Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ramlan admitted to hospital

National Sports Institute (NSI) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz was admitted to Serdang Hospital yesterday for stomach ulcer.

An NSI spokesperson said Dr Ramlan was in stable condition.
Dr Ramlan was treated at the same hospital for the illness last year.

Friday, March 23, 2012

My first boss

Veteran journalist Tan Sri Mazlan Nordin who died yesterday (22/03/12), has been described as a true journalist who remained non-political throughout his life. He was my first boss - Group Chief Editor -  when I began my career at Utusan Melayu/Malaysia in 1982.

My second boss, former Information minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin said Mazlan was a real journalist, who was sociable in nature despite his hearing difficulties. Zainuddin or Zam, took over a Group Chief Editor when Mazlan became the Group Executive Chairman.
Zainuddin who had served under Mazlan as the Utusan Melayu editor and chief group editor, said Mazlan was patriotic and nationalist who keep himself updated and well-informed with reading.
“Even National Journalism Laureate Tan Sri A. Samad Ismail who was his 'sifu', recognised him as a nationalist,” he said.
Zainuddin said Mazlan’s non-partisan policy and patriotism can be seen clearly in the way he ran the Utusan Melayu and the editorial policy during his time.
Describing him as a hard worker, he said when the paper was operating in Singapore, Mazlan used to sleep in the office with the printing workers, using newspapers as a mat.
“He was also a very up to date person, whom I’ve never seen without reading something at the office. It was under him that we enjoyed our highest circulation in the country,” he said.
Zainuddin said he had known Mazlan since the 1960s, whom he said had idolised Pak Samad and learned the ropes of journalism from him when he was asked to translate foreign news.
“I lost a great friend, who was my source of knowledge. I never went to an university but Mazlan educated and made me an intellectual, if I can call myself that,” he said with a smile.
Mazlan who was also the former chairman of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama),  died at 4.15 pm yesterday. He was 86.
His son, Yuri Azhar, 38, said Mazlan was admitted to the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre on Wednesday (21/3/12) after a fall in the bathroom at home. He leaves behind four sons and a daughter and four grandchildren.

Mazlan loved football. He was the only one I knew who wanted to watch all matches at the Stadium Merdeka - including age group matches.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mazlan returns

Datuk Mazlan Harun, former team manager of the Selangor football team, invites all ex-players and officials of the state to attend Amanah Merdeka Selangor Family Day, which will be held at the Polo Grounds in Tanamera, No 20 Jalan Kuala Selangor (opposite the Sg Buluh Prison), at 4.00 pm on 8 April 2012.

During the function, Datuk Mazlan, who was also the Deputy President of Football Association of Selangor (FAS), will present a cheque to the Sate and National Footballers Association of Malaysia.

According to some ex-Selangor footballers, about 1,000 people are expected to attend the function, including about 200 ex players and officials.

There is going to be plenty of food....and games. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Good bye Latifah

Latifah Tan Sri Ya'cob

Former Assistant Secretary of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, Latifah Tan Sri Ya'cob passed away peacefully this morning due to cancer. She was 62.

Latifah, a niece of former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Musa Hitam, was also the former secretary of the Malaysian Fencing Federation (MFF). She was a sports lover who was a middle-distance runner and actively involved in other sports and club and state level. Her son Faisal Ahmad Akhia represented the country in fencing in the SEA Games.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nike's talent search

Pep Guardiola...looking for talents

Nike has launched the 2012 edition of ‘The Chance’ – A unique global football talent search that will give the one opportunity for young amateur footballers from around the world to prove themselves on an elite stage and take their game to the highest level.

In Malaysia, the search for ‘The Chance’ representative has already begun. We are on a hunt for 5 of the best amateur footballers and give them a chance to be spotted by a world-class team of coaches and scouts to further their career. The players will go on to compete in the regional finals held at Jakarta, Indonesia, where only 1 of them will be selected to represent Malaysia during the global finals. 

The best 100 players are chosen from around the world and will then travel to the global final held in FC Barcelona’s famed youth academy. There, they will experience what all professional footballers experience from facilities, coaching to nutrition and fitness.The best 16 footballers chosen from the global finals will experience the ultimate training tour as their reward; facing some of the most renowned academy teams in world football such as Manchester United and a U.S. Youth National Team during a once-in-a-lifetime four week tour.

Players can register themselves and their teams by building a 'team page' on The Chance app which is accessed via the Nike Football Malaysia facebook page (
Please find the attached press release and image for your reference. A teaser video for 'The Chance' is also available at this link:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mutschke is in charge

FIFA announced today (2/3/12) that top German police and security executive Ralf Mutschke (52), senior manager at the German Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) and a former INTERPOL director, has been appointed as FIFA’s Director of Security as of 1 June 2012.

Mutschke will be in charge of the new FIFA Security Division, responsible for all security matters related to FIFA competitions across the world, the global security concepts for football in general, security around FIFA headquarters in Zurich, the FIFA President and the FIFA administration, as well as for matters related to the integrity and protection of the game itself.

“We have decided to strengthen the former security department, making it into a full division in order to continue to tackle all issues related to football security and the protection of the integrity of the game. This is another major step in our determination to ensure a clean and safe sport and to underline our commitment to the fight against match-fixing in football. We are extremely pleased that someone of the calibre of Ralf Mutschke has decided to join us and we are convinced that he has all the right qualities and expertise to lead this division successfully,” said FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke.

“My tasks as Director of Security will be manifold. For me, the main issue will be the integrity of FIFA competitions. The focus here will be on match-fixing, betting fraud and corruption. The initiatives that FIFA has already launched are good steps in the right direction. I will now have to pursue these initiatives stringently but also build upon them and implement them consistently with the involvement of INTERPOL and national security authorities. With this in mind, I will be able to call upon more than 30 years of experience with the BKA in the fight against national and particularly international crime,” added Mutschke.

Mutschke has 33 years of experience in various roles at the BKA, where he is currently a senior manager leading the operational services subdivision and the deputy head of the central CID services division. His previous experience at the BKA includes supervising contact with team security officers at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ and the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011.

A former police officer in Germany, Mutschke also held leading positions at INTERPOL, where he was the director of the regional and national police services (2000-2002) and the assistant director of the sub-directorate for crimes against persons and property (1998-2000). He has also played football for various clubs in Germany at the highest amateur level (Sportfreunde Seligenstadt, Rot-Weiss Frankfurt and SV Wiesbaden).

What graft?

Jakarta . Indonesian football authorities on Friday denied any foul play in the national team’s 10-0 thrashing by Bahrain, after world governing body FIFA announced an inquiry and fans expressed outrage.

The Gulf side needed to win by a nine-goal margin to have any hope of going through to the last round of Asian zone qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup finals, while Indonesia had already been eliminated from the tournament.

Indonesia’s football association (PSSI) has long been mired in graft scandals, but the head of its disciplinary committee Bernhard Limbong said: “There’s no way corruption is involved in this.

“I know because I was involved in organizing the match. If anyone did that, they would be a traitor to Indonesia. I would like to apologize to the whole nation for the defeat and for making Indonesia look like a total loser.”

Before the game the two teams had a head-to-head record of two wins apiece and two draws, but Indonesia went down to a flurry of goals after their starting keeper was sent off two minutes into the match.

FIFA said it was mounting its investigation “given the unusual outcome in relation to the results-expectation and head-to-head history and in the interests of maintaining unequivocal confidence in our game”.

Limbong said: “We welcome FIFA to carry out the required investigation on the matter. If there is any evidence to prove that corruption was involved, please let us know. But please don’t jump to conclusions.”

He added that the PSSI would protest the goalkeeper’s sending-off to FIFA.

In the event, the result was academic, with Bahrain’s rivals Qatar going through when a goal four minutes from time in Tehran earned them a 2-2 draw with Iran.

But Indonesians ridiculed the result on Twitter.

“Wait, 10-0 Bahrain vs Indonesia. Is this football as in ‘soccer’, right? Not ‘American’ football,” avianto tweeted in English.

The PSSI has come under fire in recent years over corruption allegations, leadership tussles and most recently a breakaway super league that has prompted threats of sanctions by FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.

The country’s coordinating minister for the economy Hatta Rajasa said he was surprised by the score and hoped it was embarrassing enough for the troubled sporting body to reform.

“Indonesian football needs to be better managed and better regulated,” Rajasa said. “It’s sad to see a score of 10-0. It’s not basketball, it’s football.” -Wireservices

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Late strike helps Malaysia

The Azkals dominated the first half and led 1-0 at the break thanks to Denis Wolf's 34th-minute header on a Jason Sabio long throw. Beaten back in the second half they came under a lot of pressure and failed to prevent Ahmar Shakir Mohd Ali's 91st-minute equalizer in their friendly match  Wednesday night  (29/2/12) at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Ali get past Sabio's defense and confidently slotted into the bottom corner past Neil Etheridge. Though the timing of the goal felt sore it was a good performance from the Azkals, especially considering the last time the two nations played Malaysia won, 4-0.

Malaysia started the half brightest, playing patiently from the back and building up. The Azkals were restricted to counter attacks but soon the roles switched as the scrappy pitch made the short, passing game untenable. Pumping the ball into the box from crosses and long throws the Guirado brothers—Angel and Juan Luis—looked particularly threatening with their height but generally failed to test the Malaysian keeper in the first half.

Malaysia came closest to scoring first when Kunanlan Subramaniam saw Etheridge off his line and made an audacious attempt from the left wing. He beat the Fulham goalkeeper but the ball just landed on the top of the net, inches away from opening up the scoring.

It was the Azklas who broke the deadlock first, though, as another dangerous long throw from Sabio found Wolf laxly marked and he took full advantage to get his head to the ball and beat Shakir Ali in goal.

The Philippines were supported as passionately as ever by the Kaholeros and were buoyed on by the home crowd of around 8,000. As usual the Kaholeros were in fine chanting form and not many countries can boast such unwavering support during home and away games.

The Azkals won the first half playing very English football, a physical game crossing the ball into the box at every opportunity searching for the tall players to head in. A Stoke City style of football, very physical and direct play particularly with long throws, perhaps reflected the deteriorating quality of the pitch but Malaysia came out in the second half spurred on by what was probably a strong half-time team talk.

Working several shots early, most ballooned over but Wan Zack Haikal took the ball down the right and turned Ray Jonsson, playing in dangerman Safee Sali but his shot was magnificently blocked by Sabio.

Sabio was one of those players singled out for praise by coach Michael Weiss in the press conference as the German mentor noted his improvement over the past few months. Sabio then made a second block moments later from Kunanlan as the winger got free 12 yards out but he slid in to block a certain goal.

Weiss then made a change, replacing Carli De Murga with veteran Roel Gener but it was Jason De Jong who made the next impact on the game with a high lunge. Any stronger and it would have been a red but fortunately for him there was no serious damage to the player and he escaped with a yellow for a challenge many have dubbed as a "Hi, I'm Jason De Jong" kind of tackle.

The Azkals fashioned the next chance as Etheridge's long ball found James Younghusband on the right wing. He brought the ball down well and chipped in a great pass to Angel Guirado in the center. Also controlling well, Guirado clipped the ball over his man and headed the ball in the air several times before trapping it and curling towards the top corner. The ball bounced off the post and was eventually cleared for a corner.

Unlucky with the first attempt Guirado latched onto Sabio's long throw and attempted an overhead kick. It was just too close to the keeper but showed his growing confidence and skill. He left the pitch shortly after, though, replaced by Misagh Bahadoran and the Filipino-Spanish winger was wincing again as he left the field. A little more luck and he could have doubled the Philippines' lead and sealed the win.

Marwin Angeles took to the field in place of the booked Jason De Jong for the last fifteen minutes with Malaysia still pressing for the equalizer. They almost got it in the 80th minute when Safee Sali found space on the edge of the area and curled towards the top corner. It looked like it was destined for the top corner but for a top quality save from Neil Etheridge.

The Fulham backup goalkeeper couldn't keep out the equalizer, though, as the otherwise solid Sabio was turned by Ali who slotted in with his left foot to even the score with only injury time left.

Malaysia, ranked six places above the Azkals in the FIFA world  rankings, is the closest rivals to the Philippines in Southeast Asia. Malaysia is just ranked ahead of India and are at a same level to Tajikistan also and the performance particularly shows the progress the Azkals have made.

After the game Weiss seemed satisfied with the result and performance, saying: "Overall I think we can all be pleased against a solid and strong team. We were a little bit unlucky in the end but it was a fair result… I'm very proud of the team."

In the next week the Philippines travel to Nepal on the back of this impressive performance to compete in the Challenge Cup. — JVP, GMA News