Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Malky happy with Safee

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay has put on record his views on Safee Sali as the Malaysian striker completed his visit to South Wales, having trained first hand with the Bluebirds.
“Safee joined us for a ten day trial, during which time he showed a great attitude and work ethic while soaking in the environment and the way we train here at Cardiff City,” said Mackay.
“Obviously it was a big change and a different style and level of football, though he adapted and integrated well with the squad. We also appreciate that it’s difficult to get a full picture during a short ten day period, especially with the number of games and match preparation we had during that time. 
“With a mind to the need for Safee to play competitive games with the Malaysian national team and in Indonesia with Pelita Jaya, we have asked Safee to return to Cardiff City for a two week period in the future which will be beneficial to all concerned. For now though we say our goodbyes and would like to put on record that we consider Safee to be a credit to his team and his country.”
Safee also had words on the experience after an insightful time in Cardiff, saying, "After playing with the reserves and even the first team at training, I have found the game here to be very much quicker. You do not get so much time with the ball. It is a whole new and different level.
“The training has gone well and all my team-mates gave me a really warm welcome. Although it has been just two weeks, I have learned since I have been here. God willing, I may return to play here in the near future.”
Safee was a spectator for the match between Cardiff City and Leicester City on Sunday. The match was also attended by Malaysian High Commissioner to Britain Datuk Zakaria Sulong and his wife, who participated in the Malaysia Day celebrations observed by the club. Safee returned to Malaysia on Tuesday t(27/9/11) o prepare for an international match with Australia next month.

SEA Games: Indonesia confident

A successful tour of Hong Kong has put the Indonesia national Under-23 squad in a confident mood for the 26th edition of the SEA Games which they will be hosting in less than two months.

Chief coach Rahmad Darmawan admitted that the trip to Hong Kong was an invaluable experience. “The boys showed improvement in tactical skills, teamwork and competition mentality,” said Rahmad. “But still, we need to sharpen our teamwork by playing against stronger teams.”

“We will send five players back to their respective clubs and give seven players a call-up,” he said. “It’s for refreshment. (The five players) still have a chance to return to the squad.”

The Indonesia youth squad opened their tour with a 4-0 win over Hong Kong’s Under-23 team before cruising 5-1 past Hong Kong Rangers and then scoring a 5-2 victory over the Daejeon Citizen Football Club.

After their return to Jakarta, the team has also been pencilled in to play against Persikab Bandung, Persija Jakarta and PSS Sleman. They will also take on the U23 teams of Oman and China.

Indonesia are aiming for their first football gold medal at the SEA Games since Jakarta last hosted the regional games back in 1991.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Surat kepada LTAM.

Saya dah baca dengan penuh teliti apa yang ditulis dalam laman web LTAM. Very good English, Tan Sri (Abdul Razak Latiff).  Dalam atrikel-artikel yang saya baca ada tiga percanggahan. Satu Tan Sri ) kata Dato' Sieh Kok Chi "jump the gun".

Dua, ARL bercakap tentang "selection trials" dan tiga tanpa ARL sedar dia ada menyebut "LTAM decided not to send" for whatever reasons known to him. Yang mana satu Tan Sri?

Jadi, memang betul lah Tan Sri dan buat keputusan tak mahu hantar team lah! Ini juga menunjukkan bahawa soal jumping the gun itu tak timbul lah !!!. Jangan nak salahkan orang saja. Dato Sieh is a very experienced man. He has served the OCM for donkey years. Even before you know tennis. He knows what he is doing.

At the same time the Tan Sri is blaming Jaafar Abu (former Honorary Secretary of LTAM who is now a staff at OCM) and Lt Colonel Abdul Rashid Omar (Retired).

You called us "sick people". Who is sick? The President or us, the tennis lovers. As tax payeres and citizens of Malaysia we have every right to comment. Duduk dalam kelambulah kalau takut kena comment. Leave LTAM. There are many others who can lead the association.

Mohamad Haniffa Abu Bakar

MSL may be revamped

The Malaysian Super League (MSL) may be revamped – again.

MSL chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa is bent on implementing drastic changes as “Malaysian football is getting nowhere with the present set-up”.

And, if he has his way, Annuar wants it implemented next year although competitions committee chairman Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin had announced that the format for next year would stay the same – 14 teams in the Super League and 12 in the Premier League.

Annuar said it was painful to watch the national Under-22 squad going down tamely to Japan (2-0) in the opening game of the Asian Zone final round qualifying tournament for the 2012 London Olympics in Fukuoka on Wednesday.

He added that the gulf in standard was glaring and showed that Malaysia were still far behind in Asia.
Annuar claimed that he had tried to implement the changes but did not get the support of the affiliates.

He said that the pathetic display of the pre-Olympic squad was proof that the domestic league had not benefited the local players.

“The Super League has to be more competitive, with four or five foreigners in each squad and the number of teams must be reduced to eight,” Annuar said during a Hari Raya open house at his residence in Kuala Lumpur, Saturday.

“The other teams can play in the Semi-Pro League and can only go up when they meet all the professional demands of the game.

“I think half the teams in the Super League now are unable to generate any fans or income from gate collections.

“It (the new league) has to be of high standard and with top foreign pros playing here.”

The national Under-22 boys from the Harimau Muda squad have featured in the Premier and Super Leagues and even had playing stints in Slovakia.

The boys have done well at the South-East Asia region, winning the SEA Games gold medal in 2009 and the Suzuki Cup Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championships in 2010. The MSL has undergone two format changes in its eight-year history.

When it was first launched in 2004, there were only eight teams in the Super League.
It was then expanded to 14 teams in 2007 and has since remained that way.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have now decided to open the door to the foreign legion after a lapse of three seasons.

Another notable change next year is the inclusion of the Singapore Young Lions (Under-23), who will play in the Super League. They will replace the Harimau Muda A squad, who will in turn play in the S-League.  - The Star.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Windsor joins AFC


Windsor John Paul has joined the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The former Kuala Lumpur based FIFA Development Officer has been appointed as a Consultant for the Asian Cup, AFC's premier tournament.

Windsor, a world class football administrator, started work in AFC recently. Currently  he is in London, leading the FIFA Team to inspect the venues that will be used during the 2012 Summer Olympic Football Tournament.

As a Consultant, Windsor is expected to make some changes in the running of the Asian Cup, in line with AFC's aspirations to make the Asian Cup an exciting and world class tournament.

Getting the right people is the key to success and it is also an indication that AFC's leadership want to see football continues to grow at a fast pace. 


Friday, September 16, 2011

Hammam's appeal rejected

The FIFA Appeal Committee, under the chairmanship of Francisco Acosta (Ecuador), has confirmed Thursday the decisions taken by the FIFA Ethics Committee on 23 July 2011 (cf. media release: http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/bodies/news/newsid=1479068/index.html) regarding the ban on FIFA Executive Committee member Mohammed bin Hammam for a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The appeal made by Mohammed bin Hammam has been rejected and the decision of the FIFA Ethics Committee confirmed. The sanction of being banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for life has therefore been maintained.
The Appeal Committee panel which met Thursday was composed of Francisco Acosta (Ecuador), Fernando Mitjans (Argentina) and Augustin Senghor (Senegal).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Walter is FIFA's media man

As of 1 October 2011, Walter De Gregorio, 46, will join FIFA as Director of Communications & Public Affairs. Nicolas Maingot, who had been Acting Director, will be his deputy.

De Gregorio studied history and political philosophy, and over the last 20 years he has worked as a journalist, a columnist, and in management positions for various national and international newspapers. De Gregorio has dual Swiss-Italian nationality, has two children and lives in the Zurich area. -FIFA.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two sports heroes dies

Malaysia, and in particular Negri Sembilan, have lost two of its most illustrious sportsmen – Peter van Huizen, 79, and M. Joseph, 77.

Van Huizen died of lung infection at 8am Monday while Joseph passed away after suffering a heart attack at 7.40pm on Sunday. They both died at a hospital in Seremban.

Both were former Olympians and double internationals – having represented the national team in hockey and football in the late 50s and early 60s.

In fact, they were team-mates in the national hockey team that played in the Tokyo Asian Games in 1958.
Peter’s family members are the who’s who of Malaysian hockey and are well known in Seremban for their untiring work in helping develop children in the sport.

Among them are his brother Lawrence and nephew Stephen, who are both former internationals and coaches of the national team.

Joseph, meanwhile, was also a member of the football team that played in the first Merdeka tournament, which Malaysia (then Malaya) won in 1958. His family said they still have the Rolex watch given to the winning players by the country’s first Prime Minster Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Joseph was also an accomplished football coach at state and club levels and had also been involved in children’s development programmes. He was also a stringer with The Star newspaper in the late 70s.

The passing away of the two sports veterans came as a shock to the sporting fraternity. And many were full of praise for the duo’s selfless attitude and sacrifices to the nation.

Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) secretary Tan Sri P. Alagendra, who was a team-mate of the duo, said the two former players “come from an era of great sporting heroes”.

“They were exemplary sportsmen and loved the game so much that they did not retire from it fully. I know them well enough to say that they had brought nothing but glory to their family, club, state and country. It is a great loss to sports and Negri, which has over the years produced many dedicated sportsmen of distinction,” he said.

Their funerals will be held Wednesday (14 Sept) at the Church of Visitation in Jalan Yam Tuan, Seremban. Joseph’s will be at 10am and Peter’s at 2.30pm. - The Star.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Badminton legend dies

Former All-England doubles badminton champion Datuk David Choong Ewe Leong died Saturday (6.30am) at his home in Penang’s Tanjong Tokong. He was 82.

He leaves behind a wife, three sons and a daughter.

With his younger brother, Datuk Eddy Choong, he clinched a hattrick of All-England men's doubles titles through 1951 to 1953.

Eddy told Bernama Online that David had a stroke 15 years ago which he survived. However he suffered a second stroke which put him in a coma these last nine years.

Eddy said that he was very close to his brother, being doubles partners they trained and played together in England for 10 years.

He said his passing is a great loss to the country.

David has also held the All-England mixed doubles crown with June White Timperly in 1953.  

He then pursued a career in politics as a state exco. He was the only MCA-Alliance candidate to win in the Penang City Council elections.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Exciting to watch Arbil FC

Last Thursday (8 Sept), I watched Arbil FC from Iraq play a "warm-up" friendly with the national Olympic team at Wisma FAM grounds. It was very refreshing indeed to watch that team play. They seem to have the right attitude and obviously very intelligent.

The front-runner of the Iraqi division one is said to have eight current and ex-internationals. Their players were well built, an indication that the management had planned, thought and selected players based on what is required to be a top international team.

It was exciting to see how the players could stop the ball, control and set to a foward running team mate with such precision. Most of their passes were on target and they were quick to regain possession whenever the lose the ball.

What was more interesting were how they moved the ball from one are of possesion to another without unnecessary back passes. Like most football fans, I fell sad when any team that brings the ball into the opponents area, kicks the ball back into his defence. What a waste.

The Iraqi team were mostly testing their possesion and set pieces and whenever the movements worked, they would take a shot at goal and almost all the shots were strainght to the goal area - no such thing as wild shots with the ball heading towars space.

My conclusion was that the team knew what they wanted. They used the match to test their attack build-up skills and the players were focussed.

The coach was intelligent and his intelligence was seen in the effectiveness of his players. I believe in many sports we often come across teams that have some good qualties, qualities which our players can learn. However for the players to learn, the coaches must be willing to learn also.

How nice if one day, wheneven there is a visiting team or tournament - football, hockey or any other sport - the day after the match or tournament, the local coaches gather and have a discussion with the foreign counterparts. I am sure a lot of knowledge can be obtained.

Whenever there is dissapoinment, the blame will be on almost everyone and everything - the teachers, schools, the rain, snow, oil and sun. I surely hope that one day we will have a generation of coaches who are eager to win and eager to learn.

If you are smart, your smartness will be reflected by the way your player or team plays.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Attiutudes on display

Be it on a playing field or court, using legs, sticks or rackets, the story most of the time is the same. Very often we have teams and individuals winning some games but when it comes to that which matter, they falter.

Its kind of sad seeing this happening over and over with no remedy in sight. Often we see a particular team playing well against a strong opponent but at the end of it the players run all over, fall all over and do everything else except score. Somehow - whether on a playing field, court or ring - the staying power is not there, the will to complete is not there.

This, I believe is an attitude problem. The attitude here is not doing enough to improve oneself. A player can run all over but cannot score and cannot contribute a good pass to his team mates, and we will see this thing happening in all games. The player is happy he ran all over the fiend, the officials maybe happy that he is running faster than the opponents. But. that does not bring victory and without victory, there is nothing to shout about.

The attitude here is that we do not have athletes who will work harder than ever to improve. We have officials who put the blame on some one else and we have a system that cannot correct this attitude of not taking the initiative to work harder.

We see players playing against same opponents and still unable to think and come up with a game plan to overcome his opponents strong points. Even after years and years of meeting the same opponent . This is another "good enough" attitude, not willing to go the extra mile or having the passion to beat him and overtake him once and for all.

Often we are unable to match the opponents on field, courts and with sticks, legs or rackets or even a machine, even though in a level playing field - where size does not matter. Again its is sad to see our sportsmen fail. Why? Well, after a good and healthy meal at the training center, it is common to see the sports people having the customary teh-tarik, roti canai and so on.

They are not professional enough to look after themselves without having some one to keep an eye over them. This is a "tidak apa" attitude which science have not been able to correct.

Some may argue that there a exceptions. They may mention names like Nicol David. Good for her and I hope she will continue to win when more than 100 countries begin to play squash. The rest who are supposed to be at the top don not display the consistency expected of a top notch team or player.

This again has got to do with right frame of mind, being focused and most of all know that you are a pro a have a pro's attitude. A pro or a group of pro's need to have this attitude that he/she/they must get better in every tournament they go into. Losing is acceptable if the performance is better than previously.

The state of sport, if we are looking at performance level, is a reflection of attitudes in our society which were not checked and corrected along he way. The junior and school coaches, for some reasons. did not deal with it. The mid-level trainers also let it go on and the top trainers, some are aware and blame the down lines, while others have concluded that those attitudes cannot be changed.

These are human factors that can be changed with proper guidelines and strict implementations. This should  would also involve parents and families because they also have a part to play to encourage to be a true professional not just in name but in attitude.

This would also mean the other stake holders have to change their attitudes towards athletes. Start treating them like pro's. That's your contribution.

As for science, I think this would involve plenty of psychological programs at all levels. Then again, the "tidak apa" and "tidak payah" attitude would halt it. And we are back to square one.

Is there hope? Let's hope so.   

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cycle for charity

National track cyclist Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and several of his teammates will ride on 24 September 2011 but for a different purpose. They will cycle for a charity event - Cycling for a Cure 2011 - to help raise funds for the Tabung Leukemia Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD).

The charity ride, which will take place at Dataran Putrajaya, will see Azizulhasni, Josiah Ng, Fatehah Mustapa, Mohd Edrus Mohd Yunos, Junaidi Mohd Nasir, Mohd Rizal Tisin and Mohd Hafiz taking part despite their hectic schedule. 

“We are all looking forward to participating in this event. It’s a chance for us to contribute to the community by supporting the leukemia fund. We hope this event will also create more awareness for this illness,” said Azizulhasni.

YSD Chief Executive Officer, Yatela Zainal Abidin hoped that cycling enthusiasts around the country would come and join the national track cyclists on 24 September.

“We hope that the national cyclists' participation will encourage the public to come and support this cause as well,” said Yatela, who disclosed that YSD will match ringgit-for- ringgit the funds raised during this charity cycling event.

“YSD is doing it differently this time around, by not only donating directly to the cause, but also encouraging the public to be part of the cause by donating through their participation in the cycling event,” she said.

Interested participants need to pay a participation fee of RM50 and can choose to race either in the 3.3km, 7.7km or the challenging 100.5km route that will go through various towns in Sepang, Nilai and Putrajaya.

“The 100.5km race is designed specifically for those who enjoy the grueling task of cycling such a distance,” said Datuk Naim Mohamad, Deputy President of Malaysian National Cycling Federation.

“I was pleased when YSD approached me with this idea of combining cycling with a charitable cause and we have worked hard to make this happen. We hope that the public will come and join us in this event,” he added.

To register, participants can download the form from www.yayasansimedarby.com , complete it, pay the RM50 participation fee through cash deposit machine or transfer via online banking, and fax over the completed registration form with the relevant bank-in slip and online receipt to YSD’s office.

Alternatively they can mail a cheque to YSD’s office, or bring RM50 cash and the completed form to the race during race day itself. The registration forms will also be made available at selected bicycle shops in the Klang Valley area.

Tabung Leukemia Yayasan Sime Darby was launched on 30 March 2011 by its Patron, YABhg Tun Musa Hitam, who is also the Chairman of YSD. The fund is set up to benefit leukemia patients in Malaysia who are between the ages of 13 and 72 years and who are in dire need for bone marrow transplant.

Eligible patients will be able to enjoy subsidised, comprehensive treatment at Sime Darby Medical Centre (SDMC)’s Blood Diseases Centre in Subang Jaya, Selangor.  These patients could be patients of SDMC or referral cases from other government and private hospitals.

Leukemia ranks fourth among males and fifth among females. In 2002, the Malaysian National Cancer Registry reported 580 Lymphoid Leukemia cases, which comprised 2.2 percent of the total cancer cases reported.

The disease affects both younger and older set of individuals. The cost of treatment is very high and seems to be the single biggest deterrent to treatment. Some patients are turned away as they cannot afford the cost of treatment, which averages RM80,000 for own marrow transplant and RM150,000 for sibling marrow transplant.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Six cities bid for 2020 games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is pleased to announce that six cities have been put forward by their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to apply to host the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2020. The cities, in alphabetical order, are: Baku (Azerbaijan), Doha (Qatar), Istanbul (Turkey), Madrid (Spain), Rome (Italy) and Tokyo (Japan).

NOCs had until 1 September 2011 to notify the IOC that a city within their jurisdiction was interested in applying. In addition, all of the above NOCs/cities complied with the newly introduced prerequisite criteria established by the IOC Executive Board (EB) in October 2010.

The six Applicant Cities will now proceed to Phase 1 of the IOC’s two-step procedure, which will lead to the election of the 2020 host city in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 7 September 2013.