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New AFC general secretary ‘wishes dad was here’

As published in Sunday Mail today


By Haresh Deol haresh@mmail.com.my
KUALA LUMPUR —  Kedahan Datuk Windsor Paul John was named Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general secretary on Friday, an appointment he wished his dad could have seen.
John, who was the deputy general secretary, was made acting general secretary after Datuk Alex Soosay was suspended in May following an internal investigation over a controversial “tamper or hide” video exposed by Malay Mail on April 25. Soosay quit on June 17.
Mailsport had on June 18 quoted insiders as saying John was “most likely” to occupy the hot seat.  He joined a host of Malaysians who served as general secretary, including 
Datuk Peter Velappan (1978-2007) and another Kedahan, Datuk Paul Mony Samuel (2007-2009). “It’s a great honour for the (AFC) executive committee to recognise my capabilities and have faith in me. There are many new things, especially reforms introduced, for us to move forward and I am happy to be part of that,”…

Being Frank: Bad ‘guardians’ take zing out of wonderkid’s feat

As published in Sunday Mail today
Being Frank By Frankie D’Cruz
MALAYSIA’S newest sporting hero, sprinter Badrul Hisyam Abdul Manap, 18, should be a household name. Sadly, he isn’t so. Certain media don’t even get the spelling of his name right. That’s disappointing.

Badrul who clocked 10.29s to break Watson Nyambek’s 17-year national 100m record by one-tenth of a second last Monday is one of the best stories this year. Sadly, his story has not gripped the nation. That’s depressing.
The schoolboy’s spectacular achievement is one of the defining moments of Malaysian athletics, yet it has been virtually ignored by the authorities including the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) that has had a series of poor stories in recent years.
The education and youth and sports ministries also failed to make Badrul, a young inspiring Malaysian, top news. Here’s the thing: at a time when the authorities are struggling to encourage the young to excel in sports, the story of a kid who …

HARESH SAYS: Please help ailing taxi industry

As published in Malay Mail today


HARESH SAYS By Haresh Deol
WE sat at the corner of a rather dingy eatery near the former Rothman’s roundabout in Petaling Jaya. It was there that Kumar shared his taxi driving tales over some tomyam.
“It’s not pretty … just like this place,” he said, slurping the spicy dish while stray cats stared at us, hoping for a morsel.
In his mid-30s, Kumar is a frustrated man. He thought he could make an honest living as a taxi driver in Kuala Lumpur.
“But I hardly make anything these days,” he sighed.
Kumar bought a second-hand taxi — a 2010 Proton Saga BLM — from a taxi company in 2013. He paid a down payment of RM2,500 and his “loan” had him paying RM47 daily for two years and five months. The daily payment includes the car loan, driver’s permit fee, installation of a natural gas vehicle (NGV) tank and insurance.
Once he finishes paying the loan, the car will be his. But if he plans to continue driving, Kumar will have to pay RM27 daily as ‘‘rent’’ …

Former Badminton Association of Malaysia presidents

1934-1937:John L. Woods 1947-1949:Lim Chuan Geok 1949:        Heah Joo Seang 1950-1953:Khoo Teik Foo 1954-1959:Heah Joo Seang 1960:    Low Hoot Yeang 1961-1985:Tan Sri Mohd Khir Johari 1985-1993:Tan Sri Elyas Omar 1993-2000:Datuk Dr Abdullah Fadzil Che Wan 2000-2013:Datuk Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh 2013-2015:Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff Oct 18, 2015 (acting president):   Tan Sri Al Amin Mohamed Al-Amin Abd Majid

HARESH SAYS: We need to secure our stadiums

As published in Malay Mail today.

HARESH SAYS
By Haresh Deol

THEY gathered at the Stade de France, eager to see two world class football teams in action.

France hosted Germany in an international friendly in Paris last Friday, as 80,000 fans chanted, took selfies and cheered for their favourite players in action.

But the smiles quickly turned into panic, and for some, tears.

Those at the stands, including French President Francois Hollande, were jolted following terror attacks that hit various parts of the French capital. They later learnt one of the three bombs set off near the arena was supposed to be detonated inside the stadium.

Authorities said an explosion at the terrace would have triggered a deadly stampede.

The death toll of 129 could have increased to thousands. Bodies would be seen all over the field as some of the best footballers in the world would have also been killed.

Those in the stadium have one man to thank — an unidentified security personnel.

Security guard Zouheir…

Former national football coaches (Malaya and Malaysia)

Former national football coaches  1940 - 1950: Neoh Boon Hean  1950 - 1956: Edwin Dutton 1956 - 1959: Choo Seng Quee  1960 - 1964: Otto Westphal  1964 - 1966: C. De Silva  1967 - 1968: Peter Velappan  1969:             Abdul Ghani Minhat 1969 - 1970: Harold Hassall  1970 - 1971: Dave McLaren  1972:            Jalil Che Din  1973:            Tam Sitwa  1973 - 1977: M. Kuppan  1974:            Jalil Che Din 1978:            Chow Kwai Lam  1979 - 1982: Karl-Heinz Weigang  1982 - 1983: M. Chandran  1983 - 1985: Frank Lord  1985 - 1986: Mohamad Bakar  1986 - 1987: Jozef Vengloš  1987:            Abdul Rahman Ibrahim
1988:            Richard Bate  1988:            M. Chandran  1989:            Trevor Hartley  1990:            Muhammad Syadiq  1991:            Rahim Abdullah  1992 - 1993: Ken Worden  1994 - 1995: Claude Le Roy  1995:            Hatem Souisi  1996 - 1997: Wan Jamak Wan Hassan 1998:            Hatem Souisi  1999 - 2000: Abdul Rahman Ibrahim 2001 - 2004: Allan Harris  2004:          …

List of Sports Commissioners in Malaysia

List of Sports Commissioners
1998 - 1999:  Datuk Ahmad Bakri Shabdin  1999 - 2005:  Datuk Mahamad Zabri Min
2005 - 2008:  Tan Sri Elyas Omar
2008 - 2010:  Datuk Nik Mahmud Nik Yusof  2010 - 2013:  Datuk Yassin Salleh
2013 - 2015: (Datuk) Ahmad Shapawi Ismail
2015 - present: Datuk Zaiton Othman 
* Tenure takes into account annual leave periods.
+ Shapawi was the only non “titled” person to be SC

Phew, what a relief!

As published in Mailsport today


Haresh Deol haresh@mmail.com.my
KUALA LUMPUR — It was a sensation Datuk Ong Kim Swee could not describe.
Right after Fifa informed FA of Malaysia (FAM) regarding a switch in the Palestine-Malaysia World Cup qualifying venue, the interim national coach quickly called his family.
Palestine were to host Saudi Arabia in Ramallah today and Malaysia on Nov 12 at the Dura Stadium in Hebron — a city which had been hit by numerous attacks between security forces and Palestinians in recent weeks.
Palestinian FA (PFA) were supposed to “provide Fifa urgently all the details of the chosen neutral ground for the hosting of both matches”. 
“My family were relieved. I was relieved as well after (FAM general secretary) Datuk Hamidin Amin broke the news,” he said.
Fifa had yesterday informed PFA the matches against Saudi Arabia and Malaysia must be played on neutral ground. 
Fifa said “the Palestinian government confirmed it cannot guarantee the safety and security around…

HARESH SAYS: What Deepavali?

As published in Malay Mail today


Haresh Says
By Haresh Deol

“BRO, if all the Indians left the country, no one would actually miss them.” I smile sarcastically, knowing very well what Samy was about to say next. “Maybe they will miss our thosai, vadai and the barbers ... but that’s about it,” he continued. Samy, a neighbourhood friend, quickly moved on to another subject but I could sense his bitterness. A visit to a hypermarket in Ampang on Monday evening strengthened Samy’s perspective. There was not a single reference of Deepavali anywhere except for a small booth that sold twinkle lights and some decoration pieces (pic). There were several cheap-looking greeting cards bearing the faces of famous Kollywood actors and actresses for sale. That’s it. A quick stop at another hypermarket in Petaling Jaya yesterday saw Christmas decoration items for sale. Once again, no reference of Deepavali — not even an Indian song played during my 30 minutes there. Deepavali will be celebrated on Nov 10…

FAM to appeal again for Palestine-Malaysia match be played elsewhere

As published in Mailsport today
By Haresh Deol haresh@mmail.com.my
KUALA LUMPUR — FA of Malaysia (FAM) will write to Fifa for a third time to request the World Cup qualifier against Palestine in Hebron on Nov 12 be played at a neutral venue.
This follows recent reports of shootings between security forces and Palestinians recently.
Fifa rejected FAM’s two earlier appeals, insisting the match will proceed at Dura Stadium. Saudi Arabia, who meet Palestine in another World Cup qualifier on Thursday, raised concerns of playing in the West Bank in their letter to Fifa on Friday.
The teams were scheduled to play in Ramallah on Oct 13 but that was postponed after the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) invoked a case of force majeure preventing their team from travelling to the Palestinian territories.
”We are aware of the situation and will write to Fifa (today) to express our concerns. We have written to them before but that will not stop us from doing so again,” said FAM general secre…