Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Elect a new President-lah

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) must hold presidential elections after former chief Mohamed Bin Hammam was banned for life by FIFA, Japan’s soccer chief said.

Japan Football Association (JFA) president Junji Ogura believes an immediate vote is essential after  Hammam was provisionally suspended by the AFC.

“(Hammam) has been banned for life so there is a need for elections to be held,” Ogura told local media  in Tokyo.

The election would also include a seat on FIFA’s executive committee, occupied by Hammam since 1996 before the Qatari was banned over a bribery allegations.

Hammam has protested his innocence and vowed to fight to clear his name.

China’s Zhang Jilong has been the caretaker AFC president since the scandal broke and has promised to tackle corruption in a clear sign he wants the job full-time.

The AFC is scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss the leadership crisis.

Japan lost their seat on FIFA’s executive committee in January when Kozo Tashima lost out in a ballot but he could be a candidate for AFC presidency and another crack at a seat at FIFA’s top table.
Ogura told Japanese media Hammam had written to him calling for his understanding and patience.

“He said he doesn’t think he has done anything wrong and that he has no intention of quitting as either AFC President or FIFA executive,” said Ogura.

The 62-year-old Hammam, AFC chief since 2002, was found guilty last Saturday of attempting to buy votes in the run-up to last month’s FIFA presidential election.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Statement by Zhang Jilong


This is a sad day for AFC and Asian football.

AFC respects world football governing body FIFA’s decision and we also acknowledge former AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam’s inalienable right to lodge an appeal against the decision. AFC has nothing more to say on this particular issue.

I would like to assure our fans, Member Associations, teams, players, marketing partners, in short all our stakeholders and well-wishers, that the AFC Executive Committee is united in its resolve to maintain the great momentum Asian football has achieved in the recent past. Asian football is going from strength to strength and AFC will ensure that we continue to steer steadily on this progressive path.

This is a difficult period for us because Asian football is currently facing multiple challenges, the biggest of which is match-fixing. I, in my capacity as the acting AFC President, am aware of the urgent need to provide a strong leadership that will work closely with the Member Associations towards creating a climate of trust and confidence. During my provisional presidency, I promise that AFC will govern the continent’s football affairs in complete transparency, fairness and harmony.

The best of Asian football is yet to come and AFC will work tirelessly towards ensuring that the collective interests of the great sport we love will prevail in our continent. The Future is indeed Asia but this can be realised only if we keep the faith in our football. - Senior AFC Vice President, Zhang Jilong.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hammam banned for life

The FIFA Ethics Committee, under the chairmanship of Petrus Damaseb (Namibia), has today decided to ban football officials from taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for periods of between life and one year, after they were found to have breached various articles of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

The decisions, which were taken during a two-day meeting of the Ethics Committee held in Zurich on 22 and 23 July 2011, are the following:

* Mohamed bin Hammam (FIFA Executive Committee member) was banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for a period of life.

* Debbie Minguell (Caribbean Football Union official) was banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for a period of one year.

* Jason Sylvester (Caribbean Football Union official) was banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for a period of one year.

* Furthermore, Chuck Blazer (FIFA Executive Committee member) received a warning for comments he made on 30 May at the CONCACAF Caucus held in Zurich. These comments suggested some CFU members were “under investigation”, when this was not true.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Huge Success

Two weeks of absorbing football was seen at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil. Arsenal started it, Liverpool conquered it and Chelsea put the icing on the cake as football fans came in droves to show their support for the English Premier League giants but kept their loyalty to Malaysia close to their heart.

The Chelsea match Thursday saw 84,980 tickets sold - breaking the 84,000 achieved for the historic Liverpool match while Arsenal drew 65,000 fans at the stadium.

ProEvents International chief executive Julian Kam was pleased as a punch with the figures.

ProEvents were the exclusive Asia Tour 2011 organiser for all three teams and more big names are already in the pipeline for next year.

“It was great two weeks of football. Fans came from all over the country. The matches even brought die hard supporters of the clubs from the Asean region. They came from Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei.

“I was told there were die hard supporters of these teams who came from Europe. Football unites people and it was pleasant to see Malaysian supporters throwing their weight behind the national team even if they were dressed in Red or Blue,” said Kam.

“To have three world renowned football teams play in Kuala Lumpur in 10 days is history. Liverpool’s first ever trip to Malaysia was historic what more
when Malaysia managed to score three against the Reds. Liverpool were amazed that they have such a huge fan base in this country and have to come back again in two years time.

More importantly, Malaysia once again showed its organisational ability. Malaysians are known for their hospitality and organisational abilities, having hosted world events like the F1, Monsoon Cup, World Badminton Championships, World Cup hockey, both at senior and junior level, Junior World cup football and many others that won world wide acclaim.

Julian dismissed reports of fake tickets at the Asia Tour 2011.

“This is totally unfounded. We handled the entire Tour without throwing away any quarter. All steps were taken to ensure that from security to ticketing nothing fell short. I am proud that all those who were entrusted to handle the job did an excellent job, except for some minor grouses here and there. This is something you have to accept when organising an event of this magnitude,” added Kam, who is an appointed FIFA match agent.

Fans certainly got their monies worth at all three matches. In the first match on July 13, Arsenal beat Malaysia 4-0, while Liverpool were involved in a nine goal thriller before walking away with a 6-3 victory on July 16. Chelsea beat a Malaysian Selection 1-0 through a controversial goal by Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.

Kam also thanked all the sponsors who came aboard and the Media Partners for making the Asia Tour 2011 a huge success.

“The Malaysian media, both print and electronic, once again gave their close cooperation in making the Tour a success that cannot be measured in words.

“You saw stories on the front and back pages of all the newspapers, while the electronic media gave coverage during prime time slots. This is simple fantastic,” said Kam.

In terms of tourism, Malaysia became the focus as the three English giants headed to Kuala Lumpur and given world-wide coverage. Hotels reported full bookings while sporting houses did roaring business as fans made a beeline to buy jerseys of their favourite teams, including Malaysia.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New TV audience record for Women's World Cup

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™ has set a new benchmark for the sport after viewers around the world tuned in en masse and smashed several TV audience records along the way. This was particularly notable in the host nation Germany, the defending champions twice over, as well as in the countries of the two finalists, the USA and Japan.
The four games featuring the German team all gained average audiences of more than 14 million, with their final three matches attracting averages of over 16 million viewers nationwide – by far the highest audiences on record for FIFA Women’s World Cup matches in Germany. An average audience of over 17 million people watched Germany bow out to Japan, representing nearly a quarter of the German population.
To put these figures into context, an average German audience of 15.5 million watched the recent Klitschko v. Haye World Championship boxing match in Hamburg, Germany, and an average of 14.8 million watched Germany v. Serbia at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. The German audiences for the FIFA Women’s World Cup are also the highest audiences for any sporting programme in the market since the final in 2010.
“These are solid figures on their own, but when you put them into context with other major sports events they emphatically underline that the FIFA Women’s World Cup was an exceptionally popular spectacle for TV viewers,” said FIFA TV Director Niclas Ericson. 
In the USA, an average audience of over 14.1 million watched the final between the USA and Japan. ESPN delivered the large majority of the audience, reporting an average of close to 13.5 million and a peak audience during the penalty shoot-out of over 21.1 million. This is ESPN’s highest-ever audience for a football match and ranks as the second-highest audience for a daytime telecast in US cable history (behind the 2011 Rose Bowl). These audiences were also over three times higher than the US average audience for the final round of golf’s Open Championship on Sunday, as well as nearly 10% higher than the audience for baseball’s All Star Game last week.
Newly crowned world champions Japan also achieved record audiences at home for the final despite the match airing in the early hours of Monday morning. An average audience of 10.4 million watched Japan beat the USA, while a peak audience of over 15 million witnessed the penalty shoot-out. This audience is more than three times higher than the previous record for a women’s football match in Japan set by the semi-final last week, and it is more than 50% higher than the audience in Japan for the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. This also compares favourably to Japanese audiences for other major sporting events, including The Masters golf tournament.
In France, a record audience was set for the France v. USA match, with an average audience of over 2.3 million tuning in. This is more than double the previous record for a women’s football match in the market, which had been set for the France v. England quarter-final earlier in the tournament. The audience in France peaked at nearly 3.3 million towards the end of the France v. USA match.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Singapore gets ready

Singapore defeated Chinese Taipei 3-2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday, just days before they march back onto the very same pitch for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Round 2 qualifiers against Malaysia.

The game got off to a slow start and steadily picked up pace with both teams looking to break the deadlock. Singapore forged ahead through Aleksandar Duric’s 17th minute goal.

Despite Chinese Taipei’s efforts to get the game back on level terms they were unable to break down the Singapore defensive wall. The first half ended 1-0 to the hosts.

The visitors scored quickly after the restart when Lo Chih An struck but the parity was shortlived as Duric fired home his second of the evening in the 54th minute.

Both sides pushed ahead for the next goal and substitute Hiang Shih Lu put his team back into contention in the 62nd minute. A tactical switch by Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic proved effective as the Lions wrestled back the lead with substitute forward Fazrul Nawaz breaking away from his defenders to slot the ball home for Singapore’s third and final goal of the match.

“There are some points we need to improve on and also some positive points to take note of. We created a lot of chances, passing most of the time,” said Avramovic.

“I am however happy with the performance of the team and this game allowed the players to learn from their mistakes as it is better to make mistakes now than in the match against Malaysia.”

Singapore captain Shahril Ishak said: “We kept passing the ball and had more possession. We did make mistakes today and we will learn from it and make changes to our game."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tigers with Japan, Syria and Bahrain

 Malaysia has been drawn in Group C together with Japan, Syria and Bahrain for the third round of the 2012 Olympic Qualifiers scheduled to begin in September..

The draw:
Group A: Korea Rep., Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman

Group B: Australia, Iraq, Uzbekistan, UAE

Group C: Japan, Bahrain, Syria, MALAYSIA

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Who will win......

Celcom Axiata Berhad, the first and foremost mobile telecommunications provider in the country, is proud to launch the „Who Will Win‟ campaign, a mobile voting challenge for customers to be part of the best of the best events, from sports to lifestyle, in the country. The campaign will kick start with the upcoming football matches organised by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) featuring two world renowned EPL (English Premier League) football clubs namely the Arsenal Asia Tour 2011 and the Chelsea Asia Tour 2011 happening on 13 July 2011 and 21 July 2011 respectively.

“Celcom is constantly looking for refreshing new ways to reward our customers and at the same time offer them products, services and content relevant to their lifestyle, behaviour and usage pattern. The "Who Will Win‟ campaign is launched with those who lead an active lifestyle in mind.

Under this campaign, we would be bringing the most exciting and long awaited events, giving customers once in a lifetime opportunities and the best seats in town! All they have to do is to participate in the interactive activities offered by Celcom, from the SMS-based mobile voting challenge to fun-filled quizzes, in order to stand a chance to catch all the action up close and personal.

"Additionally, customers can also get their hands on related content such as news alert, wall papers, games and even music,” said Dato‟ Sri Shazalli Ramly, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad, adding that Celcom is proud to be the Official Telco for the long awaited Malaysia XI vs Arsenal and Malaysia XI vs Chelsea matches that are promoted solely and exclusively by ProEvents International Sdn Bhd.

“We are delighted to partner Celcom once again and they will be the official telco for this historic football festival in Malaysia,” said Julian Kam, Chief Executive Officer of ProEvents Group. “By bringing two of the top teams from the EPL, Celcom has reinforced their commitment by bringing the best services, coverage and entertainment to their customers.”

All ardent Arsenal or Chelsea fans out there, this is the perfect opportunity to win autographed jerseys and free tickets to watch your favourite team live on match day! To participate, all you have to do is type ON WIN and send to 23696, vote for your favourite team via SMS and answer a set of questions!
Apart from the „Who Will Win‟ mobile voting challenge, join in any of the below exciting activities under the "Who Will Win‟ campaign to win autographed jerseys and free passes to these much anticipated matches:

Football Goal Package and Live Updates: subscribe to Arsenal and/or Chelsea package to receive goal alerts, results and match highlight etc of your favourite team; Mirror Football: Mirror Football is part of the Daily Mirror, an award winning UK newspaper, and is widely recognised as the most respected football news source in the UK. Mirror Football news alerts feature breaking news, exclusive interviews with the players and managers and insightful articles from UK‟s most respected pundits; Who Will Win Trivia: download MMS greeting card and give the best shot in answering the quiz questions; Longest “gooooaaaallll” cheer: dial *2299009, answer simple questions and record the longest “goal” cheer; and Airtime Transfer: perform three transactions or more in a week and be eligible to get RM50 AirCash and win fabulous prizes.

Also, some fun football-related contents are also available and they are:
-How Fanatic Are You!: subscribe to Arsenal, Chelsea and/or Malaysia fan page and upload your comments and follow the latest news of the team you selected;
-Music Content: get the team song and more Who Will Win songs and set it as your ringtone or send it as a Call Me Tones to your friends; and
- Kolony Free Who Will Win Content Download: for the Kolony community, users are treated to Who Will Win free wallpapers and greeting cards.

To be part of this first of its kind, infectious SMS-based mobile social network community, simply register via SMS by sending KOLONY < nickname> to 25333 or log onto for more information.

AFC after Hammam

Hammam (right) seen here with Blatter

People say a lot of things about Mohamed Hammam, the man who headed the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) until recently.

I have met him a couple of times before but that's about it. Recently he got into trouble and has been accused of corrupt practices in the run up to FIFA's Presidential Election last month. Right now the case is pending a hearing by FIFA's Ethics Committee and for now Hammam, 62, is suspended and barred from holding any post in football.

AFC Senior Vice President, Zhang Jilong from China has been appointed the Acting President.

Well, I guess everyone knows all that has happened and many are confident that they know what the outcome will be. I am not sure because in football anything can happen on field as well as in the board-room.

Lately, I have been hearing that there are many who are keen to become the next AFC President. Maybe many are expecting the Qatari to face some form of sanction from the World body. The post of AFC President is a highly respectable position in football.

Many things are being said about Hammam, some accuse him of being a dictator and stuffs like that. I have no idea if that is true or not. But one thing is for sure - that man has set a new and high standard for the AFC Presidency - a standard which the next President will find it a challenge to equal.

Hammam would be recorded in history as the first hands-on President of the AFC.

He was there seven days a week, working, directing, planning and some would say, controlling everything he can lay his hands on. He was in charge and running football in Asia.

It would be interesting to see who would be willing to take the challenge and bring AFC to greater heights. If there is no such leader around, maybe Asia might Hammam to lead for a few more years.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Specially designed room keys

How about taking your hotel room key home as a priceless souvenir which is specially designed as a commemorative item for English Premier League giants Liverpool and Chelsea on their tour of Malaysia?

Yes. You will not need to return your room key at the end of your stay if you choose to stay in One World Hotel – the official hotel for the Liverpool and Chelsea teams – which is giving away the keys on a first come first serve basis to hotel guests if they book into the hotel this month.

This is a joint effort by the hotel and ProEvents International, the exclusive Asia Tour 2011 organiser for the two English teams.

The specially designed keys with images of the Liverpool players are available from July 1-16 while those with images of the Chelsea players will be available from July 17-31.

ProEvents chief executive officer Julian Kam said: “As we get closer to the dates of the matches, the excitement of the visit by the two teams is beyond expectations. The tickets are selling fast and the response has been tremendous. We urge the fans not to wait long to get their tickets.”

The Reds, as Liverpool as popularly known, will take on the Malaysian XI at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on July 16 and kick-off is at 5.45pm. The Blues, which is Chelsea’s nickname, will play the Malaysian XI at the same venue on July 21. Kick-off is at 8.45pm.

Tiickets for the matches are priced at RM58, RM68, RM108 and RM388 and can be purchased through and selected adidas outlets nationwide.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Brazil gearing up for the draw

Rio de Janeiro and Brazil are gearing up to present themselves to the world on the occasion of the Preliminary Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ on 30 July 2011. The Preliminary Draw will be the first FIFA World Cup event of global magnitude on Brazilian soil related to the 2014 edition.
The Marina da Glória in Rio de Janeiro will provide the perfect setting for a show that will attract millions of viewers from all across the globe. A record audience is expected for this important milestone event marking the start of the trip to Brazil for the remaining 175 of the 203 teams participating in the qualifiers. 
The draw will be a celebration of the World Cup returning to Brazil after 64 years. The 95-minute live TV broadcast (15.00 local time/20.00 CET) will be a curtain-raiser for what fans may expect in 2014 with Brazilian beats and flavours to whet the appetite. The show will be directed by Brazilian director Aloysio Legey (GEO), while the programme broadcast will be directed by Luiz Gleiser (TV Globo). A selection of famous Brazilian artists to entertain the audience will be announced by the producers shortly.
The Preliminary Draw illustrates perfectly how a FIFA World Cup can bring the world together like no other event. Delegates from approximately 100 FIFA member associations, almost 800 media representatives from all over the world, and an audience of some 2,000 people, including celebrities from the world of politics, sport and show business, are expected to attend the ceremony.
FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke will conduct the draws for all qualification zones other than South America, which will play its qualifiers in a league format. The draws will include guest appearances by some of the biggest names in Brazilian football – past, present and future – to be announced in due course.
In total, 166 participating member associations from five qualification zones –  Africa, Asia, Europe, North, Central America and the Caribbean, and Oceania – will find out who will face whom in the bid for one of the 31 available slots at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil in June and July 2014.