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HARESH SAYS: When runners are forgotten and rowdy bikers rule

As published in Malay Mail today


HARESH SAYS By Haresh Deol
RUNNING has been an integral part of mankind's activities for centuries. Men ran to hunt for food while an organised long distance race was first documented as early as 690BC in Egypt.
King Taharka mooted and laid down the rules for soldiers to run a 100km race which started in the area between Sakkara Pyramid and Faiyum Oasis before ending at Hawara Pyramid in Faiyum. It was a race where even King Taharka participated, to show his keen interest in the event.
Running was part of the ancient Olympics which started in 776BC and the marathon has been featured in every Olympic Games since the inaugural modern Olympics in 1896.
Marathons, half-marathons and 10km runs have been enjoying a strong following in Malaysia in recent years, attracting thousands of local and foreign participants. Last season saw a running competition held nationwide practically every other weekend. From the look of things, this year will be no differen…

Fury over dropping key SEA Games events

As published in Malay Mail today
By Haresh Deol and May Robertson mmnews@mmail.com.my
KUALA LUMPUR — Athletics is in danger of being airbrushed from the 2017 SEA Games if Malaysia stands firm in dropping five traditional events.
Thailand Athletics Association chief operating officer Major General Surapong Ariyamongkol told Malay Mail the Asian Athletics Association would not give its approval if marathon, 10,000m, 3,000 steeplechase, decathlon and heptathlon were axed from the bi-annual Games. 
Ariyamongkol said this matter was raised during the two-day 84th Asian AA meeting in Doha on Feb 17 and 18.  “Representatives from several Southeast Asian nations spoke to (Asian AA secretary) Maurice Nicholas about the matter and he was unhappy the events were not considered. 
“He told us the Asian AA will not approve the SEA Games athletics calendar if the organisers went ahead with the reduced list of events.
“The organisers cannot simply drop those races. They must adhere to the rules of the…

FOOTBALL: ‘I wish I could kick like Faiz’

As published in Mailsport today



By Haresh Deol haresh@mmail.com.my
PETALING JAYA — National coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee said Faiz Subri has been on the national team’s radar for some time and he would call the Penang player for national training.

Kim Swee, who praised Faiz’s mind-blowing freekick during a Super League match against Pahang in George Town on Tuesday, said the 29-year-old Kedah-born could make an impact with the team.

“The goal was ... wow ... it was just fantastic,” said Kim Swee.

“It was no fluke. If you see the way he executed the shot, it is clear he has been practising it. Perhaps the wind could have played a part but it was still an excellent goal.”

He added the goal was even better than the one by Brazilian star Roberto Carlos against France in 1997.

“Roberto Carlos was in the middle and had a clearer view of the goal. Faiz was on the far left and his view was limited. It was a tight angle but yet he pulled it off. Now that’s something to be proud of.”

Kim Swee said F…

HARESH SAYS: We can’t seem to live without foreigners

As published in Malay Mail today
HARESH SAYS By Haresh Deol


HIS voice broke the buzzing sound of the tattoo gun.
“So what’s this deal of up to 1.5 million Bangladeshis entering the country?” he asked.
Before his customer could reply, the tattoo artist said: “Well, the government will have to bring them in. It’s not like you want to work in some estate or plantation right?”
“True” his customer replied, and the buzzing continued.
This was among the many conversations heard at a tattoo parlour over the weekend. In fact, the idea of parachuting foreigners into the country has been the talking point after it was revealed a Memorandum of Understanding between Malaysia and Bangladesh will be signed within a month to bring in more Bangladeshi workers, men and women, to work in the service, manufacturing and construction sectors.
Jokes circulating via Whatsapp are aplenty. A picture of an airplane with what appears to be Bangladeshis sitting on top of it has made its rounds. Others…

FOOTBALL: Double contracts 'illegal', broke Armed Forces ready to face music

As published in Mailsport today
Double contracts illegal, say FAM
By Nicolas Anil nicolas@mmail.com.my
PETALING JAYA — The FA of Malaysia (FAM) said an M-League team cannot offer two contracts to a footballer, deeming the practice illegal.
“We have informed all teams and clubs they must only have one official contract recognised by FAM. To offer two contracts to the same player is illegal,” said FAM general-secretary Datuk Hamidin Amin.
“This cannot and must not be condoned.”
Hamidin also chided the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) after their chief executive officer Izham Ismail, had on Tuesday said it is not illegal to sign two contracts with one team. Izham said this after revealing 21 players, mostly from Armed Forces, had not been paid wages amounting to RM4.3 million and teams made their players sign two contracts to pay lower income tax, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation (Socso) contributions.
PFAM president Hairuddin Omar admi…

FOOTBALL: M-League teams owe players RM4.3m in wages

As published in Mailsport today
By Nicolas Anil and R. Loheswar  mmsports@mmail.com.my
KUALA LUMPUR — It was a press conference to announce 21 players had not been paid salaries totalling RM4,397,000 but instead it revealed how Armed Forces made their players sign two contracts so they could pay less income tax, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation (Socso).
The official contract follows the rules and regulations  but the one with the club, said to be a mutual understanding between the Forces and the players meant they were under-declaring their income, thus affecting how much they contributed to EPF, income tax and Socso.
The players were told they had no choice but to sign the club contracts and they greedily went along with the deception as they thought they could pocket the extra cash without repercussions.
That backfired spectacularly as the 15 players have not been paid for six months till their contracts expired in December.
To make matters worse, Profe…

Beasley to MNCF: Don't stab me in the back

As published in Mailsport today

By Wan Noriza Meor Idris
wannoriza@mmail.com.my

PETALING JAYA — National coach John Beasley has told Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) to stop “stabbing him in the back” and asked MNCF president Datuk Abu Samah Wahab to stop misleading the public about track cycling.



“If the MNCF want to get petty and play petty games then at least state the truth. Please don’t mislead the public.

“Nobody wants this fight, we just want to come together for the betterment of the sport. Please stop it and let’s move forward,” said Beasley.

“My message to the federation is — sort this out and stop it. We are supposed to be working together.

“If you have issues with me as the coach speak to me. Don’t stab me in the back. You have my phone number. Let’s talk.”

HARESH SAYS: Old woes greet new M-League season

As published in Malay Mail today
Haresh Says By Haresh Deol


THE inability to plan ahead continues to plague the M-League. The new season kicks off in nine days — Premier League starts a day before the Super League – yet the guardians of the domestic league are struggling to tackle many issues — from broadcasting rights to deciding on the official match ball.
This year is supposed to be the start of the “professional era”, a term observers have heard on numerous occasions. But beyond the ties and suits donned by officials, Malaysian football is still amateur in so many ways.
Football Limited Liability Partnership Malaysia (FMLLP), the newly-formed body tasked with injecting professionalism into the scene, has yet to secure the broadcasting rights.
Its chief executive officer, Kevin Ramalingam, the man who was once part of Kelantan FA, was quoted in Sunday Mail as saying the delay is because MP & Silva is still locked in discussions with potential suitors. MP & Sil…