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Showing posts from April, 2011

Singapore fixed

An "academy of match-fixers" operating out of Singapore could be responsible for rigging matches around the world, FIFA's head of security Chris Eaton said in a newspaper interview on Saturday.

Eaton was reported saying:
"I form the conclusion that Singapore seems to have an academy of match-fixers, and that many of the inquiries we're making on behalf of FIFA are coming back to Singapore."

Read here for the full report.

It comes to no surprise that several individuals from the Republic have been linked to many cases in and around Singapore.

In fact, many believe they are also involved in Malaysia. Some claim Singaporeans had a hand in the Malaysia-Monomotapa United fiasco not too long ago.

HD says: And people claim Singapore is clean?

Life after sports

Met up with former Mailsports editor Tony Mariadass at the National Press Club last week as he spoke about life outside the newspaper.

"When you're in office, everyone greets you. The moment you quit, no one remembers you."

Was at the National Tennis Centre yesterday as a handful of former internationals, most celebrated athletes during their prime, were seen coaching kids.

Just passed Ng Joo Ngan's bicycle shop at Jalan Ampang and things seem relatively quiet inside. Joo Ngan was a celebrated cyclist during his time.

It looks like we all have a shelf-life. Some a little longer, others expire pre-maturely.

But there are those who just seem to last forever.

HD says: Enjoy while the sun stills shine.

I'm confused

Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar (pic) said:
"That shouldn't be the way."

National Sports Council director general Zolkples Embong said:
"It's common practice."

Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek said:
"It's best to seek OCM's view."

They were all standing side by side when I asked them if it is common practice for our "gymnasts to buy gifts for judges during competitions". Read more here.

HD says: Oh well, I'm wondering if anyone would pay for a round of golf? Anyone?

Misbun rejects offer

UPDATE (5.30pm)
1. BAM confirmed Misbun has rejected the offer and that they respect his decision.
2. Wong Mew Choo will start life as a coach from May 1 onwards.
3. Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek says no comment until getting a full report from BAM on Misbun rejecting the offer.

It looks like national coach Misbun Sidek will not be back into the national stable.

Misbun sent a letter to BAM president Nadzmi Salleh stating his decision last night. Nazdmi is expected to read the contents of the letter at the Exco meeting later (2.30pm).

Read all about it in the backpage of today's Mailsports (Misbun Rejects Offer).

HD says: Will the Misbun saga finally be over?

Sailors rescued

Hardly 24 hours earlier the Malaysian Yachting Association cried foul for not receiving their grants from the National Sports Council (NSC) since 2008 - as published here.

Now, MYA are all smiles as their sailors are now able to sail the seven seas after assurance by the NSC that the funds will be paid soon as reported here.

The question that still lingers;

Why wasn't the national training center (pic) in Langkawi constructed in accordance to international specifications, forcing MYA to fork out money?

HD says: Is this a case of wrong people being CON-sulted?

Gifts for judges?

"Gymnasts are not deprived of their baggage allowance. They are sometimes asked to carry gifts that we take for the judges for competitions."

That was the response by a National Sports Council staff who liaises with the Malaysian Gymnastics Federation.

Read From the Sidelines published in today's Mailsports.

Here is the full contents of the email by the NSC staff, based on the allegations made by a coach who once worked in Malaysia:

"Dear Mr Shan,

Answers to the allegations:

Email 1:

a) Gymnasts paying exorbitant amounts for leotards by a certain suppliers...........

Answer: Leotards are paid by the gymnasts personally and usually it is the parents that deal with the suppliers. The NSC or MGF officials do not at all get involved with suppliers. THe NSC has made purchases of leotards but they are rotated among the gymnasts for competitions.

b) ....warning by Australian staff that the police would be called.....

Answer: The gymnast in question was Chrystal Lim Wen Chean and s…

Relationship gone sour?

I did not attend the Astro Arena 1st anniversary bash as I spent the weekend in Taiping.

But I received several phone calls throughout the night. And the most consistent subject was on former national singles coach Misbun Sidek and world No 1 Lee Chong Wei.

"No eye contact bro!" I was told.

"Chong Wei will not attend if he has to put the legend's jacket on Misbun" confirmed another acquaintance.

Photographers claim their request of getting Misbun and Chong Wei to shake hands was turned down. Also, both Misbun and Chong Wei did not answer any queries from the Press - as I was told.

This comes as a surprise as Chong Wei once stated that he too would walk out if the national body did not coax Misbun back to the stable.

Tension, tension.

That aside, the Tourism Ministry may fund international badminton tournaments in the future - as reported in today's Mailsports.

And that's good news. At least they don't need to spend millions on events that hardly fill the st…

An inspiring Inspira

I have to apologise to Astro Awani's sports editor Fadzrie Hazis for not being able to appear on Awani Ekstra tonight as I am out of town.

The topic is supposedly on badminton.

The only thing that comes to my mind is the continued fixtation over former international Misbun Sidek.

Honestly, I still don't understand why everyone is still harping over the same matter over and over and over and over again. A close aide to Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek was overheard saying, "takde modal ke? soalan lain takde ke?"

Misbun has made a decision to return. The BA of Malaysia have set the terms. Misbun has until Thursday to decide. If Misbun comes back, well and good. If he doesn't, thank you and life goes on.

I say, give Misbun a break.

And world No 1 Lee Chong Wei, after recieving an Inspira 2.0 from Proton, said;

“BAM is like a big family and it doesn’t matter who coaches who. There are times when I take advice from Hendrawan or Rashid Sidek as they are both experienced …

I'm too sexy for my skirt

To skirt or not to skirt, that is the question.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has decided to postpone the implementation of skirts on the courts by female shuttlers - as reported by Reuters here.

While Pi Hongyan (pic), who now plays for France, has no qualms putting on a skirt, most the Asian players are quite uncomfortable.

The skirt ruling is to simply to make the sport more "attractive" and "marketable".

Marketing agents in the sport claim that it doesn't help when some of the female players tend to sport "boyish-hairstyles" and put little effort in "beautifying themselves". Others bluntly say "the players look like boys."

But India's Saina Nehwal is unhappy with the skirt ruling while the Chinese players tend to agree.

Perhaps the female shuttlers think they are too sexy for skirts. Oh well.

HD says: Girls do look good in skirts.

Energizer takes over

MEDIA STATEMENT

21 April 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

As the title sponsor, Energizer Malaysia will now be taking over Expose Media’s prior commitment to fully distribute all certificates, medals, finishers’ T-shirts, headlights and complimentary gifts to every registered participant in the race.

Energizer Malaysia will also refund the full registration fees for every registered participant as previously announced.

Please note that the refund cheque will be delivered separately from the certificates, medals, finishers’ T-shirts, headlights and complimentary gifts.

We will be using the original registration database to contact participants via e-mail and SMS, and this will also be announced on the Energizer Night Race 2011 website and Facebook page (www.energizernightrace.com.my; www.facebook.com/EnergizerNightRaceMalaysia).

In the event your contact details have changed, we kindly ask registered participants to update their mailing address by visiting (http://183.81.161.83/racekit/SelfServiceL…

R.I.P Sukhvinderjeet

Former hockey international Sukhvinderjeet Singh passed away after suffering a heart attack yesterday night.

He was 51.

The last person who met Sukhvinderjeet was former national coach C.Paramalingam at the Royal Klang Club.

Paramalingam described the passing as a "great loss". Read today's Mailsports for more.

HD says: Thanks for everything Sukhvinderjeet.

Malaysia eyeing history in World Cup qualifier

Press release
History is within Malaysia’s reach when the draw for the FIP Polo World Cup 2011 Zone D Qualifier was made at the Palace of the Golden Horses.In the seven-team Qualifier, Malaysia need to finish in the top three to play in their first ever FIP Polo World Cup Finals which will be played in San Luis, Argentina from Oct 11-25.Originally set to be an eight-team tournament, which will also serve as the Asian-Australasian-African Championships, it will now be a seven-team affair following the last minute withdrawal of Singapore. Singapore has pulled out as it is unable to raise a team for the championships.Based on past credentials Australia, South Africa and New Zealand will be the front runners to qualify for the World Cup Finals but Malaysia are not ruling out their chances against the strong polo playing nations.Other strong contenders for a berth in the Finals from the Zone D Qualifier include India and Pakistan, both with rich polo playing traditions. Nigeria is considere…

What if...

...someone had actually broken the national record at the Energizer Night Race on Saturday?

Sorry, the record will not hold as it was only a "fun race".

Fun or not, the winners are still waiting for their medals and certificates.

Anyway, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya learnt it the hard way at the 115th Boston Marathon on Monday.

And I used Mutai as an example in my column titled Let's be serious in today's Mailsports.

That brings us to the Sports Development Act 1997. Is it a "toothless Act" that "has never been taken seriously?"

I wonder.

HD says: I read this on Tourism Selangor's website on the upcoming Centro Run in Klang - "...the run will award ALL runners with a finishing medal..." LOL!

It's Datuk Sri Shan now....

and Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad too.

Oh yes, the Malaysian Hockey Federation deputy president joins the likes of former international skipper N.Srishanmuganathan as they were conferred the Datuk-ship in conjunction of Sultan Azlan Shah's 83rd birthday today.

Read it in today's Mailsports.

HD says: Congratulations Sri Shan...and erm...to Azmi too.

Shabery says...

"I will look into it"

That was the assurance given by Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek (pic) when told that the organisers of the Energizer Night Run failed to seek the approval of the Sports Commissioner's Office as stipulated in the Sports Development Act 1997.

Read 'No fun in this run' in today's The Malay Mail.

I have got nothing against the organiser. In fact, most of my house appliances use Energizer batteries, seriously.

But there is a need for the masses to start taking sports seriously. The Sports Development Act even appears when you do your taxes as you are given a rebat of RM300 for purchasing sporting equipment as described in the Act.

So it's high time for the Sports Commissioner and the Ministry to flex its muscles in accordance to the Act. Otherwise, people will just treat is as another "Boleh-land Act"

HD says: So glad I've done my taxes.

SC in the dark over night race.

More and more people are venting their frustration over the Energizer Night Race held on Saturday.

And not many realise that organising of any sports activity in the county needs to get the approval of the Sports Commissioner's office as per the Sports Development Act 1997.

Sports Commissioner Yassin Salleh claims he was 'unaware of the night race" - as published in today's The Malay Mail.

But the organisers claim "they don't need any sanction as it was a fun race".

HD says: Average of RM55 per person, 10,000 runners, that's about RM550,000 in a single night. Banyak tu.

"...you betrayed honest runners"

I had some bak kut teh earlier this morning with the company of a former Member of Parliament and several friends when we spoke about the Energizer Night Race held last night.

"It was not their best. In fact last year's run was even better bro," was the response of one of the runner, while muching his food.

I know that the Standard Chartered KL Marathon also faced some "hiccups" during its inaugural year.

But the organisers of last night's race received the wrath of the runners as seen on their facebook account here.

The most latest posting was by Joannita Zaleha Yusof who said;

"Energizer, you betrayed honest runners."

Another posting read;

Josephiиe Gaи

"Steve Low"
Sincere apology to anyone who went to their office at 3 just now, really sorry! The meeting was relocated to a coffeehouse nearby, requested by the organizer at last-minute, as they said they were only OK to meet our group privately and not anyone else. Our guys(some VIP journal…

"...why I did indulge in this sport"

It is so painful that it makes me think why I did indulge in this sport.

That was from the eighth paragraph of the letter written by Johor Cricket Council president Dr Harjit Singh.

Harjit will not be contesting for the top seat as the Malaysia Cricket Association hold its elections today. Read NST for more.

There seems to be internal bickering and backbiting - a common trait in most national bodies manned by officials with personal agendas to fulfill.

Harjit's rather lengthy letter as follows;

THE ONE CERTAINTY OF GAINING OR WINNING A POST IN SPORTING ORGANISATIONS IS THAT ONE DAY YOU’LL LOSE IT. AND SOMETIMES THE GOING CAN BE EXTREMELY PAINFUL.


There was just one discordant note struck in the packed, perspiring room at the Kinrara Oval during the last Biennial General Meeting of the Malaysian Cricket Association 2009. Amid all the toothy grins and cheerily bashful celebration of a profound change of heart by delegates, there were the sullen and melancholy losers, and, any cricket lov…

Lesen ABC?

UPDATE (4.25pm): FAM are in the midst of discussing Kedah's caretaker coach Radhi Mat Din. Read today's Mailsports for more.

We have in the past heard of ABC taxi permits.

It is when the permit holder, which is supposed to be the driver of the taxi, leases his permit to another driver for a fee.

Now, let's hope we don't have the same mentality in our local football.

Football coaches in the Super League need to have an A-licence. But it seems we have teams who have A-licenced coach sidelined while another coach with no proper qualifications handling the team. Oh yes, no technical issues here as the name list still bears the former coach's name.

Is this right or wrong?

HD says: Fact of the day - former Mailsports editor Tony Mariadass has a coaching licence. Don't play play.

Happy Vaisakhi

Foul! would like to wish all Sikhs a very happy Vaisakhi.

May you and your family be blessed with joy and happiness during the festive season.

To the rest, it's time to enjoy some soft chappatis and wonderful sweets.

Perhaps we could learn from Ariffin

That's my observation From the Sidelines, published in today's Mailsports.

Being diplomatic and transparent is what National Sports Council (NSC) elite athlete programme director Ariffin Ghani is all about.

Also;

Transparency is also a difficult word for some, especially in the NSC — an organisation that received RM61.9 million and RM58.9 million from Sports Toto alone in 2009 and 2010 respectively (as per Berjaya Sports Toto Sdn Bhd Annual Report 2010).

That was taken from the second last paragraph of my column today.

I wonder what was the big deal of legalising football betting and allowing such funds to go back to the development of football when lottery companies have been funding Malaysian athletes for more than a decade.

Hmm...

HD says: Suck big time at Blackjack.

Elaine wants out

But national coach Elena Kholodova claims that she doesn't want to coach national gymnast Elaine Koon (pic) anymore.

Read the full report in today's Mailsports.

So who doesn't want who?

HD says: Who's in for a Russian drama? Brigada perhaps?

They are now insured...

...but - it seems - only the Super League players for now.

The Super League players will receive their insurance cards by this week, as reported in today's Mailsports.

But what about the President's Cup players?

I was asked - why the need for teams to go through the FA of Malaysia instead of scouting for their own insurance company as done previously?

Is it an assurance that the national body will ensure all claims are made, OR a case of "helping a member make a quick buck"?

Could someone kindly shed some light?

HD says: Not a big fan of insurance companies.

Safee wants to come home....

"Best klo dpt call up tu bro.."

Those were the words of international striker Safee Sali.

The Tapah-born Safee is now playing in the Indonesian League but is very much interested in returning to KL as the city hosts three English clubs - Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool - during their summer break.

National coach K.Rajagobal has requested for Safee's schedule for the month of June and July.

It remains unclear if Rajagobal's lads, Ong Kim Swee's boys or a Malaysian Selection led by Kim Swee will take on the English outfits.

Also if the Indonesian League is running during that time, will Safee's Indonesian club allow him to leave for almost 14 days?

HD says: Would prefer covering MSSM football than the EPL teams in KL.

A for Arrogance?

That seems to be the lesson of the day.

Honestly, I do enjoy a cordial relationship with a handful of National Sports Council (NSC) folks. A handful.

I've got nothing against any individual in the organisation. Note the word 'nothing'.

But it looks like many people - from different sporting backgrounds - seem to have a bone to pick with them.

I wonder why?

HD says: Busy busy Saturday.

NSC or NSI?

Disclaimer: Foul! is not affiliated or pro to any party mentioned in the article below.

That aside, let's look into the supposed tie-up between the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Korean National Sports University. Read here for more.

Apparently, the joint venture will see an exchange of "research" especially in "sports science".

My question is, shouldn't this venture be more suitable for the National Sports Institue (NSI) instead?

I asked deputy sports minister Gan Ping Shieu during his visit to Redberry City yesterday and his reply is published in today's Mailsports.

HD says: It's been a wonderful Friday :)

Save Japan

World No 1 shuttler Lee Chong Wei's Hope and Smile 3-11 tsunami and earthquake charity project managed to raise RM720,294.15 over two days (April 2 & 3). The fundraiser will proceed till the end of the month.
Now let's see MERITUS beat that amount in a bid to help the victims of the tsnuami and earthquake in Japan.
Japanese motorsport, with help from MERITUS GP2 driver Hiroki Yoshimoto, have set up the ‘Save-Japan’ campaign to help raise funds for the victims of the devastating March 11 Tsunami and earthquakes.JK Racing Asia – with support from race organisers Motorsport Asia – have agreed to support the initiative during the Malaysian GP this weekend.“I very much enjoyed racing for the Malaysian MERITUS GP2 team and I appreciate their efforts and those of the Malaysian motorsports community to help my country in this time of need,” said Yoshimoto.
The JK Asia Racing Series was officially launched by Motorsport Asia CEO David Sonenscher.With almost 18 cars on the grid for the…

From the sidelines

No more High Definition. It's From the Sidelines from now on.

Due to a change in regime, my weekly column was axed. Now it's back and will be published every Wednesday.

This week I wrote about a letter sent by a "Disappointed sports teacher" from Negri Sembilan who vented his/her frustration at the State education department for their 'Lawatan sambil belajar' to Bandung, Indonesia late last year.

It's Money down the drain.

For those wanting to vent your frustration - with a valid reason - feel free to contact me.

Otherwise, here's wishing that The Malay Mail will send me for a lawatan sambil belajar to Maldives.

HD says: If Maldives is too expensive, I won't mind Hawaii!

Another gymnast to fall?

We all still remember Ng Shu Wai now don't we.

The Taiping-born was said to have "discipline woes" and was "too demanding". Shu Wai refuted such claims and added he did not see eye to eye with certain individuals.

Mind you he was a silver medalist at the Doha Asian Games in 2006.

Now we have New Delhi Commonwealth Games gold medalist Elaine Koon.

Apparently she's not in good terms with the national coach and has avoided contact since. Read today's Mailsports.

What's more interesting is the way those who manage the national gymnastics scene talk. They tend to answer questions with "So?" or "And?". They also question "who told you?"

Lol.

UPDATE (April 6, 5.15pm)

For the benefit of those who did not read the article.

KUALA LUMPUR: National gymnast Elaine Koon raised eyebrows after bagging the nation's 10th gold medal at the New Delhi Commonweath Games last year.
Her exploits - bagging Malaysia's first gold medal in an ind…

Are you an F1 fan?

We will have three 'Malaysian' teams on the grid at the Malaysian GP this weekend.

There's Tony Fernandes' baby Team Lotus, Proton Holdings Renault-Lotus and Mercedes GP Petronas.

Three tickets worth RM1,100 each are up for grabs for the race courtesy of deputy sports minister Gan Peng Shieu.

Visit The Malay Mail for more information (if it says Site Offline, just try a little later).

HD says: Still prefer MotoGP than F1

RM200k for a racquet

With RM200,000, one can either;

A. Buy an apartment
B. Pay up four new Perodua Myvis or a new Peugoet 308 CC (soft-top)
C. Own a brand new shining Harley Davidson Softail Custom 105 Anniversary
D. Get married (again)!

But a good Samaritan decided to spend that amount on the racquet world No 1 shuttler Lee Chong Wei used to defend his All-England title recently.

The proceeds will go to the Hope and Smile 3-11 Earthquake and Tsunami fund raising campaign.

The exact amount raised has yet to be revealed. A quick check with the organisers state; "We're in the midst of calculating the overall funds received".

Among the other items auctioned off included;

Chong Wei's yellow jersey which he wore during the All-England final = RM 24,000
Chong Wei's black jersey (which I doubt he) wore during the All-England final = RM 26,000
Another racquet = RM 85,000

Chong Wei and Taufik Hidayat played in an exhibition match at Juara Stadium. Chong Wei won 22-20, 19-21, 22-20.

It's all good...in…

Grassroots football

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak says football at the grassroots needs to be strengthen. Read it in today's Berita Harian.

But Mr Prime Minister, what if school children don't have fields to play on?

Hmmm..

HD says: Padang Cochrane nak bina MRT, padang Maxwell bina bangunan UMNO, padang Maktab Perguruan Seri Kota bina SK Jln Kuantan 2.....

Misbun returns, Mew Choo resigns

This is NOT an April's Fool joke.

Misbun Sidek has written to the BA of Malaysia wanting to return to the national set-up.

Women's shuttler Wong Mew Choo (pic) called it quits due to her nagging injuries. She could turn to coaching instead.

Read all about it in the Papers tomorrow.

HD says: Back to square one.

Ramlan admitted

Salam, nak maklum that Dato Ramlan kena attack n quite serious conditioin kat Hospital Serdang. Admitted pukul 5 pagi tadi.

This sms is making its rounds.

I was informed by a National Sports Institute staff that their director general Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz complained of tightness in the chest at about 3am and was rushed to the emergancy wad.

Tests were conducted and doctors are awaiting for the results.

Ironically, NSI celebrates its 15th anniversary today.

UPDATE (7.15pm): NSI said Ramlan is alert and has been transferred to the normal wad.

HD says: Hope you get well soon sir.

Of little champs and fake facebook

STORM Taekwondo Club, with a haul of five gold, four silver and five bronze, were the undisputed champions at the 6th Nestle Koko Krunch Junior Taekwondo Championship (Northern Region) at the Lip Seang Kor Multipurpose Hall in Sungai Petani, Kedah on Saturday.

Sungai Petani was the first of three venues where the championship will be held with Kuantan hosting the Eastern Region event on April 30 while the KL Badminton Stadium will host the final leg on May 21.

The championship is sanctioned by Taekwondo Malaysia (WTF).

Meanwhile, national coach Tai Beng Hai has denied setting up a facebook account as seen here and here.

"I will be making a police report to report the abuse."

HD says: I don't have facebook too.