples Embong.

Both teams started the match on a cautious note, playing defensively before the Malaysian's drew first blood through Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil's 32nd minute strike.

India however, equalized just seconds before the first half when Sandeep Singh's 35th minute penalty corner strike pierced through a stout Malaysian defence.

Two minutes after the breather, Khandker Tushar put India in the lead when he flicked home but it was cancelled out by Azlan Misron, 12 minutes later.

Indian skipper Raj Pal Singh put India ahead once again in the 54th minute by converting a penalty corner but with just three minutes left, Muhamad Amin struck a superb penalty corner to force extra time.

Malaysia's best achievement in the Asian Games was bronze medal win in Busan, South Korea in 2002.

In the final on Thursday, Malaysia will meet Pakistan, who defeated defending champion South Korea 4-3 after a penalty shootout.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Let the show begin

The drama should begin soon. Who will blame whom for the performances at the Asian Games? Would be interesting to see who will start the blame game. The normal standard operation procedure for Malaysian sport would be to blame someone of an organization before anyone blames you.
And of course there will be those who will put up an academic front to state the obvious that are not right. Why state now when all those sitting or rather holding on to positions know these things existed long time ago?
Let the drama begin. Or maybe people don't know what we were supposed to win and what we got?
You can be sure no one will resign and take responsibility. That's for sure.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 best goals

The race to determine the winner of the FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year” has started today, 16 November 2010, on Fans from across the world will decide which of the ten goals selected by FIFA’s football experts will be the winner of this award.

The FIFA Puskás Award, created in honour and in memory of Ferenc Puskás, the captain and star of the Hungarian national team during the 1950s, will be presented for the second time at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala 2010, which will be held at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on 10 January 2011.

During this televised ceremony, the winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the best player of 2010 as well as the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2010 will also be revealed. Meanwhile, the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award and the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award will be presented for the first time, while the FIFA/FIFPro World XI will be announced for the second year running. The FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented during the gala.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Paul I knew

By Subramaniam Alagasundram
(Former Senior Sportswriter)

I was one of those quite shocked and distressed to see no write-up on the passing of Datuk T. Paul Murugasu in the main stream media. Perhaps, this was because, none of the current crop of reporters knew the man.

Still, the sports editors could have asked a former colleague to write a few lines, recalling his contribution to Malaysian football.Datuk Paul was never an easy man to deal with if you were meeting him for the first time.

With him, you had to win his confidence. Having done that, you had to make sure, you worked hard at staying on the right side of him.

As a young reporter, I faced this peculiar predicament often. He was always suspicious of reporters and ordered his staff to keep a close watch on documents whenever there were any of us around. Those days, reporters did their leg work and were often "mooching" around FAM House in Jalan Maharalela.

To me, it was always fun to try and pick up some useful info and then confront him - just to see the look on his face. He would growl from behind his desk and very reluctantly volunteer to confirm or deny the info. It happened so often with the Merdeka Tournament.

But Datuk Paul also had a king heart beating inside him and when he was in one of his better moods, would actualy sit you down and have a chat. Unfortunately, it was not often. I remembered calling him a few years ago and his first question was, " what do you want? You fellows only call when you want something".

That was Datuk Paul for you! Looking back, I wish had called him more often just to say hello. He was to me, a good friend, who helped mould my career as a sportswriter.

May God grant his soul rest.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Daud Ibrahim dies in a car accident

Daud Ibrahim
Former national cyclist Daud Ibrahim was killed when the car he was travelling in collided with a container lorry at Km232.6 of the North-South Expressway near Rembau, Thursday.

A police spokesman said Daud, 63, of Muar, Johor, was killed on the spot due to serious head injuries in the 1am incident. He said both vehicles were heading towards the south when the container lorry rammed into the rear of the car driven by Daud.

Recalling the incident, lorry driver Ja’afar Abu Bakar, 44, said a car on the emergency lane had swerved into the lane in front of him and collided with the lorry. Six fire and rescue personnel were called in to extricate Daud’s body from his wrecked car.

Daud was given the honour to light torch at the 21st SEA Games at the National Stadium in 2001.
He represented the country for the first time at the 1969 SEAP Games in Rangoon.
He won the gold in the 1,600m at the 1970 Asian Games.

A year later he won five gold medals at the SEAP Games in Kuala Lumpur.

He took part in the Christchurch Commonwealth Games in New Zealand in 1974 and Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, in 1972.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An evening with Finnegan

The 41st edition of the Tournament will feature a fundraising dinner - An Evening with Rugby Legends - featuring one of the undoubted legends of the game, former World Champion Wallaby Owen Finnegan.
The event which will be held on the 10th November 2010 at PJ Hilton at 7.00 will present exciting opportunities for corporate sponsor to contribute towards rugby development in Malaysia.
Owen Finnegan is one of the most decorated rugby players of his generation and was a member of the all-conquering Wallabies side of the last decade. His most enduring moment was scoring the winning try in the 1999 World Cup.
Owen is currently pursuing his second Masters degree while delivering corporate motivational seminars to large corporations, and undertakes business development roles for a number of high profile organisations. He will be accompanied by 3 other legends of the game, namely ex-All Blacks Duncan Robertson and Jeff Matheson, and ex-Wallaby Chris Roche. The Master-of-Ceremonies is former marathon champion and current sports commentator Paul Allison.
Part of the proceeds from the dinner will be donated to Rumah Nur Salam, through a charity auction by the Helping Hands Group. Rumah Nur Salam, is a 24–hour children’s crisis and Drop-In centre in Chow Kit. COBRA has initiated this CR initiative to help the children of Rumah Nur Salam by also introducing programmes that draw on the positive attributes of sports - emphasizing teamwork, physical health, perseverance and commitment.
For HSBC-COBRA Rugby 10s 2010 and An Evening with Rugby Legends tickets, please call:
COBRA Club              +603 7957 4045
Baldeep Singh            +6012 219 8162
Norman Dutton           +6016 946 7511

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Karim blames NSC

The Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) has denied responsibility for late registration of 400m hurdler Noraseela Khalid to Guangzhou Asian Games.

MAAU deputy president Karim Ibrahim instead blamed the National Sports Council (NSC) for the delay as MAAU had sent Noraseela's accreditation to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) on June 20.

Newspapers reported that MAAU had failed to register Noraseela for Guangzhou Asian Games before the closing date on Nov 2.

"I am disappointed with NSC director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong for blaming MAAU and not offering to help," he told Bernama at National Stadium, Bukit Jalil Monday.

Karim said he has confidence in Doha Asian Games bronze medalist Noraseela and five other athletes going to Guangzhou under category B. The names of five other athletes bound for Guangzhou under category B have yet to be announced.

Athletes under category A are Roslinda Samsu (pole vault) Lee Hup Wei (high jump) and the women's 4x100m quartet of Siti Zubaidah Adabi, Norjannah Hafiszah Jamaludin, Nurul Sarah Abdul Kadir and Yee Yi Ling.

Cobra 10s in PJ Stadium

HSBC-COBRA Rugby 10s 2010 will be held the coming weekend - 13 and 14 November, 2010 at Petaling Jaya Stadium in Kelana Jaya.

HSBC-COBRA 10s - as the tournament is popularly known – will return
to its familiar venue at the Petaling Jaya Stadium after a sojourn in its home ground in Padang Astaka, Petaling Jaya last year.

The ten-a-side, two-day tournament will see teams from various countries, including rugby powerhouses such as Australia,England, New Zealand, South Africa putting on a display of some of the best rugby ever seen in Malaysia.

It is a little known fact that rugby 10s was conceived by the Combined Old Boys’ Rugby Association (COBRA).

It was in Kuala Lumpur that the world’s first 10-a side rugby tournament was held in 1967. The tournament went international in 1992 and as the saying goes … the rest is history.

Throughout its 40-year history, the tournament has always been very competitive with the participation of top club teams such as Canterbury Rugby; Union of New Zealand (2007 Champions), Penguins International; RFC of England (1993-1994 and 2006 Champions), Marist St Joseph of Samoa (1996 and 2004 Champions); Red Rock of Fiji(2003 Champions) and Argentina’s Mendoza Rugby Association (2005 Plate Champions finalist).

Tournament regulars and COBRA supporters include South African teams such as Natal Duikers, SA Mustangs, Northlink College Rugby; and Ponsonby of New Zealand. They are joined by Malaysian club heavyweights Borneo Eagles, NS Wanderers as well as the host team COBRA.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Well done, PCSM

The participants
A three day Olympism Outreach Program was held in the Senior Methodist Girls School KL (MGSKL) for Form 4 students as an after exams activity by the Pierre de Coubertin Society of Malaysia (PCSM) in partnership with Pilot Pen Malaysia Sdn. Bhd from November 1-3, 2010 in the school itself.

A total of 105 students from four classes were involved in the program which was held during school hours. The program was filled with lectures, group discussions, presentations, games and even a cultural performance on the last day.

These activities were designed to introduce students to Olympic Education which focuses on positive values like fairplay, respect, excellence and teamwork by using sports in particular the Olympic Games and sporting personalities as examples.

The program received positive feedback from the participating students. They expressed that it was very enjoyable and they learned how to work as a team and the activities encouraged them to interact and communicate more.

Some even said that they managed to make new friends. Unanimously, they all agreed that the program should be held every year and the knowledge be shared with other forms as well.

In an interview conducted after the program, a student said “I am very happy that such a program exists. "I learned a lot from it especially the Olympics that I never knew about before this; things like the Olympic Truce. I hope that this program will be conducted again next year because it is very good and helpful.”

Accolades about the program were also received by the Principle of MGSKL, Pn. Phoon Yoke Meng. She too agreed that the program was very beneficial to her students as it encouraged them to think out of the box, build confidence and promote values which are important to mould them into better human beings.

She recommends that this program be organized in other schools as well and would like the program to be held again next year in MGSKL.

Extra-Curricular Senior Assistant, Ms. Low Mai Keok said, “Sport and Physical Education has lost its importance in schools. This program proves that sport is more than just about competition. It is about ethics.Values like fairplay and respect are essential to a child’s character building.”

The closing ceremony was attended by Mr. MP Haridas, President of the Gymnastics Association of Kuala Lumpur who also is the advisor to PCSM and Ms. Tay Choon Neo, Deputy Executive Director of the Methodist Council of Education.

This is the first time that the Olympic Outreach Program was held in a school. Before this, the program was organized in Sunway College and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for undergraduates.

Up to now, PCSM has managed to light the Olympism flame in the lives of over 170 youths.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kelantan dominates awards

Newly crowned Malaysia Cup champions Kelantan dominated the 100PLUS-FAM National Awards 2010 in Petaling Jaya, Tuesday, when they swept to five wins out of 10 categories.

Norsharul Idlan Talaha, who was part of the Malaysia Cup winning squad on the weekend, grabbed the Best Striker award enroute to winning the top prize of the Most Valuable Player title.

On hand to give away the awards were Tan Sri Annuar Musa, the deputy president of the FA of Malaysia, James Teo, the Managing Director of F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn. Bhd, Dato’ Kamal Harun, the National Corporate Affairs Manager, F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn. Bhd and also FAM Exco members.  

“I would like to thank all those who have supported me throughout my career. I still feel like a newcomer although this 100PLUS-FAM award will propel me to work even harder,” said Norsharul who got married early last month.

For his effort, Norsharul earned two crystal trophies as well as RM3,500 in prize money.

Other than Norsharul, the other player who won two awards also came from Kelantan through Khairul Fahmi Che Mat who picked up the Best Goalkeeper and the Best Young Player categories.

“For a young player, it feels great to be recognised especially when I was up against the more experienced players (for the Best Goalkeeper), so winning it was a real surprise,” added Khairul.

“I hope that other up and coming young players do not get disheartened when they are faced with difficulties. With hard work, anything is possible.”

Kelantan wrapped up their domination on the day with coach B. Sathiananthan winning the Best Coach award for the first time in his career.

“It feels great to be recognised. There are some details to be worked out for next season and obviously, there’s still some work to be done yet. But its feels great to win,” added Sathiananthan.

Negeri Sembilan who lost the Malaysia Cup final to Kelantan last Saturday, won one award through Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak for the Best Defender while for the Best Midfielder, the title went to Kedah’s Baddrol Bakhtiar.

To make sure that only the best are considered for the annual 100PLUS-FAM National Football Awards, a selection panel which consisted of national coaches, members from the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM) and officials from FAM came up with a list of candidates.

The list was distributed to the coaches and captains of teams playing in the Super League and also the Premier League, who made their choice for the various individual awards and also the ultimate Most Valuable Player award.

Other than the seven awards given out by the panel, the FAM also gave due recognition to the Best Football Association which went to Selangor FA, Best Club (Johor FC) and also Best Fan Club (Kedah FA).

Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kelantan)
Md Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak (Negeri Sembilan)
Baddrol Bakhtiar (Kedah)
Norsharul Idlan Talaha (Kelantan)
Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kelantan goalkeeper - 21 years)
B. Sathianathan (Kelantan)
FA of Kedah
Johor FC

Monday, November 1, 2010

R.I.P Paul Murugasu

Veteran soccer administrator, Datuk Thanapalan Paul Murugasu (picture) passed away Monday morning at the Universiti Hospital in Petaling Jaya. He was 85.

Datuk Murugasu who served as the Honorary Secretary of FA of Malaysia secretary from 1980 to 1987, has been bed ridden since three years ago.

Datuk Murugasu took over as the honorary secretary from another respected administrator, Datuk Kwok Kin Heng. Datuk Paul Mony Samuel replaced Datuk Murugasu in 1987.

Datuk Murugasu was among the first few officials whom I met when I started reporting and after the first meeting, he called my office to enquire if I really was from the organization I was representing. He was a careful administrator who worked well with his boss, Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah.

During the period Datuk Murugasu was the Honorary Secretary, football was going through its glory days and was enjoyed by almost everyone in Malaysia. Datuk Murugasu was born on 8 September 1924 in Kuala Lipis in Pahang. He has his primary education in Kampar, Perak and completed his Senior Cambridge at Anglo Chinese School in Ipoh.

He worked as a teacher from 1948 to 1959, beginning at Trade School in Kuala Lumpur an later at the Kajang High School before moving to the Pasar Road English School.

He joined the Election Commission in 1959 and served as the State Election Officer in Kota Bahru (1961-1965), Seremban (1965-1970) and Kuala Lumpur from 1970 until his retirement in 1974.

Datuk Murugasu joined FAM in 1973. He served his “apprenticeship” with the dynamic Datuk Kwok Kin Keng in FAM taking over in 1980. He held the post for seven years and served under two presidents – Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Raja Haji Hamzah bin Abu Samah and HRH Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah.

He was honoured by the HRH Sultan of Pahang in 1983 and conferred a Datukship 

List of FA Malaysia Secretaries:
Datuk Kwok Kin Keng (Honorary Secretary)
Datuk T. Paul Murugasu
Datuk Paul Mony Samuel (Executive Secretary, later General Secretary)
Datuk Syed Ahmad Kuning (HS)
Datuk Dell Akhbar Khan Hyder Khan (GS)
Datuk Seri Ibrahim Saad (GS)
Lt. Jen (B) Datuk Azuddin Ahmad (GS)

Time to work hard, MHF

Everytime the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) elections are held, there would be plenty of speculation ats to how it will effect the future of the sport. The situation has always been the same since I first started writting about hockey in early 1980s.

Sure enough, a few days before the elections, some hockey personalities gave me a list of names and said that if they win, hockey would be doomed.

Well, some of the name actually won but I am not sure if that means hockey is doomed.

I feel that hockey has reached a point where some serious thought has to be given to its directions because the signs are not too good and at this point any investment without proper planning would be a total wastage.

With the office bearers already in place, the appointment of the Secretary would also give an indication as to how serious is MHF in wanting to move forward and ahead. The wrong choice would mean, moving backwards.

In the elections held Saturday, Nur Azmi Ahmad (picture) from Melaka retained his deputy president’s post by three votes. He received 14 votes, while his challengers Tunku Majid Sultan Iskandar got 11, Datuk Dr S.S. Chema 10 and Abdul Hadi.

In the vice-presidents’ race, three incumbents retained their seats with Datuk Seri Che Khalib Noh receiving 29 votes, Datuk Rahim Mohamed Ariff 26, and M. Gobinathan 25. The newcomer is former national coach, Majid Manjit Abdullah who received 18 votes.

The total number of votes should have been 42, but Perlis HA (two votes) did not attend as it has been deregistered, while the secretary and treasurer were also not allowed to vote as their posts are now appointed and not elected.

That left 38 votes, but Sabah vice-president Ramlee Marahaban did not turn up, while MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah abstained, leaving the ballot with only 36 votes.

“I hope everyone accepts the outcome of today’s (yesterday’s) voting and we close ranks because there is much work to be done over the next four years,” said Tengku Abdullah.

“And I would like to warn the affiliates and those who have just been voted in that if there is disharmony in MHF after this, I can always use my exit option and leave.”

Tengku Abdullah then touched on the 1Mas Hoki Programme and said that the prime minister has given MHF RM2 million and he wants to see accountability.

“Every ringgit must be spent on developing players and buying equipment, nothing must be wasted,” he said.

“The prime minister will launch the 1Mas Hoki Programme, which took off in the middle of the year, on Dec 13 and he had said that he wants to see the project become a success and not die off prematurely,” added Tengku Abdullah who was returned unopposed..

“And since the PM and also the TM (Tengku Mahkota) are involved to make it a success, I want full commitment from the states so that in future we can have a bigger pool of talent to select from.”

And the immediate goal, said Tengku Abdullah, is to break into the world’s top 10 and this can be achieved if Malaysia qualify for the next World Cup.

Well Tengku, Its good to set goals, but you need the right people to make it happen.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kelantan creates history

Kelantan created history by lifting the Malaysia Cup for the first time in the most prestigious competition in the Malaysian football league, after defeating defending champions Negeri Sembilan 2-1 in the final at the National Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Saturday night.

The victory allowed last year's defending champions to end their 55-year drought since they marched into the final in 1955 when the Cup was known as the H.M.S. Malaya Cup.

Negeri Sembilan opened scoring in the 13th minute through a penalty kick by Shahurain Abu Samah. Referee Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh gave the penalty to Negeri Sembilan after Kelantan keeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat's felled S.Kunalan in the penalty box.

Negeri Sembilan kept the pressure on Kelantan through speedy attacks but they failed to break the Kelantan defence manned by Mohd Daudsu Jamaludin, Mohd Farisham Ismail and Rizal Fahmi Abdul Rosidi.

In the second half, the "Red Warriors", urged on by at least 60,000 supporters to find the goal, kept charging at their opponents' goalmouth and eventually equalised.

That equaliser came in the 57th minute from a header by Kelantan captain Indra Putra Mahayuddin through a pass by Norshahrul Idlan Talaha.

Without their main pillar, Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak who was taken out due to injury, Negeri Sembilan were under more pressure, trailing 1-2.

To reinforce the back, Kelantan coach B. Sathianathan made the clever move of introducing Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli and Khairan Eroza Razali. The pulsating match ended with Kelantan emerging champions this season with a 2-1 victory over Negeri Sembilan.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Diamond of Asia award for PM

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will confer its prestigious award, the AFC Diamond of Asia award, to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, at its Annual Awards night on Nov 24.

AFC in it's official website,, said that the prestigious AFC award was bestowed upon an individual for exemplary contribution towards the development and promotion of football, on and off the field, within the Asian continent. This honour is AFC's way to acknowledge the recipient's sterling services.

The AFC Executive Committee has decided to honour the Premier for his continuous support to AFC in his capacity first as the Deputy Prime Minister and after taking over the Prime Minister's post on April 3, last year.

"We (the AFC Executive Committee) felt that Asian football had benefited in a great way with the help and support of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak," AFC President Mohamed Hammam was quoted.

"Malaysia is the home of AFC since 1965 and he was instrumental in granting AFC a special status in this country.

"His contribution to develop the game in the continent and his determination to take Asian football to greater heights should be recognised by all the stakeholders of the game," he added.

The recipient of this accolade enjoys a distinguished position within AFC and ranks only after the AFC Executive Committee in terms of importance within AFC's protocol and hierarchy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kelantan in final again

Malaysia Cup holders Negeri Sembilan will again meet Kelantan in the Malaysia Cup final when they won their semi-final second leg matches Saturday night.

Negeri Sembilan beat Johor FC 2-0 at JCORP Stadium in Pasir Gudang while Kelantan beat Kedah 1-0 in the other semi-final match at Sultan Muhammed IV Stadium in Kota Baharu.

Visitors Negeri got lucky when referee Nagor Amin Noor Mohamed judged that the header by Mohd Shukor Adan had crossed the goal line in the 36th min. Johor FC were again punished when Negeri was awarded a penalty kick which Sharurain Abu Samah scored in the 60th min.

In Kota Baharu, Kelantan looked the hungrier side as several goal attempts brought out some fine saves from Kedah goalkeeper Mohd Helmi Eliza Elias.

Malaysia Cup runners-up Kelantan got a break when Nur Shahrul Idlan Talaha beat Mohd Helmi with a corner kick in the 78th min.

Negeri Sembilan will meet Kelantan in the Malaysia Cup final on Oct 30 at National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why FAM?

Kelantan coach, B. Sathianathan has been suspended for six months, for an incident that took place three months ago. Sathia was informed today by his employers, Kelantan FA, of this suspension by the FAM Disciplinary Committee.

And tonight Kelantan has an important second leg Malaysian Cup semi final match.What's the matter FAM?.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

FIFA suspends exco members

The FIFA Ethics Committee, under the chairmanship of Claudio Sulser, decided today, 20 October 2010, to provisionally suspend, with immediate effect, the members of the FIFA Executive Committee Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii from taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) after examining their cases in relation to the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups™. After hearing Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii, the Ethics Committee considered that a provisional suspension was required while the investigation continues, taking into account the gravity of the case and the likelihood that a breach of the FIFA Statutes, the FIFA Code of Ethics and the FIFA Disciplinary Code has been committed.

Furthermore, the Ethics Committee examined the cases of four officials – Slim Aloulou, Amadou Diakite, Ahongalu Fusimalohi and Ismael Bhamjee – also in relation to an alleged breach of the FIFA Statutes, the FIFA Code of Ethics and the FIFA Disciplinary Code linked to the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups™. The committee also decided to suspend these four officials provisionally from taking part in any football-related activity.

FIFA opened proceedings against the two Executive Committee members on 18 October 2010 and requested the Ethics Committee to conduct an independent, in-depth investigation into the matter. The Ethics Committee will meet again in mid-November 2010 in order to take a final decision on the matter after gathering more information and evidence on the six cases.

”The decision to provisionally suspend these officials is fully justified and should not be put in question. The evidence that has been presented to us today has led us to take this provisional measure, as we considered that the conditions were definitely met to take this decision and we deem that it is crucial to protect the integrity of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process. We are determined to have zero tolerance for any breach of the Code of Ethics,“ said the chairman of the Ethics Committee, Claudio Sulser.

Finally, and again at the request of FIFA, the Ethics Committee decided to open an investigation into alleged agreements between member associations and their Bid Committees in relation to the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup™ bidding process, something which would also be a violation of the Bid Registration document and the Code of Ethics. A decision on this case will also be taken by the Ethics Committee at its meeting in mid-November, following a thorough investigation.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chelsea vs Malaysian Selection on 21st July

English Premier League (EPL) champion and current leader, Chelsea, Tuesday announced that the match against a Malaysian XI will be held at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on July 21, next year as part of their pre-season Asia Tour 2011.

ProEvents, a leading football marketing and management consultancy in Asia, said in a statement Tuesday that Chelsea had also confirmed its participation in the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong to complete their pre-season tour.

The Champions will be competing against Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and the 2010/11 champions of the Hong Kong First Division on July 27 and 30.

"We are proud to be appointed by the Premier League as the official local promoter for the Barclays Asia Trophy 2011.

"Chelsea are the Champions and they are the leaders. With a confirmed schedule of matches for their Asia Tour, all Chelsea supporters in the region will be able to plan ahead and follow the team all the way," said ProEvents chief executive officer Julian Kam.

He added that a comprehensive programme would be drawn up to welcome Chelsea to Kuala Lumpur.

Activities to promote the event, together with match details relating to ticket pricing, venues and timing, would be announced soon, he said.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Top marks for FAM

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has earned top marks among seven National Sports Associations (NSA) that were listed under category A in a list of 22 sports associations.

Former Sports Commissioner Datuk Nik Mahmud Nik Yusuf said apart from FAM, six other NSAs - Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM), Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF), Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Malaysia Golf Association (MGA), Malaysian Amateur Basketball Association (MABA) and Malaysian Sepaktakraw Association (PSM).

"All seven NSAs under Category A or those who received 80 per cent points and above for best administration under a system carried out by the Sports Commissioner's Office from January to August," Nik Mahmud told Bernama at his office recently.

Nik Mahmud who replaced Tan Sri Elyas Omar on April 14, 2008 said the SC's office had carried analyzed 22 of the 26 NSAs in klang valley on their efficiency in following their constitution, budget, financial report, holding annual general meeting and other activities.

According to Nik Mahmud, NSAs under Category B or NSAs who received 70 per cent points and above were the National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM), National Archery Association of Malaysia (NAAM), Malaysian Rugby Union (MRU) and Malaysian Amateur Boxing Federation.

NSAs under Category C or NSAs who received 55-69 per cent marks were Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) while the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress was placed under Category D under the 40 per cent marks list.

The Baseball Federation of Malaysia (BFM) and Malaysian Rowing Association (MRA) were listed under Category E with less that 39 per cent marks or less while the rest on the list received lower marks.

Nik Mahmud said last year, about half of the NSAs did not submit their annual reports to the SC's office.
He added that the findings would be forwarded to the Youth and Sports Ministry for rating purposes. -- BERNAMA.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

R.I.P "Gelek King" Dollah Kassim

Singapore's football legend Dollah Kassim (picture) has passed away. He was 61.

Nicknamed the 'Gelek King' for his extraordinary dribbling skills, Dollah suffered a heart attack a year ago while playing in a veterans' exhibition match. Doctors said he suffered an injury due to a lack of oxygen to his brain immediately after the collapse.

He had been in coma since then and was cared for at home. 

Born on 13 March 1949, Dollah was one of the most famous footballer in Singapore during the 1970s. in 1977, he helped Singapore bring the Malaysia Cup to Singapore. He was given the nickname "Gelek King", a nickname referring to his superior ball control, he was well known for his extraordinary dribbling skills.

On 4 October 2009, Dollah collapsed during a friendly match between ex-international players from Singapore and Malaysia in the Sultan of Selangor Cup due to a seizure and a cardiac event. He was admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital in a critical condition.

On 21 January 2010, the  S. League raised $82,000 for Dollah Kassim at a Charity Shield match between Singapore Armed Forces FC and Swedish champions AIK Solna at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

The proceeds from the match, donations from the 2,352 spectators, a pledge of $10,000 from S.League co-title sponsors Great Eastern and various contributions from other corporations and club chairmen are donated to Dollah's family to help them pay for his medical bills.

He died this morning at 6.30am at his apartment.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

IOC noticed it....

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) put this report in their highlights, even though some people did not bother to mention it in their writings.

The awards ceremony for the 2010 Women and Sport trophies of the Malaysian NOC, whose President is IOC member Prince Tunku Imran, was held at the end of September at the NOC’s sports complex, in the presence of the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Dato’ Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, and the Chair of the NOC’s Women and Sports Commission, Low Beng Choo.

The 2010 winners are: Christina Chee Shin Lian (leadership trophy), Normala Abd Rashid (trophy for development of sport in the community), Lucy Read (trophy for grassroots sports development), Jamhariah Jaafar (trophy for women sports journalism), Mr and Mrs Wong Loy Choy, parents of female badminton player Wong Mew Choo, (partnership trophy) and Choo Kon Lee (overall).

The IOC Women and Sport Achievement Diploma went to Zaiton Othman, winner of the NOC’s 2009 award and ranked third in the IOC 2010 Women and Sport Award for Asia.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Thrashing in Delhi

Malaysia suffered its worst defeat in the Commonwealth Games when Australia handed a 7-0 thrashing in a Group A match at the Major Dhayn Chand National Stadium in New Delhi yesterday.
Australia’s Luk Doerner opened the floodgates in the fifth minute and went on to score a hat-trick, which ejected Malaysia out of the tournament.
The remaining goals came from Simon Orchard, Glenn Turner, Chris Ciriello and Eddie Ockenden.
Before the break, Australia was 4-0 up and headed for an easy victory as the Malaysians crumbled under pressure.
With the win Australia topped Group A and booked a place in the semifinals while in another Group A match, India whipped Pakistan 7- 4 to book their semifinal berth.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Asian Games: Malaysia in Group A

Malaysia has been drawn in Group A togather with China, Kyrgyzstan and Japan for the football tournament of the XVI Asian Games which will be held in Guanmgzhou, China from 7-26 Nov 2010.

The opening match will be played 5 days prior to the opening ceremony at Haixinsha Island in the Pearl River.

The competition, like the Olympic football tournament, will be an Under-23 tournament with three over aged players allowed per squad. The players born on or after 1 January 1987 will be eligible as U-23 players.

The football competitions will be played across seven venues - Ying Dong Stadium, Huadu Stadium, Huangpu Stadium, Yuexiu Stadium, Guangdong People’s Stadium, Huagdong Stadium and Tianhe Stadium.

The event will see 24 teams divided into six groups of four teams, each with the top two sides from each group plus the four best third placed teams making it into the Round of 16. From there on it would be a knockout tournament.

Defending Asian Games champions Qatar have been handed a relatively easy group in the 52-match show. Qatar, who defeated Iraq 1-0 in the final of the last edition of the Asian Games held in in their own backyard, are being placed in Group D alongside Kuwait, India and Singapore.

Meanwhile the Pakistani football team, which was deleted from the Asian Games on 28 June, has been included after the President of Pakistan Football Federation Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat offered to bear the expenses of the team’s participation in the Asian Games. Since the 2002 Busan Games, football at the Asian Games changed its age-limit and now it is an “U23 + 3 over age” tournament.

It will be Pakistan’s eighth trip to the Asian Games who have appeared in seven editions out of 15 so far.

Moving into the knockout stages is surely possible for the Akhtar Mohiuddin’s boys from Group-F but for that, a win against Maldives is a must plus good results against Thailand and the mighty Omanis.

Hosts China were slotted in Group A along with Malaysia, Kyrgyzstan and Japan. Group B includes Iran, Vietnam, Bahrain and Turkmenistan while Group C comprise of Korea Republic, Palestine, Jordan and DPR Korea. Uzbekistan, UAE, Hong Kong and Bangladesh form Group E.


Group A: China, Malaysia, Kyrgyzstan, Japan  
Group B: Iran, Vietnam, Bahrain, Turkmenistan            
Group C: Korea Republic, Palestine, Jordan, DPR Korea        
Group D: Qatar, Kuwait, India, Singapore       
Group E: Uzbekistan, UAE, Hong Kong, Bangladesh   
Group F: Pakistan, Thailand, Maldives, Oman .

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ministry to discuss Aricco's attire

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim said he would hold talks with the Malaysian Weightlifting Association over Commonwealth Games gold medalist Aricco Jumitih’s decision to wear a vest with a Sabah flag on it during his event in New Delhi this week.

Aricco’s vest also had the word “Sabah” on the back instead of “Malaysia.”

In the 62 kg weightlifting event held on Tuesday, Sabahan Aricco (picture) wore a vest bearing the flag of his home state instead of the Jalur Gemilang usually worn by national athletes participating in international events.

“We are waiting to discuss this issue with the (weightlifting) association. I am aware of it, but let us discuss it first. I don’t wish to comment further,” Razali told The Malaysian Insider.

The incident follows criticisms about the Malaysian contingent’s untidy attire during the opening ceremony last weekend.

National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong had commented that the Malaysian contingent appeared untidily dressed during the opening ceremony on Sunday.

“I saw the national contingent’s parade on opening night... They just didn’t look neat. They did not button their blazers, they also did not wear neckties. Some wore songkok, some did not. This made out contingent look untidily dressed,” Zolkples told Utusan Malaysia earlier this week.

He stressed, however, that the national contingent’s unkempt look had nothing to do with the choice of attire.

“It was not caused by improper choice of clothes. This is not the first time we have worn blazers to a major sporting event,” Zolkples said.

It is unclear if action would be taken against Aricco.

National Football Awards

The high level of competition this season has set the stage for a thrilling countdown to the third edition of the 100PLUS FAM National Football Awards due to be held on Nov 2.

"The first two years of the awards served some pleasant surprises. This year, with the competition so keen and the high quality of performances from the players, I believe this year’s awards ceremony will be nothing short of exciting. I am certain the fans will be following the awards very closely," said Dato’ Kamal Harun, National Corporate Affairs Manager, F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn Bhd.

Speaking at the launch of the new logo for the 100PLUS FAM National Football Awards, Dato’ Kamal said that the awards ceremony was organised to give due recognition to the players, officials and stakeholders in the game.

Also present at today’s launch ceremony was Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad, General Secretary of the FA of Malaysia.

“The players give their very best in every match and the best players should be recognised for their tremendous efforts. They have to push themselves to the limit in their quest to lead their teams to success in the M-League,” commented Dato’ Kamal.

He said that the football fraternity will be eagerly waiting to find out which player will be crowned the Most Valuable Player of 2010. In addition to the main award, nine other awards will be presented by FAM Deputy President, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, on Nov 2.

"The launching of the official logo is significant as it shows that we are serious about this event and continue supporting it in the years to come. We are committed to working with FAM to contribute to the development of football in the country," said Dato' Kamal.

Datuk Azzuddin meanwhile added that the national association is always appreciative of the efforts of sponsors like 100PLUS to promote the game. "It takes support from all quarters to help raise the level of the game in the country. These awards not just recognise the efforts of the players but it will also go a long way to inspire younger players to be as successful as their seniors.

On the awards, Datuk Azzuddin also commented that the competition would be especially keen this year. “Some players have displayed outstanding performances throughout the season. We have also seen some new players coming through the ranks. And from what I have seen personally, there will be some surprises for sure this year."

For the record, the Most Valuable Player Award in 2008 was won by goalkeeper Helmi Eliza Elias (Kedah) while international striker Indra Putra Mahayuddin (Kelantan) took the top prize last year.

To make sure that only the best are considered for the annual 100PLUS-FAM National Football Awards, a selection panel which consists of national coaches, members from the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM) and officials from FAM come up with a list of candidates.

The list is then distributed to the coaches and captains of teams playing in the Super League and also the Premier League, who will then make the choice for the various individual awards and also the ultimate Most Valuable Player award.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Zaky to attend Global Trials in London

Nike Malaysia announced Mohammad Zaky B. Zulkifli as the winner of The Chance in Malaysia who will represent the country at the Global Trials in London next year. Playing under the watchful eyes of Arsenal FC manager, Arsene Wenger, Mohammad Zaky will join 99 other footballer from 40 countries with the hope of being one of the selected eight that join the Nike Academy , a high performance training program supported by the Premier League in England .

The announcement was made at The Chance final camp held at Bukit Jalil yesterday and was attended by Kelly Sathiraj, Assistant General Secretary, Football Association of Malaysia and national team coach K Rajagobal.
“The Chance is a wonderful program that affords young footballers the opportunity to take their first step towards playing football in a professional level under the under expert guidance from coaches like Arsene Wenger. The Football Association of Malaysia congratulates Nike Malaysia on their efforts to develop and bring football to a level that is on par with the powerhouses of the game in this region,” said Kelly Sathiraj.
Launched in September, The Chance in Malaysia saw more than 500 talented young players attending open trials in Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan, Penang and Pasir Gudang with national team coach K. Rajagobal and his panel of coaches having the arduous task of selecting the top 30 players to attend the final camp held on 5th and 6th October at Majlis Sukan Negara, Bukit Jalil.
“Throughout theses trials, we saw a lot of young talent within the Malaysian football community. The players were put through physical, mental and agility testing and we closely scrutinized them in these disciplines. The overwhelming response to the open trials showed that Malaysia is not short of football talent,” said coach K Rajagobal
“The program is certainly a boost for Malaysian football as it gives our young players the chance to prove their worth and possibly excel at the highest levels of participation. It brings out that drive and determination showing how badly the Malaysian youths wanted this chance,” he added.
The 30 selected players who attended the camp were put through physical and physiological tests by the experts from the National Sports Institute to assess their speed, stamina and mental endurance. Apart from this, the players also had to undergo football skills tests for the panel of coaches to evaluate their technical football abilities as a silo player and as part of a team. The tests were conducted with the aim of indentifying player with the right balance of physical and mental strength that will enable him to compete on a global level with his compatriots at the trials in London .
Staying true to their commitment to grassroots development of football, Nike Malaysia believes that The Chance is a recognizable platform for not just scouting youth potential, but also to develop the young football spirit in Malaysia and bring out the fullest of their capabilities.
“With the selection complete, we are proud to announce Mohammad Zaky as the Malaysian representative at the Global Trials where he will ply his trade with Arsene Wenger watching closely – this is the chance of a lifetime for any footballer and we believe that Mohammad Zaky will do the country proud. The Chance is a reinforcement of Nike’s ongoing efforts in developing and recognizing youth talent, whilst contributing to the football community in Malaysia ” said Menaha Nadaraja, Country Market Manager for Nike Malaysia .
Mohammad Zaky, hailing from Johor, attended The Chance open trials in Pasir Gudang and was one of the 8 players selected from the Southern region to attend the final camp.
“It has always been a dream for me to become a professional footballer and thanks to Nike I am now presented with this golden opportunity to take that first step towards achieving my goal,” The Chance winner Mohammad Zaky excitedly commented.
He also added, “I am truly grateful for this chance that Nike has awarded me with and I hope to write my future by qualifying to be one of the eight that is chosen for the Nike Academy ”
As members of the Nike Academy , players become full- time participants at a residential training centre in England with access to elite coaches, nutritionists, psychologists and fitness conditioners in addition to the world class facilities to perform at the highest level

The eight who are chosen will have their expenses paid to live in the United Kingdom for a year starting in July 2011 and be enrolled as a full time member of the Nike Academy .
The Nike Academy offers non-contract players unattached to professional clubs a chance to enter the professional game through world-class coaching and games against the elite academies and professional reserve teams. Since the academy’s start in 2009, eight players in the UK have received professional contracts.
Please contact Christopher Raj , NIKE Media Consultant at 016 6513512 for further information.