Saturday, November 20, 2010


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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.