Wednesday, September 28, 2016

3 players depart national camp

The national Football team was dealt a bitter blow when three players departed from the training camp on Tuesday night.

The three are Zaquan Adha Razak, Ifran Fazail and Darren Lok, all from JDT II.

The players are said to have informed coach Dato Ong Kim Swee of their decision to leave the training camp and left the same night.

A total of 13 players had reported for training on Tuesday morning Abd the team had their first training session the same day at Wisma FAM.

Barely two hours after the training ended, the three players informed Kim Swee they were leaving.

JDT has however informed FAM that their players will only report for national training in accordance with the FIFA regulation governing the release of players for national duty which is four days prior to the match.

" I was informed by the  3 players  from JDT II 
last night that they had been instructed by their club to return to Johor. 

"This morning FAM received a letter from JDT informing us that they ( JDT ) were invoking the FIFA clause pertaining to release of players for national duty, which is four days before the scheduled match.

" I have no alternative but to let them return as per the instruction from their club.

" I have discussed this matter with the Team Manager Dato Hamidin Mohd Amin  and we will be calling up 2 additional players, Norshahrul Idlan and Nasir  Basharuddin to add to the list of trainees.

" We respect the decision made by the players and hope they will report back for training when granted permission by their club.

When asked why players were called up outside the permitted FIFA window, Kim Swee offered this explanation.

" My intention was to work on these 13 players individually on aspects that they needed to improve and also have them in camp as they had no competitive matches over the next few days" added Kim Swee.

" It is the prerogative of the club in cases like this and we hope that teams will help the national cause."

A total of 6 JDT players were called up for national training by Kim Swee.

The other players from JDT , Amri Yahya, Azrif Nasrulhaq and Fadhli Shas were only required report for training on October 2 as the second batch of trainees are to report on that day.

Kim Swee was obviously devastated with the turn of events but out up a brave front, opting to focus on what is needed on the pitch then let matters off the pitch affect his focus.

" I have a job to do and will do it to the best of my ability," said Kim Swee.

" No coach should have to deal with such a situation but at times there are matters beyond our control.

" Let's move forward and prepare for the matches accordingly as the interest of the nation is paramount."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

5 Rookies in OKS Squad

There are five new call ups in the national Football squad squad named by coach Dato Ong Kim Swee.

The national team will be assembled to prepare for matches against Singapore ( Oct 7) and Afghanistan ( Oct 11) ahead of the AFF Cup on November 19.

They are Mohd Fadzrul of Perak who is the top local goal scorer, Hadin Azman ( Felda) , Rizal Ghazli ( Kedah) Shazwan Zainon ( Kedah) and Ahmad Khuzainee ( Melaka United).

With the centre of Defence being a major concern, it will be interesting to see how Khuzainee will fit it.

Faridzul has been scoring regularly and could well end up partnering Hazwan Bakri in Attack to give Kim Swee a new dimension.

With the average age being 27,65, it's refreshing to see Kim Swee opt for untested players as opposed to those who have quit the team at a young age.

It comes as a surprise that players like 
Khair Jones, Wan Zack Haikal and Amir Saidin have been dropped.

" This is the best available players I have at my disposal and we shall try to do well in both matches" said Kim Swee.

" Khair and Wan Zack are not listed as I want to give other players a chance to impress me as well.

" But that does not mean they are out of consideration for the final squad.

" I want to give untested players an opportunity to see how they handle pressure at the international stage.

" We need to have strength on the bench as well and these two matches will help me see just how much certain players have in performing at a higher level.

" I was impressed by their performances and form in the domestic matches and believe they deserve a chance to showcase their ability at the international stage.

" It is not easy as a coach to keep making changes but we have to move on as some players are now unavailable while a few others injured."

Players who are not involved in the Malaysia Cup semis and the AFC Cup semis will report on September 27 while the rest on October 2.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

SEA Games or World Champs. A no brainer!

A no brainer.

That is the best way to describe the statement made by the National Sports Council Director General when he stated that Athletes would have to give priority to the 2017 SEA Games instead of the World Badminton Championships.

The dates of both these sporting events clash and it would affect the participation of the shuttlers at the multi sports event where Malaysia has targetted emerging as champions for the first time since 2001.

The very fact that a senior official of the KJ administration could say such a thing on record goes on to show what blind faith is all about.

When the Minister says that the target is winning the overall title at the SEA Games, he means we need to have a preparation or Athletes that can win medals to ensure that.

It is beyond comprehension that one would ask Athletes to forego the TOP most prize in their career, besides the Olympics, for a regional medal.

How on earth was such a statement made is beyond comprehension as obviously it has put the Minister in a spot as the blame now solely lies on the Minister unwittingly.

The civil servant can argue that he is merely echoing the orders of the Minister who made it clear that Malaysia is to emerge as champions of the SEA Games.

So let's take the easy way out then, blame the Minister for that statement.

And to ensure that Malaysia wins all the gold medals in Badminton at the SEA Games, let's start funding shuttlers from other SEA counties to Badminton events so that they all qualify for the world champs and we have a easier path to win gold.

There you have it, even a better plan to endure our success, and I will not charge you a bomb in fees for the idea unlike some foreign experts you have on the payroll. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Thumbs up for Idris

What Football Association of Malaysia requires is someone who has leadership qualities.

Although a candidate might not know in depth about Football, this can be over come with a strong desire to put things right through proper management, planning and leadership.

This were the views echoed by former FAM Secretary General Tan Sri Ibrahim Saad who was also once the Vice President of FAM.

" What FAM needs right now is someone with     the ability to lead them, to put together a plan and chart the fortunes of Football in this country," said Ibrahim.

" There are many technical experts on Football both within and outside FAM that can provide the knowledge on technical matters such as coaching, refereeing, development and other areas.

" I think they have to view their choice of a potential president with an open mind, perhaps get someone from outside the present system so as to facilitate a change of mindset."

He added that while some felt that Idris needs to be Football savvy, it really does not matter if viewed outside the box.

" Transformation is his forte and perhaps he might just be what FAM needs," said Ibrahim who steered FAM from 2005 to 2007.

" But the decision lies with the affiliates and hopefully they make a good choice to determine who will lead FAM."

Meanwhile Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin also gave the thumbs up for the idea of Idris Jala as a candidate for the FAM Presidency.

" I think Idris is a great idea. I know he's passionate about football, he's a proven transformation specialist, he's worked at the highest levels of government and I have a great working relationship with him," said Khairy when contacted for reaction on the possibility of Idris being the FAM President.

The FAM Exco is expected to meet on October 10 to determine the dates for the 2017 congress where the elections of the office bearers of the 2017-2021 period will be held.

In all likelihood it will be held before May next year due to the fasting month and the SEA Games in August.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Idris Jala for FAM top job!

His biggest catch was reeling in a 51 kilo barracuda in Maldives.

But that could soon change if Dato Seri Idris Jala assumes the role of the President of the Football Association of Malaysia.

There have been strong vibes that FAM ought to seek the assistance of Idris Jala to transform its fortunes.

After all he has a brilliant career of doing extremely well in turning around several businesses or industries that have sought his knowledge.

Currently as Chief Executive Officer of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit  ( PEMANDU ) , a unit under the Prime Ministers Department.

The 58 year old Idris Jala is a Kelabit, from a small town of Bario , Sarawak.

It was during his 23 years in Shell that he acquired the reputation of being a turnaround specialist by reviving the fortunes of many of the oil company' s major subsidiaries around the world.

And who can forget his efforts in turning around the fortunes of Malaysian Airlines.

Idris grew up in a longhouse and was driven by a word his Father often used - ketui - meaning burning desire to win.

And that is precisely what FAM needs, a person with such desire that will transform the Football fortunes through astute management and leadership abilities.

Much has been said about potential candidates to replace Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as the president of FAM in the early elections to be held most likely before May next year.

A blues music fan, Idris Jala has the ability to remove the "blues" from the ills that plague FAM.

And perhaps that time is right to seek the help of a transformation guru if FAM is really serious about re-inventing themselves,


Thursday, September 15, 2016

All rosy in FAM?

It took merely 40 minutes for the FAM to conclude their congress this morning.

A total of 30 delegates representing 20 affiliates attended the Congress, and not one raised any issue to be discussed.

It was not a case of not been given an opportunity but the delegates were probably unaware when they could raise issues pertaining to how FAM was administrated and its financial dealings.

The two opportunities, perhaps unknown to many comes when the annual activity report and the financial report are tabled.

The delegates could have asked any question, ranging from development, national team, finance, anything concerning Football in the country.

But none of them did that and one may even think that FAM is run like and iron fist.

There is no doubt that any issues within FAM are resolved at the sidelines Abd this is due to a knowledgable General Secretary in Dato Hamidin Mohd Amin.

While the Congress was smooth, several other matters could have been done better.

For instance no copies of the annual report was given to members of the media. Was there something to hide?

When asked why the media was not given a copy, a member of the staff said that they printed only enough copies for the delegates, which to someone who was in FAM is a blatant lie.

Then u had the "gift" of an umbrella, more like the malay proverb " sediakan payung sebelum hujan".

One could see many staff of FAM walking out with umbrellas but not one was given to members of the media. It was like a circus as the staff went around tables collecting umbrellas once the meeting was over.

Kudos to the media fraternity who went around doing their jobs efficiently despite these sideshows that even Hamidin was flabbergasted when told later.

Back to the issue of the pen drive, perhaps mocking or unawares, all were given a foot gift of a box that contained a pen drive.

But seriously FAM could have laid to rest the real pen drive issue had they discussed the matter at the Congress.

But they opted to let the Exco deliberate it on October 10,citing no knowledge of the contents to really make any decisions.

Which in a way could be construed as the right way to approach this tricky situation.

Does the pen drive contain documents that actually belong to FAM? Are they leaked documents that come under the purview of FAM? Are they merely documents or views of some that are not within FAM? Or is it just a complication of certain reports of FAM over a period of time?

In any case to be fair, FAM did the right thing - await the report from MACC and look at the contents before deciding on the next course of action.

Of course we also have the case of the missing officials from the National Sports Council and National Sports Institute, two government agencies that are grossly over staffed yet could not send two officials to attend the meeting of a most focussed upon national sports association.

Wonder if they would have missed a trip to watch the World Cup?

So we are all left wondering just who can dream of breaking the stranglehold one has in FAM!

The fact is loud and clear - nothing or no one can shake FAM, not even the manoeuvring being done by using underhand tactics as well as attempting to do character assassination as being undertaken by some and expected to hit the roof soon.   

Monday, September 12, 2016

Learn from the paralympians

God gives every human a life and the almighty is the one that decides in what form we arrive into this world.

But it is up to us to be what we want be, the live the life we want, to achieve what we desire.

The nation has been overjoyed by the exploits of our Paralympic Athletes at Rio over the past few days, the euphoria is magnificent and truly sports Unites better then any politician did or could.

Watching these " special " Athletes achieve extraordinary feats got me to sit down and think - why are they so special , why are they able to achieve success, why are they able to overcome the obstacles in life, why are they able to achieve things that a mere mortal like you and me could on envisage in our dreams?

Just look at their determination, their desire, their commitment, their discipline, their motivation. It all boils down to two things - passion and loyalty.

Those two factors are what many of our Hockey and Footballers could learn from these extraordinary Athletes.

What they lacked in physical attributes they made up with sheer grit, their determination to excel, their passion for the sport and their loyalty to the Jalur Genilang.

Able bodied Athletes should look at these special Athletes as a perfect role model to spur them on to achieve greatness for the country we all dearly love.

These Athletes have proven to us that there is no such thing as shortcoming, no such thing as inequality, no such thing as  an obstacle for they overcome all of this through sheer determination, their desire to achieve something in life, to make a change, and that is what matters.

It's pointless being an able body athlete, with all the talent and ability, with all the skills and creativity but lacking in passion, desire and loyalty.

To those who have turned their backs to the nation or are thinking or doing so, do not betray these special Athletes who have shown all Malaysians what hard work and determination can get them - ultimate success.

Let's bury the hatchet and unite once again as we did when this country achieved independence in 1957 - let us all unite as one big family under the Jalur Gemilang.

The time has come for us to show our undivided loyalty to the nation Abd look no further then these special Athletes for inspiration and motivation.

Together we can move the world.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Sembang Bola - Refreshing Change

It was a refreshing change for Malaysian Football on Thursday night.

Sembang Bola was Organised by FMLLP to get feedback and hear from the fans as to ways to improve Malaysian

Present at hand to field questions were the head honcho of FMLLP Kevin Ramalingam and some his key personnel.

There were some 56 fans representing various fan clubs, social media movements, ardent Football critics, and what was more refreshing was there was a good number of representation from the fairer sex.

The Sembang Bola session on Thursday was the first of a few in a series to be held by FMLLP with the next to be held in Penang, followed by the East Coast, South and culminating with another in Klang Valley.

" We want to get feedback from the fans with regards to the issues they face, suggestions as well as explain why certain decisions are made by the FMLLP," explained Kevin.

" Many s time it is the lack of communication that is the root of most problems.

" We at FMLLP value the feedback from the various stake holders of Football and this Sembang Bola sessions will be held regularly, presently to explain the operating structure and before next season our plans for the following year."

Several interesting questions were raised, from the reasoning of holding the Msia Cup while the League was still running, the number of matches teams needed to play, appointment of match officials, lack of interaction in the social media by teams and FMLLP, club licensing and even sponsorship plus infrastructure.

One participant asked Kevin as to why he discontinued his Twitter account, and the reply had many tongue tied.

" There were some very personal attacks on me and my Daughter came home crying after reading them" said a visibly moved Kevin.

" It is not fair to bring the family into work and these days kids are more tech savvy then us."

Kevin started the session by explaining the structure of FMLLP as well as the Mission, vision and goals of FMLLP.

And there were various stats provided with regards to comparison with leagues held in Thailand and Japan as well as the BPL.

Those who were present had an insight as to how the Football calendar was drawn up, the constrains on fitting in matches as realistically there were only 41 playing days available, after taking into account the holidays, national team commitments as well as other factors such as the fasting month.

Many fans felt that the Malaysia Cup should be given prominence as its winner does not get any seat in AFC competitions, and this is something that FAM needs to look into.

Those present also raised the issue of live telecast of matches and were shocked when it was revealed that at times teams too objected to their matches being shown live as it affected the gate collection.

On the overall it was a good effort by FMLLP to hold such a session and credit to the fans who raised pertinent points to improve league rather then it being a " bashing" session that one would have initially thought it might turn out to be.

A simple packed nasi Lemak with packet drinks prior to the session made this a rather laid back affair , as if a family got together to discuss mutual matters.

That is what Football needs, a boost rather then being under the spot light for the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016


While some question the passion of the national players donning the Football jersey, they also ought to question the passion of those preventing players from representing the country.

The bare facts of Malaysia's 3-0 defeat at the hands of Indonesia is for there to see, unless some who criticise just to score points with fans or readers, however one looks at it.

Compare the list of the starting XI from the matches against Timor Leste in June and the match last night in Solo.

Only 3, yes only 3 players are in the starting line up, and no we have not been suspended by FIFA.

In four months we have lost any semblance of a national team to a bunch of player who dare take on the challenge of 25,000 fans that paid scant respect to the national flag.

No one wants to lose a match, or make school boy errors in a match, but the stark reality is we are just not good enough.

And the sooner the critics accept the fact the better it will be.

Back to the match, coach Dato Ong Kim Swee managed to answer a few questions during the teams transit in Jakarta. 

1) With this kind of makeshift team, how would u rate our chances at AFF?

DOKS : It was never going to be easy in the first place. I inherited a team that I need to make into a winning team and time is, and has never been on my side. No excuses but we do not have the best of players representing the country so we need to make do with what we have.

2) Do you think it was a good idea playing indonesia instead of another team?

DOKS: We have limited choices In arranging matches as we cannot be playing teams that are in our group at the AFF Cup. The fact that we will play Myanmar at their home pitch in AFF Cup means we need to expose our team to pressure cooker situations. Some could handle it, others cracked but this is a learning curve.

3) Are there players in the M league that you can consider to add on to the team?

DOKS : We are always in search of players and their performances are monitored weekly. But there is only a handful of players that have the Pedigree to perform at international level.

4) Who do you miss the most, those who are not available for selection?

DOKS : It is obvious that players like Aidil, Kunalan will greatly be an asset to the team. But things are not within my control so a coach has to live with this.

5) It is a bitter defeat and the critics will be gunning for you. What have you to say to defend yourself

DOKS : The expectations are always high, and when I took on the job I knew that every slip will be met be harsh criticism. Those who saw the game will understand that we lost due to errors, not fitness or tactics and this can only be rectified over time as the players gain experience.

Monday, September 05, 2016

The Corrupted Pendrive.

The Football Association of Malaysia, through its Secretary General Dato Hamidin Mohd Amin issued a press statement expressing relief that the matter of the pen drive was cleared by the MACC.

There had been speculations of abuse of power and corruption within documents in the pen drive but MACC found those allegations to be baseless.

Though the major issue has been clarified, FAM has two areas that it needs to address.

Firstly who leaked the internal document and secondly should the report be made public.

FAM is believed to have started an internal investigation into how a report marked confidential made its way out of Wisma FAM.

But it is the issue of making the contents public that FAM has to be cautious about.

Hamidin clarified that making contents of the technical report public must be done only after consultation with the FAM Exco.

" Only the Exco has the authority to decide as it is an internal document," said Hamidin when contacted in Solo.

" I will bring this to the attention of the Exco."

It is learnt that a major part of the technical report comes from the inquiry held after Malaysia lost 10-0 to UAE last year.

The Task Force chaired by Dato Mokhtar Ahmad had conducted several sessions of public interviews with various stakeholders.

Though it was at that material time recommended that the findings be made public but omitting names , FAM decided against it.

And the leaked report then became the cloak and dagger game as many went in for the kill, not realising that the content of the pen drive was merely daily issues affecting the national body.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Changes in FAM? Will The Kops win BPL?

The Football Association of Malaysia has a democratic election process to elect their office bearers.

And decisions taken on policy matters are done in consultation as there is a due process with the Executive Committee deciding on appointments such as national coaches and other key personnel.

Thus anyone wanting to initiate changes in FAM must do so from within.

And it is obvious that the person must be willing to contest the FAM elections, win the position and at the same time garner support from the Congress Members to put into plan the proposed changes.

The appointment of the General Secretary and Treasurer is by the President and the Exco not necessarily be consulted.

Now to win an election at FAM, one needs to secure votes from the affiliates, at present there are 14 states, PDRM, Armed Forces and the principal office bearers, President, 2 Deputies, 4 Vice Presidents who are allowed to vote.

And normally FAM affiliates end up with en bloc voting meaning there are already proffered candidates within the system.

The irony about this voting system is the two delegates representing each affiliate need not buck the trend of their state decision, meaning they could vote however they wish on the day of voting.

This is where it becomes complicated as nominations receive does not reflect clearly the direction the voting will sway.

One thing that must be remembered us that to break the stranglehold some have over certain affiliates or officials is virtually impossible as it is not monetary rewards that some seek bit they have a sense of loyalty towards each other.

No doubt there will be some dissenting voices but when it cones to voting day, the birds of feather will always flock together.

Asking for a total revolution of FAM is akin to asking when Liverpool will win the BPL.

It is possible but it's never going to be as easy as talk.