Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MSL's new stratergy

M-League Logo
The Malaysian Super League Sdn Bhd (MSL) plans to adopt a three-pronged approach to provide assistance and support to enable clubs and state teams to improve the commercial aspects of football.

MSL, the commercial arm of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) unveiled its plans during the first 2011 M-League team briefing held at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya, Wednesday.

At the briefing, attended by representatives of teams participating in 2011 tournament, MSL Chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa announced the appointment of Stuart Michael Ramalingan as MSL’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Stuart, 39, has been a Professionalisation Consultant and Regional Instructor with FIFA since 2008. He is also the founder of The Brainchild Group, an Integrated Marketing and Communications Agency.

Tan Sri Annuar, who is the Deputy President of FAM, also unveiled the new logos for the M-League, Super League and Premier League.

MSL plans to take Malaysian football to the next level by improving the commercial aspects of the sport in line with the developing standard of the game.

For this, MSL plans to adopt a three-pronged approach to provide assistance and support for teams to grow the business side of things, mainly in marketing sponsorship, media relations and fan base development.

The first of the three initiatives is aimed at helping teams make more money through enhanced marketing and promotional efforts. MSL will soon equip club and state teams with the necessary expertise to handle commercial negotiations and providing direction, assistance and support.

Tan Sri Annuar also announced that MSL will conduct workshops on brand building and sponsorship procurement for team management and administration staffs.

Among the programs scheduled is a media workshop themed ‘Making Media work for you – WHY, HOW AND WHEN?”

To assist teams in building a larger fan base, MSL will also implement a uniformed fan club system for all club and state teams while also providing teams with fan club development strategies.

During the briefing, MSL introduced teams to the commercial rights and activities of media partner ASTRO, which has pledged RM120 million to FAM over the next four years.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CEO Sathia

B Sathianathan yang digantung selama enam bulan oleh Persatuan Bola sepak Malaysia (FAM) berkuatkuasa semalam tetap mendapat perhatian sewajarnya oleh Persatuan Bola Sepak Kelantan (Kafa) yang mengumumkan bekas ketua jurulatih itu kini dilantik sebagai Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif (CEO) Kejurulatihan Kafa.

Pelantikan yang diumumkan Presiden Kafa Tan Sri Annuar Musa itu membolehkan Sathianathan bertanggungjawab sepenuhnya dalam bidang teknikal kejurulatihan bagi membimbing bakat-bakat baru sebagai pelapis pada masa depan.

"Walaupun Kelantan kehilangan ketua jurulatih di saat kita menghadapi perlawanan Piala Sumbangsih dan musim baru Liga Malaysia tidak lama lagi, namun khidmat Sathianathan masih diperlukan.

"Hari ini kita melantik dia (Sathianathan) sebagai CEO dalam pasukan Kelantan dan masih bertanggungjawab dalam bidang kejurulatihan yang tidak membabitkan bidang kuasa FAM," katanya kepada pemberita selepas majlis penyampaian sumbangan insentif RM200,000 oleh kerajaan negeri Kelantan di sini, Selasa.

Majlis itu disempurnakan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat yang turut dihadiri Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pembangunan Insan, Belia, Sukan dan NGO Negeri Abdul Fatah Mahmood dan Sathianathan.

Katanya khidmat Sathianathan masih diperlukan kerana Kafa melalui Kelab Red Warriors sedang mempelopori akademi bola sepak di peringkat remaja bagi melahirkan pemain pelapis negeri yang mampu meneruskan kecemerlangan dalam bidang bola sepak di negeri ini.

"Kita akur dengan keputusan FAM itu dan sedang mengambil langkah pro-aktif untuk menggunakan khidmat bekas ketua jurulatih itu dengan mengambil pendekatan yang boleh membawa kebaikan kepada Kafa," katanya.

Annuar berkata berikutan kekosongan itu, Kafa kini sedang mengintai beberapa jurulatih tempatan dan luar negara bagi mengisi tempat Sathianathan itu.

Sementara itu, Sathianathan yang ditemui berkata beliau akan menggunakan saluran tertentu untuk membuat rayuan semula penggantungannya mengikut peruntukan undang-undang dan peraturan supaya dapat dipertimbangkan FAM.

Malaysia 2 Singapore 0

Malaysian Olympic team defeated their Singapore counterparts 2-0 in a friendly match at Jalan Besar Stadium, Monday.

After a SEA Games triumph in 2009 was followed by success at the ASEAN championship last month, Malaysian football has been on a high and the Olympic team has also been bristling with confidence. Seven players from their Suzuki Cup-winning squad are in the Olympic team.

However, Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic was not downcast at all after the game.

He may be under pressure after the senior side's shock first-round exit at the Suzuki Cup last month but the Serb felt the Olympic team did well enough.

"I don't think this has got anything to do with what happened before, this was a build-up for the Olympic team and that's that," he said, insisting the pressure on him would not increase because of the latest reverse.

"For our first competitive game, I know we can do better but I'm satisfied. To tell the truth I expected more from Malaysia and I don't think there exists any gap in quality between us and Malaysia, only they've got more time to prepare the team.

"We had two '100 per cent' chances to score, and we didn't ... but we really shouldn't have lost," he claimed.

Haniff Sadique and Eugene Luo fluffed two gilt-edge chances to score early on before Malaysia asserted themselves in front of around 1,600 fans.

The impressive Irfan Fazail scored for the visitors in the 23rd minute, eluding the attentions of Afiq Yunos at the top of the Singapore box and then clipping a left-foot shot into the far corner of the Singapore goal.

The central midfielder was involved in just about every good Malaysian attack and he started the move that Syahrul Azwari eventually converted at the stroke of half-time to make it 2-0.

Avramovic said the team would benefit after the 10-minute run out given to Hariss Harun at the tail-end of the game and he was pleased with the contributions of 19-year-old substitutes Safirul Sulaiman and Ignatius Ang.

The lack of a finishing touch and confidence would be the biggest hurdles for his team as they prepare for their Feb 23 Olympic qualifier away to Yemen.

"We are missing that one central attacker who can individually make a difference but all the players must start to believe in themselves. I hope in the next two days, we will be able to show better cooperation and understanding," said the coach, whose team will play Hougang United on Jan 28 before the final squad will be named.

"The boys deserve to have people coming to support them," said Avramovic.

"They have proven themselves with the SEA Games bronze (in 2009) and in the S-League last year ... and we will look to go to Yemen with this team to do well and maybe win."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Confirmed: Asean wants World Cup

An Indonesian foreign ministry official confirmed on Tuesday that Asean member nations could launch a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup in an effort to boost unity among countries in the region.

“The idea was discussed in an informal meeting during the Asean foreign ministers’ retreat in Lombok over the weekend,” Michael Tene, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the Jakarta Globe.

He said the plan was “still evolving” amid ongoing talks among member nations.

“However, discussions are still at an early stage, though we’ve planned another meeting to talk about this before the Asean Summit,” he said, referring to the May 7-8 talks in Jakarta.

He said foreign ministers had yet to discuss details such as which of the 10 Asean members would host the competition.

But he said Malaysia — which had first proposed the idea at the annual foreign ministers’ meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, last year — had been tasked to come up with a detailed proposal that would be discussed at the summit in May.

“We haven’t even spoken with the PSSI [Indonesian Football Association] or any government official about the idea yet,” Michael said.

“But if we agree within the Asean to push this through, then we’ll talk with all parties involved such as the football association.”

Indonesia was also briefly involved in the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup final before withdrawing its tender in March last year.

Nugraha Besoes, PSSI secretary general, said he had yet to hear from the foreign ministry about the 2030 World Cup, and was doubtful of the bid’s chances of success.

“Until now, there has only ever been one jointly hosted World Cup — South Korea and Japan back in 2002,” Nugraha said.

“Spain and Portugal, and the Netherlands and Belgium also made bids to host in 2018 and 2022, but they failed.”

“I think it would make no sense for the Asean to submit a joint bid involving 10 countries, especially as there are only 32 teams [competing in the final],” he said.

“It would make more sense if the Asean appointed just two countries to bid.”

Although it will be more than a decade before FIFA makes any decision on the highly anticipated football competition, Asean nations were slow off the mark compared with Argentina and Uruguay, which announced last year that they were considering a joint bid to host the 2030 Cup.

The 2014 final is set to be staged in Brazil, followed by Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Malaysian-born Chung heads OFC

WELLINGTON: Oceania Football Confederation acting president David Chung will replace the banned Reynald Temarii in the post permanently and has pledged his region's support for the re-election of Fifa president Sepp Blatter.
Papua New Guinea's Chung was elected unopposed to the position at the OFC's congress in Pago Pago, American Samoa after New Zealanders Frank van Hattum and Fred de Jong withdrew their candidacies immediately before the vote.

The Malaysian-born Chung, who now becomes a Fifa vice president, then pledged Oceania's support when the 74-year-old Blatter, who was present at the meeting, bids for his fourth term as Fifa president later this year.

"I thank you for entrusting me with the position of OFC president for the next four years," said Chung. "I am truly humbled. You can be rest assured that I will do everything possible to promote unity, solidarity and transparency.
"And to the Fifa president, we are indebted to you for your continued support. In return, I can say on behalf of all member association presidents we are behind you 100 percent."

Chung had assumed the role in an acting capacity after Temarii was implicated in a votes-for-cash scandal ahead of the decision for hosting rights of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and suspended for 12 months by Fifa. -Agencies

Football graft

Indonesia Corruption Watch called in a news conference for a thorough audit of the much-maligned Indonesian Football Association’s (PSSI) finances, which the group said lacked transparency.

Abdullah Dahlan, a researcher at ICW, said they would use the Freedom of Information Law, newly enacted six months ago, to ask the PSSI to open its books. He said they would also request the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) to audit the association.

Earlier, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said it had found indications of possible misuse of PSSI funds set aside for the improvement of teams nationwide.

The PSSI annually receives Rp 27 billion ($3 million) from the Indonesian Super League, a subsidy of Rp 2.2 billion from FIFA and Rp 4.5 billion in foreign-player registration fees, Koran Tempo reported last week. It also collected the proceeds of fines from discipline violations totalling around Rp 4.5 billion last year, adding to donations from businessmen and ticket sales from events such as the hot-selling Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup.

PSSI treasurer Achsanul Qasasi said the association was audited annually by a public accountant. He also argued that FIFA, the international governing body of football, routinely checked PSSI’s use of the annual subsidy.

“We have always been audited. [We] are transparent,” Achsanul told the Jakarta Globe. “What kind of transparency are these people asking? Do they want to tear apart our financial reports?”

He said the PSSI would welcome financial data requests as well as a BPK investigation, even though the association, which is not a state institution, is not under the audit body’s auspices.

“We receive funds from the state budget through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs. We are accountable to the ministry for the funds,” he said.

Football clubs also get a slice of regional government budgets — a fact that ICW strongly criticized.According to Tempo, each club received Rp 8 billion to Rp 15 billion last year from regional funds.

Abdullah said these funds, which went to 17 of 18 ISL clubs, were being spent “without clear accountability” and could be misused by

Velix Wanggai, the presidential adviser for regional autonomy and development, said this budget system should be scrapped. The money should be used for training young athletes and improving sports facilities, he said.

“Many football fields in the country have not met the standards of a [suitable] field,” he said. “There are even clubs that don’t have their own pitch, like Persipura Jayapura.”

I Gusti Kompyang Manila, a former manager of the national football team, cited the recently launched Indonesian Premier League, a breakaway from the PSSI-sanctioned ISL, as proof that some teams are aiming to succeed without financial support from regional governments.

Manila said scrutiny of the PSSI’s management and finances would keep the association in top form. “This is the right momentum needed to improve our football management,” he said at Sunday’s press conference.

If many were opposed to the regional budget allocation for football clubs, Achsanul said, then the system should be changed. In the first place, he said, the PSSI had “never asked for any province to give budgets to clubs.”  - JG.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Windfall for national players

Players and coaches of the national football team that won the AFF Suzuki Cup recently will receive shares and cash incentives worth RM65,000 each.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who hosted a reception to celebrate their victory at Seri Perdana on Wednesday said all 25 members of the national squad would receive Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020 shares worth RM50,000 each, plus RM15,000 in cash.

Apart from the shares that cannot be redeemed for at least 10 years, Najib announced RM10,000 cash incentives from the government and RM5,000 cash from the Skim Hadiah Kemenangan Sukan (Shakam) from the National Sports Council, for each of the 25 members.

Najib added that the Youth and Sports Ministry would also allocate RM500,000 to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to upgrade facilities like the gymnasium and sauna room at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya.

Malaysia ended a 14-year wait to lift the AFF Suzuki Cup by beating Indonesia 4-2 on aggregate after winning 3-0 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium here during the first leg final and losing 1-2 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia during the second leg final.

Najib also said that the government and FAM would work together when sending players for training stints with prominent international football clubs abroad.

"For the development of football, the government will do everything possible to support the FAM. The government will also sponsor players for attachment with renown clubs abroad. However, FAM will have to discuss such options with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and NSC," he said.

Najib added that the "Harimau Malaya" squad's achievement must be exemplary to others, especially the younger generation.

"It is not just any victory but one that triggered an extraordinary sense of patriotism among the people. I guess no other event that could have produced such euphoria when compared with the AFF Suzuki Cup win.

"The atmosphere at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil was simply electrifying and although I was not there physically, I did watch the goals on You Tube," he said.

The Prime Minister who was among hundreds of fans who sat on the street of Bukit Bintang to watch the second leg semi-final match between Malaysia and Vietnam that was played in Vietnam, through a big screen display, said he himself had set a personal history of sorts by doing so.

"No other Prime Minister has sat on the road and watched a football match with the people...and I am proud. When (Malaysia) eventually won, we were close to shedding tears," he said.

The focus for the national team now would be to try and qualify for the 2012 London Olympics and try to become a power house in Asia, he said.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Messi, Martha, Maurinho the best

Argentina’s Lionel Messi collected the FIFA Ballon d’Or, his second consecutive title, while Brazil ’s Marta continued her winning streak by claiming her fifth FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala held at the Zurich Kongresshaus on Monday evening. Meanwhile, José Mourinho, the Portuguese coach of Real Madrid, and Germany ’s women’s national team coach Silvia Neid were the inaugural winners of the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football awards, respectively.
These awards were decided after a poll in which the captains and head coaches of the men’s (for the two men’s football awards) and women’s (for the two women’s football awards) national teams as well as international media representatives selected by France Football voted for candidates in each of the four categories. The votes from each of the three groups counted for one-third of the final result.
It was a night to remember, with on-stage appearances by former and current football stars, top celebrities and a performance by musician by Jamie Cullum to mark the first-ever awarding of the FIFA Ballon d’Or following an alliance to combine the FIFA World Player of the Year award with the France Football Ballon d’Or agreed by FIFA and the Amaury Group in Johannesburg in July 2010.
Messi had an outstanding 2010, winning the Spanish league with his club Barcelona . Messi obtained 22.65% of the votes, ahead of his club team-mates Andrés Iniesta (17.36%) and Xavi (16.48%).
Marta thrilled fans in the Women’s Professional Soccer League in the USA , where she won the Golden Boot and was elected best player of the season with FC Gold Pride. She collected 38.20% of the votes, ahead of Germany ’s Birgit Prinz and Fatmire Bajramaj, who received 15.18% and 9.96%, respectively.
Mourinho, who led Inter Milan to the UEFA Champions League, the Italian Serie A and the Italian cup before moving to Real Madrid in the summer of 2010, won with 35.92% of the votes, ahead of Spanish national coach Vicente del Bosque, who received 33.08%, and Barcelona ’s Pep Guardiola (8.45%).
Meanwhile, Silvia Neid, coach of current world champions Germany , led the women’s coach category with 24.06% of the votes, ahead of Germany ’s U-20 women’s team coach Maren Meinert (18.26%) and the Swedish coach of the USA women’s national team Pia Sundhage (11.68%).
The FIFA/FIFPro World XI to honour the best eleven players of the year 2010, as chosen by over 50,000 professional players from all over the world, went to a “dream team” consisting of Iker Casillas (Spain) in goal; Maicon (Brazil), Lúcio (Brazil), Gerard Piqué (Spain) and Carles Puyol (Spain) in defence; Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Xavi (Spain) and Andrés Iniesta (Spain) in midfield; and Lionel Messi (Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) and David Villa (Spain) up front.
The FIFA Puskás Award for the “most beautiful goal” of the year as voted for on by over one million fans was also handed out. This prize, created in honour and in memory of Ferenc Puskás, the captain and star of the Hungarian national team during the 1950s, went to Turkey ’s Hamit Altintop for his fantastic goal in the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying match between Kazakhstan and Turkey played in Astana on 3 September 2010.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu received the FIFA Presidential Award from President Joseph S. Blatter for his outstanding commitment to youth development worldwide and his contribution to the use of football as a catalyst for positive social change, as well as for the support he gave to the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, the first one on African soil.
The FIFA Fair Play Award was given to the Haiti U-17 women’s team, who had to endure many hardships following the earthquake which struck their country in January 2010, during which their head coach sadly passed away. The team showed great courage to make it to the final round of the CONCACAF qualifiers for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2010, where their performance was applauded by the fans despite their eventual elimination. The award was collected by the captain of the team, Hayana Jean-François.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

577 events, 43 sports in SEA Games

Indonesia is set to host the most action-packed Southeast Asian Games in history next year after the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) said it would propose that as many as 577 events from 43 sports be staged.

Indonesia is scheduled to host the biennial Games in Palembang, South Sumatra, and Jakarta on Nov. 11-20.
It aims to finish top of the medal table for the first time since 1997, the year it last hosted the event.

The SEA Games Federation Council will assess KOI’s proposal early next month in Bali before making a decision on which events will be held.

If the council approves all the proposed events, then this year’s Games will eclipse the current record of 490 events in 43 sports set by Jakarta in 1997.

In the 2009 SEA Games in Laos, there were only 372 events from 28 sports.

Rita Subowo, the KOI chairwoman, said most of the events proposed were ones in which Indonesia stood a good chance of winning gold.

“Most of the events we are proposing offer the prospect of a gold medal for us. It is important to help us meet our target to win the overall title,” Rita said on Friday.

“However, we won’t be proposing more than that because we don’t want to inflate our budget.”

Bridge, paragliding and roller-skating, the Vietnamese martial art of vovinam and wall-climbing are also likely to make their SEA Games debut, while cricket will be played as an exhibition event.

To limit the number of athletes, Abdul Rauf, secretary of the Indonesian SEA Games Organizing Committee, said a quota would be imposed on every event. He said the details of the quota would be discussed at a later date.

Rauf added that all but six of the venues in Palembang were ready to be used.

“We’ll talk with the firms constructing those six venues to get them to speed up the work in order to meet the June deadline."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Indonesia grants citizenship to Kim Jeffrey

Recently naturalised Kim Jeffrey Kurniawan (picture)can finally fight for a place in the Merah Putih after being granted Indonesian citizenship recently.

The Indonesian Justice and Human Rights Ministry issued the official naturalisation letter on 6 Dec 2010 officially making the 20-year-old Kim an Indonesian citizen.

“I’m proud that I’m finally an Indonesian citizen,” said the German-born footballer.

Kim’s father, Petrus Kurniawan, and grandfather, Kwee Hong Sing, are Indonesian citizens. Kwee played for Persija Jakarta and the Indonesia national team in the 1950s.

“I want to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps,” said Kim, who was born in Muehlacker, Germany.

Persema Malang coach Timo Scheuneman was responsible for bringing Kim to Indonesia when the East Java club signed him from amateur outfit FC 07 Heidelsheim, which plays in the sixth-tier league in Germany, before the start of this season.

Kim has yet to see action for Persema, however, as he did not meet Indonesian Super League regulations, which require foreign players from European leagues to have seen action in at least a third-tier competition.

Kim is a product of the National Team Body’s (BTN) naturalization program, which is also working on the citizenship papers of foreign-born Indonesian players like Segio van Dijk, Rapahel Maitimo and Jhnon van Beukering.

“He plays left wingback or the left flank position, so I think he will be an important player when tournaments next year like the SEA Games come along,” Scheuneman said.

“A naturalized player like him will not get an outright place on the team,” said Iman Arif, BTN deputy chairman. “Coach Alfred Riedl and I agree that Kim needs to fight for a roster spot. If the coach thinks he doesn’t meet the qualifications, he won’t be able to play for the team.”

The BTN plans to hold national try outs this week for selection to the under-23 squad where a total of 75 players are expected to be called up with the 25-man team to be announced on 15 Jan.

“I hope I can show my best skills in the selection, and I certainly hope the coach picks me for his final 25-man-squad,” added Kim.

The BTN has at least 20 international try outs lined up for the U23 team, which is scheduled to play their first overseas match on 23 Feb.