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3 minor sports and Asean Super League

I was invited on Nadi Arena yesterday to speak about the three 'minor' sports - woodball, muay thai and beach football - being included in the upcoming Malaysia Games in KL.

Among what I had said:

1. While such games may turn many off, it must be reminded that the likes of BMX and curling actually made it to the Olympics. BMX was criticised as being a rebellious teenagers' sport while the sexiest and prejudice few called curling (and still do) as a housewives' game. Remember when futsal was first introduced and the purist said it brought shame to the beautiful game? Now there are more people playing futsal then 11-aside football. Go figure.

2. Can the organisers of the Malaysia Games be called confused when the confusion is also seen at the Sea Games Federation level? Traditional and sometimes 'ridiculous' sports are included by host nations and yet it is approved by the regional federation.

3. Sports today is about commercialisation and since the Sports Ministry harps about a Sports Industry, it is high time to show that we do indeed have third parties funding sports. How long more should tax payers' money continue to fund associations - major and minor?

4. Wasn't it already made clear several years back that the Malaysian Games will be held annually but the minor sports will be contested on alternative years to give all sports due recognition? Thus, there is no point questioning the inclusion of the three minor sports.

5. We excel in certain sports but we are only good in certain sports at a certain level. The women's basketball team have won a string of Sea Games but they are not competitive beyond that level. The same can be said about our football team.

I was also asked the proposed Asean Super League by the Asean Football Federation.

1. Well and good since Tony Fernandes, Erick Thohir and friends had plans of organising a regional football league years ago but it didn't materialise. They formed the Asean Basketball League instead.

2. It must be remembered that certain coaches are already complaining of a tight and hectic schedule. Why would they want to compete in another tournament? Just look at Kelantan's schedule and you'd know what I mean.

3. Shouldn't or wouldn't the teams want to concentrate on the domestic league and the AFC tournaments instead?

4. The opportunity of fielding Asian players - this will create the same problem seen by teams competing in the AFC Cup. No player would want to sign up with a team and play a handful of matches. Also, how many teams in Malaysia actually hire Asians or players from the region to play for them?

5. However, more can only be said once the final details are made public.

HD says: It was certainly an interesting Saturday.


  1. The betting syndicates from this region are putting together a mechanism to make betting and match fixing more easier. Singapore and Malaysia will be the main players and the rest will be made the scapegoat if anything go wrong or got caught by it.
    Why do we need such league.? obviously money is the main issue.
    The stakes will be much higher, bigger and better return can be assured when they fix matches. It is no more a secret about what is happening in this region. Fifa should not allow this to take place if they are really serious in fighting match fixing. If they allow this to happen, then they are also part of it.

    Lets wait and see what are AFC & FIFA's stand related to this pending intention and also for those people behind the scene.

  2. Initially, I would thought the proposed ASL is something inline with Champions League in Europe or ACL in Asia where league and cup winning clubs from each Asean country would pip against one and another.

    However, it doesn't seems the case when the word "franchise" was mentioned and someone suggested to me to think it a way like Rugby Union's "Super 15" format.

    Until details are clearer, I reserve my comment whether the ASL would uplift the football standard of this region.

    (P.S: Good to have you back writing, HD :P)


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