Thursday, July 26, 2007


It is learnt that the Football Association of Malaysia will not be submitting any report to the Cabinet Committee on Sports that is scheduled to meet next Tuesday (July 31). This is due to the fact that FAM was not given enough time to prepare a comprehensive report as the official notice to prepare a report was only given this week. And it would have been virtully imposible to prepare the report and get it endorsed by the FAM Exco or Council, hence FAM requested for more time to prepare the said report.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Question marks have been raised with regards to Robert Alberts, the Technical Director of FAM in an article in the Berita Harian today. The writer, who is well versed in Malaysian sports, has raised some pertinent questions which I am certain Robert will be able to respond to. Below is part of the article that appeared in the Berita Harian today, (July 24).

Apa yang penulis mahu sentuh ialah jawapan Pengarah Teknikal FAM, Robert Alberts, bahawa Korea Selatan - negara moden dan antara kuasa utama bola sepak Asia - memberi alasan tidak cukup peralatan dan kemudahan logistik untuk melayan kem latihan skuad negara sebagai persiapan ke Piala Asia, Mei lalu.

Itu memang sesuatu sukar diterima akal, kerana Korea bukannya negara mundur dan tidak punya kemudahan langsung. Mungkin betul tanggapan bahawa sebenarnya Alberts mencari alasan, kerana lebih sibuk dengan sesuatu yang bukan tugasnya - mengatur persiapan skuad bawah 16 tahun negara ke Pusat Penyelidikan Tun Abdul Razak (TARRC) di Brickendonbury, England.

Penulis tertanya-tanya, mengapa Alberts menyibuk dengan kunjungan ke Brickendonbury? Bukankah Brickendonbury dan skuad bawah 16 ataupun 15 tahun itu di bawah jagaan Jabatan Belia dan Jawatankuasa Pembangunan Belia FAM, bukannya Jawatankuasa Teknikal yang mengawal tingkah laku Alberts?

Penulis hairan, mengapa sibuk sangat dengan Brickendonbury ketika banyak lagi tanggungjawab belum dibuatnya? Adakah kerana mahu membantu Institut Sukan Negara (ISN) mendapatkan kelulusan Majlis Hertfordshire Timur bagi pengubahsuaian TARRC? Ataupun kerana Alberts 'orang asing', jadi lebih senang kata-katanya dipercayai orang penting bagi menutup kelewatan ISN memulakan kerja-kerja pengubahsuaian itu?

Apa sekalipun alasannya, Alberts kini jadi contoh sikap FAM yang tidak peduli dan tidak teliti mengawal kerjanya. Mengapa penulis kata begitu? Kerana pada awal dia dilantik, hujung 2005 lalu, Alberts menjanjikan 'road map' (pelan dasar) untuk merencanakan kebangkitan bola sepak negara secara menyeluruh.

Kini sudah hampir dua tahun, bayang pelan itu masih belum kelihatan. Apakah Alberts menyimpannya sebagai alasan memastikan kontraknya, yang akan tamat hujung tahun ini, disambung lagi oleh FAM? Apakah tiada orang kuat FAM peduli mengenai keadaan ini?

Atau mungkinkah Alberts punya kabel cukup kuat hinggakan tidak perlu menyudahkan apa yang dijanji kerana kontraknya tetap akan diperbaharui?

Pelik bunyinya, Alberts berani menyatakan skuad bawah 19 tahun negara yang akan beraksi di Kejohanan Piala Juara-juara Belia (CYC) hanya ditubuhkan dua minggu lalu, sedangkan pertandingan itu sudah lama diketahui akan dilangsungkan di Malaysia. Apakah ini alasan awal seandainya skuad itu dibelasah?

Tambah aneh, Alberts boleh membawa skuad yang salah yang terdiri daripada pemain pasukan bawah 20 tahun untuk berlatih di Thailand, baru-baru ini ketika semua orang tahu CYC adalah bagi pemain bawah 19 tahun.

Monday, July 16, 2007


With Tengku Mahkota resigning as the FAM Deputy President, the calls have mounted for others in the council to follow suit. And speculation is rife that more will follow the decision taken by Tengku Abdullah. But will the exodus solve the problems? Or will it create new problems for Malaysian football.

Lets look at this rationally. With the FAM Congress scheduled for early September 2007, a new set (most unlikely some say) is set to take over the management of Malaysian football. But what can or will they do to change the fortunes of Malaysian football? Where did, have and continue, to be the wrong decisions taken by those who claim to have the antidote to save Malaysian football.

We won the gold medal at the 1989 Sea Games in Kuala Lumpur and that year spelled the end of the amatuer league as Malaysian football moved to the Semi Professional era and a few years later to fully professional. And it is right here where the rot started for Malaysian football, but many still ignore tha fact.

I for one used to be at the Station Padang (now it is a huge shopping complex) in Seremban to cheer the Negri Sembilan team in the Malaysia Cup. Though I was at that time deeply involved in hockey (being the Hon. Secretary of the NS Hockey Asociation), I used to rush out of my office at 4.15pm to be at the stands of the stadium to root for my state. I did this because my colleagues from the Municipal Council were donning state coours and I made it a point to support them in action. The same applied to those from other government agencies such as Telecoms, Tenaga Nasional, Bomba, JKR and so forth.

However with the introduction of the Semi Pro league, these players started earning mega bucks for the same level of play. If in the past there was a sense of belonging, it was money that decided their commitment, hence the rot started as the players got more then what they deserved. There was no looking back after that as wage demands escalated and what we have now is payment of ridiculous sums of money for some awful performances.

An announcement has been made on the formation of the Task Force and the Cabinet wants FAM to present a paper on the ills affecting the sport to the Cabinet Committee on Sports that is scheduled to meet on July 31.

With no Council Meeting held since April 20 last year, how could FAM run effectively when policy decisions were made by a select few. This process is one of the first thing that the Task Force will have to look into. But will they do fair judgement as some of them are party to these poor decisions?

The position of the General Secretary will also be something that will be closely followed as two names have cropped up as possible replacements for Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad. Both Hamidin Mohd Amin (FA Selangor) and Datuk Mohd Junid (FA Penang), have their strengths and it will be for the Sultan of Pahang to decide as he is empowered by the constitution to appoint the General Secretary.

Lets wait and see the drama unfold...

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Even the Deputy President of FAM Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah did not mince his words when asked about the performamce of the national football team in the ongoing Asia Cup. Below is the report from Berna that may or may not appear tomorrow.

"What a shameful display!"
The words uttered by Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah probably summed up what Malaysians feel about the shocking display by the national football squad against China yesterday.
Visibly upset by the humiliating 1-5 defeat to China in the Asian Cup opener, he apologised to spectators at Bukit Jalil Stadium for the listless display meted out by the footballers.
"I apologise to all the spectators and want to shake their hands. I am truly disappointed with their inept display," he told reporters after presenting the Pahang cooperative quality award here last night.
Asked why the players fielded could not perform, he said the question should be directed at coach Norizan Bakar.
"The coach has the power to choose the players and he should know better. Only the coach and players will be able to say what happened that night. I was also a spectator."
He said although the Chinese had the height advantage and were quicker, the Malaysian players should not be intimidated and should be able to provide stiff opposition.
Tengku Abdullah hoped that the national squad would be able to correct the weaknesses and put on a better display in the remaining matches.
"I hope there will not be a repeat of what happened that night but I am still wary of conceding more goals," he added. (BERNAMA)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


THe knives are out for coach Norizan Bakar and another defeat at the hands of Uzbekistan would confirm the inevitable. So disgusted was the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Deputy President of FAM, that he left the stadium when the score was 4-0 in favour of China. And who would blame him for we were not outclassed because of lacking of quality players but were tactically undone. How would one explain the absence of K. Nanthakumar from the starting XI when it was evident that China will look towards their airial strength to prise open the Malaysian defence. And fielding two ageing strikers against the Chinese was another blunder. Still we must give credit to the fans who believed in the team and were there in numbers to cheer them on. What can we look forward to on Saturday?

Present at the VIP box was NSC Director General Dato Zolkples Embong. Perhaps he should initiate the move to send some of the younger players to be attached with clubs overseas. Word has it that the Negri Sembilan twins are headed for Europe next season and that is a good move, something other clubs, states should follow if they are serious in uplifting the standard of Malaysian football.


After a foreign player playing in the Premier League was found to have used a banned substance, it is said that a local player failed the dope test in the FA Cup last month. The FAM had conducted the random doping testing and this player was tested positive in a match during the later stages of the FA Cup. Not only is the player staring at a two year automatic suspension should the B sample also be positive, question marks have been raised on what action can, should be taken against the team he is representing. If in a league match the team could be punished by docking three points, what will be the situation in the knock out competition. FAM's top brass are neither confirming nor denying that another plyer has been tested positive. Maybe we will hear more of it in the days to follow....

Monday, July 09, 2007


Though AFC has been hard on FAM, their own organising capability came under the microscope at the Pre Match Press Conference held today at the official hotel. For there was total chaos when the Malaysian Coach, Norizan Bakar and striker Hairuddin Omar were presented to the media. With Hairuddin unable to converse in English, it took team administrator Mohd Shazali to act as the stand in interpretor. And the cameramen were all over the place, leading to frayed tempers. But worse was yet to follow as the Malaysian were hounded for interviews after the official press conference was over, not by the Malaysian media but by two foreign television crews. And yet AFC had the cheek to bar other Malaysian TV stations from providing coverage of the match as it has limited space behind the goal it seems. Malaysia is always at the receiving end of AFC of late, and last week two senior officials who had submitted a months notice of resignation were asked to leave in 24 hours. With three cases already at the Industrial Court, perhaps it will be five soon. The idea is to move AFC out of Malaysia, the rest is hogwash by the senior officials who claim that Malaysia is a special place for AFC.


Malaysia has been drawn in Pool A in the 10-nation Asian hockey championship for men to be held at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium from September 1 to 9. The other teams in the group are South Korea, China, Sri Lanka and Singapore.Group B will comprise of hosts India, Japan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong (China) and Thailand. Pakistan has opted out of the tournament as its undergoing a team re-building exercise.
China will be other team that will be watched keenly and could be a tough team for Malaysia to match as they made the final of the Asian Games in Doha, defeating India and Pakistan enroute to the silver. South Korea, the Asian Games gold medallist were however beaten in the recent Azlan Shah Cup by Malaysia. The significance of this event lies in the fact that the FIH has accorded it the status of a world ranking event. Malaysia is currently ranked 16 in the latest FIH rankings list while India is ranked 8 in the world.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


The Champions Youth Cup, that came under media scrutiny, is an Under 19 tournament, meaning it is for players born in 1988 and beyond. But for some reason or another Malaysia, under the guidance of Robert Alberts, started preparing an Under 20 team, meaning players that were born in 1987 onwards. The team even undertook a playing tour of Bangkok and were scheduled to leave for a playing tour of Australia next week. Now they realised that the tournament is for those who are Under 19 years of age and hence the entire selection has to be done all over again. There is a team comprising of Under 19 players, coached by K. Rajagobal. So where is the problem then as Rajagobal's boys can play in the CYC. But this team is being prepared for the Asean U19 Tournament that will held from July 29 to August 14 while the CYC starts from August 5. So who kept the truth from FAM with regards to the age of the players?.....

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


The Malaysian Womens Hockey Association (MWHA) will be settling its dues with teams yet to receive the prize money for the various tournaments in the next two weeks.
Admitting that they were facing cash flow problems, MWHA Hon. Secretary Dr. S. Shamala said that efforts were underway to ensure that the payments will be made. On another note Dr. Shamala has yet to make up her mind with regards to her position in MWHA. This is because Dr. Shamala is currently the Head of the Women Sport Division in the National Sports Council. Her continued presence in MWHA could likely be a conflict of interest and Dr. Shamala will have a heart to heart talk with the President before making up her mind.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


There is speculation that five times workd champions Brazil could well play in Malaysia next month. After efforts to bring Barcelona failed, it is said that moves are underway to get the Samba kings to play a match in Malaysia to celebrate the 50th Merdeka Anniversery. After the way Man United were kept away from M'sian shores by AFC, a night of Brazilian football could well be the icing on the cake for football fans in Malaysia. Watch this space for more details.


While the MWHA BGM will be held on July 15, perhaps the time has come to put things right in an association that really should do better.
For complaints have been rife that teams that participated in the Junior League last year have yet to receive their prize money. And on the top of that some states did not receive their subsidies when participating in the recent age group championships. This matter was brought to the attention of the major sponsors of the league who promised swift action. Lets see if the NSC will react to it as well.


The MHL-TNB League Technical Committee seems to have overstepped their boundries when they meted out three match suspensions to the coaches of E&Y and Sapura.
This is because the Technical Committee has no punitive powers and should have referred the matter of the two coaches to the Disciplinary Board. So is the suspension legal and enforceable in the first instance?
The irony of the whole matter is that the same committee deemed it fit to refer the manager of the KHA-Nur Insafi team to the Disciplinary Board for ungentlemanly conduct.
The fact of the matter is that the Technical Committee has no right to suspend the two coaches. But can we expect them to overturn the verdict and let them sit on the bench tomorrow in a crucial match at the National Hockey Stadium? Or will be a case of sticking to their decision no matter how faulty it was?


The end is near for Ganga Rao, Hon. Secretary of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM). It is likely that he will be found guilty by the inquiry panel set-up by the BWF and in the process lose his position as the COO/GM of the world body. While I will not got into the facts of the decision, as the matter is more then likely ending up in the court of law, Ganga is receiving attention whereever he goes. For at the Bangsar Shopping Centre on Monday, where the scribe was having a drink with Ganga, Datuk Rosmah Mansor, the wife of the Deputy Prime Minister,stopped by and asked Ganga on his issue with the world body. It was a friendly gesture by Datuk Rosmah. It seems that Ganga will be informed of the decision anytime this week.