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