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47th FAM Congress- Showdown begins..

A large number of stakeholders, members of the Press all suited up and an army ambulance stationed right at the entrance of the Glenmarie Ballroom. This is the scene at the 47th FA of Malaysia Congress at Holiday Inn in Shah Alam.

Officials are currently registering and exchanging pleasantries among each other. Some of the familiar faces include Dato' Soh Chin Aun, former FAM assistant gen-sec Saifuddin Abu Bakar (who is playing SPR for the day), Datuk Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin, former KLFA secretary Goh Ah Chai, former MIC No.2 man Dato' S.Subramaniam and National Sports Council director general Dato' Zolkples Embong.

FAM president Sultan Ahmad Shah and his son Tengku Abdullah are said to be on their way.

This posting will be updated from time to time.

Update 2 (10.46am):
Tengku Abdullah walks in. Stealing the limelight is Christopher Raj who comes out from the police escort car.

Update 3 (10.50am):
Sultan Ahmad Shah arrives but is still stationed in his car.

Update 4 (11.00am):
S…

Akademi Fantasia - ala FAM

My take on the FAM Congress, published in today's The Malay Mail.

Comment by Haresh Deol

KUALA LUMPUR: Want to learn a thing or two about politics? Look no further, the FAM Congress is here.

As the stake holders vote for their "stars" to be the new office bearers at a leading hotel in Shah Alam tomorrow, many fail to realise the importance of leading a national football association.

Some have turned the media and blogosphere into a campaign rally, hoping to garner the required votes in a bid to satisfy their personal hunger.

Others prefer the silent approach, hoping for intervention from third parties to aid their cause. It's baffling how public statements are made and issued at the eleventh hour in a bid to cloud the judgment of the affiliates.

There are claims of money politics involved. Those, however, remain as rumours.

It seems the Congress has turned out to be nothing but a popularity contest — like Akademi Fantasia if you will.

The main prize — the ability to use FAM …

Kimchi delight?

Two days before the FAM Congress, members of the Press receive this:

KENYATAAN AKHBAR YB DATO’ RAZALI HJ IBRAHIM

TIMBALAN MENTERI BELIA DAN SUKAN

SEMPENA LAWATAN KERJA KE SEOUL KOREA SELATAN

26-29 JULAI 2010

YB. Dato’ Razali Hj. Ibrahim , Timbalan Menteri Belia dan Sukan telah mengadakan lawatan kerja ke Seoul Korea Selatan dari 26 Julai hingga 29 Julai 2010. Lawatan turut di sertai oleh YBhg’ Dato’ Zolkples Embong Ketua Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negara, YBhg. Dato’ Azzudin Ahmad, Setiausaha Agong Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia dan beberapa pegawai dari Kementerian Belia dan Sukan. Delegasi Timbalan Menteri Belia Dan Sukan ini telah mengadakan perbincangan dan melawat kemudahan yang disediakan di Korea Football Association, Korea National Sports University (KNSU), Seoul Physical Education School dan Taereung National Training Centre.

Antara perkara yang berfaedah yang boleh diambilkira dalam program pembangunan sukan di Malaysia yang telah dibincangkan semasa lawatan dan diputuskan seperti beri…

It just makes sense

Finally, Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said something that I can agree to.

It has been stressed countless times that there is a serious need to build stadiums catering for football.

Instead the stadiums in our country are mostly too big and caters for a whole lot of things, from celebrating a certain anniversary, staging concerts to turning into a political rally hub.

Thus I must say that although the Shah Alam Stadium and the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil look majestic, I still prefer the Cheras Stadium (pic) and the Selayang Stadium.

So Shabery said the right thing by stating that the government is studying a proposal to build stadiums specifically for football.

But let's take it a step further.

If the government is tasked to construct such stadiums, they will naturally fall under the state governments' jurisdiction. Why not have a 'loan' system whereby the stadiums are leased or handed to the state FAs so that it will only be used for football and nothing e…

Aku dah bosan

"Saya menawar diri sebagai Presiden KLBA hanya untuk membantu membangunkan badminton, dan saya percaya semua yang bertanding hari ini mempunyai matlamat yang sama."

That was the statement by KL Badminton Association's newly elected president Datuk Mohammad Norza Zakaria (pic, centre - courtesy of Utusan) as reported by Utusan yesterday.

Expect more 'politically right' statements when the FA of Malaysia Congress ends over this weekend.

I was invited on Kafe Sukan once again yesterday as we discussed about the Congress.

Here are some of the comments made on Kafe Sukan's facebook wall, courtesy of a friend;

Pend Pokde: sekali lgi HARISH DEOL (bukan warga singapura) mnanyakn 2 soalan yg agak pedas kepada datuk hamidin dan saudara rizal..pertama..pasal pahang knp tak ke liga perdana walupun berada di bwah liga super musim yg lalu..kedua...pasal lainan politik yg berlaku di PERAK.....datuk hamidim nmpk agak goyah dan mnjawab dgn jawapan ...

Adam Nigina: adakah kehadiran…

Spanish invasion

This could be Spain's year after all.

Spanish hunk Rafael Nadal won the Wimbledon, the La Furia Roja netted their first World Cup while Pinto-born Alberto 'El Pistolero' Contador, was named winner of the Le Tour de France yesterday.

Eager to follow suit is Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo who is currently leading the MotoGP pack with 210 points after winning at Laguna Seca - his sixth victory this season - over the weekend.

Bringing more joy to the Spainards is the fact that their economy is slowly picking up.

And fans of Madrid-born singer Enrique Iglesias could be in for a treat as he has pledged to honour his bet of skiing naked if Spain won the World Cup.

"I need to get my Brazilian wax before I do it," People Magazine quoted the singer as saying. "Actually, I'm just waiting for a day off. A bet's a bet. I used to do it in high school, so what's the big deal?" he added.

HD says: It's certainly a Spanish delight - minus Enrique naked.

The song remains the same

Many asked why have I not touched about the 'much anticipated' FA of Malaysia congress scheduled July 31.

Why bother?

There have been reviews about the candidates, written by fellow journalists and bloggers.

FAM joins the ranks of the other sporting associations such as the BA of Malaysia and the Malaysian Hockey Federation in paying lip service to the masses but have never really delivered.

I am disturbed by comments saying that a particular individual is there to fulfill a certain ethnic quota. It doesn't matter what colour or creed he belongs to as long as the person is a capable administrator.

I am also disturbed when administrators turn into politicians. They fail to see the needs and wants of the athletes and dance to the tune of the government agencies instead.

Lastly, I am disturbed when empty promises are made. Mean what you say.

And when you actually unearth the dirt and investigate into the wrong-doings, administrators, who sometimes pretend to be mightier than the…

Tigers eat Kimchi for dinner

Safiq Rahim proved to be the toast for the Malaysia Tigers as they edge Korea Under-23 w-0 in a friendly match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil which just ended.

Safiq scored in the 50th much to the joy of the 3000 odd fans at the stands.

Malaysia Under-23
Sabre Mat Abu, Asraruddin Putra Omar (Azmi Muslim), Nasriq Baharom (Muslim Ahmad), Aidil Zafuan, Zaquan Adha, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Baddrol Bakhtiar), Safiq Rahim, Amar Rohidan (Gurusamy Govandar), Ahmad Fakri Saarani (Khyril Muhymeen), Kunalan Subramaniam (Ahmad Shakir Ali), Sharbinee Allawee (GK)

Korea Under-23
Lee Bum Soo (GK), Jeong Dong Ho (Sin Se Gye), Park Hyung Jin, Jang Suk Won, Kim Oh Kyu, Jeon Hyun Cheol (Cho Yung Hoon), Jung Woo Young, Kim Dong Hee (Kim Dong Sub), Park Hee Seong, Go Moo Yul (You Sun Gon), Lee Chang Yong (Lee Seok Hyun)

Double joy for Malaysia

World No 1 Nicol David and Azlan Iskandar brought cheers to the home crowd after nailing the Malaysian Open Squash Championship at The Curve in Mutiara Damansara yesterday.

In her twitter page, Nicol said: "Had two monster matches in both the semis with Alison and finals with Jenny.Glad to win at the end."

Nicol was stretched after defeating England's Jenny Duncalf 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-5 in the final. Earlier, the Penangite had a nail-biting match against another English lass World No 4 Alison Waters in the semi-finals.

Azlan proved to be the most fittest player on the court and this was proven after he defeated Egyptian Tarek Momen 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 in the other final.

Congratulations to both Nicol and Azlan.

But it was my conversation with Sharon Wee which hit a note or two.

"If I were given a chance to run the show, I would want to concentrate on the 18 and 19 year olds. We all know they go through cross roads at this time of their life, wanting to either go all…

Clash of the legends

Meet Hong Myung Bo.

The Korean remains as one of the best sweepers that Asia has ever seen. With four World Cup appearances and having last played for MSL outfit LA Galaxy, Myung Bo has graduated from a general on the field to a master tactician on the sidelines.

He was the assistant coach to the Korean team at the 2006 World Cup.

Then there's our very own K.Rajagobal.

Having donned the national jersey and played alongside the likes of the late Mokhtar Dahari (which for the record graduated from the same primary school SRK Jalan Kuantan as I did), Rajagobal is anticipating for an exciting affair as his Under-23 lads clash with the Korean Under-23 team at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow (kick off at 5.30pm).

As coach, Rajagobal is best remembered for guiding the national team to winning the gold medal at the Laos SEA Games last year.

During the pre-match press conference at the National Stadium earlier, our fellow journalist were rather intrigued to learn the football cult…

A morning at UiTM

Thanks to Shaukei Kahar, I was invited as a speaker at the Pelancaran Pusat Kecemerlangan Bola Sepak 2010 which is still on-going as this posting is being written.

I was assigned to talk about corruption, M-League v EPL and the future of footballers in Malaysia. Corruption is a subject I love to touch upon while I'm pleased that my comments that "EPL isn't the greatest league in the world" got a positive response from the crowd.

The other three speakers invited were FAM assistant general secretary Ahmad Fuad Daud, UPM lecturer Sheikh Kamaruddin Sheikh Ahmad and former FAM assistant gen-sec Rosli Hussein.

I am supportive of vartisities that organise such talks. But I do hope that the ideas discussed during the session will be recorded and digested by the powers-that-be.

Otherwise, it will turn into another research paper left in the dusty cupboard of the faculty.

HD says: Thank you UiTM for the opportunity and looking forward to a more interactive session with its' st…

A 'monument' for Tony.

I am tired of highlighting the constant mismanagement and internal bickering in Malaysian sports. I am tired of arguing and fighting.

Thus, while having lunch with a mutual friend, we spoke about our old friends including Mailsports’ former sports editor Tony Mariadass.

Friend; “Someone told me Tony has left his job in India and he's back in Malaysia”

HD; “Well wasn’t this written on his blog sometime ago? But I doubt he's back”

Friend; “Line can’t get though-lah” (Tries to call Tony but fails.)

HD: Obviously-lah. Perhaps he is still serving the remaining bit of his contract. Or maybe he’s waiting for the full payment from the Indian officials. Who knows if he comes back without his salary, they (officials) will use what is owed to him to do repair works on the stadiums (laughs).

Friend: “Or better still erect a wall with his name written on it. Or build a mini monument for him!” (bursts into laughter)

Just joking sir, but it made me think of the time when folks like you were manning…

Danny leads local front

Top local golfer Danny Chia leads the local front in the 3rd Mercedes-Benz Masters Malaysia scheduled on Aug 18-21 at the the Kota Permai Golf & Country Club.

Danny and Airil Rizman are among the guest who are set to attend the Press Conference at the golf club which will begin in 30mins time.

The tournament offers a US$60,000 prize money.

Taiwan's Lu Chien-Soon was the winner of last year's edition.

We don't need you.

I read Ajitpal Singh's commentary in the NST this morning on the coming FA of Malaysia (FAM) elections and couldn't agree more.

He is right, in every sense. But haven't we all read the same thing before?

Former Mailsports' journo Rizal Hashim suggested; "Pingat emas Sukan SEA di Laos adalah tanda selamat tinggal terbaik dan hadiah paling tepat untuk Tuanku. Going out on a blaze of glory, Tuanku will be remembered for the right reasons. Tiba masa mencari pengganti Tuanku."

Once again - with all due respect that is - I couldn't agree more.

Despite what has been written in the past, the rot continues.

The political landscape in this country sees politicians using sports as a tool to justify their existence in a bid to garner votes during elections. Thus it comes to no surprise when an MCA man heads a basketball or volleyball association while an UMNO or PAS official sits in the state football association.

This would have worked some 20 years ago. It is no longer r…

Not Selecting Cronies?

I was informed by not one but SEVERAL individuals about the installing and upgrading of equipments at the Gymnasium 3 of the National Sports Council in Bukit Jalil.

They claim (note the word claim) that something 'fishy' is going in the tender process. Nevertheless, the Sports Ministry secretary-general Datuk Yasin Salleh squashed such talks.

This was reported in The Malay Mail today.

Perhaps the contractors are pissed that they were overlooked - despite no confirmation has been made yet. Or perhaps their complaints are indeed valid. Hmmm.

HD says: Maybe I'll set up an events management company and start bidding for tenders to do drainage works? I heard the money's good yo.

No more Lawatan Sambil Belajar.

Don't bother sending a team only on the pre-text of gaining exposure.

The Philippines have decided to drop their women's tennis squad for the Asian Games in November.

Pakistan, shockingly, came to a conclusion not to send its football team as well. If the government remains adamant, guess we won't be able to see the likes of English-born Pakistani youngster Reis Ashraf (pic) playing. Ashraf, born on Sept 18, 1989 in Newport Pagnell, currently plays for Buckingham Town and is the cousin of former Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers player Daniel Nardiello.

Perhaps both countries are dealing with their own internal problems. The Filipinos claim there isn't a strong women's team so why bother. The Pakistan Football Federation, however, are taken aback with the decision and plan to appeal to the Sports Ministry.

Every country may have their reasoning. We too need to ensure that the China trip will not just be another 'lawatan sambil belajar' only for offici…

Oh KJ.

I remember speaking to Khairy Jamaluddin over talks that he was to quit his post as deputy president of FAM. This happened late last year. He read my article and claimed otherwise.

Well we now know the truth.

Khairy has not been attending the council meetings. At the Manchester United against Malaysia match last year, KJ and long time buddy Jason Lo were seated among the fans.

It's an open secret, Khairy was never loved by the folks in FAM. He came with big ambitions but was forced to submit due to the internal 'politics' of FAM - similar to that faced by his father-in-law.

Some love him, others hate him. All said and done, I believe KJ knows his football better than some of his peers - despite learning it the hard way through MyTeam.

KHAIRY NOT DEFENDING FAM DEPUTY PRESIDENT'S POST

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 (Bernama) -- Khairy Jamaluddin today announced that he
will not be defending his post as deputy president of the Football Association
of Malaysia (FAM) for the 2010-2015 term.

Letak jawatan dgn SYARAT.

Azraai Khor Abdullah (pic) is an adamant man.

Having coached the Harimau Muda A team during their training stint in Slovakia, he was dragged into a fiasco with the FA of Malaysia (FAM) prompting him to "letak jawatan dengan syarat".

Apparently, FAM had a meeting earlier today. Those close to the author claim that Azraai was said to be incompetent and will only be offered a three-month salary instead of his full salary despite his contract ending in December.

I doubt Azraai will take up the offer. But he needs closure as his phone has not stopped ringing with opportunities in and outside the country.

HD says: The author clearly DID NOT sit in the meeting thus the words apparently and claim. Hopefully, we'll get the true story about the episode soon.

To Manipulate?

Patutla takde org nak sponsor local league. TM bolot bhgn dpn jersey. Advertiser mana nak settle for bhgn belakang jersey atas n bawah no.

This was twitted by The Malay Mail's Pearl Lee some 15 hours ago. I presume she was watching the Kelantan-KL Super League match which was aired live from the KL Stadium in Cheras.

Usually the league is sponsored by a particular party while the participating teams are free to scout for their own sponsors. Simple example, financial giants Barclays sponsor the English Premier League while the teams have various other names blazed on their jerseys.

In the M-League it's all Telekom Malaysia. From the A-board to the front of the jerseys. And if you have a sponsor, you have to share the front spot and make sure the sponsors' logo is not bigger than that of TM. Money talk aside, it just makes the jersey look fugly.

Hmmm....

HD says: A little bird told me that the FA of Malaysia and TM will renew their contracts at the end of the year. If so, please …

Felda United's future.

Congratulations to Felda United as they earned a promotion to the Super League next season after netting the Premier League title despite a match in hand.

This comes as a perfect timing as Felda is rocked with allegations that they have gone bust . Nevertheless, there are those who dismiss such claims, adding that their accounts say it all.

Well this must come as a relief to the Felda United players. After all, history has proven that even big spenders like MyTeam, MPPJ and Public Bank were forced to close shop no thanks to monetary woes.

Even FAM debutants Sime Darby have big ambitions. Let's hope that such companies will be able to sustain their teams and not fold within a season or two.

HD says: Spend within your own means. Don't put your money everywhere only to cut budgets or not allowing stints due to "exorbitant costs that will be incurred".

World Cup in SEA? What they say...

This posting is in response to Sports Minister's Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek's statement that Malaysia and Indonesia could join forces to organise the World Cup.

I emailed some of my new found friends around the region on their thoughts about the statement.

PoHui of BoLASEPaKO.com was rather optimistic, saying:

"As what the minister mentioned nothing is impossible. So long everyone who is involved is ready to work together, be frank and open in all dealings within the organizing of any kind of mega tournament.

Also IMHO I felt Indonesian's bid was rejected probably of theirs ranking, and being a significant event I really doubt FIFA is OK to have a host nation(being one of the seeded teams) to be walloped.

However, if ranking is not a concern then areas like basic infrastructures, etc. must ready to host such tournament, such as the ease of access to transportation, security and others."

Jonny Kirkeeide of FilipinoFootball replied in the negative

"No chance ! I don…

What's the truth? Part 2

Unlike some people, I'm not going to pretend I know.

I don't know what is the right word to apply...Sack? Quit? Terminate? or as Liverpool and Rafa Benitez put it.."by mutual consent"?

FA of Malaysia (FAM) decided to 'I don't know what is the right word to use' Azraai Khor Abdullah and Azman Eusoff from the Harimau Muda A outfit.

The Malay Mail's Kamaruzaman Ahmad spoke to Azraai yesterday while Harian Metro and Berita Harian reported about it today.

Nevertheless, FAM general provided an explanation in the media release emailed an hour ago.

SIARAN AKHBAR

KENYATAAN BALAS BERHUBUNG KENYATAAN MOHD AZRAAI KHOR DAN AZMAN EUSOFF DALAM AKHBAR BERITA HARIAN DAN HARIAN METRO BERTARIKH 16 JULAI, 2010.

Selaku Setiausaha Agung Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia (FAM), saya terpanggil untuk mengeluarkan kenyataan balas bagi memberi gambaran sebenar berhubung isu peletakan jawatan Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah dan Azman Eusoff yang memberi gambara…

What's the truth?

Malaysia lost out in the race of hosting the Premier Super Series 2011-2013 some two months back. Yet, the BA of Malaysia (BAM) are still not satisfied with the outcome - claiming there was 'no fair play' in the application process.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF), meanwhile, claim Malaysia simply didn't satisfy their criterias. Guess the World Championship in Paris next month will be more than just the battle on the courts.

Well, the contents of the letters between BAM and BWF were published in today's Mailsports titled What's the real deal?

HD says: You be the judge.

Learning from Uruguay?

I came across Lim Sue Goan's article titled Uruguay Boleh, Malaysia Boleh published in Sin Chew.

The author points out the vast differences between both countries especially when it comes to football. Having won the World Cup twice, Uruguay made it to the semi finals in South Africa while Malaysia is still harping on its 'glory days' in the 70s and 80s.

Here is an excerpt of the article;

"Uruguay boleh, Malaysia boleh. Uruguay has a population of about 3.5 million people and its per capita income is US$3,790. Since Uruguay is able to enter the quarter-final, then why not Malaysia, a country having a population of 28 million people with US$7,000 per capita income?

Uruguay had reached the World Cup peak in 1930 and 1950 and the achievements were seen as a demonstration of the Uruguayan fighting spirit. What about the fighting spirit of Malaysians?"

On another note, Bernama reported that 'Malaysia and Indonesia will discuss the possibility of jointly hosting the Worl…
I received an email yesterday that AON Corporation, the world’s leading risk advisor and human capital consultant, is now the principal partner of Manchester United.

And that they are set to reveal Man Yoo latest set of jerseys on Thursday (July 15, 2010) at the Rooftop (Lot 10) at 3pm.

The launch will be officiated by Mr Mak Chee Keong, Chief Executive Officer, AON Insurance Brokers (M) Sdn Bhd.

Not to play spoiler but epltalk.com published the leaked photos of the kits.

At least the new outfit looks better than the 'Power Rangers' jersey they had last season. I swear some of their ardent fans would agree with me.

Well Australian website Ralph have some of the world's worst sports jerseys. Enjoy!

HD says: Design your jerseys tastefully and it could be a fashion trend even for non football fans.

In the spirit of Asean

Want to find out the latest football stories from our South East Asian neighbours, look no further.

Foul! is thankful and honoured to be listed in some of the blogrolls of several leading blogs in the region including Indonesia's Jakarta Casual, Cambodia Football Roubroum and Red Sports of Singapore. In welcoming me to the blogsphere, my good friend, the ever cheeky Edgar from Football rankingssaid:

"Hi Haresh! Good to 'see' you again. How's FAM these days? Still looking to reach the 130th spot in the rankings? :)"

HD says: Looking forward to sharing more info with you guys. Cheers!

Let's talk about balls...

I presume former Malay Mail sports editor Tony Mariadass was all fumed up when he wrote his latest piece Talk is cheap on his blog.

One cannot blame him. After all, he was one of the very few editors that emphasised on schools sports. He also has a rich background in football, having managed the Malay Mail team in the domestic league some two decades ago.

Many are quick to pin point the ills that surround not only football but our local sports. Yet, only a handful can come up with solutions. Perhaps we need to listen more and talk less.

Talking about statements, it tickles me to see certain 'administrators' talking about subjects which they have no authority to act on. Misguided perception that they run Malaysian sports? Hmmm....

HD says: When the mouth works faster than the brain, it's bad news yo!

Blowin' in the wind

I read Rajes Paul's badminton article in The Star today and could only sigh.

I pity Rajes and all the other badminton writers who have been harping the need for change in the national set up only for it to be ignored by the powers-that-be.

There was once where the pen was mightier than the sword, where articles printed made a difference. Today it is no longer so. Write all you want but those running the associations think they know best and will continue to make blunders with no sense of guilt.

The article pointed out that; "Back-up squad shuttlers have also not beaten Chong Wei over the last 10 years...."

That statement says it all.

HD says: Changes must come from within.

Viva la Espanyol!

Two years ago Rafael Nadal won the Wimbledon and Spain netted the Euro 2008 title.

A week ago, Nadal pulled a similar feat. And the tennis star watched Andrea Iniesta (pic) score the solitary goal in extra time just minutes ago to see Spain win the much awaited World Cup title.

Both teams were tied to a goalless draw after full time.

Singapore’s Mani the parakeet better stick to its card reading job while the Spanish government should seriously consider adopting Paul the octopus or construct a bronze statue in honour of it!

HD says: Ugly football never wins. Glad that my prediction of Spain winning 1-0 in The Malay Mail was spot on.

Khawari, Eric retain position in SAM.

The Sportswriters' Association of Malaysia (SAM) held its Biennial General Meeting at the Olympic Sports Hotel this morning.
Present to officiate the meeting was National Sports Council director general Zolkples Embong. Zolkples predicts Spain will edge Holland 2-1 in the World Cup final tomorrow morning (2.30am)
SAM president Ahmad Khawari Isa and his vice president Eric Samuel retained their positions uncontested. Treasurer Ali Majid also kept his seat uncontested.

SAM 2010-2012 committee as follows:
President: Ahmad Khawai Isa
Deputy President: Asan Ahmad
Vice Presidents: Eric Sameul, Norismadi Abdul Manap
Secretary: Ahmad Faisal Jamal
Treasurer: Ali Majid
Council members: Abdul Razak Ahmad, Yu Nee Kong, Izhar Atan, Jalil Mat Dom, Tumpang Sabtu

HD says: Serve your folks well.

Khedira heads Germany home...Man U next stop?

Germany's Sami Khedira (pic) headed the winning goal as the three time world champions edged Uruguay 3-2 in the World Cup 3rd-4th playoffs just minutes earlier.

And this will be another good reason for Sir Alex Ferguson to pitch for Khedira as talks reveal that the Stuttgart player could leave the Bundesliga sooner than expected.

In the playoffs, Germany started the ball rolling through Thomas Muller (19th minute) but Uruguay pulled one back through Edinson El Matador Cavani (28th).

Diego Forlan once again didn't disappoint with a spectecular effort (51st) but Marcell Jansen of Germany equalised through a neat header hardly five minutes later before Khedira scored the winner.

Stats
* Date of Birth: 4 April 1987
* Height: 189 cm
* Position: Midfielder
* Current club: VfB Stuttgart (GER)
* International Caps: 10
* International Goals: 0
* First international: Germany - South Africa (5 September 2009)

HD says: Why Man Yoo? Just stay in Bundesliga-lah. Sigh...

Stalemate between the Reds

The battle between former Negri Sembilan team mates, Selangor coach K.Devan and Kelantan custodian B.Satianathan, ended in a 1-1 draw at the Shah Alam Stadium.

Selangor's Amirulhadi Zainal scored first in the 59th minute only to see Indra Putra Mahayuddin (pic) of Kelantan equalise in the 64th minute.

Elsewhere, Negri Sembilan managed a 2-1 win over Kedah. Norizam Salaman scored a brace in the 25th and 52nd minutes while the Canaries obtained their consolation goal through Baddrol Bakhtiar in the 70th minute. The other Super League results as follows;



KL 1 Perlis 1
KL Plus 4 Johor 0
Pahang 0 Terengganu 4
T-Team 1 Perak 1
Johor FC 5 Penang 0

'VSS' for Azraai?

I remember when The Malay Mail was sold off by NSTP. A number of my good work mates opted for the VSS scheme. It was a sad day as some of these good folks left with a heavy heart but they got paid handsomely at the same time.

Now former journo-turned-blogger SS Dhaliwal revealed in his blog that national junior coach Azraai Khor Abdullah (pic) - or once known as Khor Lek Seng -, apparently, has been given the boot. But along with that decision comes with a 'bag load of cash'.

Perhaps it's a mutual understanding between the FA of Malaysia and Azraai. Perhaps there's more than just a golden handshake.

HD says: So what's the real story folks?

Note: Pic of Azraai taken without permission from Jeebsion.com/blog

The battle of the Reds

Almost three decades ago, K.Devan (pic right) and B.Satianathan (pic left) played for the same team – Negri Sembilan.

Both saw action on the pitch under various coaches including Zainuddin Husin, Tony Chia and Brazilian Santos.

Devan was born and bred in Seremban, having graduated from Sekolah Menengah Teknik Ampangan.

Satianathan, who was once the national coach, studied in Muar but started his footballing career in Seremban.

Tonight both coaches will face off in a Super League match as Devan’s Selangor host Satianathan’s Kelantan at the Shah Alam Stadium (kick off 8.45pm).

The Red Giants are eager to continue their supremacy at the top of the table (53 points out of 21 matches) while the east coast Red Warriors are eager to collect points as they trail at the second spot (48 points).

One thing for sure, its going to be an interesting affair just before Germany takes on Uruguay in the World Cup 3rd-4th playoffs tomorrow morning (2.30am).

HD says
: May the best team win.

Move aside Paul, Mani's in town

Everyone knows Paul the octopus but there's a new kid in town - meet Mani the parakeet.

Caged in Singapore's Little India, Mani got all the quarterfinals and semi finals results right. While Paul is still deciding on who to choose for the final between Spain and Holland, Mani had no problems picking Holland as the winner.

Meanwhile, Spanish president Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero was quoted saying; "I am concerned for the octopus ... I am thinking of sending him a protective team."

Spanish Environment & Fisheries minister Elena Espinosa added: "On Monday, I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a [fishing] ban on Paul the octopus so the Germans do not eat him."

HD says: What's next....an psychic dugong named Labu?

Spanish lessons

The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia sent four of its players to train in Barcelona, hoping this will elevate the standards of the youngsters - amidst criticism by certain parties.

I was privileged to see the boys - Ariez Elyas Deen Heshaam, Assri Merzuki, Nazim Khan and Syed Agil Syed Naguib - train at the Tenis L'hospitalet Complex in the cool summer breeze in May.

It was also the same time Atletico Madrid lost to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey and Barcelona revealed its latest signing David Villa at Nou Camp. I managed to speak to Marcel Granollers (pic)- this in addition to my exclusive interviews with Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet three years ago.

Recently, Singapore-based Redsports revealed that the Singapore Tennis Association are working with with their Spanish counterparts to train the Singaporean tennis team. More can be read here. I heard Indonesia will station their players there as well.

So it looks like the decision to send our boys to train in Spain was not so bad a…

Something stinks

Dozens of articles were written about our very own Subkhiddin Salleh's (pic) appointment as a referee to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.



Many kept their eyes glued to the tv, hoping to see some form of Malaysian representation on the pitch through the Penang school teacher.

Nevertheless, that never happened as despite being appointed referee, Subkhidin was only the fourth official in seven matches.

And now there's talk of conspiracy in the selection board of the referee's committee at the World Cup - as published in today's The Malay Mail.

Subkhidin does not want to talk about it, but those close to him acknowledge something fishy is going on in South Africa.

HD says: It's always about money.

Of being 'kurang ajar' and 'insenstive'

I was labeled ‘kurang ajar’ and 'insensitive' by some ‘ardent’ viewers of Astro Arena’s (801) Kafe Sukan over my take on the Malaysian sports scene during an old episode of the show.

They shared their thoughts on the programme’s facebook account. I, by choice, do not have a facebook account and was only able to view the comments made earlier this morning, thanks to a mutual friend.

I respect opinions, but despise the need to ridicule my -or anyone’s- ethnic background.

Just to clarify;
1. I am NOT a Singaporean. Born in Taiping, bred in KL I am a proud student of Methodist Boys School Sentul.

2. I am for legalised sports betting ONLY if the profits return to sports. My earlier posting ‘I’d bet on nothing…’ says it all.

3. I am not racist. I’m able to converse in Cantonese, love Nasi Dagang with ulam and budu and do watch good Mollywood films. I respect all.

4. I will not apologise for sticking to my guns.

p/s: Thank you to Rizal and Slamet for handling the matter professionally. Cheer…

Never 'S-ease' to Confuse

I read this article - NSC To Find Suitable Judging Mechanism For Subjective Sports - and found it somewhat amusing.

Isn't it the onus of the respective sports associations to sort out such matters? Or has the National Sports Council taken up the role as the 'Godfather' of Malaysian sports? Well, I could be wrong, no?

To get a clearer picture of the exact roles and functions of the NSC, read their constitution here.

HD says: Malas nak komen-lah. Some people cepat merajuk.

I'd bet on...nothing.

I come from Taiping. The town market, better known as Siang Malam, used to be a favourite spot where locals bet on the first rain drop that hit the roof and trickles down to the road. It has been practiced for generations.

I remember writing a series of articles on football betting – a subject which branched out after I revealed our President Cup matches are monitored by bookies last year. The articles earned me a nomination for the A.Samad Ismail award at the Malaysian Press Institute awards night earlier this year.

Talk about legalising sports betting is objected by many parties. Gambling is not healthy for all – majority or minority - thus I tend to disagree with Uncle Samy's statement here. Politicians are using this issue as a perfect avenue to claim how righteous and religious they are.The government should EXPLAIN the situation properly.

It was rightly highlighted - in an episode on Astro Arena’s Kafe Sukan - where earnings from Sports Toto is channeled to the National Sports …

An opinion...

Is like an a$$hole, everyone has one.

Sportswriter Association of Malaysia president cum Astro Arena big man Ahmad Khawari believes the issue surrounding the BA of Malaysia (BAM) is a complicated web.

SS Dhaliwal, who is enjoying his final few days as a sub-editor at The Malay Mail for the World Cup, hopes “MACC looks into who has been pocketing the earnings from BAM Villa as well”.

Former colleague turned blogger Rizal Hashim gave his two cents worth on BAM last month.

I recently found out that the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission paid the folks at BAM a visit. But Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek said it was “BAM who invited MACC to investigate the national body”, as reported by my colleague K.Rajan here.

Is it really all about the soured sponsorship deal between BAM and an insurance company? Or is it really because of soured relations after tenders were rejected? Or is it simply a clash of egos?

It is no secret there are certain individuals utilising the names of others to adva…

Food for thought...

The 2010 World Cup semi finals in South Africa are just around the corner.
While Malaysian football fans watch their favourite teams – Germany, Spain, Uruguay and Holland – in action, here’s food for thought dedicated to our domestic scene.

Ganbare Nippon
Several Japanese officials met former FA of Malaysia secretary general Datuk Paul Mony Samuel to learn how to set up a professional league some two decades ago. The J-League was then formed in 1988. Fast forward to 2010, Japan played in the last 16 of the World Cup before losing to Paraguay 5-3 via penalties (both teams were held 0-0 after extra time).

HD says: We'd rather overpay some Mat-Salleh bloke instead of trusting the capabilities of our locals. Pemikiran masih dijajah.

Starting ‘em young
The German FA (DFB) spend millions on development, more than the English FA. The Bavarians are reaping the results as evident in major tournaments, including the World Cup.

HD says: Why can’t we spend millions developing players from Sentul o…