Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The PKNS - Selangor FA Saga- who is the culprit?

The million dollar question that begs an answer is just who misled Selangor PKNS?

This question arises after it was revealed by an insider that in actual fact the whole issue concerning Selangor FA and PKNS was in actual fact created by ab individual and had in reality nothing to do with the internal squabble concerning Selangor FA.

One needs to understand the regulations in place in the M- League to understand the situation better.

The rules clearly state that clubs need to get consent/approval from the state FA before competing in any national tournament.

As a matter of fact FAM goes through its affiliates to correspond with clubs, respecting the line of authority instead of dealing directly. This is in line with the FAM constitution.

Back to entries for the 2017 M League, rightfully the invites ought to be channeled through the state FA's and not directly to the concerned clubs.

Not only that, any entry of subsequent confirmation needs to be endorsed by the state FA and neither FAM or FMLLP can accept a direct entry.

So was PKNS given a wrong impression that they could submit a direct entry,thus snowballing a internal conflict into a major one as certain parties took advantage of an internal squabble to throw in a spanner?

FAM should get to the bottom of the matter and hold an investigation if PKNS was being misled into doing this.

The closing date is November 30, but this non issue could have been resolved much earlier.

Should Selangor FA decide to haul this matter to court, someone needs to answer, so best own up now and stop meddling into state affairs.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Nauraj to undergo surgery

National high jumper Nauraj Singh Randhawa had to cut back on his training stint in Australia and will undergo an operation next Tuesday.

The national record holder who created waves by qualifying on merit to the Rio Olympics suffered an injury to his  elbow  last Wednesday during training  under his coach Alex Stewart in Sidney.

The injury will keep him on the sidelines for up to six weeks before he resumes light training.

" Well it was an accident which I sustained during training. It could had happened to anyone and it's normal but I was a little unfortunate it damaged my elbow more than the usual" explained Nauraj  who returned to Malaysia on Tuesday night when contacted.

"People fall off hurdles all the time during plyometrics.

" The good thing  is my lower limb is perfectly fine and I'm not looking at it as a set back , but rather as an opportunity to be able to work on certain areas which could benefit me in the long run like balance and strength in the lower part of my body. 

" I'll be back to running within 6 weeks but for me to gain normal arm abilities would take up to 3 months"

Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that he was informed with regards to the injury sustained by Nauraj.

" He will be having a minor procedure but we expect a full recovery in 3 months," said Khairy when contacted.

Nauraj had an ankle injury in 2011 but recovered well enough to go out and set records in high jump.

There is no doubt that this 24 year old will be able to bounce back from this injury and go on to get the gold in SEA Games next August.

The Johor lad is destined for greater heights and will no doubt be extra cautious in trainings,

And he hopes to resume his training under Alex once he fully recovers.

Doping Scandal in Takraw, Exclusive!

In a devastating blow to Malaysian Sepaktakraw, 6 players and 3 officials have been suspended by the ISTAF for refusing to provide urine samples for anti doping tests during the recent Kings Cup tournament in Bangkok.

It is learnt that Takraw will now most likely be omitted from the much publicised and cash laden Podium Program.

The players were required to provide their urine samples but refused to do so and it's alleged that the 3 officials also did not cooperate with the anti doping agency that was entrusted by ISTAF to carry out the doping checks.

It is further learnt that those implicated have been informed and have a 14 day period to appeal against the suspension.

Going by WADA regulations, those involved can be suspended for 4 years or a minimum 2  years if the mitigation process is handled properly.

ISTAF will hold an inquiry once the 9 have provided their appeals to decide on the issue.

This is a bitter blow for Malaysia in preparation for the SEA Games and Asian Games.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Ugly performance, desired result

Malaysia struggled for Long periods in their opening match of the AFF Cup against Cambodia before winning 3-2.

Coming back twice from behind, Malaysia raised their game when it mattered to snatch all three points before their crucial match ups against Vietnam and Myanmar.

Offering no excuses for their display, coach Dato Ong Kim Swee felt that what was more important was getting a winning start, and improve on areas that stood out in the match,

" We needed to get the three points, that was the aim and I am relieved we managed to achieve it" said Kim Swee when contacted in Yangon.

" Of course our performance is much to he desired but we hope to build from this.

" There was too much ball watching, lack of movement and urgency in the first half.

" Things improved towards the final quarter but I must reiterate that our finishing let us down.

" We need to work on a few grey areas in Defence and not allow opponents such luxury in Attack.

" A job done to get the points but far from satisfactory as far as the overall performance is concerned."

The defenders were static when conceding the second goal but Kim Swee does not have much options on the bench,

It was only after the inclusion of Safee Sali that the strike force posed any threat to the opponents.

Kim Swee could opt to start Safee instead of Darren Lok in their next match against Vietnam.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Losing not an option

The opening  AFF match  against Cambodia will probably be the longest 90 minutes in the life of national coach Dato Ong Kim Swee.

For this is one match that he and his charges cannot afford to lose, or even draw.

Cambodia may be minnows but no team should be taken lightly.

And playing what some perceive as weak teams is most difficult for any coach to prepare a game plan.

" Our opponents have nothing to lose but all to gain. Thus they will throw caution into the wind and play their normal game. It is how my players handle the situation that matters," said Kim Swee.

" The maturity of the players will come under the microscope in matches such as this.

" While I never want anyone to come to a conclusion after the first match, this will indicate our state of mind as we approach tougher matches ahead,

" We need to win this at all cost and that I why Attack will be the strategy of choice in this match.

" This is not going to be a walk in the park match. I expect it to be hard and tough and opening matches are always difficult."

Kim Swee is expected to field Darren Lok  and Hazwan Bakri as the strike force with Norshahrul Idlan and Safee Sali to be brought on as replacement killers.

The midfield will be helmed by Badrol Bakhriar, Zaquan Adha, Fakri and Irfan although he could eventually opt for Amri Yahya and Shazwan.

The back four will most likely see the same four who saw action against Papua New Guinea Matt Davies, Sharom Kalam, Shahrul Saad and Rizal

In goal Khairul Fahmi is expected to get the nod

" It's crunch time and the hopes and aspiration of the nation are squarely on the shoulders of the players," said Kim Swee.

" I stand by my choice of players as given the circumstances these are the best available that I could pick from.

" Critics many have their opinions and choices, but only I know what I had to endure to come up with a team that could carry our challenge here in Myanmar and beyond,

" Let's take one match at a time and not read too much into it after 90 minutes.

" We know that 3 points is vital against Cambodia and that is exactly what we aim for.

" It is how we end the match that matters most."

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Boardroom Battle

There is a silent battle emerging within the corridors of the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

Often known as the umbrella body for the national sports associations, there is no hiding beneath the umbrella as Board Meetings in OCM of late have been anything but cordial, to put it bluntly.

The battle of sorts is centered around the soon to be vacated IOC seat currently held by OCM President Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar who has to vacate the seat due to age restrictions by end of 2018.

Two individuals within OCM are said to be eyeing the soon to be vacated position and have not held back in scathing attacks against each other, undermining their responsibilities within OCM, more often then not putting other members in a difficult position.

And this battle has now moved from the Boardroom towards the affiliates as many are being caught in the crossfire, well ahead of the 2018 elections, put off a year to accommodate the organisation of the SEA Games.

That, the moving of the elections, was also another root cause to this infighting as it was not discussed prior to being brought up at the Board although it was later endorsed by the Council without objections.

Putting off elections on the pretext of Organising the SEA Games was a lame excuse as it should have just been said as it is - it is to  give outgoing president Imran his last hurrah on the regional stage.

Imran has been hands on running OCM in the past but of late he seems to have taken his foot off the pedal.

And this has opened up room for " little napoleons" to lay claim towards authority of what once was a peaceful sports body.

Which leads to questions perhaps Imran needs to let his deputy Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria play a more prominent role if he is the chosen one to lead OCM come 2018.

However some quarters are not too keen to let that happen for fear Norza will cement his position and be the " president elect" going into the 2018 elections. But is there any other capable candidate?

Matter have not been helped by the poor health issues affecting Secretary General Dato Low Beng Choo as she is overwhelmed by work, both locally and internationally.

She has been under the weather of late and there is speculation that it was due to her "indifference" with a senior statesman within OCM.

However that is merely hearsay as many take advantage of the situation to perhaps drive a wedge between those administrating OCM to their best of abilities.

It will be good if OCM will resolve its issues and although some civil servants have taken sides in this battle, they should realise it's not "within their pay brackets" to determine who leads or administers OCM.

Working as a team, resolving issues amicably and putting the interest of sports as it's priority has and should always be the priority of OCM.

Matters ought to be discussed between key members of the Board before being tabled at meetings and there should be a consensus amongst these leaders.

The sanctity of OCM is vital towards ensuring the sports remains what it is - fair and just for all Malaysians.

We do not need this infighting and in the process see our umbrella body being swept away in a mini storm.

Individuals will always come and go but the institution remains and thus it's important that OCM keeps to its principles, never bending rules or shifting goal posts to accommodate the whims and fancies of individuals.

Work together or walk away, that is what should be the motto at OCM. It has such a rich tradition of good governance that personal interests needs to be cast aside.

As a reminder to the Board Members, please do not involve the staff of OCM in your battles as their loyalty is towards the government of the day.

The staff have served well, within their ability and their loyalty or ability should not be put under the microscope now, not with some having served for half their adult age at OCM. 

Let there not be a racial divide in sports, the country has enough problems in its plates already.

Show maturity and walk around with heads held higher, stop the infighting and back stabbing.

No individual can lay claim to success and it's a team game at OCM.

Stand tall, stand shoulder to shoulder with each other and let nothing come in between your efforts to make Malaysia a truly great sporting nation.

After all you are the last bastion of true bravery heart volunteers that serve sports with sincerity and goodwill.

Let your deeds speak for itself, enough is enough.

No Black

Though many have branded it the Colour of "mourning" due to the state of Football in the country, that will not be a factor is national coach Dato Ong Kim Swee's decision not to wear black for the first two matches of the AFF Cup that gets underway in Yangon this Sunday.

Rather Kim Swee cited playing under the humid weather as basis for not wearing the newly designed black jerseys for their matches against Cambodia and Vietnam.

" Black absorbs heat and that is the main reason why I will not be opting for that Colours in the afternoon matches," said Kim Swee.

" That is the only reason and although some have associated other reasons to it, I do not endorse them."

Kim Swee said that although for the Chinese the Colour black was of bad omen, he was not a believer of such beliefs.

" It is the performance that matters, what happens on the pitch, the result, rather then what one wears," added Kim Swee.

" It's good to see the players in great spirits and itching for the tournament to start.

"The players know what is at stake and have promised to put their best foot forward."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Kim Swee shares his thoughts.

A personal account by Dato Ong Kim Swee.

The road toward success is a Long and tough one. It will not be a bed of roses or a walk in the park.

I knew this from the very first day I assumed the role of national coach.

But little that I realised that more obstacles will be placed just when I felt that we had a team that would be able to mount a challenge in international Football.

The retirement and unavailability of several key players meant that carefully thought about plans would have to be altered, fast tracking of younger players  was not an option but a necessity.

Many days and nights were spent with my coaching staff to plug the loop holes in terms of replacing those who opted out of the team.

I fully understand the situation and position of players who retired. They had served the nation well and though any coach worth his salt would have wanted them in his team, we also understand that we do not always get what we want.
My preparation, training methods, choice of matches and selection of players had often been frowned upon, questioned and criticised by some. But I stand by my decisions.

What all need to understand is these are the best available players in the country that fit my game plan or tactics.

They were selected due to their capability, availability and their desire to do the nation proud.

I have faith in each and everyone of them as I believe what they may lack in finesse they will make up with sheer grit and determination plus the desire to see the Jalur Genilang soar high and mighty.

Our AFF challenge will start with a match against Cambodia followed by Vietnam and Myanmar.

All teams are tough opponents and we need to navigate each match with extreme caution.

There is no such thing as a settled live up as we need to tailor make selection based on each match.

Therefore no player is guaranteed a place in the starting XI as it will depend on the opponents we are up against.

Trust me to field the best against each opponent that will suit our tactics and not perceive this as thinkering.

Our target is to make the last four and take it from there.

Some may feel that this target is far fetched given the team I have but I have one thing that many might not have - faith in the ability of these players.

We carry the hopes and aspirations of the nation, although some are hoping we fail.

If we were to fail it would not be for the want of trying but rather the fact that we were not good enough.

While performance is important, as a national coach I have come to realise that winning is a must, as only that  can satisfy all.

Tactical awareness, fielding the right combination are two key elements that I need to look into during our matches in Myanmar.

Despite all the shortcomings, whatever the critics might and have said, I trust in my players and I believe that they should and will deliver.

Stand alongside these players, give them the morale booster and with that we believe that we will make the nation proud.