Friday, February 25, 2011

Crisis in PSSI

The Indonesian Soccer Monitoring Society (MPSI) plans to report the Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) to FIFA for manipulating the latter’s statutes.

Max Sopacua from the MPSI said that the PSSI has stated that a former convict can be nominated as PSSI chairman while FIFA statutes said otherwise.

“We will send a team to FIFA headquarters before the PSSI congress,” he said Wednesday, as quoted by

Nurdin Halid is a graft convict and the current PSSI chairman. He is also one of the candidates in the PSSI’s upcoming election for a new chairman.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

FIFA to decide W-Cup slots next week

Fifa will make one of its most politically sensitive decisions next week when football’s governing body decides how many places each continent will get at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

With South America hoping for an extra spot, Concacaf demanding a fourth guaranteed place and Asia refusing to settle for anything less than the four-and-a-half berths it had in 2010, the stage is set for a heated two-day session when its executive committee meets in Zurich on March 2-3.

The continental confederations have been jockeying for position ahead of the decision on the 31 available World Cup places, Brazil qualifying automatically as hosts.

Asia Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed Bin Hammam said last month that his region wanted at least the four-and-a-half places it had in South Africa.

Australia, North Korea, South Korea and Japan represented Asia in 2010 while Bahrain lost in a playoff to New Zealand, winners of the Oceania qualifying tournament.

Jack Warner, president of the Concacaf confederation representing North and Central America and the Caribbean, has said his region wants its quota increased to four direct places. Concacaf had three guaranteed spots in South Africa last year and Costa Rica lost to Uruguay in a playoff for another place.

“We believe that Concacaf deserves another full place at the World Cup finals due to the performances of our teams on the field and the actions of our confederation off it,” said Warner.

South America is hoping that hosts Brazil will not be included in their quota of four-and-a-half places for 2014, effectively giving the 10-team continent an extra place.

Africa had six teams at the 2010 World Cup including hosts South Africa and look almost certain to lose one slot, especially as five of their teams fell at the first hurdle last year.

Europe had 13 teams at the 2010 World Cup, of which seven were eliminated in the group stage and two made it to the final, while Oceania had half a place.

The subject has always been a thorny one and erupted in 2003 when FIFA back-tracked on a promise to give an automatic spot to Oceania, which at the time included Australia.

The Oceania delegation stormed out of the meeting when FIFA’s executive committee decided to keep the system under which the top Oceania team would face the fifth-placed South American side.

Oceania later won the argument on the field when Australia beat Uruguay in a playoff for a place at the 2006 World Cup.

Australia’s subsequent move to the Asian confederation scuppered Oceania’s hopes for a direct place although the region’s winners last time faced the easier task of playing Asia’s fifth team, rather than South America’s, in a two-leg playoff.- Agencies.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Power struggle in PSSI

The two candidates disqualified from running for chairman of the Indonesian Football Association submitted separate appeals on Monday, making good on their promise to challenge their exclusion from next month’s polls.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Toisutta and businessman Arifin Panigoro both said the decision by the association, known as the PSSI, to bar them from running in the March 26 election was groundless.

The PSSI on Saturday ruled that Toisutta and Arifin were not qualified to run for the top post in the country’s football governing body, although it did not give a reason for its decision.

Timbul Thomas Lubis, the embattled candidates’ legal counsel, said Arifin was disqualified because of his association with the breakaway Indonesian Premier League and Toisutta for his lack of “active involvement in football.”

Arifin, whose thriving oil business has made him one of Indonesia’s richest people, is considered the principal backer of the IPL, the main rival of the PSSI-supported Indonesian Super League.

The PSSI does not recognize the IPL as a legitimate football organization.

Timbul said Toisutta was left off the final list of candidates because he did not meet a PSSI ruling requiring candidates to have been involved in the sport for at least five years.

But the four-star general insisted that his role as the main supporter of Army club PS Angkatan Darat met that condition. Toisutta said he had been backing the club since 2004.

However, the PSSI said the Army football squad was not one of its registered members.

Timbul said Toisutta would submit evidence to the PSSI that he has served as vice chairman of Division Three side PS Bandung Raya. He did not reveal the grounds on which Arifin planned to challenge his exclusion.

Timbul said he believed “both can win their appeals.”

“We are making these appeals because we cannot accept the [committee’s] decision and its line of reasoning for disqualifying them from the PSSI elections,” Timbul said.

He also criticized the PSSI’s over its assessment of the credentials of the candidates.

“The committee never asked the candidates to come [to be interviewed],” he said. “They should have called them to verify everything if there was something they wanted to ask. This is sports, and there should be fair play.”

Should the appeals committee reject Toisutta’s and Arifin’s challenge, only incumbent chairman Nurdin Halid and deputry chairman Nirwan D. Bakrie will be left to contest the PSSI leadership.

Tjipta Lesmana, head of the appeals body, told state news agency Antara that a decision could be reached as late as next week. “We need to examine the nature of their appeals and how the election committee came to its decision. We can’t say much right now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state minister for sports, Andi Mallarangeng expressed concern over the exclusion of Toisutta and Arifin, saying “the people have been demanding change.”

“We and KONI [the National Sports Committee] urge the appeals committee to correct the decision barring the two candidates from running,” Andi said on Monday.

“The upcoming election should be a start to the reform and restructuring within PSSI that the people of Indonesia have been demanding.” - JG.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Azizulhasni is recovering

Malaysian track cycling ace Azizulhasni Awang who was injured in a high-speed collision during the keirin final at the UCI track cycling World Cup meeting in Manchester, England yesterday, remained in high spirits despite undergoing a minor thigh operation.

Azizulhasni who managed to pick himself up and cross the line with a seven-inch splinter of wood embedded in his leg, won the bronze and collected valuable world cup points.

National Sports Council (NSC) director-general who is in Manchester to witness the competition said he had to undergo a minor operation to remove the wood splinter in his left leg.

Based on the x-ray reading, the wood splinter did not damage tissues in his leg or bone, said Zolkples who was amazed by the rider's determination to carry on and finish third despite the fall and injury.

"Azizulhasni had told me that he did not feel any pain when he decided to regroup and continue the race. He only realised pain after finishing the race," he told Bernama when contacted Sunday.

"He was lucky to have escaped without any serious injury," he said.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Big plans for Polo

Malaysia will be aiming to qualify for the polo World Cup Finals for the first time this year.

The Malaysians will take their first step towards the Finals – to be held in Argentina in October – when they play hosts to the FIP World Cup Zone D qualifier at three different venues from June 11-26.
The three venues are the Royal Pahang Polo Club in Pekan, the Putrajaya Equestrian Park and the Royal Selangor Polo Club.

The Zone D qualifier will see Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Nigeria and Singapore vying for the three tickets for the FIP World Cup Finals in San Luis, Argentina, from Oct 11-25.
The FIP World Cup is held once every three years.

National team manager Ahmad Jamili Rashid said the team had been training since last year.
The team members are skipper Huzaini Yunos, 29, Shaik Reismann, 35, Amran Selamat, 32, Muhammad Edham Shaharuddin, 35, Saladin Mazlan, 30, and Tengku Ahmad Shazril.

On paper, seeded teams South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, who finished in that order at the last qualifier in New Zealand, are favourites to make the cut.

“But we are at home and we aim to make use of that advantage to see us through,” said Jamili.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sultan Ahmad Shah for AFF top post

FAM President, Sultan Ahmad Shah is willing to contest for the Asean Football Federation (AFF) president’s post at the federation’s congress in 10 April n Bangkok.

It is learn that incumbent AFF President Tan Sri Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen will be stepping down from the post which he had held since 1996.

“I am prepared and I know there will be more responsibilities but I am prepared to go for it provided they want me to stand for the tops post,” said Sultan Ahmad Shah, Sunday.

 When nominations were closed on Friday, there were two nominations. Sultan Ahmad Shah was nominated by Malaysia and Singapore while Thailand nominated Worawi Makudi, the President of FA Thailand.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Banking on Safee

Pelita Jaya’s floundering Indonesian Super League campaign was injected with new life following the club’s signing of top Malaysian striker Mohd Safee Sali. 

The West Java club currently sits bottom of the 15-team league with 10 points. But there are expectations that its fortunes will change drastically with the arrival of Asean Football Federation Cup star Sali.

Pelita manager Lalu Mara Satriawangsa said Sali had been signed to a half-season contract, which will pay him $50,000.

Sali is expected to arrive in Jakarta next Monday and make his debut on March 7, when Pelita hosts Persib Bandung to kick off the second half of its season.

The 27-year-old had been pursued by a number of Indonesian clubs following his stellar performance during the recent AFF Cup, where he led Malaysia to its maiden title.

He finished the tournament as the top scorer with five goals, three of them against Indonesia during the two-legged final.

Pelita’s offense has been anemic and its 13 goals are the third fewest in the ISL, ahead of Persib (12) and Persela Lamongan (eight).  Lalu said he was confident Sali would improve his team’s attack.

“His presence will definitely improve the team,” he said.

In Sunday’s games, a late goal from Arema Malang substitute Sunarto ended Persipura Jayapura’s unbeaten run.

Sunarto tapped in a rebound in the 89th minute to give the hosts a 1-0 victory at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java.

Persipura, which had entered the match without a defeat in 12 matches, still leads the league with 32 points.

Arema climbed to third with 23 points, two behind Semen Padang, which was routed at Sriwijaya FC on Sunday.

“That was our best performance this season,” Arema coach Miroslav Janu said.

“We were able to hold off Persipura’s attack and Sunarto has been proving himself as our supersub. He has scored two goals in two consecutive matches after coming on as a substitute.”

Also on Sunday, Sriwijaya beat 10-man Semen Padang 5-0 at Sriwijaya Stadium in Palembang to climb to seventh place.

Budi Sudarsono scored a brace and Keith Kayamba Gumbs, Rudi Widodo and Korinus Fingkrew each scored one.

Bontang FC moved from the bottom of the standings with a 2-1 win over Deltras Sidoarjo, while Persisam Samarinda beat visiting Persela Lamongan 4-1.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Prima takes charge

While organizers scramble to meet deadlines for the construction of facilities for the Southeast Asian Games, athletes are also feeling the pressure as they train for the region’s biggest multisport tournament.

Several national sports federations have submitted their training schedules to the Golden Indonesia Program (Prima) ahead of the Games in November, in the hope these will be approved.

Prima is the government task force in charge of screening athletes for elite competition.

As part of their buildup to the SEA Games from Nov. 11-20, federations are looking to give their athletes an edge by sending them to overseas tournaments.

Prima evaluates all the proposals before the federations are granted training budgets.

Andri Paranoan, an official of Prima’s coaching and competitions department, said athletes needed to pass the general preparation phase before they could be sent overseas.

He said this general phase included a mandatory character-building program at the Indonesian Special Forces Training Center in Bandung.

“About 80 percent of the federations have already handed us their proposals,” he added.

The national federations for cycling, swimming and pencak silat — a martial art — have included overseas training sessions in their proposals.

Two athletes are already training overseas. BMX rider Risa Suseanty is in the United States and fellow BMX rider Elga Kharisma Novanda is training in Switzerland at the invitation of the International Cycling Union.

Top cyclists Tonton Susanto and Ryan Ariehaan Hilmant want to compete in the Tour de Taiwan from March 21-27.

Both secured podium finishes at the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand, where Ryan took the gold in the men’s individual road race and Tonton brought home silver in the men’s individual time trial.

“We have proposed to Prima to start sending our athletes to competitions abroad next month. Some athletes are already training in other countries, and they will be continuously supervised,” said Wahyudi Hidayat, the national cycling team’s head coach.

“We have been told by Prima that athletes in every discipline deserve to participate in at least two competitions,” he added.

The Indonesian Pencak Silat Federation (IPSI) will send 37 athletes, to the Asian Championships in Singapore in March and a top-level tournament in Belgium.

“These two events are important,” said Muchdi Purwopranjono, chief of the federation. “We will see how far our athletes have improved physically, mentally and in terms of their technical skills.”

The Indonesian Swimming Association (PRSI) will send four swimmers to train in Australia’s Gold Coast this week, under coach Gavin Urquhart.

“I hope our swimmers do not waste this opportunity because this type of foreign training will boost our medal hopes,” said Suroyo, the PRSI’s deputy head for development. -Jakarta Globe

Saturday, February 5, 2011

See Kim Leong passes away

Negeri Sembilan Super League physiotherapist See Kim Leong, fondly known among officials and players as Uncle C, died at the age of 63 at Tuanku Jaafar Hospital here.

Negeri Sembilan Football Association media relations officer Abdul Malek Hassan said See breathed his last at 2am after complaining of body aches earlier in the day.

He was sent to a specialist hospital here before being transferred to the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital where he breathed his last, he told Bernama.

Among those who visited See at the hospital was the association's honorary secretary and team manager Datuk Abd Halim Abd Latif,

See is survived by a wife Audrey Mcleod, 61, four children and seven grandchildren. One of his daughters, Sharon Elaine See, 33, said his father died due to internal bleeding.

His remains will be brought to his home in Taman Sentosa, Klang, tomorrow before being cremated.

Abdul Malek said the late See was a jovial person and had contributed a lot to the team.

"His death is a loss to the team. He was a very dedicated and experienced physiotherapist and had been helping the players recovered from their injuries," he said.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sports isolation ends in Pakistan

LAHORE - The visit of two foreign football teams, Palestine and Malaysia in March this year will herald the resumption of tours of foreign teams to Pakistan.
"The visit of the two foreign teams will help in ending sports isolation in Pakistan which has been deprived of hosting all types of international sports owing to security concerns, said President, PFF, Faisal Saleh Hayat here on Monday.
These two teams will be visiting Pakistan as a part of qualifying rounds of London Olympics football tournament.

Palestine National team will face Pakistan in the Lahore Test on March 1, followed by Karachi encounter on March 4. Later on, Pakistan Olympic Team will collide with Malaysian Olympic Team in the second leg of London Olympic Qualifiers on March 9.
“ When no  one (foreign team) was ready to visit Pakistan, PFF hosted the Afghanistan women team in third National Women Championship in 2007 and Iran’s Malavan Bandar Anzali of Iran in the fifth edition of same event two years later, and now Palestine and Malaysian team would tour Pakistan,”he told the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).
Pakistan, after two internationals at Lahore and Karachi, will reciprocate by visiting Palestine during April-May.
It was my wish to play three international friendlies in each countries but time and financial constraints are hampering not only the series but several other events/courses in PFF calendar 2011,said PFF Chief.
“ The more we play international matches, the more the team would develop for at least Asian standards. Soccer is not like hockey or cricket which are played in a handful countries. The competition is very tough in Soccer”, said Faisal who is also FIFA and World Disciplinary Committee member and Chairman AFC Disciplinary Committee.
Faisal informed that FIFA releases $250,000 annually to PFF under  Financial Assistance Program (FAP) that too in various categories. PSB annual grant of Rs. 1.5 million is one of the hardship faced by the PFF not sufficient even for an event (Rs. 3 million alone were spent on Pakistan U23 team’s 16th Asian Games participation last November). PFF had to generate the money through other means as PFF has planned around 40 events during the year 2011 and an estimated budget to fulfil the needs is of Rs 50.5 million.
Even with  financial constraints and sizeable annual budget Pakistan kept producing sensational results such as overwhelming Kyrgyzstan, Chinese Taipei, Turkmenistan, Singapore, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal while drawing with Iraq, Iran, Oman, China and Bahrain in recent events.