Tuesday, April 28, 2009


When one reads the statement made by the newly appointed Sports Minister, all we can do is pray for the future of Malaysian sports. He had the "cheek" to say that playing in the hot blazing sun was okay for team sports. If that is his conviction, may I suggest that he take on the FAM who have refused to allow matches to be played in the afternoon, despite the fact that State FA's have to incurr a higher cost for night matches. Let's start playing the Super League/Premier League and Malaysia Cup matches at 4.30pm on Saturdays. And if the Minister needs reasons as to why we should move football matches, here are some arguments for him.

- all teams train in the afternoons hence there should be no reason for burn out or fatigue. After all they are professionals and not kids.

- the costs factor as for night games you have to pay for floodlights.

- we will thus not compete for attention with the EPL.

- easier for fans to find their way back via public transportation.

- parents will let kids go for matches as they will be home before sunset.

Sementara itu, Ahmad Shabery menolak dakwaan sesetengah pihak bahawa waktu perlawanan Kejohanan Hoki Wanita Majlis Sukan Sekolah-sekolah Wilayah Persekutuan (MSSWP) Zon Sentul yang diadakan di sebelah tengah hari sebagai masa yang tidak sesuai.
Namun, beliau berharap Institut Sukan Negara (ISN) dapat memberi garis panduan tertentu kepada pemain-pemain untuk melakukan persediaan jika terpaksa bermain di bawah cuaca yang terlalu panas.

“Hoki tidak seperti sukan berpasukan lain seperti bola sepak, kerana pemain boleh bertukar ganti pada bila-bila masa dan saya percaya ia tidak memudaratkan pemain kerana ia juga boleh diibaratkan sebagai latihan ketahanan buat mereka. “Persoalan utama di sini adalah keadaan cuaca, bukan masa perlawanan diadakan,” katanya.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Alea iacta est

It means the die has been cast. Below is the confirmation of the new national coach appointment. There have been some interesting developments over the past few days, but the plan to appoint Rajagobal was hatched by two of his former team managers. How it went about, I shall reveal in a few days, after the main stream media had their say, till then congrats Raja.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) announced today the appointment of K.Rajagobal as the new national senior team coach. Rajagobal was previously the national Under-23 football coach.

He takes over the national team coaching duties from B.Sathianathan, who was removed as coach together with team manager Soh Chin Aun in February 1 this year.

Malaysia is currently in ranked 161 in the latest world rankings according to the International Football Federation (Fifa) website, just a one place above the Philippines.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Having read the newspapers that KL Plus coach Mat Zan Mat Aris was going to be the latest person to be charged for making a statement in the media, I searched for some other press statements that could also be of interest to the FAM Disciplinary Board, if they want to be seen as doing justice. The statements are clearly contravening the following FAM Regulation:
Peruntukan Kesalahan 18 dan 18.1 Peraturan Tatatertib FAM diperhalsi, tidak punya hak untuk memberi pengecualian sama ada `kenyataan berbentuk peribadi atau kritikan. Kerana Peruntukan 18 merangkumi: `Larangan membuat kenyataan akhbar, sama ada melalui media massa atau elektronik,' dengan lanjutan Peruntukan 18.1 yang tertulis: `Pemain atau Pegawai yang membuat kenyataan akhbar atau memberi sumbangan kepada akhbar mengenai sebarang Aktiviti Bolasepak Persatuan tanpa kebenaran Persatuan.'
Therefore the following individuals can also be hauled up, and ironically we have to start from the FAM Secretariat itself.
Dato Azzuddin "Ketika mula memegang jawatan selaku Setiausaha Agung, saya tidak mempunyai penolong dan semua tugas yang diamanahkan, saya pikul secara berseorangan selama enam bulan hinggalah beliau masuk," katanya. Saifuddin, 49, bertugas di FAM sejak 1993 hingga 2004 sebelum menyertai Konfederasi Bola Sepak Asia (AFC) dan kembali menjadi warga badan induk kebangsaan itu sebagai Penolong Setiausaha Agung pada 15 November 2007.
He was appointed as Sec Gen on September 17 and the Assistant Sec Gen reported for duty on November 15. Thus it is a case of misleading.
Setiausaha Agung FAM, Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad, berkata pembayaran yang dilangsaikan PDRM berjumlah RM14,016 untuk dua pegawai pasukannya. "Untuk PDRM, insurans dikenakan terhadap individu yang bukan anggota polis sahaja," katanya.
PDRM have to register 15 professional players and Armed Forces 10 profesionnal players as they are in the Super and Premier Leagues respectively. There is no exception to this and insurances must be paid by all professional players so no exemption to these two teams.
Timbalan Presiden FAM, Khairy Jamaludin berkata badan induk itu perlu menerima segala teguran dengan hati terbuka "walaupun kadang-kadang teguran itu terlalu pedih ataupun ada kalanya teguran itu tidak berasas. Janganlah pula seolah-olah FAM ini tak boleh langsung ditegur, terima teguran dan juga pandangan daripada ahli gabungan dan daripada mereka yang terbabit dengan bola sepak," katanya, semalam.
Jurulatih Perlis, Irfan Bakti Abu Salim bersimpati dengan nasib rakan sejawatnya di Felda United, Reduan Abdullah yang disifatkan menjadi `mangsa' kerana memberi pandangan terhadap badan induk bola sepak Negara itu."Bagi saya, Reduan ketika memberikan kenyataan akhbar tidak bermaksud mengkritik badan induk bola sepak kebangsaan tetapi sebaliknya lebih kepada memberikan cadangan atau pandangan.
Pengurus T-Team, Datuk Abdul Rahin Mohd Said, berkata belum pernah ada pengadil dan pembantunya dalam satu perlawanan, datang dari negeri yang sama - Kelantan - kerana boleh berlaku keputusan yang tidak adil. "Saya kesal kerana pengadil dan dua pembantunya, semuanya dari Kelantan dan saya sudah membuat bantahan kepada Naib Presiden FAM, Datuk Che Mat Jusoh mengenai perkara itu," katanya. Sehubungan itu, beliau meminta FAM memandang serius perkara itu agar ia tidak berulang lagi pada masa depan.
It was a winning Super League debut for Ken Worden on Tuesday but not for Malaysian football. Worden, back for another stint in Malaysian football - this time as Terengganu coach - was blunt in his assessment of the players he has inherited. Though Terengganu beat bottom-placed Police 1-0 in Kuala Terengganu, Worden said he had never seen a more pathetic display of football in his entire professional years of playing and coaching. "It was school-level football from start to finish," said the former national and Selangor coach. It will be interesting to see what the reaction of the FA of Malaysia will be for the custodians of football are very defensive when the M-League is criticised.
Bringing disrepute to the game, same as Reduan Abdullah, Dato Seri Anuar Musa and Mat Zan Mat Aris.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

1.3 Million Questions?

Somehow the figure 1.3 seems to be a favourite number when equated to Malaysian hockey. When we played hosts, or rather salvaged the honour of FIH, we suffered a 1.3 million loss in hosting the Champions Trophy. And if you care to read the Bernama story below, we need 1.3 million to upgrade the facilities at the Kuantan Hockey stadium for the Asia Cup. I bet we do not need to spend 1.3 million to prepare the national team for this tournament, nor do we have 1.3 million in MHF coffers to use to develop hockey in the country, something that should be on the top of the priority list.

I have every respect and admiration for Tengku Abdullah, the man means well, but it is those who are ill advising him that is a cause for concern. When the TM first came into hockey, he had the vision, but somehow without the haze hazard this year, TM has lost focus.

Kuantan, host venue for the Asia Cup hockey competition, are racing against time to upgrade facilities at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Indera Mahkota since the tournament starts in less than a month.

Malaysian Hockey Federation president (MHF) Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said RM1.3 million had been allocated to upgrade facilities at the stadium, especially the electronic scoreboard, flood lights and sections of the turf.

"These facilities must be ready before the tournament starts from May 9-16. I am however, confident that everything will be in place by then," Tengku Abdullah told reporters after visiting the stadium here today.

Tengku Abdullah added that apart from the Wisma Belia stadium, the SUKPA hockey pitch, also in Indera Mahkota, would be used during the competition.

Eight teams, divided into two groups - Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Oman (Group A), Pakistan, India, China, Bangladesh (Group B), are participating in the tournament that was initially supposed to be hosted by Dubai.

Since Dubai had decided to give up the host job citing financial constraints as a result of the current economic crisis, Malaysia offered to take up the host job.

Tengku Abdullah also said that Bangladesh would be the first team to arrive here for the tournament since the dark horses of Asian hockey are expected to fly into Kuantan on May 1, a day before the national team's arrival.

"I hope the local fans will fill up the stadium to provide support for the national team because entrance is free," said Tengku Abdullah.


The newly appointed Sports Minister held court last night with some selected Sports Editors and Bloggers at a leading hotel, ironically the same six star establishment where the National Sports Awards were held by Ismail Sabri (must admit though these two have class in picking places during the economic downturn).

What was amusing was some 30km away, his deputy was still hard at work, holding meetings with Ministry officials while he had the cheek to use the services of a company that had shady dealings with a former Minister to arrange for the session last night.

Also conspicously missing were officials from the NSC/ISN/KBS/Sports Commissioners Office as well as Sports advisory Panel.

It is his right to meet with whoever he wants but I am told not all the Sports Editors were present, and some wannabe Sports editors were there as well. So was it a session with a selected few that the PR company was comfortable with or was the Minister trying to avoid getting the REAL truth of what is happening in sports in this country, right from the racial divide to high handed officials to as low as manipulating elections of the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

No matter what some might say of Dato Wira Mazlan, never did he endorse no even touch on the issue of the OCM elections while serving as DG of the NSC. But then again different people think differently and I sure hope things too become different with the new Minister.

One word of advice to the Hon. Minister, walk with your back against the wall as those who claim to have good intentions often hurt you the most when it matters. Talk to your Deputy as he has gone through the mill at Jalan Dato Onn when serving Dato Hishamuddin as his Private Secretary. And YB Razali is well aware of the Motor Sports Commission as it was his baby those days.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


The main stream media has Azrai Khor as the pick for national coach to replace the ousted B. Sathianathan. And Azrai is the pick of some fans as well as my former colleague.

I do not deny that Azrai has the credentials to lead the national team, but some how I feel that former international Dollah Salleh, currently with Shahzan Muda will get the nod.

FAM in a way started all of us on a wild goose chase when they said there were three candidates for the national coach position, and that these names were to be considered at the FAM Council meeting last Saturday.

Sitting down in Chenai, India while the FAM were up to the antics, I started getting information.

One of the three candidates was supposedly in the short listed list of candidates only received a call to ask if he was keen for the post 48 hours before the meeting. And the State FA, who are his employers were also not approached. Therefore he was just a name to the list as FAM had no intention of securing his services.

Negotiations with the picked candidate started weeks ago and it is believed that the nod from the State FA where he is employed is yet to be obtained, most likely in this week or so. Hence the President had to KIV the announcement with regards to the appointment.

Putting aside who will be the coach, the decision to field the U23 team in the Merdeka Tournament is baffling. Why would we want to provide exposure to teams in this region to prepare them for the SEA Games where K. Rajagobal has to ensure we get a medal or he will be out of a job.

Will we play the Under 23 against Manchester United as well? If so then why do we need a national coach...let Rajagobal be the fall guy when we fail.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Read the article below, especially the paragraphs that are in bold. If you though the Europeans were smart, but obviously those chaps in MHF are brilliant.

Malaysia has three bodies running hockey, if FIH care to check ttheir facts right. One is a puppet body, the Malaysian Hockey confederation (MHC), the other two are the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) and Malaysian Women Hockey Association (MWHA).

MHF runs men's hockey whereas MWHA runs ladies hockey, period. MHC, well its a body formed to please FIH. Other then being affiliated to OCM, even all dealings with NSC is being done by MHF and MWHA respectively.

Someone in FIH should brief their president and he can also check with government agencies or even take a look physically at what is happening.

As for MHF, its another way of ensuring a backdoor place in the World Cup.

And why are India being punished when Malaysia too are guilty of not conforming with FIH regulations. Only because we do it better then the best magicians in the world.

NEW DELHI, April 9 - Malaysia may well be the next venue if Indian hockey authorities fail to put their house in order within the next six months to remain as host for the men's 2010 World Cup in Delhi.

International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre urged India to create a single body to govern hockey affairs in the country and also replace the existing ad-hoc committee that was currently in charge.

"(The) internal affairs have to be solved by Indian hockey. For FIH, according to our statutes, we need a single body before we can start the world cup, its essential for the world cup. Not possible to run the world cup without it.

"Our decision is to stage the world cup in India, no doubt about it but FIH also has plan B. It will be in Asia. Malaysia is prepared to host it, and they have the experience to organise major events successfully.

"We are pleased and that is our plan B," Negre, leading a five-member delegation to India, to gauge the host's preparations, told media here today.

In India, the men and women hockey activities are managed by two different bodies unlike in other countries, which is administered by a single federation or authority, as required by FIH rules.

Indian hockey is in a quagmire, after the India Hockey Federation led by K.P.S Gill was dissolved when one of its high-ranking official was exposed by local television for accepting bribes to include players in the national squad.

Gill had filed a law suit against the Olympic Council of India and the case would be heard in July this year, giving little time for officials to sort out their issues and call for fresh elections to set up a national body.

"India is the only country that has two separate bodies to run the women's and men's hockey and that is a serious problem. In six months everything has to be settled," said Negre.

Malaysia who had hosted the men's World Cup in 1975 and 2002, had also expressed interest in staging the most prestigious hockey event when the Malaysian Hockey Federation declared they are ready to play host if India faced problems. - Bernama

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


There are strong vibes that Dato Mukhriz Mahathis is being considered as the new Sports Minister in the Cabinet that is set to be announced tomorrow. Earlier there was talk that Dato Dr. Latif or Dato Saifuddin Abdullah. However it seems that Dato Mukhriz has the edge now.
So what will happen to the current Sports Minister, Dato Ismail Sabri? Will he get the cushy job as Tourism Minister or will he be left out as well.
Anyway a former SUS of Dato Hishamuddin Hussein during his term as Sports Minister, who won the Youth Deputy Chief post is also rumoured to be in line for a position in the new cabinet. Razali Ibrahim, the MP for Muar is a soft spoken but a great administrator and good person. My only hope is that KJ be considered for a place in the cabinet. No matter what some may say, KJ is a great person and someone the country can do with.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Word has it that a key figure in FAM will be quitting soon. And that will be music to the ears of many as he is said to be the cause of such displeasure within the football fraternity. More on this tomorrow.


That will describe the situation former national coach B. Sathianathan is in right now, as he has received his termination letter from his employers, the Football Association of Malaysia. We will not go into arguments as to whether the decision to do away with Sathia's services was the right thing to do, but look at the whole termination process itself.
This is due to the fact that Sathia was quoted in The Star today that he would look at the legal aspects of the termination. So I will not discount that the matter will probably end up in the courts as Sathia is hell bent at getting justice. And from what I can reveal, he has grounds to fight his case.