Wednesday, April 30, 2008


It seems that FAM has been left out of the organisational aspect of the CYC this year. Some of my friends in the football fraternity posed a few questions that are unanswered with regards to this whole saga and I believe that answers will be forthcoming over the next few days as the Malaysian media come to terms with what's happening. The questions may seem irrelevant at this time but surely they must be answered at one time. These are some observations made by those who read the NST story this morning.

1. Why is AFC getting involved in the organisational aspect in a Member Association? Can they do so and if yes then it must be pointed out under which clause of the AFC Statutes is tis being done?

( Am not clear about this but al I know is government interference is a big NO NO but I guess its OK to take their money)

2. Who applied for the sanction from FIFA? Obviously it is FAM so the question is has sanction been granted? Is it true that a three year sanction was granted?

( FIFA Statutes state that it is the Member Association that must apply for sanction if the event involves different continental federations)

3. If FAM had informed the Sports Ministry that they were no longer required, it is wise for the government agency to support the event?

( That is something that the Ministry will have to answer)

4. Based on the 1998 Sports Development Act, a company that organisors any sports event has to seek a license from the Sports Commissioners Office. Was this done last year and this year? Have the accounts been submitted to the Sports Commissioners Office as required under the Act?

(Again the Sports Commissioner, who happens to be the Chairman of the Organising Committee will have an answer to that)

5. Will Malaysia field a team in the tournament. If its officials are deemed not good enough then is the team good enough?

(Let's not mix these two things up please)

Suffice to say that if one were to read through the Sports Development Act 1998 and look at the very essence as to why this tournament was first conceived, the answers will be clear as the song goes - I can see clearly now the rain has gone. But for some its still hazy what sports is all about as their loyalty remains only to the first Yang DiPertuan Agong.

From the NST Today - Christopher Raj

THE Champions Youth Cup (CYC) saga took another twist yesterday when it emerged that the FA of Malaysia (FAM) will not be involved in any organisational aspect of the Under-19 tournament on Aug 5-16.

This is sure to invite further criticism for a tournament that costs the Sports Ministry RM17 million a year, especially as FAM cited its unwillingness to work with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as its reason.

Given the latest development, it will be interesting to see the reaction from the Sports Ministry, considering the amount involved.

The AFC, said Jonathan Price - the chairman of tournament promoter Gifted Group, had offered to work together last year.

"We thought it was a good offer as they (AFC) agreed to help us in terms of football management, referees and the disciplinary committee," said Price.
"During our discussions with FAM officials, we clearly briefed them of the roles they would play. But none were happy or too pleased that AFC is involved."

Price said he had written to FAM on April 25, whose general secretary Lt Jen (Rtd) Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad confirmed having received it.

"The letter will be tabled at the FAM executive committee meeting on May 17," was all that Azzuddin was willing to say.

A copy of Price's letter to Azzuddin, which was made available to Timesport, stated that Gifted Group had an "agreement in place with the AFC to organise the event alongside Gifted.

"Whilst we would be pleased to also have FAM play a full role in this regard and welcome your positive attitude to the tournament, you will appreciate that we cannot renege upon commitments that we have already made to other parties.

"With regret, I must therefore decline your kind offer to assist us with the tournament organisation."

Gifted Group had met FAM officials on March 27 and discussed the possible involvement of the national body in the CYC. However, FAM had subsequently informed Philip Lay, general manager of the CYC that it had no wish to work alongside AFC in the organising of the tournament.

Price said Gifted Group's decision was not based on financial criteria.

"As a gesture of goodwill and and in recognition of the very positive relationship that we have developed with the FAM since your (Azzuddin's) appointment (as general secretary), I can confirm that I still propose to pay to the FAM the US30,000 (about RM96,000) that we had agreed for its services."

Price also confirmed that Gifted Group remained committed to the development programmes that it had constructed with FAM together with the Sports Ministry, National Sports Council and the Education Ministry.

FAM's relationship with AFC has been strained since the Asian body blocked Manchester United's tour of Malaysia which clashed with last year's Asian Cup which Malaysia co-hosted.

Sports Ministry officials could not be contacted for comments.

Yesterday's draw was conducted by AFC assistant general secretary Carlo Nohra and Malaysia were drawn in Group B with Ajax Amsterdam, Chelsea and AC Milan. The group will be based in Penang.

Champions Machester United are in Group D with Porto, Juventus and China and will play their matches in Kuala Terengganu.

Group A, which will be based in Kuantan, has PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Flamengo and India, while Lyon, Bayern Munich, River Plate and Qatar make up Group C which will be based in Malacca.

The semi-finals and final will be in Kuala Lumpur.

The groupings -- Group A: PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Flamengo, India.

Group B: Ajax Amesterdam, Chelsea, AC Milan, Malaysia.

Group C: Olympic Lyon, Bayern Munich, River Plate, Qatar.

Group D: Porto, Manchester United, Juventus, China.