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Showing posts from August, 2010

An evening in Paris

Paris comes alive in its own way in the evening.

Most places quiet down by 8pm. However, Boulevard de Clichy - where Moulin Rouge is located - and the fantastic Metro lines are often bustling with activities.

Don't be surprised if you see couples kissing passionately, crazy folks singing in French or even sitting next to ousted France national coach Raymond Domenech!

HD says: I bet RTM's Ismadi is going to frame that picture up once he gets back to KL. As Mohammad Rafi sang, "an evening in Paris....."

Another one bites the dust

So close yet so far.

World No 1 doubles pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong failed to rewrite history after losing 18-21, 21-18, 21-14 to Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China in the World Championships men's doubles final that just ended.

Former internationals Cheah Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock were the last Malaysians to make it to the final of the 1997 Glasgow edition before losing 8-15, 18-17, 15-7 to Indonesia's Sigit Budiarto-Candra Wijaya.

Read today's The Malay Mail for the latest

HD says: Many had thought KKK-TBH would not even make it through the quarter finals (against South Koreans Jung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae). Yet, they proved their critics wrong. Tough luck, bros.

Al-Fatihah

My deepest condolences to the family of Isa Bakar.

Read a tribute by the NST here.

Pic courtesy of The Star: Isa in action during his heydays.

HD says: Thank you for your services sir. You'll be missed dearly.

Tubthumping

World No 1 Lee Chong Wei, China ace Lin Dan and India's darling Saina Nehwal were all booted out from the quarter finals of the World Championships.

Malaysia's only hope now shoulders on top doubles players Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong.

For scores and quotes, visit tournamentsoftware and The Malay Mail respectively.

HD says: I get knocked out, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down.....

Summer in the city

I passed by the French Football Federation office earlier this morning. Several Malaysians were supposed to be there to conduct talks with FFF but the meeting never took place.

Hmmm...

HD says: Just bought a copy of L'Equipe for Euro 0.95. As The Lovin Spoonful sang, it's summer in the city.

Je suis un homme

The trip to Paris has certainly confirmed the direction of my life. I do hope to get organised upon my return as it has been nothing but a series of heartaches in the City of Love.

Hats off to those who were able to withstand the hypocrisy and bullshit that revolves around them. I am tired.

The way to progress is to kiss a$$. The way to go far is to live in La La Land - where everything is rosy.

No hard feelings as I have never been personal to anyone. At least I tell you on your face instead of stabbing you in the back.

Cheers.

HD says: ....... (listening to Zazie's Je Suis un homme)

Looking ahead

The national shuttlers are staying in Adagio Hotel - located some 3.5km away from the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium (venue of the on-going World Championships in Paris).

Those who did the arrangements claim that it was fully booked.

Independent players Wong Choong Hann and doubles specialist Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah managed to book rooms at Hotel Mercure - located just behind the stadium. They somehow managed to get the rooms.

Perhaps we could all learn how to book hotel rooms in advance.

HD says: 3.5km can turn out to be a good walk in a cool summer morning in Paris.

Ujian Bulanan

Ujian Bulanan Pendidikan Sukan dan Jasmani (2010)

Seramai 10 individu dari Malaysia berkunjung ke Paris untuk menonton pemain-pemain badminton negara beraksi.

Didapati bahawa 10 individu ini terpaksa membeli kad akreditasi yang berharga Euro 100 seorang.

Jika 1 Euro = RM4.00, berapakah jumlah yang perlu dibayar oleh 10 orang delegasi tersebut yang hanya akan berada di Paris untuk beberapa hari?

A. RM4,000 duit Rakyat
B. RM 4,000 duit Rakyat berserta lain lain perbelanjaan hanya kerana mereka tidak membuat perancangan awal.
C. Semua diatas

HD says: I love exams.

Hot in the City

The Malaysian contingent will start singing Billy Idol's Hot in the City if the weather doesn't improve by tomorrow.

Many had expected summer in Paris to be pleasant. Instead, our national shuttlers are concerned over the hot and dry conditions in and outside the stadium and in their hotel rooms. It's been a really HOT World Championships thus far.

Even the media room is hot as I type this. Note that the stadium is not air-conditioned thus the players' grouses.

Even India's Saina Nehwal commented: "I didn't expect it to be hot in Paris. It's no better than in India."

So much for getting adjusted to the cool weather in Paris. Guess Misbun Sidek and Lee Chong Wei are better acclimatised then their peers who went to England (University of Bath).

Meanwhile visit tournamentsoftware for latest updates or read SS Dhaliwal's 'live coverage' on the event.

HD says: I should have brought my chill out shorts instead. Bah!

Ahead of the World Championships

Our shuttlers arrived in Paris ahead of the World Championships which starts next week (Aug 23-29).

On Sunday, some of the finest players around the world - including world No 1 Lee Chong Wei (pic), China's ace Lin Dan and Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia are expected to exchange pleasantries as they meet at the Mercure Hotel Paris (Porte de Saint-Cloud) at 5.30pm (local time).

Below are the list of the Malaysian players in action:

Lee Chong Wei - The World No 1 is eager to justify his position and winning the World Championship for the first time would be an excellent start for his hunt to netting the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. The Penangite's best achievement at the World meet coming in third in the 2005 edition in Anaheim, USA.
Nevertheless, Chong Wei has an uphill battle this time around with the likes of Taufik Hidayat, Kenichi Tago and Lin Dan drawn in the same half. Critics believe Chong Wei will falter yet again but he is adamant to prove otherwise. A top four fini…

Nothing but the truth

It was July 12, 2009. I was at the media room at the Cheras Stadium.

As I took my seat next to NST's Devinder Singh, I studied the start list between Malaysia and 'Zimbabwe'. I looked at Devinder and joked "Wanna bet this isn't the real team?"

Devinder laughed it off. I then told Devinder that we should check the Zimbabwe team list nevertheless...just for the fun of it. And we did.

Five minutes later we found that the team was not Zimbabwe, but Monomotapa United instead.

Some 90 minutes later Malaysia won 4-0. Was it a Con Deal?

Fast forward a year later, this was reported in BBC.

Update: FIFA says "no comment". Read it in today's The Malay Mail.

Pix: Taken without permission from aizuddinsaad.wordpress.com


HD says: Only five minutes yo. By the way, try reading the book Nothing but the truth. It may take some time tho.

I told you so...

I wrote the article Con Deal? which was published on July 13, 2009 in The Malay Mail (pic)

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) admitted the national team “played a fixed match under the auspices of a Malaysian betting syndicate” in December last year.

Also, read AfricaNews, Mail & Guardian and Reuters for further news on the matter.

Otherwise, just watch out for today's The Malay Mail.


HD says: Sadly, this ain't the love song that Keith Urban sang.

Everybody hurts

It's not been a perfect month - where life and death is concerned.

Even the sporting community is not spared.

Foul! would like to extend its deepest sympathy to the Koh family over the passing of former Malaysian FIFA referee and Football Association of Selangor Referees Board Chairman Koh Guan Kiat on Friday.

It's a shame that I don't know Guan Kiat personally. Thus it is only fair for the likes of Tony Mariadass and Rizal Hashim to write about him.

HD says: rest in peace...

The French connection

Ah Paris, the city of love.

In two weeks time, quite a number of Malaysians will be in the French capital for a whole lot of things - except love.

1. Our shuttlers, led by world No 1 Lee Chong Wei, are eager to justify their presence at the World Championships (Aug 23-29) at the Pierre De Coubertin Stadium.

2. Our hockey team will be eager to tell the world that they are back on track in the Five Nations tournament (Aug 24-29)

3. A representative from the Sports Ministry and a high ranking official from the National Sports Council will be eager to meet the folks from the French Football Federation hoping to make 'a connection'. Otherwise they could settle for an autograph of Raymond Domenech at the very least. By the way, the French team lost 2-1 to Norway this morning.

HD says: J'ai besoin de pratiquer mon français.

And the odds are....

I found something interesting this morning - the betting odds for the men's singles event of the up-coming World Championships in Paris.

It looks like the bookies favour China's hot shot Lin Dan to win the title. View the odds and make your own conclusion.

HD says: Wa tak cakap apa2. Lu sendiri pikir-lah ok :)

Selamat Berpuasa

HD says: Selamat berpuasa to all those fasting throughout the holy month of Ramadan!

The tale of four Datuks

It all started here (pic).

Who would have thought that a simple Memorandum of Understanding between the National Sports Institute and the University of Bath would turn out to be a bitter lesson for Malaysian sports. But I see it as a blessing in disguise.

I wrote this piece in today's Mailsports.

While some may have a kick out of it, it isn't a laughing matter to begin with.

I truly do hope that Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek will look into this - we're all tired of the communication breakdown between the National Sports Council, the National Sports Institute and the national bodies.

Here is to quote a senior official from a national federation;

"One side must please NSC, other side must please NSI. When go NSC function, all they do is thrash talk NSI. When go NSI function, all they do is justify their actions. How to tahan?"

HD says: Led Zeppelin's Communication Breakdown has always been my ring tone.

Extra, extra, read all about it....

To lay or not to lay.

The Malay Mail front-page story today;

Sports Minister has no qualms if the Malaysian Anti-Corruptions Commission wants to investigate over the alleged irregularities in the awarding of the tender to re-lay the turf at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

To Bath or not to Bath.

Mailsports' back-page lead today;

National singles coach Misbun Sidek may not go to University of Bath, England for the 10-day stint ahead of the World Championships in Paris.

Get a copy of your The Malay Mail today.

HD says: It ain't over till it's over yo.

French Affair?

A fellow blogger and several SMS's from a handful of acquaintances alerted me about the article Tagih bantuan Houllier published in Harian Metro today.

I laughed.

And I'm still laughing.

Why France?

Because we're very similar in government interference? Or because are we 'racist' like them? Or because their logo (pic) represents our 'talk cock' syndrome? Hmmm.

My question: Our locals not good enough?

But I better reserve my comments for some people "kuat merajuk" and start bitching about me behind my back without realising that all said will come back to my ears.

And I'll continue to laugh.

If time permits, I'll try and gather the thoughts of my fellow journos and bloggers in and around the region. Otherwise, I would like to quote what an 'official' once said;

"I don't respond to such an article."

HD says: I like onion rings more to French fries.

Spanish invasion

As published in today's Mailsports, several Spanish teams could see action in the region.

While many Liverpool fans are eagerly anticipating banking giants Standard Chartered to bring in their favourite team sometime next year, it remains to be seen if the La Liga would make KL their stop during their Asian Tour next year.

Apparently, observers feel it is wiser for La Liga to concentrate on Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan instead of Malaysia. It seems that the neighboring countries offer a better footing for La Liga's marketing strategy compared to Malaysia. If Diego Forlan (pic) decides to stay put in Atletico Madrid, we could see him in action next year..who knows :)

Special thanks to Les Tan, creator of Red Sports, who reported about the Soccerex Asian Forum held in Singapore recently and sharing his thoughts to Mailsports over the proposed International LFP Cup next year.

HD says: Better start brushing up on my Spanish. Anyone willing to teach? :)

Man of the World

I admit this is a year too late.

Nevertheless, The Damned United is certainly a must-watch movie.

The movie centres around England's best football manager of all time, Brian Howard Clough(pic). Michael Sheen turned out to be the perfect candidate to play Clough thanks to his convincing performance in the movie.

Such movies inspire, indirectly inviting fans to appreciate football. My hope is to see our local producers pull off such a feat on our local players or managers. If it does happen, please don't have a 'goodie-two-shoe' storyline. Tell is as it was, as it is.

Perhaps there could be a movie on Jalil Che Din or Karl Weigang. I'm sure scribes who once covered Weigang would agree the German was filled with punhcy quotes that would make an award winning dialogue.

Here are some of the memorable quotes (in my humble opinion):

Austin Mitchell: “Why do you now show such alacrity to joining them after such vituperative criticism of them for so long?”
Brian Clough: “Goodness…

Malaysians everywhere

From buying a stake in Cardiff City to now a Malaysian said to be a key shareholder in Sheffield United. This was reported by The Star today.

Who knows maybe our newly found young millionaire Jho Low could be a potential sponsor of the M-League?

To add salt to the wound, I got an email earlier asking me if I'm interested in a Jaguar XJ (2010 model).

HD says: Lot's of rich Malaysian these days yo. Let's set up a 'how to be a Malaysian milionaire club'.

One safe place

National coach K.Rajagobal must certainly be a relived man.

His counterpart in North Korea, on the other hand, is one unlucky coach. Having lost all three matches at the World Cup, Kim Jong-hun (pic) has been sentenced to 14 hours of hard labour, as reported here.

Apparently, the team were earlier subjected to public abuse by its Sports Minister. Sigh.

And Fifa president Sepp Blatter is now taken to task for his biased actions against the North Koreans. He has yet to say anything on the influence of the Asian government but was quick to take the French and Nigerian governments to task.

HD says: Grow a set of balls Blatter. And politicians (wananbe politicians in Malaysia included) should just keep their mouths shut when it comes to sports.

Walk the talk

My take on the new FA of Malaysia line up as published in today's Mailsports.

SHAH ALAM: The affiliates have spoken. Now it remains to be seen if the newlyelected board will live up to expectations. To the masses, the 47th FA of Malaysia (FAM) Congress on Saturday was a side show with little significance to Malaysian football.

But to the stakeholders, there has been a big shift in regime. As outgoing deputy president Khairy Jamaluddin quietly exited the Congress after delivering the closing speech and ousted deputy president Datuk Seri Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad sported a dejected look after only securing one vote, the new lineup sees a "fresh" set of officials eager to guide the fortunes of the domestic league.

It was no surprise why an army ambulance was located right at the entrance of the ballroom. Perhaps the results were certainly not for the faint-hearted.

As members of the Press hurriedly interviewed the newly-elected officials, there were whispers among the affiliates won…