Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cambodian champs in M-League

The Cambodian FA Cup champion, Preach Khan Reach FC will replace Harimau Muda B (the national under-19 squad) in the Malaysia FA Cup Championship.

This was decided by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Local Competition Committee as Harimau Muda B would be taking part in the Triangular Championship in Singapore from Feb 17 to 21 front and the Hassanal Bolkiah Cup in Brunei from Feb 25 to March 5, said its chairman, Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin.

"The Cambodian team will replace Young Tigers B only for the FA Cup and will make the Bukit Jalil National Stadium as their main stadium.

"Preach Khan Reach FC would bear all the expenses incurred during the FA Cup," he told reporters after chairing the committee's meeting at Wisma FAM, Thursday (29/12/11).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

CEO Dr. Ramlan Aziz

Sukacita dimaklumkan, Institut Sukan Negara (ISN) ingin mengumumkan Ketua Pengarah ISN yang di sandang oleh Dato' Dr Ramlan Abd Aziz kini telah bertukar nama kepada Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif (KPE) Institut Sukan Negara (ISN) atau Chief Executive Officer (CEO)National Sports Institute of Malaysia (NSI).

Menurut satu kenyataan ISN, Pertukaran nama itu sejajar dengan ISN sebagai satu entiti tersendiri yang memberi fokus kepada perubatan sains dan teknologi sukan di Malaysia serta memberi perkhidmatan sokongan untuk atlet dari peringkat akar umbi sehingga ke peringkat atlet elit dengan menggunakan kaedah saintifik.

ISN juga bertanggungjawab dalam menyelaras dan melaksanakan pembangunan sains dan perubatan sukan terutamanya mengenal pasti bakat atlet di peringkat kanak-kanak menerusi sistem persekolahan kebangsaan di bawah seliaan Kementerian Pelajaran (KPM).

Dalam hubungan ini, ISN akan terus menyediakan bantuan dan kepakaran kepada MSN, KPM dan badan-badan berkepentingan yang lain samada dalam sektor awam mahupun swasta.

Spurs on the move

LONDON – Tottenham established itself as the likeliest challenger to the dominance of the Manchester clubs in the Premier League this season, beating Norwich 2-0 on Tuesday to tighten its grip on third place.

A classy second-half double by winger Gareth Bale lifted Spurs to within seven points of City and United, with the London club still holding a game in hand – at home to Everton next month.

With fifth-place Arsenal drawing 1-1 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers to join fading title hopefuls Chelsea and Liverpool in dropping points in the latest round of league fixtures, it looks increasingly like a three-horse race for the title.

However, Bale and Spurs aren’t getting ahead of themselves.

“We said at the start of the season that our main objective was to get back in the Champions League and that’s still the case,” said the 22-year-old Bale. “We are just going to take it one game at a time.”
Heading into the game at Carrow Road, Tottenham knew Manchester United – which is level on points with City – was the only team in the top six to have won in the latest round of fixtures.

The pressure was on Harry Redknapp’s team to take advantage and it did just that, with Bale capping an impressive individual display by scoring goals in the 55th and 67th minutes.
His first was a sidefooted finish from close range, while his second demonstrated his pace and power, bursting through the middle before supplying a deft finish over Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy.
Bale could have had more goals. Out of Spurs’ 15 shots, he had seven.

“He’s an amazing player isn’t he?” Redknapp said of Bale, who emerged as a potential superstar in a breakthrough 2010-11 season in which he wowed football fans worldwide with his performances in the Champions League.

“When he picks the ball up, turns and runs at you, he is unplayable.”

Arsenal has never finished behind fierce north London rival Tottenham since the Premier League’s inception in 1992 but this could be the season.

Arsene Wenger’s team missed a great chance to climb above Chelsea into fourth place by only drawing against Wolves, who played the last 17 minutes with 10 men following the harsh straight red card handed to Serbia midfielder Nenad Milijas for a studs-first tackle.

Ivory Coast forward Gervinho opened the scoring for Arsenal in the eighth minute but the hosts failed to make the most of a series of chances, the majority of which fell to leading scorer Robin van Persie, and Wolves equalized through Steven Fletcher in the 38th.

Visiting goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey foiled the Gunners time and again in the second half, leaving them fifth in the table.

“It was the kind of game that if you played 20 times, you win 19 of them. Unfortunately this was the one time we didn’t win,” Wenger said. “Their keeper played the game of his life.”

Queens Park Rangers ended its three-match losing run by drawing 1-1 at Swansea in Tuesday’s other game, moving three points clear of the relegation zone.

Jamie Mackie scored QPR’s equalizer at the Liberty Stadium when he got in behind Swansea’s notoriously stubborn defense to stab home a finish in the 58th minute, canceling out Danny Graham’s goal for Swansea in the 14th minute. - Agencies

Monday, December 26, 2011

Move aside, amateurs

Over the years (or decades), I always had some New Year wishes for sports in our beloved country. For 2012, I just have one (maybe two)  - that the amateurs would move aside and let the professionals run the show. It's a joke to see events that are of professional status, participated by professionals but bogged down by ridiculous organizational blunders.

Obviously, they don't see the blunder and don't realise that they are making a mokery of sports. For 2012, I hope and pray things would be done professionaly, be it in management of associations, running of multisports events or one event.

Being professional means having a professional attitude, doing what is best for sports. Hanging on to traditional practices that is often accompanied by excessive and unnesessary spending, should be put to a stop once and for all. Move aside amateurs, let the pro's run the show.

Sports should not be treated as a place for people with "retired mentality" to earn a living. By this I am not refering to thier age, but their attitude. I hope the people who go around saying, "so what? and "we have always been doing like this...: and "we know and you don't know" will leave sports and let those who say, "let's improve, let chase a vision, lets set a higher standard" to take charge of sports.

Also, I wish that those who have no time to devote to sports, will move aside and let those with passion and time to take over.

Hope my prayers will be answered. Happy New Year 2012.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Moulding a new Malaysia generation

Here is an interesting interview with Allan Harris, posted on December 18, 2011.

Malaysia is a country in which English football is king. Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal have all visited Southeast Asia on pre-season tours in recent years, with tens of thousands of Malaysian supporters flocking to see their Premier League heroes in the flesh. But while the country adores watching soccer played 9,000 miles away, the reputation of the national team leaves much to be desired.

Malaysia's most famous soccer exports are not players or managers, but businessman; QPR owner Tony Fernandes and Cardiff City majority shareholder Vicent Tan ensure there is a Malaysian presence in the English game, but their patronage has done little to enhance the national side's standing.

However, things do appear to be changing. Last year's AFF Suzuki Cup title provided a watershed moment for football in Malaysia - a shock 4-2 aggregate victory over hosts Indonesia securing the biggest piece of regional silverware in their history. It was hailed as a new dawn and while elimination from the second round of World Cup qualifiers this July at the hands of neighbours Singapore was a bitter pill to swallow, the Under-23 side attracted more positive headlines by beating Pakistan and then Lebanon to progress to the final round of 2012 Olympic qualifying.

The first three games have brought three defeats, but there have been no embarrassments and the Harimau Muda (Young Tigers) were ten minutes away from beating Bahrain in their last outing before a dramatic comeback prevented them from registering a first win.

Nurturing young Malaysian talent has been a chief goal of the country's football association for more than a decade; it was at the turn of the millennium that Malaysia's deep-seated love of English football manifested itself in the hiring of its fifth Englishman as national team coach: Allan Harris the man charged with developing a team of youngsters into a competitive unit.

Harris earned his stripes as Terry Venables' assistant, when it appeared the pair were destined to join the likes of Morecambe and Wise and the Two Ronnies as one of England's most famous double acts. Together at Crystal Palace, QPR, Barcelona and Tottenham, he stood as El Tel's right-hand man for more than a decade, winning silverware with each club along the way.

But having spent much of his professional life in the shadow of a revered contemporary - his brother Ron 'Chopper' Harris became a legend and all-time leading appearance maker for Chelsea during a 19-year career at Stamford Bridge - the lure of a solo managerial stint was impossible for Harris to resist and in 1988, he left Venables and Spurs for Espanyol. It was to prove an ill-fated move, with a change in president leading to him being ousted without even taking a training session.

His first real appointment was at Egyptian giants Al Ahly, who he led to two straight domestic titles and the 1993 African Cup Winners' Cup. After leaving Cairo in 1995 the work dried up but in 2000, six years after former partner in crime Venables was given the England job, an international coaching opportunity also came Harris' way when Malaysia came calling.

"An agent friend of mine rang and he said there was a job going in Malaysia," Harris recalls to ESPNsoccernet. "I had never been there before but my uncle was in the Ghurkhas and had served there. I told him I'd been offered a job and asked what he thought. He told me to go for it and promised I'd love it; he was absolutely right.

"I thought I could give it a try so I went to meet the Malaysian FA and they were very charming. When they showed me where I would be living, I couldn't believe it. It was fabulous. Settling in was made easier by the fact everyone spoke English and drove on the left-hand side of the road. The weather was lovely, too, everything was perfect. At the start I used to go in and ask what the weather forecast was like and was told 'Allan, you are a typical Englishman, it's going to be 100 degrees everyday'."

As a successful assistant himself, Harris was grateful to have a very capable coach at his disposal in Malaysia, citing the presence of Bhaskaran Sathianathan - who later worked with Arsenal's Malaysian Soccer Schools and managed the national team between 2007 and 2009 - as crucial to helping him acclimatise to Southeast Asia life.

"Having a good assistant is so important and Bhaskaran was great," Harris says. "He spoke perfect English but beyond the potential language barriers, it's more the culture you have to learn and getting help with that is key. I have worked in places where you need to speak a different language before and it can become difficult to communicate. However, I found the Malaysian players and coaches were just thirsting for knowledge all the time, they wanted to learn and we just gelled right from day one."

While Al Ahly was like a managerial pressure-cooker for Harris, the Malaysia post was more akin to a sauna at a luxury spa. Simply tasked with improving the football fortunes of a nation that had previously struggled to make it in to the top 100 of FIFA's world rankings, the former Barcelona assistant was told not to worry about results and encouraged to focus on broadening the horizons of Malaysia's young players.

"The team that I had was a young team. I used to go in with my assistant every Monday to have a board meeting with the Malaysian FA and they'd say 'these are the offers we've had, where do you want to play?' We went to Singapore, the Maldives, Australia, New Zealand - I could just select where I wanted to go and they financed it. They were young lads and I wanted to give them as much experience as possible, so I thought travelling around was the best thing for them.

"My goal was to try and improve them and I tried to focus on youth, bringing a lot of young boys in to give them the opportunity to gain some valuable experience. They got to travel and play against difficult and better quality opposition, my aim was to advance them all which I think we did. I spent a lot of time on coaching, trying to pass on ideas and felt I built a real bond with the players; after coming from big clubs like Barca, taking a national team was interesting."

Through Harris' four years in charge, there was little in terms of tangible achievements to celebrate for the Malay Tigers. The first stage of 2002 World Cup qualifying saw them drawn with a rampant Qatar side, who cruised through the group. A home draw - the Qatari's only dropped points - was an admirable result, though, and Malaysia finished the campaign unbeaten on their own soil. The campaign was perhaps most notable for Harris banning three players - Kamarulzaman Hassan, Azmin Azram Abdul Aziz and fan favourite for staying out late at a nightclub before one of the group games.

The home form in the World Cup qualifiers meant the 2002 Tiger Cup (now the AFF Suzuki Cup) was greeted with much optimism in Malaysia. The goals of young striker Indra Putra Mahayuddin - still a part of the national team-set-up - fired them through to the semi-finals as group winners, but Harris' side were knocked out by Indonesia and then defeated by Vietnam in the third-place play-off. The conclusion to the tournament was made worse by the fact that Thailand - who Malaysia had beaten comfortably 3-1 in the group stage - won the final on penalties.

Another tricky qualification group for the 2004 AFC Asian Cup saw Harris' side finish third behind Iraq and Bahrain; his youngsters struggling to assert themselves against a better quality of opposition. By the time Harris' reign came to an end in 2004, there was criticism of him in the Malaysian press for what they perceived as a propensity to pick players based on their loyalty to him rather than their form. But having become accustomed to the media glare, particularly during his time at Barcelona, the Englishman was wholly unfazed by what was written about him.

"I couldn't see how the press could have had big expectations because if I asked you if Malaysia was a big footballing nation you'd obviously say no. I didn't really have that many problems with the press - I've dealt with them all over the world and it was no different. We had some good results and all I hoped for was that the guys felt like they were getting better."

When Harris left his position, there were murmurings that it was because he was about to be downgraded to coach of the Under-23 team. But the former Barca and Spurs assistant claims that was not the case, maintaining that his tenure had simply run its course.

"I decided to leave," Harris insists. "I'd done five years out there and the decisive factor was that I wanted to spend more time with my grandchildren in England and see them growing up. Once a year was not enough and after nearly five years there I thought 'I've given it a good go' and so I returned.

"Some people suggested I was going to be demoted and that's why I left - but that just wasn't the case. I was always on the same wavelength as the Malaysian FA. I told them well in advance that I would be leaving at the end of my contract and not signing another one. I always believed that it was better to tell the truth. They understood completely. I like to think I made a positive impact on Malaysian football and I still speak to people there. I think they would still have me back if I wanted to go."
Allan Harris Malaysia boss
Allan Harris
Since leaving the post in 2004, Harris has not returned to work and is simply "enjoying retirement", his silverware-laden spell at Al Ahly preventing him from being grouped with the likes of Carlos Queiroz, Brian Kidd and Sammy Lee - excellent assistants who failed to make the grade as managers.
For the Malaysian national team, it's been a rocky road in the intervening years. In 2006, the Malay Tigers were left humiliated when they took on a team of amateurs put together on reality TV show MyTeam and only managed a one-goal victory, but the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup triumph indicates that the country is now back on the right track.

There have even been suggestions that QPR owner Tony Fernandes would be keen to hand prolific Pelita Jaya FC striker Safee Sali an opportunity to be the first Malaysian player in the Premier League. Harris, though, believes those 9,335 people who liked the Facebook page 'Safee Sali to play for QPR' may be waiting a long while yet.

"I never really saw any players who I thought could make a name for themselves in England if I'm being honest. I think most Malaysian players would struggle with the physicality of the Premier League and I don't think there will be any good enough to make the grade over here in the immediate future." -ESPN

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tough Mariners

A COMBINATION of Central Coast Mariners National Youth League and Hyundai A-League players defeated the Malaysian U23 National Team 1-0 in a behind closed doors training match at Mingara Athletics Track, Tumbi Umbi in Sydney, Wednesday (14/12/11).

Captain-for-the-day Daniel McBreen’s well-taken goal midway through the second half was all that separated the two sides in a match that saw numerous junior Mariners pit wits against Malaysia’s Young Tigers.

In the first match on Tuesday, the Malaysian U23 squad defeated Sydney United 3-0.
Last month, Malaysia’s U23 team won the South East Asian (SEA) Games, seeing off Indonesia on penalties in the final played at Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

A crowd of nearly 100,000 people watched the Young Tigers claim the SEA Games gold medal that day – a gallery considerably larger than today’s audience consisting of either side’s coaching and support staff.
Having played and defeated Sydney FC’s National Youth League 3-0 yesterday, Malaysia rotated their squad and showed good ability to match it for the most part with the Mariners at Mingara.

In particularly, talented number 9 Ahmad Fakri Saarani did well leading the line against a Central Coast backline featuring Trent Sainsbury and Sam Gallagher.

For the Mariners, Mitchell Duke impressed up front, while experienced midfielder Stuart Musialik featured in the final 15 minutes of the match.

It was a welcome return to match action for Musialik who since joining the Yellow and Navy has frustratingly had to deal with a series of unfortunate adductor and calf injuries.

Mariners Assistant Coach Phil Moss guided the side for the 90 minutes, and made numerous substitutions after the half-time break.

Indeed, youngsters Kwabena Appiah-Kubi, James Oates, Hayden Morton and Jordan Farina were each given the opportunity to impress the watching Graham Arnold, while fellow NYL players Anthony Caceres and Duke started the game.

Malaysia’s U23 National Team is in Australia for another week.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Olympic squad opened their tour of Australia with a commanding 3-0 win over Sydney FC in a friendly in Sydney, Monday.

Ahmad Hazwan Bakri scored double while midfielder K. Gurusamy added the other for the comprehensive victory.

The team under chief coach Ong Kim Swee will play the third match against Newcastle United Jets.
The tour is part of the team’s preparation for the remainder three Olympic Qualifying matches next year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kyoto baseball team to visit KL


21/12/2011 (Wednesday):

  • 19:45 - Delegation expected to arrive in KLIA (To be greeted by BFM Sec-Gen Mr. NAHAR
  • 21:45 - Delegation arrive  Parkroyal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
  • 22.00 - Delegation Officials Meet BFM President DATO’ NOH ABDULLAH  , Executive Committee Members, Mr. Takeshi Sato and Mr. Hirofumi Sakamoto
  • 23:00 - Delegation Officials continue discussi details of    itinerary with BFM officials , Mr. Takeshi Sato and Mr. Hirofumi    Sakamoto

22/12/2011 (Thursday):

  • AM -    Delegation to visit Japanese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur
  • 13:00 - Lunch at the Training Field, in the Japanese School of         Kuala Lumpur, Subang
  • 14:00 - Joint training and drills by Kyoto High School Baseball Team and the Malaysiia      Selection Team
  • 17:00 - End training. Delegation to depart for Hotel
  • 20:00 - BFM to host a Dinner for Kyoto High School Baseball Delegation at the Royal       Lake Club, in Kuala Lumpur
  • 22:30 - Delegation  depart for Hotel

23/12/2011 (Friday):

  • 07:30 - Kyoto Delegation and Malaysia Selection  Team to start warm up at Training Grounds, in the   Japanese High School Kuala Lumpur, Subang
  • 08:30 - Mixed Team to have a friendly Baseball Game (Each team comprise of Kyoto and           Malaysia Selection Team )
  • 11:30 - Game is expected to be concluded.  Lunch is served at Training Grounds
  • 12:00 – BFM bidding farewell to visiting delegation  
  • 12:30 - Kyoto Delegation to proceed with Sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur
  • 16:30 - Kyoto Delegation  arrive  KLIA for flight to SIngapore (To be received by BFM       Sec-Gen Mr. NAHAR
  • 18:30 - Kyoto Delegation departs for Singapore

Kuala Lumpur 08 -12-2011

Wajah baru ATM

Gandingan pemain berpengalaman dengan bakat-bakat baru yang sedang meningkat menjadi sandaran utama pasukan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM) untuk mengungguli kempen Liga Perdana 2012 yang bakal membuka tirai saingannya, 13 Januari depan.

Pengurusan pasukan ATM menyenaraikan lapan pemain dari Liga Super serta dua pemain import yang berpengalaman dengan saingan Liga Malaysia untuk berganding dengan lima pemain muda untuk memikul misi layak ke Liga Super musim seterusnya.

Lapan bintang Liga Super yang bakal menyarung jersi ATM musim ini terdiri daripada Aidil Zafuan Radzak dan adik kembarnya, Zaquan Adha Radzak, Hairuddin Omar, Irwan Fadzli Idrus, Farizal Harun (kesemuanya dari Negeri Sembilan), Azmi Muslim (Kedah), Rezal Zambery Yahya (Johor FC) dan Danial Fadzly Abdullah (Kelantan).

Dua pemain import yang dimaksudkan itu pula ialah penyerang dari St Vincent, Marlon Alex James, 35, yang pernah membantu Kedah muncul juara treble pada 2007 dan 2008 serta pemain tengah dari Argentina, Bruno Sebastian Martelotto, 29, yang menjadi tunjang MPPJ FC ketika muncul kelab pertama bergelar juara Piala Malaysia pada

Tidak cukup dengan itu, ATM turut menampilkan lima lagi muka baru iaitu penjaring terbanyak Liga Perdana 2011, Fitri Omar dari MP Muar, Christee Jayaseelan (PKNS), A Varathan (Sime Darby) serta dua pemain negara pada Sukan Universiti Dunia 2011 di Shenzen iaitu K Reuben (UKM) dan Amiridzwan Taj Tajudin (UiTM).

Hanya tiga pemain  dari musim 2011 yang dikekalkan iaitu Rosaiful Nizam Omar, Hardy Charles Parsi dan Yusaini Hafiz Che Saad.

Menteri Pertahanan, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yang menjadi pencetus kepada ‘penjenamaan semula’ skuad ATM sejak musim 2010 berkata, beliau tidak sesekali berputus asa menghasilkan sebuah skuad yang mantap untuk akhirnya merealiasikan misi melayakkan diri ke saingan tertinggi tempatan iaitu Liga Super.

Berdasarkan kehadiran lapan pemain dari skuad Liga Super dan juga dua pemain import berpengalaman ini, saya cukup yakin ATM akhirnya akan dapat menduduki dua tangga teratas bagi saingan Liga Perdana musim 2012 ini, seterusnya dapat beraksi pada saingan Liga Super 2013.

uot;Cambria","serif"; font-size: 10pt; line-height: 115%;">“Cuma harapan saya, biarlah skuad kali ini mempamerkan tahap permainan terbaik secara konsisten dari awal musim sehingga penghujungnya” katanya pada majlis memperkenalkan pemain skuad ATM 2012 dan pelancaran laman web di Hotel Marriot, Putraja, Isnin (12/12/11).

Bagi Panglima Angkatan Tentera, Jeneral Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin yang juga Presiden Persatuan Bola Sepak ATM pula, beliau cukup yakin dengan kredibiliti ketua jurulatih, B Satiananthan serta dua pembantunya, Kamaruddin Mohd Noor dan Shahrin Majid serta jurulatih penjaga gol, Abd Hamid Ramli untuk membentuk sebuah pasukan yang mantap, musim ini.

“Sasaran kita bukan saja untuk mengungguli saingan Liga Perdana, malah cuba untuk melangkah lebih jauh dalam saingan Piala FA dan Piala Malaysia musim ini,” kata Zulkifeli.

Sementara itu, Satiananthan, 53, ternyata cukup berkeyakinan tinggi dengan barisan pemain yang dimilikinya itu untuk memastikan skuad ATM benar-benar menggegar pada saingan Liga Perdana 2012.

“Sasaran kita hanya satu iaitu layak ke Liga Super 2013. Kita cuba melihat sejauh mana kita boleh memberikan aksi dan keputusan terbaik pada saingan liga musim ini, seterusnya mengintai untuk mencipta kejutan pada Piala FA dan Piala Malaysia kerana di situ kita berpeluang menguji kekuatan dengan pasukan-pasukan dari Liga Super.

“Dengan adanya pemain-pemain yang cukup berpengalaman dalam liga tempatan serta pemain-pemain muda yang berbakat, ditambah pula dengan kehadiran Marlon dan Martelotto yang kebanyakan pemain dalam skuad ini mengenali corak permainan mereka, saya yakin kita mampu mencapai sasaran.

“Cuma kita perlu lebih serius kerana pastinya ATM menjadi pasukan yang mahu ditewaskan oleh kesemua 11 pasukan lain dalam Liga Perdana dan di sini ia bakal menguji sejauh mana kemampuan kita untuk tampil hebat secara konsisten sepanjang musim,” kata Satiananthan yang pernah bergelar jurulatih kebangsaan.

Satiananthan turut menyenaraikan tiga muka baru iaitu dua penjaga gol, Alif Daud dan Hafizuddin Azuhar serta pemain pertahanan, Aizuddin Ismail yang bakal menyertai tonggak lama seperti Suhhaimi Ishak, Nazri Akui, Venice Elphi Danny Kaya, Abdul Rashid Mahmud dan Rahmad Ahmad.

“Kita akan terbang ke Myanmar pada 13 Disember (esok) untuk tiga aksi persahabatan dengan kelab di sana. Selepas pulang pada 22 Disember, kita akan adakan dua atau tiga lagi aksi persahabatan termasuk menentang pasukan Lions XII,” jelas Satiananthan.

Skuad ATM bakal menjadikan Stadium Petaling Jaya di Kelana Jaya sebagai gelanggang sendiri untuk musim 2012, menggantikan gelanggang mereka musim lalu iaitu Stadium Selayang.

Monday, December 5, 2011

No case against Havelange

Former FIFA president Joao Havelange has resigned from the International Olympic Committee days before an ethics hearing into his conduct, the BBC reported, Monday.

FIFA president from 1974-98, when he was replaced by Sepp Blatter, Havelange was under IOC investigation for his links with FIFA’s former marketing agency International Sport and Leisure (ISL).

ISL went bankrupt in 2001 with debts of around US$300 million (RM932.4 million). A BBC Panorama television programme alleged in 2010 that Havelange accepted money from ISL for granting lucrative World Cup contracts.

The 95-year-old Brazilian is the IOC’s longest-serving member, having joined in 1963. With his resignation the ethics case against Havelange was likely to be dropped, the BBC reported yesterday. — Reuters

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A new star in India

Uttam Rai
Uttam Rai is another striker from Sikkim, and like someone else he was also discovered at the Subroto Cup. The comparison will be obvious but there are some two decades between that Uttam needs to run and survive if he is to be mentioned in the same breath as Sikkim’s favourite son, Bhaichung Bhutia.

Uttam smiles. “I have met him. He is a Great Player.”

Team India’s striker in the AFC U-16 Qualifiers in Tashkent -- the boy who scored five in India’s match against Krygyzstan, like any other guy of his age dreams of playing abroad. “If I get a chance, I want to play outside my country,” he quips. The very next moment, his wall-pass will catch you a bit on the wrong foot. “But how will I get a chance? There are not many Agents in India and Agents who are based elsewhere do not come to India to watch us play?” he stares at me.

At the IMG Academy in Florida, Uttam was declared the ‘Player of the Year,’ among all categories earlier this year. Coach Bitan Singh, who was based in Florida along with Uttam and others informs, “He scored more than 100 goals in the last Calendar Year. His mastery is never in doubt.”

You turn to Uttam. He’s Praying at the moment – a long Prayer prior to having his lunch. The others in the table wait for him. And when they discover, they are being watched, they too start praying – but only till Uttam has finished.

“My mother taught me to Pray to the Almighty. I Thank Him for the Food that he is providing me. There are so many poor people who don’t get to eat two meals in a day,” Uttam confesses.

His team-mates wait for a chance to tease him. “No 9 from India – very Good Player,” and it goes on in chorus. The story goes that Players from FK Lokomotiv’s first team congratulated the Indian contingent after their 7-0 win against Krygyzstan and had uttered the same line. Uttam’s team-mates have been carrying on from there.

‘You wear No. 9 at the moment. But don’t you dream of wearing the No. 10 someday?’ I enquire.
“Jersey numbers don’t matter as long as I score goals; as long as Daniel (Lalhlimpuia) scores goals (Daniel wears the No. 10); as long as we score goals. Give me any Jersey Number – I am comfortable. Numbers don’t create a player; goals create a player,” the Fernando Torres fan completes at one breath. His maturity is bound to strike you.

Uttam has started to juggle the ball by then. And he went on and on, that too seated on the ground. And as I look in amazement, his team-mates begin in chorus – ‘No. 9 from India – very good player.’ Uttam stops; gets up and runs after them –  and the chase goes on.

Uttam will have to run for long – after all he is chasing a Big Name in Indian Football. Bhaichung will be the happiest if Uttam lasts the distance. -AIFF.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stampede, panic and a hard-earned gold medal

Two fans died in a stampede at the 26th SEA Games football final final in Jakarta on Monday, overshadowing a win on penalties for defending champions Malaysia against hosts Indonesia.

The two men, wearing Indonesian red-and-white football team T-shirts were taken to hospital at 8:30 pm, around 90 minutes after the stampede broke out, according to a report by the news portal, which cited a paramedic.

Local media reported that several other spectators had been taken to hospital, including a nine-year-old boy who had fallen into a coma, as tens of thousands of fans swarmed to the Gelora Bung Karno stadium for Monday night's final.

Hundreds of people were packed tight against ticket barriers as police closed the gates shortly before kick-off, with many fans inside forced to crouch in aisles and walkways, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

"As we were entering the stadium, the crowd of people pushed each other to make their way forward," Helmi, a relative of one of the victims,said.

He said that his relative "was pushed away from me and we were separated. I then heard that some people had fallen and that people had died."

Helmi added that he "rushed to check" and found his relative dead.

Those in the stands endured a nerve-shredding night and eventual heartbreak as Malaysia won 4-3 on penalties with the game deadlocked at 1-1 after extra-time.

Captain Baddrol Bakhtiar stroked home the winning spot kick to give the visitors gold with a 3-4 penalties victory, sparking jubilant scenes on the pitch and silencing the crowd who had hoped to see Indonesia claim its first Games football gold for two decades.

In a game lacking quality but packed with incident, the hosts took a deserved lead after five minutes when centre-back Gunawan Dwi Cahyo popped up unmarked at the back post to head in a corner.

But Malaysia regrouped, despite the deafening roar of the home fans, to equalise in the 33rd minute with a diving header by Omar Muhammad Asraruddin after some suspect defending by the hosts.

Indonesia missed two penalties, allowing Bakhtiar -- who was the game's standout player -- to steal the headlines with a ice cool spot kick into the bottom corner.

Indonesia topped the Games medal tally with 171 golds and a total medal haul of 454 putting them well ahead of second-placed Thailand on 105 first places, but the win most wanted by fans was in the under-23 football event.

Fears the atmosphere could sour were stoked Sunday after fans angered by a shortage of tickets, burnt down a ticket booth inside the ground and besieged the media centre.

"I really hope our supporters behave themselves and support their team in a good way," Rita Subowo head of Games' organisers Inasoc said before the game. Inasoc officials had taken to radio and television to call for calm ahead of the match.

The two nations share a long and bitter enmity driven by political and cultural rows and an fierce sporting rivalry, intensified at this Games by the relentless barracking of Malaysian athletes by local fans.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Aaliyah creates SEA Games history

Malaysia's eight-year-old Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah created waves at the Jakabaring Lake here when she grabbed gold in the women's tricks category at the 26th SEA Games today (17/11/11), becoming the youngest athlete to ever win a gold medal in the history of the games.

She skiied confidently through her first round routine, scoring 2,810 points, and nailed a one-leg trick in the second round to earn 2,960 points.

Being much shorter and smaller than the other contestants, her appearance at the lake had drawn attention from spectators and the media.

Aaliyah said she felt excited to win the gold medal for Malaysia.

"I was confident all the way. I almost lost my balance in the first round but luckily I didn't," she sheepishly told reporters.

Thailand's Sareeya Promsuntisit won silver with 2,410 points in the first round and 2,570 in the second, while another Malaysian, Phillipa Yoong-Barly, netted bronze with 1,890 (first round) and 1860 points (second round).

Aaliyah's father, Hanifah Yoong, said his daughter had been water skiing since she was five.

"We don't want to push her too hard because she's still a child . We don't want her to be pressured. But she enjoys training very much, it's like she's addicted to the sport," he said.

He said Aaliyah underwent training five days a week and still had time to play with her friends. -- BERNAMA.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Indonesian player joins La Liga

Arthur Irawan is on course to become the first Indonesian to compete in the Spanish top flight after signing with La Liga club Espanyol.

Espanyol announced the signing of the 18-year-old striker this week on their  web site without giving details other than stating that Arthur would play for the youth team.

“In an increasingly competitive football world, the search for young talent has crossed borders and training young players to become elite players of the future has become a key factor in the future of football development,” the club said in a statement.

“The latest addition to RCD Espanyol is Arthur Irawan, a young pearl of Indonesian football, a country to be discovered on a football level. The challenge now is to see how the player will adapt to the needs and style of European elite football.”

Espanyol, a Barcelona-based club currently seventh in La Liga, said Arthur had also attracted the attention of English Premier League giant Manchester United. However, the youngster’s parents insisted that he complete his high-school education first.

Arthur, who was born in Jakarta, had a brief spell last year with English amateur club Lytham Town, which plays in the West Lancashire Football League.

He was part of the selection process for the Under-23 national team during former coach Alfred Riedl’s time in charge. Despite impressing during try outs, though, Riedl said Arthur was too young to play for the country at the SEA Games.

Instead, he returned to England and went on trial with League One club Preston North End, which is also based in Lancashire.

Arthur is not the only Indonesian plying his trade for a European club. In July, three youngsters — defenders Yericho Christiantoko and Alfin Tuasalamony, and striker Yandi Sofyan Munawar — signed contracts to play for Belgian second-division club Cercle Sportif Vise.

Those three were members of Indonesia’s Under-19 squad that had been playing in Uruguay’s youth league since 2008. However, they had an in with the club after it was purchased by the Indonesian conglomerate Bakrie Group, which also owns local club Pelita Jaya, Uruguayan side Indonesia S.A.D. and the defending Australian A-League champion Brisbane Roar.

The first Indonesian to play for a European club was striker Kurniawan Dwi Julianto, who spent one season with Swiss side FC Lucerne.

India wants to win

India will seek to achieve a favourable result having gained confidence from a 1-1 draw it had forced against the visiting Malaysian team in the first of the two FIFA international football friendly matches in Guwahati on Sunday.

The second match of the tour will be played under lights at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Wednesday.
The theory of playing more international friendlies against better sides, as professed by former Indian coach Bob Houghton, is being carried forward by Savio Medeira, who has now assumed the mantle of coaching the national side.

And as India prepares to defend its SAFF Cup title early in December, Medeira said the friendlies would provide the side with vital practice.
Medeira proved a point about his ascension as the chief coach with a creditable draw in the first encounter. If Malaysia, ranked nine places above India at 151, was in better form, the momentum is now with India which will seek to make the most of home advantage.

While injuries keep out a couple of his starting options, including the hardworking midfielder Mehtab Hussain, Medeira will be relieved by the availability of Samir Naik, who was rested for the last match, to strengthen his backline.

There is also likely to be a new skipper in Sunil Chhetri, who may take the captain's armband from defender Mahesh Gawli. Having a robust forward-line to choose from, India will definitely be getting more aggressive to snatch a win from the visitor.

Malaysia, which arrived in the country with a favourable 2-1 record in the last three international friendlies, would be looking to add another win to the tally with coach Datuk K. Rajagopal preparing his wards for upcoming assignments.

Malaysia will be fielding in-form striker Safee Sali, who missed the Guwahati encounter having arrived a few hours before the match. Rajagopal sounded a bit apprehensive about how his boys would adjust to the artificial turf of the Salt Lake Stadium.

The teams (from):
India:Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Karanjit Singh, Subhasis Roy Chowdhury, Jaspal Parmar, Sameer Naik, Mahesh Gawli, Debabrata Roy, Anwar Ali, Syed Rahim Nabi, Gouramangi Singh, Baldeep Singh, Rocus Lamare, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Francis Fernandes, Climax Lawrence, Anthony Pereira, Clifford Miranda, Seikh Jewel Raja, Steven Dias, Lalrindika Ralte, Baljit Sahni, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sushil Singh, Joaquim Abranches, Sunil Chhetri.
Malaysia:G. Jeevanathan, Sharbinee Allawee, Farizal Marlias, Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak, Norhafiz Zamani Misbah, M. Nasriq Baharom, Mohd. Faizal Muhammad, Mazlizam Mohammad, Abdul Aziz Ismail, Mohd Rizal Fahmi, Azmi Muslim, Amirizwan Tajuddin, Amar Rohidan, S. Chanturu, Yong Kuong Yuong, Safiq Rahim, Bunyamin Umar, S. Kunanlan, Shahurain Abu Samah, Ashaari Shamsuddin, Joseph Kallang Tie, Shahrizal Saad, Abdul Hadi Yahya, Abdul Manaf Mamat, Safee Sali, Izzaq Faris Ramlan.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday basketball camp

Kee Ming
Sports & Youth Co-Ordinator
ymca kl
Young Men's Christian Association
95, Jalan Padang Belia,
50470 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603-22741439 Ext 131
Fax: 603-22740559

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cash prizes for athletes

Vietnamese runners will receive a VND 100 million (US$5,000) prize money if they qualify for the 2012 London Olympics during the athletics competition at the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia from 12-16 November.

The Vietnam Athletics Federation (VAF) made the announcement last week. The country is represented by a 41 member team which includes middle distance runner Truong Thanh Hang, sprinter Vu Thi Huong and deathlete, Vu Van Huyen.

Hang won the gold medals at the SEA Games from 2005 to 2009 and is once again Vietnam's golden hope.

Meanwhile top sprinter, Va Thi Huong has recovered from an unjury and will compete in the women's 100 and 200m in Indonesia. She clocked 11.50s at the Mekong Delta Athletics Championship last month.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Vietnam spirit

In Vietnam, we discovered, there is spirit that is causing this nation to grow at a fast rate. I would like to call it the Forward Spirit.  After a few days in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), I began to notice that the people here are preparing for a great future.

They just move forward in every thing that they do. Even when you cross the road, you just walk forward and the coming vehicles will automatically adjust to avoid you. But if you hesitate and move backwards, you are asking for trouble.

The people in Saigon are veri disciplined and proud with what they do. If they are office workers they can be seen walking togather in some kind of uniform dressings to their offices. The students seem to be happy that they have a good future ahead of them.

But mostly, I was impressed with their commitment towards sports. In one section of Saigon, there is a large play ground wich is transfrormed to dozens of badminton courts in the morning and you can see people of different age groups playing, some as young as 10 year olds.

After the session, the nets, poles and lines (mostly ropes) are taken of and the park becomes a resting place for the people around the area.

This is just one playg ground in one part of Saigon. If this is the tradition all over the contry, soon we will see Vietnam producing many badminton players.

In football, one can feel the commitment of the authorities who continue to organize and host many international meets to give their teams the exposure they need.

This forward spirit will make Vietnam a sports power in time to come.