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Showing posts from September, 2011

Roving with Blackburn

Some of our players enjoyed stints with several foreign teams including Chelsea and Cardiff City (recently). Another English club Blackburn Rovers is eager to be part of the picture as well.

Three of our Under-16 lads will head to India next week. They will join a handful of players from Hong Kong and India to form a team and play in a 6-a-side tournament there.

Five lucky boys will then be selected for an attachment programme with the Riversiders. Read today's Mailsport - Roving with Blackburn.

Serbegeth Singh, or better known as Shebby, is Blackburn Rovers head of development in Asia and he extended the invitation to the good folks at the FA of Malaysia.

HD says: It's all about marketing and branding.

Too much football will kill you

That is what Kelantan team manager Azman Ibrahim feels when it comes to their goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (pic).

Azman was quoted by today's The Star as saying;

"The player deserves some rest ... I think he has been playing non-stop since the beginning of the year. We are not being selfish, we are just concerned about his future..."

Read more of Eric Samuel's report here.

There has been studies that "watching football can kill you", "too much exercise can kill" and there's also Queen's Too Much of Love Will Kill You.

Has Khairul Fahmi's "busy schedule" kept him on his toes, transforming him into the best goalkeeper in the country?

Or will too much of football kill him?

HD says: Queen's Freddie Mercury remains one of the best entertainer the world has ever seen. FYI, Freddie's real name was Farrokh Bulsara, hails from a family with Persian blood, was born in Zanzibar (an island off the coast of Tanzania) and received h…

Police report against Sports Commissioner

Dear YAM Tan Sri TUNKU:

Good day to you!

Maybe, at yesterday's meeting, due too short a time, there appears certain muddling up on the MSBF's internal dispute.

To avoid unneccessary speculation, I attach herewith our official version of the dispute which had since been reported to the police under the Penal Code and soon be filed in court for legal proceedings. If the interested parties represented by SCO and Melvin, they can certainly enter the defence either responding to the police investigations or by evidence adduced at the High Court proceedings. It was likwise reported to YB Tony Pua, MP for Petaling Jaya Utara constituency in which the MSBF office is once situated

I have intentionally excluded the exhibits cited therein, to avoid the file capacity being over-sized but which can be easily retrieved for reference.

Hitherto, SCO did not precisely cite that oyur MSBF does not exist; in fact, it has been an accredited as NSA of OCM ever since 1986. For proper orde…

Siapa terror? Selangor atau KL

Malaysia Cup

The match: Selangor v KL.

Time: 8.45pm (kick off)

Venue: Shah Alam Stadium

Who would you place your money on?

Selangor needs all three points to make it to the quarter finals.

KL only has to secure a draw to make it to the final eight.

P.Maniam is eager to impress his bosses and extend his life line after K.Devan left the Red Giants.

Razip Ismail is eager to continue his fairy tale run after the city lads were brushed off from even going beyond the group stage due to monetary problems before the Malaysia Cup started.

Selangor and KL settled for a goalless draw in their previous Malaysia Cup clash - the match which saw KL denied two penalties.

Razip cautioned his lads not to take the match lightly and believes it is an epic battle between both sides - as revealed in today's Mailsport.

Head over to the Shah Alam Stadium for a classic Klang Valley derby tonight.

The delayed telecast will be aired on Astro Arena (801) at 10pm while fans would be able to get latest updates from the Ku…

A Kabaddi thriller

Politics is not confined to the 'popular' sports. Just look at the local kabaddi scene.

The Kabaddi Association of Malaysia (KAM) will hold its annual general meeting cum elections on Wednesday.

Do expect drama between its president Shahidan Kassim (left) and Kabbadi Association of Selangor (KAS) council member Dr Shanmughanathan Vellanthurai (right).

Shahidan - who is also president to many other sports associations - apparently has won the presidency seat unopposed as his challenger Shanmughanathan's nomination was thrown out of the window.

Read today's Mailsport for a better understanding of the Kabaddi thriller.

The last thing kabaddi needs is politics.

HD says: If the KAM drama ain't your thing, try watching Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu instead.

Revamp lagi...

Sometimes revamps work. But when it is done too often, you lose focus.

The Malay Mail is said to be undergoing a revamp - yet again. From an afternoon daily then it went morning, then it went back to afternoon and now the management wants to push it to the morning.

From RM0.80, to being a free paper - ala The Sun - to now reverting back to a paid model.

MSL Sdn Bhd, who supposedly run the M-League, are also talking about revamps. From introducing foreigners to axing foreign footballers to now discussing the possibility of bringing back the imports, etc etc etc.

Much thought and studies should be placed before speaking of changes.

Studies mean going to the ground and speaking to the people that actually matter about what should be changed and left behind.

A revamp doesn't mean changing the name to create an illusion. It's about having substance.

I'm talking about MSL by the way.

Annuar Musa said MSL may be revamped again. Good to hear but please put much thought into it before int…

Angelic Wan Nin

Lee Wan Nin (pic) is certainly the new angel for the national gymnastics scene.

With the likes of unhappy gymnastics, officials who have been around for more than two decades and officials who claim it is "normal in gymnastics to bribe judges", Wan Nin's fairy tale run is a breath of fresh air.

There were already big plans for her in 2009 - as seen here.

Last year, Wan Nin raised eyebrows as despite handed a wild card to the Youth Olympics, she made it to the final - as published in NST.

Yesterday, she finished 30th - the nation's best ever result - at the World Championships in France. The Star wrote about it today.

Watch here moves here, here and here.

HD says: Way to go Wan Nin. Hopefully the 'politics' and high handed officials will not dampened your spirits.

Loyalty does not pay Raja

Before any party gets ultra defensive, I am appreciative of the fact that most of the time negotiations are usually done three months before the contract expires and it is right for any party to do so.

But if the FA of Malaysia (FAM) technical committee has sat, discussed and agreed to extend national coach K.Rajagobal's contract in March, then why is it taking so long to get the deal done and move on?

I really wanted to pen down the reaction from the national body. Sadly, I didn't get a reply.

Rajagobal may not say it out loud but I bet he would like to sign the dotted lines as soon as possible.

Yet, he will have to wait a little longer. Read today's Mailsport for more.

Pic: The Malay Mail

HD says: Loyalty doesn't pay coach. Trust me, I know best!

Pressing Jenson's buttons

The press conference was an hour, Jenson Button appeared for about 15 minutes.

He spoke about his childhood, his diet and ended the evening by receiving a limited edition 1867 Johnnie Walker Blue Label from Mark Sandys (pic-left).

F1 journos were interested to know about Jenson's future.

But Paula Malai Ali did most of the questioning.

Nevertheless, she did ask - and in her own words - a "grown up question": Button's expectation in the Singapore GP.

Button is raring to win.

Read more of Button's cameo appearance at a leading hotel in Marina Bay, Singapore in today's Mailsport.

HD says: Button could give Sebastian Vettel a run for his money this weekend.

Olympic qualifiers: Japan 2 Malaysia 0

Ong Kim Swee's lads lost 2-0 against Japan in the Group C Asian Zone final round Olympic qualifying match in Fukuoka hours earlier.

Read here and here for the highlights of the match.

HD says: Looking forward to the following matches.

FAM fined, Devan quits, NSC in question

Ah, three interesting topics of discussion for the day.

Fifa slapped the FA of Malaysia (FAM) with fines amounting to Swiss Franc 4,500 for crowd disturbance during the pre-World Cup 2nd round return leg match between Malaysia and Singapore two months ago.

Read for the full report - FAM fined! - in today's Mailsport.

K.Devan, meanwhile, pours his heart out on over his decision to quit as Selangor coach, saying "I was hurt".

Last but surely not the least, From the Sidelines today discusses about the Olympic Council of Malaysia's 'lack of representation' in the National Sports Council. Read 'Coming up short' for a better understanding.

HD says: Drama, drama, drama

The Selangor conspiracy

UPDATE: K.Devan quits as Selangor coach. P.Maniam takes over throughout Malaysia Cup.

Selangor coach K.Devan (pic) believes there is a conspiracy to bring him down.

Those were his exact words when asked about several fans demanding him to quit.

But Devan claims he is "enjoying" every moment of the boos and the verbal abuses. It's the first time he is experiencing such an atmosphere.

He went through great lengths to explain he remains the best coach in Selangor, with six titles in two years.

Read all about Devan and the conspiracy to bring him down in today's Mailsport.

HD says: It just gets juicier by the minute.

Raja to Cardiff?

Will K.Rajagobal take up the offer of visiting Cardiff City?

Rajagobal could only smile when Cardiff City FC Chan Tien Ghee invited the national coach to spend some time at the Welsh club.

A career opportunity for Rajagobal?

Read all about the offer in today's Mailsport.

That aside, I must say Tien Ghee, better known as TG, and Vivienne Leong were really humble and made the effort to meet fellow guests at the respective tables during the Malaysia Day ex-internationals dinner at Wisma OCM on Friday.

It comes to no surprise TG was willing to meet Rizal Hashim for a 'session' the very next day - as seen here.

But let's not get carried away. This is business at the end of the day. Sentiments aside, it is highly unlikely Safee Sali or Safiq Rahim will don the Cardiff City jersey while Rajagobal should best concentrate on his work here.

I'm sure Rajagobal knows better. His smile said it all.

HD says: It was great meeting up with you coach. We should do tea, as we often used to, …

No one cares bro...

...especially when it comes to the welfare of our local athletes.

We do have certain personalities making a big hoo-ha when they donate a small amount to an athlete. And then these same personalities also take these athletes around town to score political mileage.

No class lah.

Gan Teik Chai and Tan Bin Shen are left to fend on their own against their 'battle' with the BA of Malaysia.

Zuhairi Ahmad (pic) is hoping T-Team would pay his wages owed after he was dropped from the squad due to a freak accident which caused him to lose his fingers. Read Zuhairi's plight here and here.

The late M.Joseph played for the country and coached a state team with only one eye. Alex Sanchez was born with a deformed right hand but it didn't stop the Real Zaragoza player from being the first disabled footballer to play in the La Liga.

I don't see why Zuhairi should stop playing football if he is good. Get someone else to do the throw-ins lah.

And when you retire, you're forgotten. Just …

'Guinness Stout baik untok kita'

Happy Malaysia Day

It's Malaysia Day.

There's a new Mole in town.

And the ISA is no longer around.

What a way to celebrate the day eh.

HD says: A former 'mole' featured on the new Mole. Way to go Rizal Hashim :)


It is no secret I enjoy a cordial relationship with the Olympic Council of Malaysia, especially with its secretary Sieh Kok Chi (pic).

Reason? I am always able to get into a friendly debate with Kok Chi and we often end the conversation on a good note. It's always a learning experience talking to him.

But we've also agreed to disagree on certain things.

We spoke about three issues. Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen and the BA of Malaysia; Jawariah Nordin and the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia AND the power tussle within the Malaysian Snooker and Billiards Federation.

I respect Kok Chi's thoughts on the issues although I do not completely agree with him. But our rather long conversation, at the expense of someone else's phone (sorry bro hehe), enlighten us.

Food for thought:

1 Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen and BAM

a. Shouldn't BAM admit their mistake, compensate and move on?
b. Wouldn't BAM do the same if Koo Kien Keat missed out the China Masters?
c. Since Teik Chai and Bin …

We don't give a $hit...

...especially when it comes to history.

There are hardly any documents or literature about our former sporting heroes. It has been a difficult task unearthing information on legends who have left us recently.

But it doesn't stop there.

The country celebrated it's 54th birthday on August 31. 54 years old and we don't have much information on the athletes who represented the country before independence. Sad indeed.

FA of Malaysia, the supposed guardian of Malaysian football, ada library ka? Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF), the supremo body of hockey in the country, ada compile statistics of matches and athletes in the 40s, 50s and 60s ka?

From the Sidelines today talks about Ignorance is not bliss. Such 'ignorance' was even mentioned in the front page of the paper (pic).

Kita mudah lupa kot.

HD says: We don't appreciate history. Period.

Farewell One-eyed Joe and Uncle Peter

One was voted the best hockey goalkeeper in 1956. The other played football for Malaya and was the first Malaysian to obtain a German coaching certificate from the German FA.

Double international Uncle Peter Van Huizen and M.Joseph - better known as one-eyed Joe - passed away yesterday and on Sunday respectively.

They were team mates on the field and hail from Seremban. Read more about the Seremban heroes here.

It is only fitting that they both share the same church before they are laid to rest.

The service for Joseph and Peter will be held at the Church of Visitation along Paul Street at 10am and 2pm respectively before they are laid to rest.

HD says: A sad day for Seremban.

Safee says...

I remember covering Safee Sali (pic) extensively during his early days with Selangor. I was fixated over him that my colleagues poked fun each time I wrote an article about him. I knew he'd go far, and Safee didn't disappoint.

While this is being written, Safee is probably still in the plane as he heads to UK for a two-week trial with Cardiff City.

In between meeting some individuals at lunch yesterday and members of the Press before leaving the country (11.30pm, KLIA), Safee spared some time as we had a quick chat about his stint there.

Safee is still in the state of shock as he recaps the moment he was told about the stint. He shares his emotions as published in today's Mailsport.

HD says: All the best Safee.

Our hockey is bull$hit

That's what some of the old timers keep saying over and over again.

I remember covering schools hockey extensively. Honestly, it had its fair share of dramas - ask Minarwan Nawawi (pic) and Maninderjit Singh as I'm sure they 'enjoyed' their short stint coaching SMK Sri Hartamas.

Sadly, we are not seen as "competitive" beyond the age-group categories. Some insist Malaysian hockey is no longer a good as it used to be. Others say it is still as good, if not better.

It must be noted, during the early days there was no such thing as qualifying rounds. Just a handful of countries played hockey. It is no longer so today.

Then there's the argument we don't have good talents. Or have been employing the wrong tactics?

Malaysia managed to book a berth in the third and fourth playoffs in the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, Mongolia.

Read Jugjet Singh's articles during the national team's stint throughout the tournament. Also, read SS Dhaliwal's blog for an…

RIP David

A French production team was eager to run a series on sportsmen in Asia earlier this year. Malaysia was naturally part of the list.

I was asked by a local production company to help gather a list of current and former legends and we were then suppose to trim the list down to 10 best sportsmen Malaysia ever had.
David Choong was part of the initial list. We were supposed to call him and Eddy to gather more information about life as a shuttler then. Sadly, the project didn't take off.
It saddens me that I never got a chance to sit down and speak to David about his life as a shuttler. The former All-England doubles champion passed away in his home in Tajung Tokong, Penang earlier this morning.
He was 82.
David together with his younger brother Eddy Choong, captured the All-England men's doubles titles in 1951, 1952, and 1953. They were also finalists in 1954, 1955, and 1957. This was reported in The Star today.
Foul! would like to express our sincere condolences to the Choong family.…

Rexy will "sleep in Malaysia"

Rexy Mainaky (pic) will guide the women's doubles and mixed doubles teams starting on Monday.

And he was in a cheerful mood after the coaching and training committee meeting yesterday - as reported here.

But some see it as a 'demotion' as reported here. Perhaps Rexy could change the mindset of certain quarters that the women's and mixed doubles teams are equally important as the men's events.

UPDATE (6.10pm): Someone just told me it's the same misconception most have when it comes to the National Sports Institute and the National Sports Council, where the latter is often presumed to be of a higher standing than the former.

James Selvaraj, meanwhile, will continue serving as the high performance director on a voluntary basis until a suitable candidate is hired on a full time basis - hopefully by the end of the year.

What about Razif Sidek who was seen coaching at Juara Stadium recently?

Apparently he was told not to make his presence felt at the courts - politely. SS …

FAM admits security woes

If only more people were more transparent.

The Malaysia-Singapore round 2 return leg pre-World Cup match was shown live, so many people saw what transpired. It's even on YouTube - there's no point hiding.

It only made sense for the FA of Malaysia (FAM) to admit to Fifa there was inadequate security during the match. Now the national body requests for leniency as Fifa disciplinary committee are scheduled to meet next Tuesday.

Read all about it in today's Mailsport.

HD says: As the blurb on the back page reads; To err is human.

Fifa reviews Msia-Spore clash

Fifa's disciplinary committee will most likely discuss about the Malaysia-Singapore pre-World Cup (Round 2, return leg) match held at Bukit Jalil two months ago during its meeting next Tuesday.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) disciplinary committee, meanwhile, studied the incident during its meeting on August 15.

From the Sidelines reveals all this and more in today's Mailsport.

HD says: Sigh!

The tale of Mr Bata

Some claim he craves the limelight. Those who know him better say is a nice bubbly chap.

The fact remains, James Selvaraj (pic) is a rather well decorated former national shuttler in the 70s.

Many would know him better as Mr Bata. Today he also serves as the BA of Malaysia high performance director - but not for long though.

It looks like James is equally eager to see the outcome of the coaching and training meeting on Thursday. If favourable, he would know what to tell Bata at the end of the year.

Otherwise, he will brace for another year or two of working life at the shoe manufacturing company.

James didn't need to talk much as his body language said it all here.

HD says: Interesting times eh.

Return of Razif Sidek?

Could Razif Sidek (pic) be named as KLRC's doubles coach?

Razif after all played Cupid between Fairuzizuan Tazari-Zakry Abdul Latif and KLRC. The former international even attended the KLRC Hari Raya open house at KL Hilton yesterday.

It is obvious Razif is eager to achieve something, something the BA of Malaysia (BAM) couldn't or didn't offer.

Since quitting the national stable as coach in 1997 - after guiding Cheah Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock to win the silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics - Razif has been a regular face on TV especially on Astro Arena.

Unlike his elder brother Misbun who has been quiet since leaving BAM in December, Razif often hogs the spotlight - and the limelight was on him yet again during the Raya do by KLRC.

Read more in today's Mailsport.

HD says: And the Sidek legacy in coaching continues.

It's KLRC for Fairuz-Zakry

National doubles players Fairuzizuan Tazari and Zakry Abdul Latif announced their move to club side KLRC at KL Hilton today.

The duo left the national stable on Aug 20.

KLRC director Andrew Kam had earlier hosted members of the Press and guests to a Hari Raya do at the same venue. Present were Badminton Association of Malaysia high performance director James Selvaraj and former doubles expert Razif Sidek.

Many began to ponder if Razif and James could also be part of the KLRC family.

After a lengthy discussion about investing in gold, I asked Andrew of KLRC's role and it being seen as a threat to the national stable.

It is no secret clubs in this country are often seen as "competition" by the regulatory body as evident in football.

To that Andrew said;

"Our role is to complement (BAM). If people want to think otherwise, then I can't do much."
HD says: BAM or KLRC, the players are playing for Malaysia.

It's over

Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong have decided to part ways with national doubles coach Rexy Mainaky.

This was reported in The Star today.

Rexy, meanwhile, will not stand in their way - as seen in today's NST.

The duo made headlines in 2006 and 2007 after winning the Doha Asian Games and the All England title respectively. They were also paraded like heroes just before the Ijok elections upon their return from winning the All England.

However, Kien Keat and Boon Heong have not seen much success - in the form of major titles - since.

Rexy, nevertheless, has been defensive over the performance of his lads. Such is only natural for any coach.

It must be noted, Kien Keat and Boon Heong remain the best pair in the country.

So will Kien Keat and Boon Heong enjoy a memorable stint under Pang Cheh Chang?

HD says: Time will tell.

Commonwealth Youth Games

The flag handing ceremony for the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games will be held on Monday (Sept 5, 12.30pm) at the Olympic Council of Malaysia's Sports Museum.
Among those expected to the there include OCM secretary Sieh Kok Chi and Chef de Mission Rosmanizam Abdullah.
Among the athletes competing in the Isle of Man from Sept 7-13 are:
Athletics: Harith Ammar Mohd Sobri, Alif Ashraf Mohd Razali.
Badminton: Teo Ee Yi, Nelson Heg Wei Kieat, Zulfadli Zulkifli, Soong Joo Ven, Sonia Cheah, Yang Li Lian, Chow Mei Kuan, Lee Meng Yean.
Cycling: Muhd Arfy Qhairant Amran, Hamdan Hamidun, Ju Pha Som Net, Nurul Nadia Mohamad Fauzi.
Swimming: Tern Jian Han, Chi Chia Khian, Hii Siew Siew, Erika Kong Chia Chia.
HD says: All the best.

What ails our shuttlers?

I remember speaking to National Sports Institute's director general Dr Ramlan Aziz (pic) about the possibility of him penning down his thoughts in a regular column in The Malay Mail some time ago.

Ramlan had approached other establishments as well and I believe he felt the New Straits Times would be a better platform for him to air his views.

Perhaps he was right as it is a nation-wide daily after all.

In yesterday's column, Ramlan wrote about our national shuttlers - mainly Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong. Read What ails our shuttlers?

The BA of Malaysia, meanwhile, admitted better plans and programmes are needed for the national shuttlers.

BAM president Nadzmi Salleh was quoted as saying;

“It is not about blaming anyone. In BAM, we do not blame anyone but we find ways to overcome problems and to provide solutions so that we can achieve better results. It is the same way in business too."

Read more here.

HD says: Let history guide us to shape the future.