Friday, October 30, 2009

CONFUSING SUKMA?

Were there 18 sports determined by the Sukma Supreme Council initially or was there 19 but everyone thought it was 18 as the Minister kept saying it was 18 but no one counted for good measure.

Infact if you were read the reports, it says that nine new sports have been included and in reality it is an additional of four disciplines as synchronised swimming, water polo, beach volleyball and indoor volley ball have been added.

Compulsory sports are 18 sports as determined by the Sukma Supreme Council and they are as follows:

Weightlifting, badminton, cycling, football, lawn bowls, gymnastics, hockey, karate, archery, shooting, athletics, sailing, aquatics (swimming, diving), sepak takraw, pencak silat, squash, bowling and wushu.

The host state, in this case Malacca were given the choice to add 7 sports and they opted for the following:

Netball, basketball, equestrian, boxing, silambam, table tennis and petanque.

New additions as determined yesterday are as follows, so there are really 12 disciplines and 9 sports as synchronised swimming should come under aquatics.

Formula future, canoe, golf, rugby 7s, volleyball (beach and indoor), kabaddi, judo, fencing, synchronized swimming, water polo and Tennis.

So that makes it 34 sports right, with Taekwando being removed., but where was Taekwando placed to begin with ?

Confused, so am I.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

AUSSIES SLIP

Australia has slipped to 7th on the gold and overall medal tally according to the latest benchmark study conducted by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

The 2009 survey shows Australia with a total of 38 medals, 9 gold, 15 silver & 14 bronze, the first time in well over a decade Australia’s medal count has fallen below 40.

The study shows Australia is trailing USA with 90 medals, Russia 70, China 68, Germany 60 and France 44. Australia is level with Great Britain on 38 but GB has 11 gold, 14 silver and 13 bronze to rank ahead of us.

Australia won 41 medals at the Atlanta Games in 1996, 58 medals at the Sydney Games, 49 in Athens and 46 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“History shows we have a drop off in the immediate years after an Olympic Games, it happened after Atlanta, Sydney and Athens, and then we recover. But the study highlights a steady decline in the number of medals won over the past decade and that is a major concern” said AOC President John Coates.

The previous low occurred in 1997 with a benchmark performance of 37 medals compared to the peak of 60 medals in 1999 including 20 gold.

“Since winning the 58 medals in 2000 we have hovered in the mid to high 40’s for close on ten years, suddenly we are down in the 30’s. It is a significant drop”.

In 2000 and 2004 Australia finished fourth on the overall medal tally but five years later finds itself trailing Germany, France and Great Britain, with Italy closing the gap behind in 8th place overall with 34 medals including 11 gold, two more than Australia.

“It is no fluke the countries investing money in their athletes, Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy are either ahead of us or not far behind. While we might be level with Great Britain at this stage in the four year cycle I expect them to peak at their home Games. We jumped from 41 medals in Atlanta to 58 in Sydney. Team GB won 47 in Beijing and I would expect them to similarly improve to over 60 in London in 2012”.

For years Swimming has been the foundation of Australia’s medal success but in 2009 they recorded a dramatic fall with just 13 medals, including only two gold, in the pool and open water events.

Since 2000 Swimming has consistently won between 15 and 18 medals – only dipping below 15 medals once in 2006 and reaching a high of 20 medals at the Beijing Games.

“Maybe the swimsuits were a factor, only time will tell” Coates said.

Despite the drop off in medals Coates says there are some positive signs for the Australian Olympic Team.

“There has been some great performances in athletics, cycling is going through a rebuilding phase and the signs for them are very positive for London.

“Men’s hockey is in very capable hands with Ric Charlesworth and their benchmark event is yet to come. Our Women’s hockey squad is now back beating the top nations and most pleasing of all, are the recent results in Gymnastics.

The people in Gymnastics have worked so hard for so long, congratulations to them on the three medals at the recent World Championships”.

Coates has again set the Australian Team a goal of finishing in the top five nations on the overall medal tally at the London Games which he believes will require 55 medals.

“We are a long way off our goal of 55 medals at this point but the athletes, the coaches, the medical staff and management of all the sports are giving 100% and we have some outstanding young athletes coming through the ranks. It is way too early to start writing us off just yet subject, of course, to David Crawford recommending or the Government providing the necessary funding to our athletes” Coates said.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Say ‘Tak Nak’ to ‘tennis segera

Lifted without permission, but interesting read. A total of RM40 million to be spent on tennis from Sept 09 to Feb 10, not even RM1 million for development

IN THIS column some years ago, I made an observation: If you dug a hole in front of your house and threw in some guppies, you could get a VIP to officially launch it and it would be declared a "tourist attraction". What I did not add was that you could even get million-ringgit grants from the government. From watch exhibitions to sports events, the phrase "tourist attraction" has been used to squeeze the arms of our tourism "czars" for money.

It was not surprising that a retired police officer with "strong connections" walked into Tourism Malaysia’s office demanding RM10 million so that he could open a booth at last year’s Beijing Olympics. When he was politely shown the door, one of the bosses remarked: "Even my father does not like you."

If you thought that the nonsense of "investing" in sports activities ended with the Champions Youth Cup (CYC) where a "bidding" fee of RM17 million was paid to the promoter which led to the National Sports Council almost breaking the bank, the queues are getting longer at the Tourism Ministry. The key weapons in the new operators’ armoury are "project paper" and "surat sokong". Armed with these, all and sundry have joined the bandwagon – spin doctors, journalists and even sports officials – to become sports impresarios. For a good measure, the traditional name-dropping game is used.

Last month, we had the Malaysian Open ATP tournament and no one knows how much the Tourism Ministry doled out. Yet we talk about Key Performance Index and Return on Investment. Of course, the reasoning that is often given is that "the tournament will put Malaysia on the world map." Really? Does anyone measure the returns on million-ringgit investments? Except for the VIPs who get the syiok sendiri feeling of rubbing shoulders with the stars, there’s nothing to show.

If you are talking about attracting tourists, then the promotions for the event must have started a year ago. But no, we can "create" instant tourists. And after the never-heard of CYC tournament which came to our shores three years ago and in which we lost more than RM25 million, another circus is coming to town.

It’s called the Showdown of Champions – Asia versus Russia Grand Slam 2009. Ever heard of it? No one had heard of it previously. I Googled this tournament and as of noon yesterday, there were just two entries – both from the website of the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM). There were no such tournaments previously and someone coined the name of the tournament and for good measure appointed a failed but good-looking tennis star as "ambassador". Does she have to present credentials to anyone? Probably not, since she has not won a major singles title. Judging by the posting on the website, even the LTAM does not deem it important enough to deserve better play. The posting dated Sunday reads: Tennis fans will be in for a treat as the Tourism Minister is scheduled to launch the Showdown of Champions 2009 at the Pavillion Shopping Center in Bukit Bintang at 10am tomorrow. Also, a Russian female star will grace the event and meet our junior players at the National Tennis Center in the evening.

Four women will travel to Kuala Lumpur with an entourage of coaches, tukang urut and the lot (on first-class of course) and we the taxpayers are supposed to pay for their holiday. And we are told that some tukang urut have also jumped on the bandwagon.

Government departments and agencies are not sports promoters. And for one moment, do not use the phrase "it will help promote tennis among the youth". We have had an overdose of such clich├ęs.

Are we giving promoters the impression that Malaysians are a gullible lot? Like trying to export snow to the Eskimos, many are looking East for vulnerable people who are willing to part with their money so as to enrich themselves with all kinds of events. And we seem to be suckers for punishment. No one will have any qualms if promoters take their money out of their own pockets and take business risks. But when taxpayers are asked to guarantee that such events are not financial disasters, then it takes a different dimension. If previously, government-linked-companies were directed to do "national service" by underwriting costs, they have now turned to the government coffers, in this case, taxpayers’ money.

At a time when the Tourism Ministry can’t even put its house in order with the million-ringgit losses in "investments" by its wholly-owned companies under the Pempena umbrella, why is it getting involved in areas which are alien to it?

The Tourism Malaysia and the Tourism Ministry must come clean on the sports events that they are funding. Taxpayers are entitled to know how much is being spent on and what kind of returns can be expected. The reply can be envisaged: "Malaysia will be mentioned four thousand nine hundred and two times during the telecast and we see this as valuable returns" but are we as gullible as they are?

Heads of government departments and agencies are custodians of people’s money. They have to be prudent and the principle of "value for money" must always be in their minds when spending it. While some will be labelled as "kedekut" and refuse to part with taxpayers’ money without examining its implications, there are many who are willing to spend RM42,000 for a laptop. And the people at Tourism Malaysia have seen similar transactions in the past; the time has come for them to be accountable for their actions.

Now that the dozens of "aides" of the minister have found themselves in different locations and no longer poke their heads into finance and administration, it is time for Tourism Malaysia to stand up and say: "We’ll not be a party to your money-making schemes."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

BORNEO GAMES DAMPER

The football event for the third Borneo Games 2009 to be held in Brunei Darussalam at the end of next month has been dropped after the Federal Territory of Labuan suddenly withdrew its participation.

Despite having already agreed to take part during the head of delegates meeting for the 3rd Borneo Games at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Oct 10, the Federal Territory of Labuan sent a letter stating its non-participation.

The letter did not state any reason for the withdrawal. After the news in the last meeting that the Brunei Darussalam Football) Association had been suspended by FIFA, Malaysian teams from Sabah and Sarawak had declined although the Borneo Games has no affiliation with AFC or FIFA.

With only Brunei and Kalimantan participating in the football event, it does not have the mandatory three teams to compete. Without football, this year's Borneo Games will comprise nine sporting events badminton, lawn bowling, cue sports, gasing (top spinning), hockey, athletics, pencak silat, sepak takraw and tennis.

Athletes from Sabah, Sarawak, the Federal Territory of Labuan, Kalimantan and Malacca, the host of Sukma 2010, and host Brunei will be contesting in nine events.

Friday, October 23, 2009

SPORT UNFRIENDLY BUDGET

We might as well close down the National Sports Council after the 2010 Budget was unveiled by the Prime Minister today.

Unity in the country has a perfect tool, sports, but the government of the day has opted not to give much thought of using sports as means of achieving the 1 Malaysia concept which to me is now just a slogan rather then a unifying factor .

There are tons of ways one could have helped the sports industry and holding the seminar some two months ago, which ironically was declared open by the PM himself, has proven to be a sheer waste of time.

They used to say that Tun Mahathir was not too concerned about sports and that Datuk Najib being a former Sports Minister would be all ears to sports.

Well that has not been the case as he has not even mentioned sports as a unity tool, sports to project the nation , sports as means towards a healthy society and sports as an industry to spur the economy .

My heart goes out to those in the NSC as they have to work within a limited budget with the expectations so high for 2010 what more with the Thomas Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games around the corner.

Those in the NSC are always blamed when the athletes fail to deliver hence the politicians are deprived of the publicity the crave for.

But it is you, the politicians in dark suits who are responsible towards the decay of sports in the country.

421KM AN HOUR SMASH


Malaysia's Tan Boon Heong has become the world's fastest smasher, with a speed clocked at 421 km/h, breaking the previous record set by Japan's Naoko Kawamae at 414 km/h. The tests were done two weeks ago and results were kept secret by the Yonex staff until today, October 22nd. This news is exclusive to Badzine.

The speed tests were done during the recently held Yonex Japan Open where Tan Boon Heong but also Markis Kido, Nova Widianto and Koo Kien Keat tried both the new Arc Saber Z-slash and their luck in breaking Kawamae's record.

It was Badzine who first told Tan about the good news - and the latter was surprised, and proud. "It really motivates me to know that I hold such a prestigious record. I have been working extra time on my smash and it is rewarding to see that it's paid off. But it's not enough to be a good badminton player," said the soft-spoken Malaysian.

It was just two weeks ago that the previous world record of 332 km/h - set by Fu Haifeng during an actual match in 2005 - had been surpassed by Japan's Kawamae. The shuttler from Tokyo didn't get to enjoy the fame for long...

During the session of tests in Tokyo, Tan Boon Heong was not the only one trying out the new racket in front of the radar: Markis Kido, Nova Widianto, Koo Kien Keat also tried their hands, but none of them beat Tan's speed of 421 km/h.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SHEER WASTE OF MONEY


COULD HAVE BEEN HELD AT PUTRAJAYA CONVENTION CENTRE

Yet another seminar is being held, this time entitled the National Sports Management Seminar organised by the National Sports Council, that commenced today and will end tomorrow.

Ironically the seminar is being held in Awana, Genting Highlands, and when one looks at the information with regards to the seminar on the NSC webpage, the following appears:

Embraced by High Mountain and cool tropical forest, Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resorts is certainly your gateway to the place and tranquility. Nestled in the country’s largest, longest and oldest mountain ranges. Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resorts is mere 45 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur, and is located approximately 3,000 feet above sea level. It is just a stone’s throw away from a host of entertainment facilities and accommodation. Renowned for its abundant green surroundings and crisp, cool air, Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resorts is the ideal venue for meetings and functions in a refreshing, stress-free environment.

There is so much space available right here in Kuala Lumpur so it is indeed baffling as to why the seminar is being held in Awana. We have loads of spaces available in the NSC, National Sports Complex as well as the Olympic Council of Malaysia where there are two seminar rooms named after our sporting legends, Dato Ho Koh Chye and Dato Mokhtar Dahari.

Why do we condone spending so much money to organise seminars when it has done nothing to improve Malaysian sports, the obvious case being the National Sports Convention in Langkawi in 1996, the end result of which is collecting dust in the NSC.

Are there so many distractions in the city that we have to house all the participants in Awana, incurr cost that could have been spent better by holding development clinics for sports that are in dire straits.

Besides if one looks at the tentative program of the seminar, you can see that there is no requirement for accomodation as the only program slated for the night is a dinner with the Sports Minister.

And the fee one has to pay, RM50.00 for full board for two days, conference handbook, cocktail reception and lo behold, a free skyway ticket.

Will the NSC be fortright and tell us just how much it cost to organise the seminar, including the cost of flying in some of the speakers?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

FOR THOSE WHO MAY NOT HAVE BEEN TOLD

The venue and kick-off time for the AFC Asian Cup 2011 Group C qualifier between Malaysia and Uzbekistan has been changed.

The match will take place on 18 November with a kick-off time of 1730 and a new venue, which is the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

The AFC Asian Cup 2011 finals will be held in Qatar.

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Australia completed their successful Group H programme in the AFC U-16 Championship 2010 qualifiers with a 2-1 victory over Malaysia.

The Aussies finished top of the double round-robin group with 10 points from four matches, six ahead of second-placed Laos with Malaysia last on two points.

All the goals were scored in the first half. Australia were 2-0 up within 33 minutes with goals from Jesse Makarounas and Milos Degenek. Malaysia’s Akmal Bin Ishak pulled one back a minute before half-time.

Only one team from the group qualify for next year’s finals.


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Thursday, October 15, 2009

MALAYSIAN ON TRIAL AT CARDIFF CITY


If this boy is good enough to earn a trial at Cardiff City, without his dad having to invest anything as of yet, how come he is not playing in the great M-League, or have FAM missed out on him, as they have done on many things lately.

Picked up this from WalesOnline and am working on getting more info about this player.


Nick Chan – the teenage son of would-be Cardiff City backer Dato Chan Tien Ghee – was given another chance to impress on the pitch as the Bluebirds drew 1-1 in Bristol.

Chan, a technically efficient central midfielder, has been on the trial with City for the last couple of weeks.

And having enjoyed a brief outing in the clash with Hereford United, he was handed another seven minutes of reserve team action when he took over from Riccardo Scimeca.

His father, has had talks with Bluebirds’ chairman Peter Ridsdale about investment in Cardiff City and possible sponsorship.

Mark Webber drives the Proton Savvy

After reading this review that I picked up from The Telegraph, I am of the opinion that Mark Webber will not be one of the six drivers shortlisted to drive 1Malaysia F1 car for the next F1 season. Read on Datuk Nadzmi Salleh.....


He took in the car's fine lines, the first Proton to be entirely designed in-house by the Malaysian manufacturer.

"Fair play, they've made a bit of an effort, although that spoiler's about as useful as a veggie burger. And that," he shouted, pointing at the central exhaust, "looks like a drinking straw."

Head and legroom were ample in the front but the sloping roof has a significant effect on the rear accommodation. "I wouldn't fancy sitting there," Mark said, nodding at the back seat.

So began the commentary: "Plenty of seat adjustment, but none on the steering wheel and I can't see those sporty dials. Not a disaster though, eh? We can't break the speed limit in this puppy," he grinned. "Man, that's a loose gearbox. First gear is somewhere in Oxfordshire."

When a car costs £7,995 you don't expect a walnut and leather interior, but the Savvy's plastic felt insubstantial and the overall quality got Mark's goat: "Look at that boot on the wing mirror adjuster," he said, pulling at the poorly fitted rubber cover. For a man used to F1 standards of preparation, exposed screw heads and flimsy trim don't cut it.

The engine whined as Mark nailed the revs into the red, although the noise was pretty much the only change. "I'm through the floor, mate," he said. "She's coming good though." Mark recommends ear plugs and a good book while the Savvy gets up to speed, but it did pretty well with us and a cameraman aboard. Mark wasn't as sympathetic. "You wouldn't want to do a long journey in this, eh?"

I defended the Savvy. "You've started 134 grands prix and this little car would have beaten you in 46 of them. There'd be a stereo, air-conditioning and no need to pit during the race."

Mark smiled. "You're right, I wouldn't have been slammed by Kubica [at Monza] – I'd still have been on the start/finish straight."

It certainly stopped better than it went; Mark reckoned it handled more like a boat than a car. Thailand's national newspaper ranked the Savvy in its top 10 cars, praising its kart-like handling. I mention this to Mark. "Shopping cart," he snorted.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

1 MALAYSIA, NOT AT FAM


The politicians have been championing the cause of 1 Malaysia, the brainchild of Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak.

But at the Football Association of Malaysia, they pay scant respect to the effort to unite Malaysians.

For how can they explain holding the National Beach Soccer tournament in Kuantan from October 15 to October 19, right smack in between Deepavali.

Have they no respect for the Indian community or is this a way of telling the Indians you are not wanted in football?

Well, maybe we ought to get the likes of Hindraf or Makkal Sakhti to organise a special event for the Indians.

Friday, October 09, 2009

FREE TV RULES

As the penultimate round of qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup approaches this weekend, a special survey by EurodataTV Worldwide and TV Sports Markets analysing live free-to-air coverage of international football shows qualification matches are still a sure-fire guarantee of big television audiences, despite the difficulties some agencies and federations are currently having selling the rights.

The French football federation has yet to agree a new television deal, three months after putting the rights on the market, and no UK broadcaster was willing to show England’s final 2010 World Cup qualifier against the Ukraine this weekend.

However the survey shows that 2010 World Cup qualifiers draw average audience shares of close to 35 per cent in the top five European markets, the kind of shares matched only by top soaps and reality television programmes.

Audiences for 2010 World Cup qualifying matches so far, up to this weekend’s penultimate round of fixtures, have nonetheless fallen in four of the five markets in comparison to the Euro 2008 qualifying campaigns. Audiences in Germany are down 12 per cent, Italy 10 per cent, France seven per cent and the UK two per cent. The exception is Spain, where audiences have increased nine per cent, no doubt boosted by the national team’s status as European Champions.

In the US, ESPN's coverage of 10 USA World Cup qualifiers has drawn an average 677,000 viewers, with a top audience of one million for the away game against Honduras in June. The reverse fixture, however, will only be shown in Latin American bars and restaurants after the Mediapro agency failed to reach a deal for the match.

In Japan, national team qualifiers have slightly less pull, drawing an average 3.5 million viewers and 27 per cent audience share for commercial channel TV Asahi. These shares are nonetheless more than double its average prime time audience share of 12 per cent.

THE WISEST OF THE WISE MAY ERR




KL Dragons may have noble intentions to develop basketball in the country, but they are not prepared for the politics that may surround their entry into the sport.

Set to make their debut in the inaugural Asean Basketball League, the three joint owners of the club have made one resolve, that they will not stomach any interference with regards as to how they manage their "investment" in the all professional outfit.

And as to underline their commitment towards running the outfit in a professional manner, the trio, Datuk Robin Tan, Datuk Wira Naim Daim and Ruben Emir Gnanlingam were unified in saying that they were on the lookout for a professional sports personality for employment as the Chief Executive Officer for KL Dragons and take the club to the next level.

This came about after the trio were asked on how they would maintain sustained interest in the club and sport given that all three of them are busy in running their multi million ringgit businesses.

"We realise that it will need a professional person to run the club once the season is underway and that we may not have much time to be involved in the day to day running of the club," admitted Ruben.

"Hence we are on the lookout for someone who will be able to run the outfit professionally and run it as a business, able to sustain itself over the next few years."

And Datuk Robin was quick to add that as co-owners, they were committed towards ensuring the success of the club and that sponsorship was not an issue for the club as they had laid out plans to ensure the club will be able to contribute effectively towards the promotion and development of basketball in the country.

"There should not be interference from ny party as we are well aware of what is required and we have held discussions on this matter," said Robin.

"We believe that basketball has the potential and I personally have played the sport as a youngster and followed its developments closely over the years."

But the enthusiastic owners maybe groping in the dark so as to say as it was stated in their press release that KL Dragons will be organising an Under 14 and Under 17 league with the objective of nurturing Malaysian youth in basketball and developing them into professional players.

However when asked when they leagues were to commence and what was the form of development that KL Dragons were looking at, the trio were lost for words.

"We will be talking to the Sports Ministry and plan to hold clinics throughout the country so as to generate interest in the sport," said Datuk Wira Naim.

"We have yet to determine when the leagues will commence but suffice to say that it will be within Kuala Lumpur only."

And as a parting word, Ruben said that their intention was to make basketball the second most watched spectator sport over TV, after the EPL.

Wishful thinking some may say, but the three "who's who" of Malaysian business have some tricks up their sleeves, but just kept the cards close to their chest.

Every sale has five basic obstacles, no need, no money, no hurry, no desire and no trust. And something tells me thatthe trio have just got over three obstacles, what they are, your guess is as good as mine.

EVEN MALDIVES HAS A PLAYER SHORTLISTED

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced the first shortlist of 15 players who are in contention for the prestigious AFC Player of the Year 2009 award.

Japan have three players in the list, which will be revised after each match day until the award is given out in late November.


Two Saudi and DPR Korea players have also made the cut. Bahrain, Iran, Syria, China, Indonesia, Qatar, Uzbekistan and Maldives have one nominee for the award, which goes to the best player in Asia, at this stage.

Making the initial list are Japanese internationals Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka) and AFC Champions League semi-finalists Nagoya Grampus defender Yoshida Maya.

Though, Kawasaki and Gamba are no longer in the AFC Champions League fray, Nakamura and Endo have chances to earn valuable points when Japan meet Hong Kong on Thursday and on November 18 in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

Sayed Mohamed Adnan, whose heroics at the back earned Bahrain an inter-continental play-off berth, also made it to the list along side Iran and Sepahan defender Hadi Aghily.

Saudi Arabia’s Nasser Al Shamrani and Mohammed Noor, DPR Korea’s Hong Yong-jo and Ri Myong-guk, Syrian Firas Al Khatib, China’s Li Weifeng, Indonesian Markus Rihihina, Qatar and Umm Salal goalkeeper Baba Malick, Uzbekistan’s Alexander Geynrikh and Maldives’ Ali Ashgaq are also on the roster.

The winner is chosen on the basis of a weighted ranking system which takes into account Most Valuable Player nominations at key AFC and FIFA tournaments (see below). Server Djeparov (Bunyodkor and Uzbekistan) is the reigning AFC Player of the Year.

The Nominees:

Alexander Geynrikh (Uzbekistan) Pakhtakor
Ali Ashfaq (Maldives) VB
Baba Malick (Qatar) Umm Salal
Firas Al Khatib (Syria) Al Arabi/Al Qadsiya
Hadi Aghily (Iran) Sepahan
Hong Yong Jo (North Korea) Rostov, Russia
Kengo Nakamura, (Japan) Kawasaki Frontale
Li Weifeng (China) Suwon Bluewings, Korea
Markus Rihihina (Indonesia) PSMS Medan
Maya Yoshida, (Japan) Nagoya Grampus
Mohammed Noor, (Saudi Arabia) Al Ittihad
Nassir Al Shamrani, (Saudi Arabia) Al Shabab
Ri Myong Guk (North Korea) Pyongyang Athletics Club
Sayed Mohamed Adnan (Bahrain) Al Khor
Yasuhito Endo, (Japan) Gamba Osaka,

Thursday, October 08, 2009

SLAP SLAP SLAP

Word has it that four players of a team representing Malaysia overseas were slapped by their coach.

And when 15 players went to seek justice from the national body, not only were they told to go back to camp but were warned not to open their mouth. And the coach is foreignor.

Let's await more info from the main stream media.

GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE

October 14 will see the first ever appearance of KL Dragons, Malaysia’s first professional basketball team at the inaugural ASEAN Basketball League (ABL). The stellar cast of basketball players, which is the brainchild of three of Malaysia’s very own young successful entrepreneurs: Mr. Ruben Emir Gnanalingam, Dato’ Wira Dani Daim and Dato’ Robin Tan Yeong Ching, who all share a passion for sports and the expansion of basketball in Malaysia.

Dato' Robin Tan, on forming KL Dragons said, “Basketball has and continues to be a passion of mine. I have been playing the game since my teenage years and am still actively playing whenever I get the time. When this opportunity to participate in the ABL and the Dragons was presented to me I jumped at the chance as I felt that such an endeavor would expose the sport that I love to many more people in the country and the region. Hopefully the ABL will see this sport gaining the exposure it deserves.”


The KL Dragons aims to create regional platforms of high performance sports and will also be building facilities, infrastructure and developing players’ skills.

“We hope to create an alternative avenue for kids to participate in a healthy lifestyle and fuel their passion in striving to be the best by giving them opportunities to become professional players,” Dato’ Wira Dani Daim says, who envisions a future where youths chooses basketball as a profession.

For a start, KL Dragons would be organizing an Under-14 and Under-17 league with the objective of nurturing the youth in basketball, developing them into professional players. With teams from five other different countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Philippines, KL Dragons sees this as a good opportunity to bring international experience in developing the youth of Kuala Lumpur and also Malaysia.

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“The ABL through the KL Dragons provide a great opportunity to promote KL, Malaysia, and Malaysian brands. We hope to bring all 600 million people of ASEAN together by showcasing the spirit of the teamwork and sports to overcome any barriers. As a result, we also hope to see an increase in tourists visiting KL and the rest of Malaysia as well,” Mr. Ruben Emir Gnanalingam says.


As the sole team participating from Malaysia, the team has vowed to perform their best and do their nation proud. The public is more than welcome to lend their support by watching KL Dragons play at the ABL; lucky participants may even win amazing prizes during half-times.

ABL’s first season will run from this October until February 2010, starting from the 11th October ‘09, and KL Dragon's first game would be held at the MABA Stadium, KL on the 14th of October ‘09 at 7pm till 10pm. Tickets are available via ticket hotline outlets and on their website www.tickethotline.com.my. Alternatively tickets also can be bought through their call centre at 03-77251177 or 03-77251166. Ticket price at RM25 for adult and RM20 for student (below 22years old).



Wednesday, October 07, 2009

WIN THIS MATCH PLEASE DOLLAH


AS FOOTBALL great Dollah Kassim fights for his life in hospital, I am reminded of his contribution to Singapore.

Close your eyes and try to imagine Dollah standing before a ball in the National Stadium, about to take a free kick.

If you cannot picture him in his classic arms-akimbo pose, I can bet that you were not at any Malaysia Cup match of the 1970s.

Boys of my vintage derived immense pleasure from thronging Kallang Stadium weekend after weekend to watch the likes of Dollah whip the minnows of Malaysia in the only sports event that mattered - the Malaysia Cup.

Perlis, Johor, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan were cannon fodder for Dollah and the gang.

Only Selangor and, occasionally, Penang, were any match for us.

If my memory does not fail me, the gang comprised Eric Paine (goalie); Hasli Ibrahim and Syed Mutalib (both capable of breaking legs); Seak Poh Leong (captain); Robert Sim; Samad Allapitchay; "Camel" S. Rajagopal; Quah Kim Song; Quah Kim Lye; "Babyface" Mohammad Noh and, of course, Dollah.

Their Malaysian nemeses were giants such as "Spiderman" R. Arumugam; Santokh Singh; "Datuk" Soh Chin Aun; Mokhtar Dahari; Shukor Salleh and Isa Bakar.

Filling the Kallang cauldron with 50,000 or more ardent fans was a given every weekend.

The coach was Choo Seng Quee, who would start each training session with the National Anthem.

Dollah, thanks for the memories.

Our prayers are with you and we hope that you can overcome your biggest "match" yet.

You beat the odds before and you can do it again.

Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan


SLOW DECISION ON CARDIFF FC

THE Malaysian property magnate who has had extensive talks on Cardiff City investment has returned to Kuala Lumpur.

Dato Chan Tien Ghee watched City smash 10 goals in two Championship matches and had three days of talks with club chairman Peter Ridsdale in London.

He flew home to the Far East yesterday and Ridsdale would only say: “The talks we had went well.

“That’s all there is to be said at the moment.”

Ridsdale has twice flown to Malaysia to meet Dato Chan, who is keen on becoming involved with the Bluebirds.

He was at Cardiff City Stadium to watch Derby thrashed 6-1 and went into the home dressing room to meet the players after the final whistle.

He was also at Watford for Cardiff’s 4-0 win which lifted the Bluebirds into fourth place in the Championship.

Ridsdale has also been to America twice where he had talks with big-hitters in the financial sector about restructuring Cardiff’s £24m debt to Langston and possible investment in the football club.

But the growing relationship with potential investors in Malaysia looks to have increasing promise.

Ridsdale remains in regular contact with Sam Hammam, the former Cardiff owner who is the only known representative of Langston.

Hammam is currently back in the UK from the Lebanon and has contacted a number of Bluebirds’ fans.

Friday, October 02, 2009

CARDIFF IMPRESS MALAYSIAN TYCOON


CARDIFF City served up a football feast against Derby County in front of the Malaysian property tycoon who is having talks on possible investment in the club.

Wealthy Dato Chan Tien Ghee, nicknamed TG, took his seat alongside Bluebirds chairman Peter Ridsdale and marvelled at Michael Chopra’s four-goal blast in the 6-1 Championship win on Tuesday.

The man from Kuala Lumpur went into the home dressing room after the match and manager Dave Jones said: “He seems a lovely man. I hope a lovely man agrees some lovely investment!”

Dato Chan is now back in London along with City chairman Peter Ridsdale for further investment talks.

“We have a busy few days ahead,” said Ridsdale, who has twice visited Dato Chan in Malaysia.

Jones was delighted with his Bluebirds team and picked out three key players – Chopra, Stephen McPhail and Jay Bothroyd for praise.

Chopra has now netted 12 goals this season, including two hat-tricks, and Jones said: “His movement and finishing was superb. Derby defenders could not handle him.”

On McPhail, Jones said: “Stephen made three of Michael’s goals, slipping the ball through their defence – and his fourth goal showed what we are capable of.

“The service to our strikers was top drawer.”

Chopra’s fourth came when McPhail slid a low pass through the heart of the Rams’ back four and the Geordie striker spun away from a defender before finishing in style.

And on Bothroyd, the City boss said: “He deserved a goal because of his workrate and movement.”

City travel to Watford on Saturday before the two-week international break.