Tuesday, December 28, 2010

ANOTHER FIASCO


After the Sukom 98 fiasco, we thought that it was the end of companies being formed to organize sports events in the country, as the accounts have yet to be closed.

But we were wrong, and although there is no conclusive evidence of any foul play of yet, another such an incident has resurfaced, where no accounts have been presented.

Let’s trace this back to 2009, and it was the first trans-border Junior Hockey World Cup to be organized, by Malaysia and Singapore.

In order to facilitate the organization, the International Hockey Federation required a joint Organising Committee, hence a private limited company was set-up under the auspices of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation and Singapore Hockey Federation.

And no prizes for guessing just who was given the task of forming this company with SHF, yes the one and only – the Deputy President.

Now the Junior Word Cup has come and gone, almost 18 months have since passed yet no accounts for the JWC have been tabled at any of the meetings of MHF or MHC. An attempt was made though in July 2009, but the then Secretary of Johor HA had attempted to present the accounts to MHF without any approval from his state body.

Now it gets more interesting as checks and conversations with officials involved in the JWC, from both sides of the causeway revealed that the said company has been dissolved and accounts closed. That is the plus factor but why have the accounts not been tabled at the MHC meetings nor the MHF council been informed about the profit or loss. Mind you the main sponsors forked out Singapore Dollars 250,000 for the JWC.

So lets see some transparency here Deputy President. I am sure the accounts are “clean” and we made no profit whatsoever from the JWC. So why the delay or refusal to table the report ?

Monday, December 27, 2010

SPORTS ACT CONCERNS

The Director General of the National Sports Council, Dato Zolkples Embong is a man under pressure these days.

Not only does he has to face a brunt of attacks from the former NSC DG Dato Wira Mazlan Ahmad, who hardly bites his tongue in his relentless attacks on the policies adopted by the NSC and KBS, but Dato Zolkples is trying hard to justify budget cuts for the National Sports Associations.

This blog will attempt to clarify certain issues that have been raised of late, with regards to the amendments to the Sports Act. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NO SUCH NEED

The dearth of capable young officials coming through the rank renders the proposal of limiting the term of office for leaders of national sports associations unacceptable at the present moment.

In voicing their views against the proposal by ex National Sports Council; Director General Dato Mazlan Ahmad who said that terms of office should be limited to two Olympic cycles, Olympic Council of Malaysia President Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar and current NSC DG Dato Zolkples Embong, concurred with each other that the call was unwarranted.

"At the last OCM annual general meeting that was a resolution to invoke a age limit of 70 for office bearers but we deliberated over it and found that it was not feasible given our current situation where there are so few who want to do volunteer work," said Imran when met at the launch of the 1Mas Development Program at Tun Razak Stadium.

"It is not easy to entice the younger generation to do volunteer work and besides we find no problem with those holding posts for longer terms as most of them, if not all are doing a great service to their sports.

"I think the proposal is not feasible at the moment and we should not look at this as means to better our sports."

In echoing the remark by Imran, the NSC DG said that this idea was first mooted when the Sports act was being formulated in 1996 and even then it was deliberated at length, with Mazlan as the serving DG.

"It is not a new idea as it was discussed in 1996 and it was found to be not feasible for our country. We find it difficult to replace leaders," said Zolkples.

"Take for example boxing and women's hockey. Both their presidents have voiced their intention to step down but cannot find suitable replacements."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

TONY GOES BACK TO GREEN

Team Lotus will now stick with its green and yellow colours for 2011 after chief Tony Fernandes said it would be 'ludicrous' for his squad to run in the same paint scheme as the rebranded Lotus Renault outfit.

In the wake of the announcement this week that Lotus Cars was buying a stake in the Renault team and becoming its title sponsor, there had been fears that confusion could be caused by both the Enstone outfit and Team Lotus racing with the same black and gold colours for next year.

However, although Fernandes remains steadfast that he will stick with the Team Lotus moniker, he thinks it better for his outfit to stick with the famous green and yellow brand that it used this season rather than see through his original plans to run in black and gold.

Speaking exclusively to AUTOSPORT for the first time since the Lotus/Renault announcement, Fernandes said: "I have no problem that there will be two Lotuses on the grid. But I do think it would be ludicrous if we are both black and gold, and I can inform you that we will be changing our plans for the colour scheme.

"We declared that we were going to run in black and gold, and I'm not going to be childish to say we were first with our plans, so we will do it whatever. They have painted their car black and gold, they have made their intentions clear on that front, so be it.

"But every cloud has a silver lining, and I received some messages from people suggesting that by being black and gold we would be promoting a cigarette company. I wasn't actually aware that JPS [John Player Special] was still being sold in the United Kingdom and various parts of the Commonwealth. So did I need that controversy? No.

"And after yesterday's announcement by the FIA about the new engine plans for 2013, which means F1 is going green - so what better colour to be than green? So, we have been testing our fans' reactions and many have come back to us to say we should stay green and yellow. So, I am 99 per cent sure that we will be green and yellow."

Fernandes has expressed some frustration that Lotus has decided to team up with Renault, rather than throw its weight behind Team Lotus.

Speaking about the Lotus Cars decision, Fernandes said: "My first reaction is obviously disappointment. We were originally given a mandate for five years to go and develop a Formula 1 team.

"There are comments that have emerged in the Malaysian press that Proton was disappointed with our performance, which is one of the reasons that they gave up. I don't know how anyone in their right mind could expect us to be competing in the top half of the grid, or even up in the bottom half of the grid, last year - having just been given an entry in September.

"I stand by the fact that I think we did very well in the year and I think that 99 per cent of the paddock would agree considering where we came from. We built a classy team - a team that could do pitstops in the same time as Ferrari. We looked good, we had a good motorhome and performed well on the track with two good drivers.

"We were the best of the new teams. We had two good drivers and Heikki Kovalainen said he had the greatest season he has had in F1 – which is great testament from a guy who has driven for McLaren and Renault. So I am a bit disappointed that we did not get a chance [from Proton/Group Lotus]."

He added: "Logically I think we could have built a great brand together. I think this year if anyone says that we didn't help Lotus then I think they are mad, because we have helped them. And the reaction from the public is very strongly in support of us. So I think given time we would have built something good, and the perfect scenario for me would have been a merger of the two with one ambition."

Fernandes has said that he will push on with legal moves to get a clarification on the Lotus name situation in the courts, and said he has been hugely encouraged by messages of support from fans.

"You cannot win people overnight," he said. "This support we have got has been built up over a year.

"As I always say, things take time and things have to be done properly. You cannot parachute yourself into a brand. If you look at all my business strategy I have always believed in organic growth. It needs foundations and it needs strategy. You cannot parachute into something and say it is yours.

"People are not stupid any more, and I think the reason for the support is the people see we are trying to do something the right way.

"I am not Colin Chapman, and I never will be. He is a legend and we are not going to emulate him – but everything he did is what we are doing. He built it from scratch and did not buy into anything. You have to have brands that people love. There is lots of competition out there and people have to have respect for what you do."

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tony says - "they are trying to hijack our black and gold idea."

The Renault car company has sold its remaining shares in the eponymous Formula 1 team, which will be renamed Lotus Renault in 2011.

Renault was left with a 25% shareholding in the team in 2010 after selling the remainder to private investment group Genii Capital.

Those shares have been sold to Genii and will be then taken by Lotus Cars, which is owned by Proton.
The move means there will be two F1 teams in 2011 with Lotus in their name.

The team that competed as Lotus Racing in 2010 will be renamed Team Lotus after buying the historic rights to the name under which Lotus raced from the 1960s until collapsing with financial difficulties in 1994.

Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes, the owner of the Air Asia airline, is in dispute with Proton over the rights to use the Lotus name in F1.

The cars produced by Lotus Renault will still be called Renaults - changing that would need the permission of all the other F1 teams.

A Renault F1 statement said: "Lotus plc will become a major equity partner of Genii Capital in Lotus Renault GP, and the two parties have concluded a title sponsorship agreement that will run until the end of the 2017 season."

It appears as if both teams plan to run their cars with black and gold liveries, reflecting the historic John Player Special sponsorship of Lotus in the 1970s and 1980s.
Renault and Lotus battling on track in 2010
Renault and Lotus battling on track during a test session in 2010

Renault's statement said: "For 2011, the Lotus Renault GP cars will race in a new interpretation of the iconic black and gold colours that were last used when Lotus and Renault joined forces in the 1980s. 

"This livery, which has been on the drawing board for over two months in order to reinterpret its iconic graphic signature to suit modern media requirements, is sure to strike a powerful chord with the sport's enthusiasts around the world."

Lotus Racing announced its plans to use a black and gold livery at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.

Renault's statement continued: "Renault will continue its strong support of the team with which it won the 2005 and 2006 world championships, as a supplier of engines and technological and engineering expertise.

"Reflecting this technological support, Lotus Renault GP will continue to compete with the Renault chassis name and Renault will enjoy pre-eminent brand exposure on the livery."

Proton's decision to buy into the Renault team and promote its Lotus brand is the latest development in ambitious plans for future expansion by Lotus.

At the recent Paris Motor Show, it announced plans to build a number of new road cars and it has also said it will compete at Le Mans and in IndyCar racing in the US.

The chief executive officer of Group Lotus, Dany Bahar, said: "I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1 is the very pinnacle of open-wheel racing.

"We're well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1 and I'm delighted to be able to formally clarify our position once and for all: we are Lotus and we are back."

Team Lotus boss Fernandes responded on his page on social network site Twitter : "Dany Bahr has done us a favour. Never felt better about our future and Team Lotus.

He added: "Looks like [they're] trying to hijack our black and gold idea."

Renault's decision to sell its remaining shares in the team ends a 10-year involvement in F1 as a team owner.

The French car company has been a competitor since buying Benetton Formula in 2000 and renaming it Renault for the 2002 season.

Friday, December 03, 2010

WILL DARREN COACH MALAYSIA?

Darren Smith, the coach of UniKL comes with impressive credentials. He fields questions on what his expectations are in the MHL and also is frank on his views about Malaysian hockey. He also touches on the issue of coaching the national team in this interview. Read on...

Read more...www.tnbmhl.com.my, the UNOFFICIAL website

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

V.K. Verma and Lalit Bhanot charged

Indian police raided the homes and offices of two top organizers of the recent Commonwealth Games following accusations that that they paid exorbitant rates for buying equipment from a Swiss company, an official said Wednesday.

"During searches (on Tuesday) voluminous incriminating documents have been recovered. The investigation and searches are in progress," said R.K. Gaur, a spokesman for the Central Bureau of Investigation.

India had hoped to boost its international reputation by hosting the Oct. 3-14 Commonwealth Games but instead the event was overshadowed by allegations of corruption, construction delays and cost overruns. The CBI last week registered cases of conspiracy and cheating against the two officials, V.K. Verma and Lalit Bhanot.

It accused them of causing a huge loss to the Indian government by paying 1.07 billion rupees ($23 million) to Swiss Timings Limited for purchasing a timing, scoring and result system which was available at a much cheaper rate from a Spain-based company.

"The Spain-based company was allegedly wrongfully eliminated at prequalification bid stage," the CBI said in a statement.

Both Verma and Bhanot denied any wrongdoing and said they acted with due diligence while awarding contracts for the games.

The CBI earlier this month arrested three games organizing committee officials, M. Jayachandran, T.S. Darbari and Sanjay Mahendroo, accusing them of forgery and cheating over the awarding of games-related contracts.

The cost of hosting the event ballooned to around $15 billion from the original estimated $412 million. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party alleged millions were siphoned by companies run by relatives of Games officials.

MALAYSIAN IDOL

Sydney FC’s Brendan Gan could be idolised by Malaysian fans if the attacking midfielder gets a national team call-up, says Malaysian-based Australian coach Gary Phillips.

Gan, a 22-year-old Sutherland Sharks product, is eligible to play for Malaysia through his bloodlines and in an interview earlier this week said a call up by the Tigers would be an enticing option.

''My inbox [on] Facebook is overflowing with messages from Malaysian fans who want me to come and play for them,'' he told Sebastian Hassett of the Sydney Morning Herald.

''There's been no contact so far from the Malaysian FA but I'd definitely be open to it.''

With his chances of playing for the Socceroos seemingly at long odds for the time being, the Malaysian option may prove a fruitful avenue to international football - particularly so given Malaysia's new direction.

Former national youth coach and now senior boss Rajagopal Krishnasamy has effectively made the national U23 side the national team. Gan at 22 with his pace and penchant for spectacular goals might fit into that vision perfectly as Krishnasamy looks to build for the future. 

If there was a call-up, Gan would follow in the footsteps of two other Australian A-League players who’ve recently been called up for nations of their heritage.

Central Coast’s John Hutchinson has been a regular in the Maltese national team for the last year while Phoenix defender Manny Muscat has also been called up by Malta.

Malaysian Premier League coach Gary Phillips says the A-League is clearly strong enough to provide a boost for the150th ranked nation in the world.

“Most A-League players have the qualities to represent the Malaysian national team,” the Sabah FC coach told au.fourfourtwo.com.

“Any team needs more quality and yes he has the potential to represent Malaysia. All national team players here are stars. If he commits to Malaysia he will be idolized,” said Phillips, a former NSL-winning coach and player and FourFourTwo TV pundit in Malaysia.

“Representing Malaysia would provide quality international experience and would therefore improve him as a player. However International football doesn't happen every week.”

Gan joined Sydney in 2008 after an eye-catching season in the NSW Premier League. His first season under then coach John Kosmina went better than expected scoring twice including a cracker against Melbourne Victory – but since Vitezslav Lavicka took over Gan's struggled to make an impact.

However, the pacy midfielder made his first start of the season at AAMI Park against Heart on the weekend playing over an hour.

And he’s back in an extended squad (two to be omitted) for tonight’s clash with Wellington Phoenix at the SFS.

Malaysia have three friendly matches over the next week against Indonesia, Thailand and Laos. They recently made it out of the Asian Games group stage but were knocked out in the round of 16 by Iran 3-1.

Phillips said that if Gan wanted to play in the Malaysian Super League he would be a quality addition who’d be in demand not just in that part of the AFC.

He added: “He could have a very rewarding career throughout Asia in a footballing and financial sense.”

Saturday, November 20, 2010

TIME TO QUIT AHMAD

Going by what is happening in the final of the Sepak Takraw competition, there will be a vacancy in the STAM presidency, as reported by NST last week, article reproduced below.
While we await what he will do, let's also call for the resignations of all the officials, be it from NSC or the National Sports Associations who had projected gold at the Asian Games.

Read the report below...

SEPAK Takraw Association of Malaysia (STAM) president Datuk Ahmad Ismail will resign if the national team fail to win a gold medal in Guangzhou.

His statement has added pressure to the under-achieving team to deliver.

However, manager Datuk Awang Sham Amit believes Ahmad's drastic move is more to spur the players.

"Ahmad's comment shows he is dedicated and committed to the sport. We will make sure he stays as president. Our goal is to earn either the team or regu gold medal," said Awang at the Games Village in Guangzhou yesterday.

"We had eight months of solid training and also played friendly matches with Thai clubs. Our players managed to beat some of these highly rated clubs. It proves we are strong."

Awang said favourites Thailand are not invincible as they have named a young squad.

"Their new players may not be ready to shoulder the burden in the Asian Games. We could take advantage of this situation.

"However, our team also need to treat South Korea, China and Japan with respect as they are improving fast."

The team have recalled several old faces, including the trio of Mohd Futra Ghani, Mohd Normanizam Ahmad and Mohd Zulkarnain Arif, who shocked the Thais for the 2005 Manila Sea Games gold medal.

Friday, November 19, 2010

PROTON 1 MALAYSIA FROM TEAM LOTUS

Reports have suggested the Malaysian car producer and owner of Norfolk marque Lotus is close to making an announcement connected with F1 – and a deal with Fernandes’ outfit, which was branded Lotus Racing in 2010, might be on the cards.

Such a move by Proton would, in turn, allow Group Lotus to confirm its £100m purchase of a 21pc stake in Renault’s F1 team, which would be renamed Lotus Renault on the 2011 grid.

It would see Lotus’ representation in F1 next year come from a team based near Oxfordshire – but one that finished fifth in this season’s constructors’ championship – while Fernandes’ team, also set to be powered by a Renault engine, will become a flagship Malaysian constructor hoping to build on tenth place in its first season.

The team’s home would most likely still remain at Hingham, where its GP2 companion – Team Air Asia – and long-term plans for a wind tunnel facility remain.

Both sides had ambitions to race in F1 next year under the Norfolk marque – a battle threatening to spill into the British courts after Fernandes bought the naming rights for Team Lotus from David Hunt in September.

Hethel-based Group Lotus took exception to that move, and they are aiming to clear a path to carry the Lotus name in F1 next season. A financial package from Proton for Fernandes’ team would ease the threat of them losing their slice of the 2010 F1 cash pie, which they may lose out on if the team changes its name.

One development made official last night was Group Lotus’ decision to become the third engine supplier to the United States’ Indy Car series from 2012.

The announcement, made at the Los Angeles Auto Show, confirmed Lotus have signed a five year deal starting to supply in-house engines and aero body kits for teams in the IndyCar series. Group Lotus will also create a motorsport facility in Indianapolis to ensure it has a base near the action in the US.

Lotus chief executive Dany Bahar said: “Lotus is unique in the automotive world, no other car company has been more successful in such a wide variety of motorsports discipline, whether it is Le Mans, World Rally, Sportscars, F1 of course and Indy Car. This year we teamed up with KV Racing for IndyCar and we will significantly increase our participation next year.

However, in 2012 IndyCar competitors will have the exciting opportunity to choose an IndyCar with a Lotus engine and aero body kit, immediately becoming part of a legacy that is Lotus; one of the most innovative and successful sports and racing car brands in the world.”

Indy Car chief Randy Bernard added: “Lotus is a renowned name in racing, with a long association with some of the greatest names of motorsports.”

Lotus’ Indy Car engine – rumoured to be a Cosworth build – will follow the series’ agreed rules, meaning a 2.4 litre capacity up to six cylinders, and turbo charged to produce between 550 and 700 horsepower.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

WHAT'S IN A NAME?


Putting aside the saga of their possible name in next year’s Formula One, Team Lotus, as it is known as of today, are targeting a top seven finish in the 2011 season.

Or at least that is what the principal owners of the team have targeted while CEO Riad Asmat was more pragmatic by stating that they will be more then happy to improve two notches, from their 10th place finish in 2010 to an eight placing in next season.

Riad, quiet and unassuming was prepared for the tough questions during a meet the media session held in Damansara this morning. In his opening remarks, it was the normal stuff, saying that the team was happy with what they had achieved and outlined their aspirations for the year to come.

But it when asked on the court case involving the usage of the name Lotus that one could see the concern on Riad’s face.

“It will be a long affair, perhaps it might take a whole year, meaning the season could well be over before a decision is made by the court of law,” conceded Riad.

“Really no one would want to be in such a situation, but this is something we have to face. In the meantime we are going through our motions as usual.”

But the irony is two Malaysians fighting for a name, with millions at stake. 

Where is commonsense and why has the Malaysian government not stepped in as its quite clear that on one part its public funding (with Proton reportedly willing to spend USD100 million) while the other party comprises of top individual businessmen sporting the 1Malaysia identity as well as naming the company 1Malaysia in their application to FIA.

What will be the reaction of Proton, say for example if Air Asia or Naza makes a bid to be the main sponsors of the Badminton Association of Malaysia? Currently BAM receives some RM2 million from Proton. Let’s double that Naza or Air Asia and see if a few feathers are ruffled in Proton.

There has often been more than one Lotus team in F1. The first Lotus F1 victory by Stirling Moss was in a privately entered Rob Walker dark blue Lotus, not a green works car i.e. we had 2 teams of Lotus cars in F1, each easily distinguished by the fans. 

There were no concerns from the Lotus Company about what a “Rob Walker Lotus” was doing to their “brand values”, probably because it was enhancing them.

Who can forget the 1968 British GP at Silverstone? No fan was confused by the Rob Walker Lotus 49 (dark blue with a white hoop) of Jo Siffert winning after the works Gold Leaf Team Lotus cars (red, white & gold) retired.

Possibly the best article on the Lotus situation was written by SpeedTV correspondent Will Buxton, on his personal blog. A sample:

“Lotus ran this year as Lotus under a license from Lotus, but in Singapore Lotus announced that next year it would be changing its name from Lotus to Lotus. This news was immediately met with a statement from Lotus which said that it had the rights to use the Lotus name and that Lotus did not, so Lotus could not change its name from Lotus to Lotus. Next season Lotus will not allow Lotus to call itself Lotus because Lotus wants to do a deal to take over Renault and call it Lotus so Lotus will have to call itself something else other than Lotus.”

Buxton perfectly encapsulates the ridiculousness of the situation, which has Group Lotus and Team Lotus – two different entities – fighting it out for the rights to race as Lotus.

Further complicating the story is the fact that Group Lotus are expected to buy into Renault, creating a Lotus-Renault, while Fernandes’ team will be Renault-powered, also making them Lotus-Renault.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

HACKED

There was an attempt to hack into my blogs last night, hence readers could not gain access to the blogs. However they are up and running now. Will update them later today.

Monday, November 15, 2010

PROTON TO BUY RENAULT F1

The London High Court tussle between Datuk Tony Fernandes’s Lotus Racing and Proton’s Group Lotus over the use of the Lotus name in Formula One could get more complicated with a report in the French newspaper Le Figaro.

In a report, Le Figaro said Renault was set to sell its remaining 25 per cent stake in the Renault F1 Team to Proton.

Proton and Renault were due to sign a contract formalising the deal on Wednesday, Le Figaro said in its report on Friday.

Talk about a deal had been circulating since the opening practice session at the Brazilian Grand Prix in Interlagos a week ago.

BBC radio commentators then had talked about “strong rumour” in the Brazilian paddock that Group Lotus could buy into the Renault team.

Le Figaro, quoting unnamed sources, said Group Lotus would become the title sponsor of the F1 collaboration with Renault, in a deal worth €30 million (RM128 million) a season over five years.

Renault president and chief executive Carlos Ghosn, asked to comment, would only say that "we'll be there next year and in future seasons".

Le Figaro said Renault's role in F1 would be reduced to that of an engine supplier to the renamed Lotus-Renault, Red Bull and Lotus Racing next year.

Renault last year sold 75 per cent of its F1 team to investment firm Genii Capital Partners.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

HODAK MOVES TO CAMBODIA


Phnom Penh Crown have announced the appointment of new head coach Bojan Hodak and his coaching team ahead of tomorrow’s friendly encounter against the visiting French Khmer Select XI at Olympic Stadium. Five exciting new signings have also been made for the league champions.

Hodak, 39, arrived in Phnom Penh this week to begin his one-year contract with Crown, determined to retain the Metfone C-League title and move the club onto a more professional footing.

“I will be pleased if everyone can see an improvement in the club,” he said at Crown’s training ground in Tuol Kork. “I like my teams to have possession of the ball and to play attacking football, and that is what we’ll be aiming for this season.”

“I’m a young coach and this will be great experience for me. The club will allow me to take my UEFA ‘Professional’ coaching license, which will help a lot. We have a game on Saturday – it’s early but we need games.

“We need to improve our fitness, in fact I’d like half a dozen friendly matches over the next two months to work on our match fitness.”

Hodak turned to coaching after completing a successful playing career as a hard-nosed central defender in Croatia, playing for six years in the Croatian first and second divisions with NK Trnje, NK Vrapce, NK Hrvatski Dragovaljac and NK Ponikve.

He headed to Asia in 1997 to play a further five years in the top divisions in Singapore and Hong Kong at Balestier Central, Jurong FC and Hong Kong Rangers. He earned his UEFA ‘A’ License badge in 2004 and came to prominence when he partnered ESPN’s Shebby Singh on the Malaysian reality television show, My Team, which saw them coach a squad of amateur players to take on the Malaysian national team.

Their success earned them entry into the Malaysian Premier League, they gained promotion in their first season and then spent two more years in the Super League before financial problems forced the side to drop out.

Hodak, who has worked for the Asian Football Confederation as an analyst for the last three years, turned to television and radio punditry for the Malaysian media before accepting his latest challenge in Phnom Penh.

The Croatian tactician will also be on hand to advise Crown’s Elite Football Academy, which is rapidly being established with final trials in Phnom Penh this weekend.

“It’s so important to involve the community, especially the kids,” said Hodak. “For football to take hold, we need the kids to love football, to follow local football, to build their passion for the game and to get involved. That’s what we will be doing here at Crown.”

Aiding the new head coach on the training ground will be assistant coach Vann Piseth, a former Cambodian international who assisted Scott O’Donell with the national team during his two spells in charge. Goalkeeping coach will be Prak Vanny, who has also performed duties with the national team for the last few years.

Not content with winning the league for the third time, Crown aim to extend their domestic dominance, as well as making an impression in two regional competitions, the AFC President’s Cup and the Singapore Cup.

They have confirmed their intent by signing five new players, three of which are current Cambodian internationals and two who have arrived fresh from the highly-rated Singapore League. They join a successful core of players retained from last season’s Championship-winning squad.

Strikers Kouch Sokumpheak and Khim Borey need little introduction to Cambodian football fans, as both have been rated as the country’s best homegrown talent for the last few seasons. Their addition to the Crown squad will strike fear into the hearts of their opponents.

Sokumpheak, 23, has been a loyal talisman at Khemara Keila for the past five years, whilst 21-year-old Borey has provided most of the ammunition for the Army team for the last four years, after spending a season with Koh Kong. It was Borey who netted a hat trick for the Cambodian national team in the recent AFF Suzuki Cup game against East Timor.

Joining them will be their international teammate San Narith, a utility player who commands a regular slot in the Cambodian line-up at either left-back or central midfield. Narith, 24, played for Preah Khan Reach last year after four years apiece with the Army and Khemara Keila.

The two new arrivals from the Singapore League are Nigerian-born duo, Odion Obadin, a 21-year-old central defender, and 24-year-old forward Kingsley Njoku. Both players spent three years each at Gombak United in the S-League.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

DAUD IBRAHIM KILLED IN ACCIDENT

Former national cyclist Daud Ibrahim was killed when the car he was travelling in collided with a container lorry at Km 232.6 of the North-South Expressway near here early Thursday.

A police spokesman said Daud, 63, of Jalan Daud, Muar, Johor, was killed on the spot due to serious head injuries in the 1am incident.

He said both vehicles were heading towards the south when the container lorry rammed into the rear of the car driven by Daud.

Recalling the incident, lorry driver Ja'afar Abu Bakar, 44, said a car on the emergency lane had swerved into the lane in front of him and collided with the lorry.

Six fire and rescue personnel were called in to extricate Daud's body from his wrecked car.

Daud was given the honour to light torch at the 21st SEA Games at the National Stadium in 2001.

He represented the country for the first time at the 1969 SEAP Games in Rangoon.

He won the gold in the 1,600m at the 1970 Asian Games.

A year later he won five gold medals at the SEAP Games in Kuala Lumpur.

He took part in the Christchurch Commonwealth Games in New Zealand in 1974 and Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, in 1972.

WHAT A SHAME

Malaysian rugby sevens player Mohamad Amin Jamaluddin has tested positive for cannabis during the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

The Commonwealth Games Federation says Jamaluddin has accepted the finding and waived his right to have the "B" sample tested.

The finding will not affect the Malaysian team, which lost all four of its matches at the Oct. 3-14 games.

The case has been forwarded to the International Rugby Board.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ILLEAGAL CHAIRMAN

Kelantan mendakwa pelantikan Pengerusi Majlis Sukan Negeri (MSN) Kelantan selama ini adalah tidak sah kerana tidak mematuhi peruntukan sedia ada.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pembangunan Insan, Belia, Sukan dan NGO Negeri, Ab Fattah Mahmood berkata antara peruntukan itu, Kementerian Belia dan Sukan perlu berbincang dengan Menteri Besar Kelantan terlebih dahulu sebelum melantik Pengerusi MSN itu.

“Kementerian Belia dan Sukan melalui menteri perlu mengadakan perbincangan untuk melantik pengerusi (MSN) tetapi kementerian tidak pernah berbuat demikan (mengadakan perbincangan).

“...dan dengan itu saya boleh katakan pengerusi yang dilantik ini adalah pengerusi haram (tidak sah) kerana ketidakpatuhan perkara ini,” katanya ketika menjawab soalan Wan Hassan Wan Ibrahim (PAS-Limbongan) pada Persidangan Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Kelantan di Kota Darul Naim di sini, hari ini.

Pengerusi MSN Kelantan ketika ini adalah Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub yang juga Timbalan Presiden Persatuan Bola Sepak Kelantan dan Ketua Umno Bahagian Machang.

Ab Fattah berkata bagaimanapun kerajaan negeri tidak ada kuasa untuk memilih dan melantik Pengarah MSN kerana terpulang pada pihak kementerian dan MSN sendiri.

Sementara itu beliau meminta agar semua pihak tidak mempolitikkan industri sukan negeri ini kerana ia tidak memberi kebaikan kepada semua pihak.

“Tidak benar dakwaan kerajaan tidak menepati janji untuk diberikan kepada MSN terutamanya dalam membangunkan sukan negeri ini,” katanya.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

INSTANT SUCCESS


That is the new way to develop hockey in Negeri Sembilan as the Menteri Besar is being led to believe. Buying success, overnight as it seems to be, is the key factor that certain officials put forward to the head of NSHA in their bid to buy headlines. The likes of Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi from Pakistan, coach Harendra Singh plus Arjun Hallapa, either Adrian or Bharat as keepers plus four other Indian players are set to play their role in MHL for this hig profile team that parachuted their way into the Premier League of MHL. Read more later today at www.malaysianhockey.blogspot.com

HAMMAM UNOPPOSED

FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam will be unopposed for a third and final four-year term serving as president of the Asian Football Confederation.

The AFC said Monday that the Qatari is the only candidate in a scheduled Jan. 6 vote at its congress in Doha. Its rules limit presidents to three terms, and 12 years, in office.

The confederation also published the list of candidates competing to represent Asia on FIFA's ruling executive committee, including its most senior role as a vice-president of soccer's world governing body.

Asia's soccer countries will choose between the incumbent Chung Mong-Joon of South Korea and the challenger Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein of Jordan.

Chung has been linked with a challenge to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, whose own third term ends next year.

The 34-year-old Prince Ali helped create and leads the West Asian Football Federation, which contains 13 teams including Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Qatar.

FIFA executive committee terms are expiring next year for Thailand's Worawi Makudi and Japan's Junji Ogura, who is 72 and barred by AFC age rules from standing.

The AFC said candidates for the four-year mandate are Makudi, current AFC vice-presidents Vernon Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka and China's Zhang Jilong, plus Kohzo Tashima of Japan.

Zhang served on the 2008 Beijing Olympics organizing committee. Tashima is general secretary of Japan's soccer association and a member of its 2022 World Cup bidding team.

Bin Hammam's FIFA executive seat is secure through 2013, after he won a bitterly fought election against Bahrain's Sheik Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa in May last year.

Asia provides four members of FIFA's 24-member ruling panel, whose most important task is choosing World Cup hosts.

The current FIFA executive committee will vote for the 2018 and 2022 host nations in a secret ballot on Dec. 2 in Zurich.

The AFC has four contenders in the 2022 poll, with Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea taking on the United States.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

CARE TO DISCLOSE MINISTER?

On October 12, via a half page newspaper advertisement that appeared in the Hindustan Times, the government of India disclosed the assistance provided towards the preparation of athletes for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The highlights of assistance provided are as follows:


- Government of India sanctioned 678 crores, over a period of 2 1/2 years for training, foreign exposure, sports and medical equipment, upgradation of training centres, as opposed to 40 crores per year earlier.

- 1140 players of 18 sports disciplines, trained by 170 Indian coaches and 30 foreign coaches.

- Indian Rupees 450/550 per day, per athlete, diet and food supplements provided, doubling past provisions.

- Air travel for all the sportspersons, including domestic travels in India, for coaching camps/competitions.

- 78 support personnel, i.e. sports analysts, doctors, physiologists, psychologists, physiotherapists, masseurs, exclusively attached with each team.

- 530 days of intensive training in India and 225 days of training and competition abroad.

- 3,760 players (repeat visits included) sent abroad for competition and training.

- 95 crores provided for participation of athletes in competitions and training abroad.

- For training and competitions abroad the following is breakdown for sports - 20 crores for 596 shooters, 6.7 crores for 411 badminton players, 5.9 crores for 365 wrestlers, 5.3 crores for 325 table tennis players, 3.9 crores for 278 athletes, 2.9 crores for 154 squash players, 2.9 crores for 233 tennis players, 2.8 crores for 187 archers, 1.5 crores for 116 boxers, 1.3 crores for 74 swimmers and other sports disciplines.

- state of the art shooting equipment worth 30 crores intalled at Karni Singh Shooting Ranges.

- ammunition worth 2.7 crores provided to shooters  and 4 elite shooters provided about 2 crores each for training abroad.

- 10 training centres for Commonwealth teams upgraded to international standards.

- reward money to medal winners doubled.

So Dato Seri Shabery, do you care to disclose what our budget is for the 12 Commonwealth Games gold medal plus what we are targetting to win at the Asiad?

I am sure that it may well be much lower then the RM40 million on the three tennis events that your Ministry and Tourism forked out this year alone.

Monday, November 01, 2010

NO LAW AGAINST MATCH FIXING

THE masterminds of match-fixing scandal, football administrators and national team players embroiled in throwing games in Asia cannot be arrested and prosecuted as there is nothing in Zimbabwean law which brings “match-fixing under crime”, legal experts have said.

There are latches or loopholes to control the offence of match- fixing under the current Zimbabwe legal system. Strange as it would sound, match-fixing has not been defined in any of the country’s laws; therefore there is no law against it.
Allegations of match-fixing have swirled in the country in the past weeks but the offenders cannot be prosecuted under Zimbabwean law; the situation is made trickier by the fact that the offences were committed in Asia.

This deals a blow to the Zifa board who were contemplating preferring criminal charges against the fired former Zifa chief executive officer, Henrietta Rushwaya. Several national team players and football administrators, among them Zifa vice- president Kenny Marange and board members Solomon Mugavazi and Methembe Ndlovu, have also been implicated in match-fixing.

Alec Muchadehama one of the best legal brains in the country said there was “no such offence as match-fixing in Zimbabwe”.

“Our sport law is not yet developed and there is no such offence as match-fixing in Zimbabwe. The other problem is that the offence was committed outside the country. They could be charged for fraud under the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act but it has to be proved if there was actual prejudice or potential prejudice,” Muchadehama said.

Prominent lawyer, Jonathan Samukange said they had to be a “good drafter of the charges” to have perpetraters arrested and successfully prosecuted for match-fixing.

“They are always loopholes in the legal system but there has to be a good drafter of the charges for the case to stick. They might be charged for fraud under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act but they can also be discharged on technicalities,” Samukange said.

Trust Maanda, another prominent lawyer said, “I doubt so much that local courts could try somebody for an offence committed in Asia. They can only be charged in Malaysia.

“There is an element of dishonesty in that they prejudiced their employer (Zifa) by being paid to lose matches but then dishonesty is not an offence and only calls for disciplinary action.

“The employer might argue that it was prejudiced in that they paid for the air tickets for the national team to travel to Asia and put them in hotels and only for them to lose matches.

“Then there is also the issue of harmful effects; was it (match-fixing) felt in Zimbabwe?” Maanda said.

The Act defines fraud as (a) intending to deceive another person or realising that there is a risk or possibility of deceiving another;
(b) intending to cause another person to act upon mispresentation to his or her prejudice or realising that there is a real risk or possibility that another person may act upon mispresentation to his or her prejudice.

This prejudice is however difficult to prove with the law in Zimbabwe. This leaves the Zifa board to punish the offenders using the Fifa statutes and possibly face life bans if it can be proven that money did exchange hands in throwing away games.

In organised sports, match fixing, game-fixing, race-fixing, or sports-fixing occurs as a match is played to a completely or partially pre-determined result, violating the rules of the game and often the law in other countries.

A lawyer who requested anonymity said the Zifa board could alter the charges to bribery.

Section 170 of the Criminal Law described bribery as:
(a) agent who obtains or agrees to obtain or solicits or agrees to accept himself or herself or any other person any gift or consideration as an inducement or reward.
(i) for doing or omitting to do or having done or omitted to do, any act in relation to his or her principal’s affairs or business.

The law says anyone found guilty of bribery and fraud should be slapped with a fine not exceeding level 14 or not exceeding three times the value of any consideration or given in the course of the crime, whichever is greater or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 20 years or both.

At this stage the Zifa board does not have an aorta of evidence save for some recorded statements from players. In other parts of the world such as Asia match-fixing is a criminal offence.

However what makes Zifa’s case against those named in the damning 36-page report by a three-man probe team led by Ndumiso Gumede is that there was no potential prejudice to the football association because the trips were funded by the organisers of the matches including paying hotel expenses and airfares.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE

The personalities that run sport in Malaysia do not love sports, but they are in love with its perks – the government grants, the publicity, the political clout, the junkets and the kickbacks.

They do not want a serious threat to their positions from the qualified and committed.

Some have been associated with a particular sport for so long and the youngsters can be forgiven if they were to think that these people actually invented that sport. It’s akin to the old adage – “ask not what you can do for Malaysian sport – ask what Malaysian sport can do for you.” And mind you it can do plenty.

Power, pelf, influence, political clout, international exposure – the sportsmen might be denied all these, but officials wallow in them.

There is no denying that most, if not all, politicians use sports as a platform, and if they divert sports funds for party work, none is the wiser because accountability is not their string point.

Perhaps we get the Sports Ministers we deserve. But do they realize, be it the present Minister or those before him and those who will assume office after he completes his tour of duty, that we don’t have a sports culture in Malaysia, and we have to develop it.

But here we are fighting about what attire the contingent uses for the march past ceremony. Let me make a suggestion – if we truly want to preach and practice the 1 Malaysia concept, then allow all the different races in the team to wear attire of their culture – baju melayu, baju kurung, cheongsam, saree, kurta blouse and pants, etc. Only then can we show the world that we may come from diverse cultures, but we march as one country, Malaysia.

The power that goes with the office is used to put “lesser” men in place, and cultivate a culture where Ministers and their aides assume top positions in the sporting hierarchy and expect sportsmen to pay obeisance as a matter of course.
For sportsmen to be effective in Malaysia, two things will have to happen.

The Sports Minister’s position must be delinked from politics and elections; the minister cannot be a politician. As stated by Tun Musa Hitam in an earlier blog posting, the Sports Minister has to be a top professional from the field who is given a Cabinet rank.

Why do we struggle to hold our own in the world sporting stage” Is there something within us, a corollary of Malaysianness perhaps that militates against success at the highest level except in odd individual cases like Nicol David and Lee Chong Wei?

One cannot say we are not excelling in sports, as the 12 gold medals performance at the Commonwealth Games has been one of our better performances.

But how can we expect more when we neglect the grassroots level? There are plenty of talented young people who do not receive encouragement – they need the right facilities, expertise and diet.
Not building a velodrome just because the cyclist comes from the home state of the Minister. In that same breath I ask, why is there no hall named after Lee Chong Wei who has been the top of World Rankings for the past 25 months?

FINALLY FAM ACTS

THE Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has asked ZIFA to forward its findings on match fixing involving a betting syndicate run from the Asian country.

Dato’ Azzuddin Bin Ahmad, FAM general secretary, said the sharing of information between the two associations over the scandal would help them “take extra precaution in future”.

A ZIFA probe committee chaired by Ndumiso Gumeede has found that Zimbabwean players, coaches, officials and referees had been involving ion match fixing between 2007 and 2009.

The corruption, the committee found, revolved around a Malaysian national named so far only as Raja Raj – although officials say this may not be his proper name.

ZIFA CEO Henrietta Rushwaya and the association’s programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana have been suspended and face lengthy bans, even criminal trials it has been suggested, after being fingered as central players in the corruption.

The scandal, now dubbed Asiagate by the local media in Zimbabwe, has attracted the attensions of FIFA, the Confederation of African Football and football associations in Thailand, Syria, Oman and now Malaysia.

In a letter to ZIFA released Monday, FAM’s Ben Ahmad said: "On behalf of His Royal Highness Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, FAM president, the Football Association of Malaysia would like to present its best compliment to Zimbabwe Football Association.

"Please be informed that we have picked up an article from BBC Sport website and understand that Zifa has suspended the chief executive in relation to a national team tour of Malaysia.
 
"The FA Malaysia also heard that the match between the two countries was fixed and involving a Malaysian.

"Therefore we would be grateful if Zifa has concluded the investigation and know if any Malaysian involved in this match-fixing. We kindly request Zifa to inform FA Malaysia the name of this individual or group for us to take extra precaution in the future.”

Gumede’s probe team has uncovered evidence that Rushwaya and Musavengana arranged trips by under-strength Zimbabwe teams to travel to Asia where they were given money by betting syndicates in return for producing pre-agreed results.

It has since emerged that Monomotapa football club may have also lost African Champions League matches for money, leading to the team’s coach Rodwell Dhlakama being fired.

Monday, October 25, 2010

NEGERI MALAYSIA CUP CHAMPIONS, BY DEFAULT

Going by regulations, as the Football Association of Malaysia claim to be, then there will not be a Malaysia Cup final this weekend.

Rather, defending champions Negeri Sembilan ought to be declared champions as Kelantan would be deemed to have lost the game by default as they do not have the services of an "A" coach on their bench with B. Sathianathan being suspended for six months.

The two assistants that Kelantan have are "B" coaches, hence going strictly by regulations, Kelantan should not have been allowed to play their semi final match against Kedah last Saturday.

One way out is for Kelantan to hire a coach right away, but they must offer the coach a six month contract, as once again we have to abide by the FAM rules which prevent a one month contract. So Tan Sri Musa, be prepared to pay a coach for a day's work a total of six months salary.

By the way, the head of the FAM Referees Department went on ir, live on RTM 1, last Saturday, prior to the semi finals being played, the names of the match officials picked for the final. Wow, some efficiency, but its a blatant disregard for procedures.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

He who has learned how to steal, must learn how to hang.

Malaysian sports is today in a poor state of organization. Its super-structure is top heavy, some of its foundations are built on shifting sands. The entire edifice has been corroded with jealousies and prejudices, provincialism and communalism, anomalies and stupidities.

A rash of medals at the New Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games may have given the impression that we have become a sports power. Not so soon. The champagne must stay on ice.

The Sports Minister, and his able deputies, have contributed nothing towards sports in the time they have been in office, save for turning up to take pictures and pose with athletes that have won medals, and that too limited to the likes of top world class performers in the likes of Lee Chong Wei.

Mind you that read this, the Minister has done wonders in promoting tennis in the country, with close to RM40 million being spent on three events, but where was he when the Malaysian Hockey Federation had to virtually sell their rights of the Project 2013 team to Air Asia as they could ill afford the flight tickets to participate in tournaments in India this month. What’s a mere RM20, 000 opposed to the RM40 million?

And while we are at this subject Mr. Minister, how come none of the main stream media nor some vocal bloggers, who virtually started a war with KBS and its then minister about the football extravagant event that cost RM17 million gone silent on you spending RM40 million on a sport that has never given us gold even at SEA Games level?

And what about the Sports Industry Secretariat that occupies the first floor of Casa 1 holds meetings and eats food from the NSC cafeteria daily, the expenditure, which comes from the beleaguered NSC that has been accused of not paying its debtors, but in reality, has to pay for feeding a committee that, is run to your whims and fancies?

So the crux of the matter is that players are merely pawns in the skirmishes for power, the stepping- stones by which social climbers and careerists find their way into presidential and committee chairs.

The three stakeholders in defining the success of an athlete are, the athlete himself, the administrators and the public at large.

In reality the greatest thrust for excellence has to come from the athlete, but for so many years, the athletes have shown themselves to be satisfied with the perks of participation, rather than the rewards of performance.

For the last few decades, our participation in multi sports events has been not targeted for wins, but to improve on their personal best. What more with the Malaysian Hockey Federation treating the games as ax exposure trip, declaring openly their intentions. So why did the Olympic Council of Malaysia not declare the hockey team as a Category B participant?

It will be easy to blame the athletes. But they are part of a system that rewards mediocrity, a system that is geared towards producing gracious losers, not aggressive winners.

No football, hockey, badminton or squash association can take credit for the successes of athletes like the Bakar brothers Namat and Isa, Kavandan brothers Keevan and Logan, Lee Chong Wei, the Sidek brothers, Misbun, Razif,Jailani, Rashid or Nicol Ann David. These athletes emerged from the strong, unbiased, focused organizations that have not been given enough credit, their families.

Most of these champions have had problems with their respective sports associations, including the Ministry of Youth & Sports, which are being run or were run by politicians. And not forgetting time observers who want to take credit for every success, but are experts in pointing fingers at others when things go wrong.

When such champions continue to be harassed by officialdom, which functions in a heavy-handed bureaucratic manner in the likes of some zealous officials within the National Sports Council, what chance do those in the lower rungs of the ladder have.

Part Two will follow on the War Series…

To bend a bamboo, start when it is a shoot.

Core values tend to drive an institution's strategy and decisions and contribute in a definitive manner to its success.  The very culture of the organization is determined by its values and philosophy.

These values are the ideals and inspiration that guide the decisions and actions taken by an institution and by its individual employees, be it in sports or the business world.

Thus this message is directed to the National Sports Council, which has come under fire of late, allegedly for its miss-management of funds of poor handling of its debts.

What has been established is that NSC is not bankrupt, nor is it poorly administrated. It is just that its senior officials are victims of a political game being played by certain characters out to undermine the current administration and hoping for a change after the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
The fact that in the Commonwealth Games, the contingent won 12 gold medals has somewhat put a spanner in the works of these crude officials who will stop at nothing to make Malaysian sports their domain.

The writing is on the wall; poor results in these two multi sports events was to set  a plan in motion, ousting of the Director General topping the agenda.

As organizations grow and develop, their culture changes. It is recognized that these values are influenced by past, present, and future attitudes and principles. Sadly it’s the poor attitudes that are bane of the NSC as birds of a feather flock together.

Core values are the essential and enduring tenets of an organization - the very small set of guiding principles that have a profound impact on how everyone in the organization thinks and acts.

Core values require no external justification. They have intrinsic value and are of significant importance to those inside the organization.

Core values are deep, very deep. They are extremely important.  Thus sports and business share similarities when the issue of core values is discussed.

This first core value in both the aspects is the fundamental business strategy which in sports and business focuses on forging strong, long-term relationships with clients, in the case of sports it is the clients, which are the national sports associations, OCM as well as the sports loving fans of this great nation.

Sound client/fans relationships the most important contributor to success and both the business sector as well as sports as the clients can cement these relationships by providing superior customer value and by continuously improving performance. But this is lacking today, as accountability seems to be thrown out of the window.

Officials from NSC are no angels too as they play a major role in the elections of office bearers of national sports associations, and mind you this is not something that is happening of late but it is a parasite that irritates the sporting fraternity for the last two decades.

So the current NSC Director General must take stock of the current situation in our sporting world. Let NSC become a partner of sports and not an enforcer, as that is the role of the Sports Commissioner.

NSC must be not only being seen as friendly, but must inculcate a sense of responsibility towards its stakeholders. It should not be seen as highhanded but more as a counterpart to the national sports association in the true essence of the 1 Malaysia spirit.

What the NSC DG must remember is that as in business, employee talent in sports is the cornerstone of success.

Their expertise and capabilities deliver or perform the work thereby creating values for clients, and generate loyalty from investors, in this case the potential sponsors and the fans alike.

It pays to create an environment where employees meet fresh, exciting challenges and experience the satisfaction of a job well done. Winning 10 medals or more at the Commonwealth Games or Asian Games is not the only way; consistency throughout the year is what we all want.

Yes we won 10 gold medals at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, we won 111 gold medals at the 2001 Sea Games, but that is the past. Some of those involved in sports today cannot even name the 10 gold medal winners of the 898 Games in Kuala Lumpur.

But how do we get people to share our core values one might ask. You don't. You can't.

Just find people that are "predisposed" to share your values and purpose, attract and retain those people, and let those who don't share your values go elsewhere.

This entire exercise is about having your integrity in - in the sense of your authentic values and your courage to act congruently all of the time.

And could it be that the seemingly unending quest for the answer - will ultimately take you back to the beginning - to what you are and what you stand for? And perhaps, this could be the first step to the beginning ... on the path to greatness.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

DRAGONS AWAKE

The addition of Nakiea Miller to the KL Dragons’s roster might just be what the doctor ordered.

The KL Dragons cane off with a victory against the Singapore Slingers in their second home game

And the win avenged a heart breaking lost to the Slingers in their last meeting.

Dragons led at 11-10 with 5:45 remaining in the quarter. It continued to be a close game throughout the quarter until Slinger’s marksman; Leonidez Avenido tied the game at 17-17 from downtown.

Looking to continue their hot streak from the first quarter, Dragons opened the 2nd quarter with another 3 pointer from the corner.

Both teams however went through a period of drought, failing to convert several attempts on both ends.

Slingers however continued their attack and managed to break the drought in the 7th minute through Pathman Matialakan’s basket. Guards Al Vergara and Oh Wei Jie used their speed and agility to attack the basket and creating plays for their other teammates.

INJUSTICE

For manhandling, the FAM suspends coach and players for six matches, reference Red Giants v Deer in FA Cup.

But for stating the obvious, FAM suspends Sathianathan for 6 months , not a full suspension but a custodial one , preventing him from sitting in the bench.

What interests me most is why it took FAM 3 months to charge and punish Sathia and which committee framed the charges?

Well since you are in the mood to suspend, please go back to February 2010 when a certain someone took the nation for a ride by stating Harimau Muda was going to Slovakia and participating in their league.

Double standards or discrimination, it's for all to see the obvious.

Friday, October 22, 2010

ASIAGATE

SUSPENDED Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya ordered Monomotapa to throw Champions League games for money, it has been sensationally claimed.

The Harare club represented the country in Africa’s premier club competition last year after winning the domestic championship in 2008.

But it is their 2-0 away loss to Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia on September 12 which has stirred controversy.

Minutes of a meeting held with club owners after the game show that an extensive network involving Rushwaya, Zifa programmes officer, Jonathan Musavengana, shady Asian characters club coaches and players was behind the scam.

The meeting was held on September 19, 2009, after the betting allegations emerged, and was attended by the Monomotapa’s co-owners as well as the coaching and management team of Rodwell Dhlakama and Clayton Munemo.

The club’s owners heard that the team management received several phone calls from ZIFA officials and individuals linked to Asian betting syndicates before and during the game.

Munemo told the meeting he had answered a phone call from Rushwaya who advised him to ensure Monomotopa lost the match by a 0-4 margin.

The Zifa CEO is said to have promised Munemo and the team huge rewards if they threw the game.

Again an individual who has been linked to the Warriors betting scandal in Asia also phoned and assured the Monomotapa officials that they would be rewarded for throwing the game.

"At half time Raja (the benefactor — the man who was funding the whole deal) spoke to the manager (and) emphasised the need for Monomotapa to lose the game as he had already put his bet down," Munemo said, according to minutes of the meeting.

“He promised to give each player US$4,000 which translated to US$60,000 for the players and some US$10,000 for the coaches."

Dhlakama told the meeting Rushwaya phone him to make clear the margin by which Monomotapa were to lose the game.

Rushwaya reportedly told the coach: “I am giving you an instruction, you should lose the game by four goals to nil; the first two goals should be in the first half's 35 to 45 minutes and the other goals in the second half."

After Monomotapa conceded the first goal Rushwaya is said to have called to ask “whether they did not want any money as the goal had been scored earlier than the time prescribed”.

A report submitted by the club’s then captain Mthulisi Maphosa also implicated Musavengana in the scam.

Maphosa said he had been called to a meeting by Musavengana – the head of the travelling delegation – where the Zifa official asked whether the players had received their payments for the game.

“The players denied receiving any money and at that juncture Musavengana went on to call Raja as the money was supposed to have been given to Dhlakama in South Africa while they were in transit,” minutes of the Monomotapa meeting read.

The minutes suggest the Tunisian club may also have been involved in the scam after their coach went to Monomotapa's hotel, allegedly to find out if they understood they were to lose.

The Monomotapa minutes show that there was a near bust up between players and Monomotapa officials as tensions rose after the game with the players demanding their share of the bribery proceeds.

Monomotapa sacked Dhlakama and Munemo after the game.

The club also travelled to Malaysia last year disguised as the Zimbabwe senior national team and played in games said to have been organised by Asian betting syndicates.

Rushywaya and Musavengana, who were this week linked with fixing matches involving the
national team by an official ZIFA report, both strenuously deny the corruption allegations.

The Zifa CEO was suspended for her alleged role in organising unsanctioned national team trips to Asia where they threw games for local betting syndicates in one of the biggest scandals to hit Zimbabwean football.

Football administrators, players, coaches and media practitioners have been caught up in the scandal.

WAR IT SHALL BE

Seems that there is an instruction sort of from some bigwigs of KBS and NSC who upon the advice of some journalists and bloggers, not to give me any work to do for sports bodies. Well good for the Minister and his henchmen. If it's war you want then it's a war u will have. See you in hell gentlemen.

PERUMAL SPEAKS UP

The supposed protagonist in the Zifagate match-fixing scandal, Wilson Raj Perumal, on Thursday expressed shock at the fact that Zifa concluded their investigations without hearing his side of the story.

Perumal, a Singapore-based football agent, is believed to be at the centre of the alleged match- fixing and betting syndicates which has seen three Zifa employees, chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya, programmes officer Jonathan Mashingaidze and marketing officer Harry Taruva, being suspended.

A Zifa board enquiry headed by vice-president Ndumiso Gumede has since produced a damning report which has fingered Rushwaya, Musavengana, Warriors players, the technical team and a number of local referees.

Speaking to NewsDay on Thursday, Perumal, who is at the centre of the storm, claimed his company dealt with Zimbabwe in a professional way.

He said: “It’s nice to know Zifa can come to a conclusion that I’m the mastermind without listening to my side of the story.

Justice can only be served after you hear from all concerned parties .

Zifa sent official papers to the Thailand FA and Malaysia FA indicating their interest to play these matches.

It is believable to lose a match by 1-0 precisely.

“No one with football knowledge will ask for such a scoreline.

CONTINUES BELOW



And the threat from Asian syndicates is a joke.

The Zimbabwe team, when they were in Malaysia never wanted to set foot onto the pitch unless they were paid appearance fees.

The Malaysian officials had to practically beg the players to start the match.

Even then the team would not budge.

We then did our best to arrange $10 000 in appearance fees for them to start the match and they did after receiving money.”

Responding to allegations that he threatened the Zimbabwe contingent after they lost 3-0 to Thailand in their opening match of the jaunt in Bangkok, Perumal said:

“If there was someone being threatened, then it certainly wasn’t the Zimbabwe players but it was us.

When we say us I refer to my company.

We brought Zifa to Jordan and they were paid$30 000 in appearance money.”

Perumal, according to affidavits by players and officials who travelled to the Asian countries, was angered by the 3-0 scoreline instead of 1-0 which resulted in him losing “millions” of dollars.

The Asian confirms working with Zifa in the past.

“We have worked with Zifa and given the young players from Zimbabwe the opportunity to travel and impress clubs abroad.

These are things Zifa would never have done. The only trips Zifa make are for Caf matches.

Rushwaya made history when she brought Brazil to play in Zimbabwe,” said Perumal.

He also attacked Malawian football agent Felix Sapao who said last month that Perumal, in cahoots with Rushwaya, had contacted him to fix matches for his native country.

Perumal said: “One clown called Felix made these allegations after a good one year when he first met me.

I have an email from Felix asking for $60 000 to fix TP Mazembe players for the World Club Championship in Dubai.

I ignored his mail and never contacted him after that.”

The Asian, who claims to run a sports consultancy company in Singapore, also confirmed that he was convicted for match-fixing.

“I was charged in Singapore for conspiring to fix matches but was acquitted on nine match-fixing charges.

The presiding judicial commissioner found that the prosecution had fabricated nine charges against me and acquitted me on all the charges,” he said.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

JUSTICE AT LAST

Four policemen were sentenced to six months imprisonment each for assaulting an Indonesian, who was a referee for a karate championship, three years ago.

Abdul Aziz Shamsudin 23, Adi Sebi 35, Helmi Hussanie Sukri 24 and Mohd Dzulhaffiz Che Zainal 45 were charged with voluntarily injuring Donald Peter Luther Kolopitha along the road outside a Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia hostel in Nilai at about 2am on Aug 24, 2007.

Kolopitha, who was here with the Indonesian karate team, was a referee at the Eighth Asian Karate Championship held at the Nilai Indoor Stadium.

The sentences were passed by Magistrate Nor Alis Mas at the magistrate’s court here on Thursday.

They were charged under Section 323 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum jail sentence of one year and RM2,000 fine.

At the time, the beating had sparked off anti-Malaysian demonstrations in several cities in Indonesia.

In his police report then, Kolopitha claimed he was going for supper around 2am when a white unmarked van stopped near him and four men got out and pushed him into the vehicle. He alleged that he was handcuffed and beaten. It was alleged that his assailants took his passport, wallet, watch and money.

He allegedly suffered injuries to his chest and abdomen and was only released hours later and sent to the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital.

Kolopitha claimed he fought the four as he thought they were robbers. The four policemen had alleged that Kolopitha was behaving suspiciously and tried to punch them and run away when questioned.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

JEAN AIMS FOR TOP !5

Chua Tze Jean has set her sights on finishing amongst the top 15 in the inaugural Sim Darby LPGA Malaysia that gets underway this Friday at the KLGCC.

But the Malaysian will not have any home ground advantage as she has not played on the course for the last five years.

And being away in the USA for the past five years, with occasional visits, the last being in February this year means that the humid conditions to will be bound to affect her performance.

But the 23 year old remained confident despite playing in one of women golfs strongest fields.

"It all boils down to the three days and trying to keep up with the pace setters I am optimistic that I can play well and have set a personal target of finishing amongst the top 15 players," said Tze Jean.

"The fact that Malaysia is hosting an event of this magnitude augurs well for ladies golf as we have been deprived of big events since the late 90"s.


"Personally I hope many players will take up golf after this event as we have golfers that can produce results but lack the exposure."

Achievements (2003)

In 2003, Jean went on to stamp her mark in the Malaysian Junior Circuit by winning the 1st Leg SportExcel National Junior Golf Circuit, MSSKL(Malaysian Schools Sports, Kuala Lumpur)and MSSM(Malaysian Schools Sports Council). Due to her stellar performance she was recruited to the Malaysian national squad in July 2003. In August, in her first international tournament representing Malaysia, she won the 'Hong Kong MacGregor Junior Open'.

Achievements (2004) 

In 2004, again she captured the MSSM(Malaysian Schools Sports Council) and the National Junior Circuit Grand Finals KRPM titles. On the International front, she won the Asean Girls Junior, Jarkarta (4–7 May ’04), Asean Schools Golf , Bangkok ( October 2004), Royal Selangor Ladies Open, (25–27 August) RSGC and runners-up in Malaysian Ladies Open 5–8 July ’04, Glenmarie , and 2nd runners-up in Asia-Pacific Junior Championship, Royal Air Force Golf Club, Bangkok (December 2004)

Achievements (2005)

In 2005 she proved to be Malaysia’s top amateur by clinching the Malaysian Ladies Closed Championship title in Perangsang, Templer, the Northern Malaysian Ladies Open, Taiping Golf and Country Club( 26–27 April 2005), and MGA 100 Plus Asean Junior Golf Championship (May 2005 )
With her record of achievements, she was awarded Full scholarship to Wake Forest University, North Carolina, Women’s Golf Team.

College Career 2005-2009

Her college career include winning the Lady Falcon Invitational title in 2007, Lady Tar Heel Invitational – Individual and Team Champion in 2008, Landfall Tradition –Team Champion and Individual Second Runners-up in 2008. In 2009, she helped her college to gain victory in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship – Team Champion/ Individual 5th.

Jean graduated with Bachelor of Arts (Mass Communication), Wake Forest University in May 2009. She returned to her hometown of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June 2009 but continue to hone her skills in golf. She is now based in Bangkok, Thailand training in the Wilding Golf Performance Centre.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2007 MERDEKA CUP FIXED?

ZIFA CEO Henrietta Rushwaya was damned on Monday after a probe into match fixing allegations against the Zimbabwe national soccer team found she was the “core central point” in the scam which involved referees, players and journalists.

ZIFA board member Ndumiso Gumede was assigned to lead a probe into an unsanctioned trip by the Warriors to Thailand and Malaysia in December last year.

On the trip, Zimbabwe lost 3-0 to Thailand; beat the Malaysian champions Selangor 3-0 before suffering a 6-0 drubbing by Syria.

In sensational revelations which will send tremours in the world of football, the ZIFA Board of Enquiry found:

a Malaysian betting syndicate paid Zimbabwe players US$1,500 each to lose by a pre-agreed score-line.

a member of the syndicate sat on the Zimbabwe bench and gave instructions when to concede goals.
ZIFA programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana received “a bunch of US dollars” from a representative of the syndicate.

players feared for their lives when a representative of the betting syndicate claimed they had cost him US$1 million after losing the first game 3-0 instead of 1-0.

Rushwaya was in on the scam.

 the match-fixing may have been going on for three years, starting with the 2007 Merdeka Cup held to commemorate Malaysian National Day.

Method Mwanjali, tipped to be the new national team captain after Benjani Mwaruwari stood down, negotiated payments with the betting syndicate.

an agent of the syndicate was at the Warriors’ camp ahead of a friendly match with Japan just before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa in June.

most of the players involved in the corruption “now pose a big problem” for the national team.

The devastating report will be studied in Zimbabwe, Japan, Malaysia, Syria and Thailand. It will also attract the attention of the Confederation of African Football and FIFA, and could lead to criminal charges.

Rushwaya and Musavengana are already suspended over the controversial trip to Thailand at the end of December last year.

Gumede’s committee said the trip was not sanctioned by the ZIFA Council and the Sports and Recreation Commission but had been arranged by Rushwaya and Musavengana.