Dec 24, 2009


JAIHO wishes his fellow Christian bloggers, readers, friends a Blessed Christmas and Holy New Year. May Jesus Be Born in your hearts today and always. "She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. " Luke 2:7

Blessed Christmas.

Dec 18, 2009


Malaysia ended a 20-year gold drought when they edged Vietnam 1-0 in the football final at the 25th SEA Games held at the Main Stadium, National Sports Complex, here on Thursday.Malaysia's winning goal came from an own goal by Vietnam's defender, Mai Xuan Hop in the 83rd minute.

A cross by Safiq Rahim to substitute Mohamad Zaquan Adha Abd Razak in front of the Vietnam goalposts was deflected by Mai but the ball went straight into his own goal.The last time Malaysia won the gold in football was in Kuala Lumpur (1989) under the guidance of British coach, Trevor Hartley.

Playing in front of almost 17,000 Vietnamese supporters who were wearing the red t-shirt with a yellow star on the chest, Malaysia and Vietnam started cautiously with each side testing the opponents' defence.The cautious game adopted by both sides saw the ball moving in the centre of the pitch with the Vietnamese players, who are noted for their speed, occasionally testing the Malaysian goalie, Mohd Sharbinee Allawee with long shots.Malaysia's best chance at scoring came in the 29th minute, but S. Kunalan's header went over the crossbar.

Tied to a goalless draw at half-time, both teams increased the pressure on their opponents' defence to look for the elusive goal.Malaysia seemed to dominate the second half when they succeeded in warding off the opponents' attacks.The Malaysian defence led by Sabre Mat Abu deserved praise for blocking the opponents' raids and when the Malaysian strikers failed to break the deadlock, K. Rajagobal brought in Mohamad Zaquan Adha to replace Ahmad Fakri Saarani in the 69th minute.

Mohamad Zaquan Adha clearly gave a new inspiration to the Malaysian side but the attempts at goal had still not been able beat the Vietnamese goalkeeper.However, the own goal by Mai finally slowed down the opponents' pace before referee Pratap Singh blew the final whistle.Malaysia booked their berth for the final after beating host, Laos 3-1 while Vietnam trounced Singapore 4-1 in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

Since winning the goal in 1989 (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia only managed to lift the silver at the 2001 edition (Kuala Lumpur) when the competition format for the biennial games was changed to Under-23 teams and later won the bronze in the 2003 edition (Vietnam) and 2005 (Philippines).In the 2007 SEA Games, Malaysia were shown the exit early in the group stage.

MALAYSIA: Mohd Sharbinee Allawee, Mohd Sabree Mat Abu, Mohd Nasriq Baharom, Mohamad Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak, Baddrol Bakhtiar, K.Gurusamy, S.Kunalan, Safiq Rahim, Ahmad Fakri Saarani (Mohamad Zaquan Adha Abd Radzak), Mohamad Muslim Mohamad (Mohamad Azmi Muslim), Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Amar Rohidan).

VIETNAM: Bui Tan Truong, Nguyen Quy Suu, Vo Hoang Quang, Mai Tien Thanh, Mai Xuan Hop, Tran Dinh Dong, Phan Thanh Binh, Pham Thanh Luong, Nguyen Thanh Long Giang, Phan Thanh Hung (Tran Manh Dung), Nguyen Ngoc Anh (Nguyen Trong Hoang).REFEREE: Pratap Singh (India).-- BERNAMA

Dec 15, 2009


Malaysia's challenge in the badminton men's singles at the Laos SEA Games ended as early as in the first round when Muhammad Hafiz Hashim and Liew Daren lost their matches at Gymnasium 1, National Sports Complex, here.

Without the presence of world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Malaysia had to forget about a gold medal in the men's singles.

However, Malaysia's men's doubles pairs of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Mohd Fairuzizuan Tazari-Mohd Zakry Latif, and women's singles Wong Mew Choo and Lydia Cheah will be in the quarter-finals Tuesday.

So will the women's doubles pairs of Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui and Woon Khe Wei-Chong Sook Chin, and mixed double pairs of Koo Kien Keat-Wong Pei Tty and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.

Hafiz lost to Sony Dwi Kuncoro for the second time in a row in a three-set match with scores of 12-21, 21-19, 14-21.

The chance given to Liew Daren to fill the vacancy left by Chong Wei failed to bear fruit when the young player lost to an unknown, Vietnam's Nguyen Hoang Hai 9-21, 15-21.

In the women's singles, Mew Choo was given a bye in the opening round, but will face a still fight in a quarter-final match Tuesday Olympic bronze medallist, Maria Kristin from Indonesia.

Lydia beat Nhung Le Nguyen from Vietnam, 14-21, 21-12, 21-12, to face Zhang Beiwen from Singapore.

Malaysia's number one doubles Kien Keat-Boon Heong, however, had to go into the third set to defeat Bodin Isara-Maneepong Jongjit 14-21, 21-12, 23-21, while Mohd Fairuzizuan-Mohd Zakry had to fight hard to overcome Vietnam's Bui Bang Duc-Dao Manh Thang 21-15, 18-21, 21-10.

After Sunday's victory in the women's team event, Khe Wei returned to her original partner Chong Sook Chin and defeated Khonesanith Inthavanh-Manivone Meungchaleun 21-8, 21-11.

Pei Tty-Eei Hui, who received a bye in the first round, will face Frances Liu-Vanesa Neo from Singapore Tuesday.

Malaysia will also continue its challenge in the mixed doubles after Kien Keat-Pei Tty defeated Jeffrey Wong-Fu Mingtian from Singapore 21-17, 21-10, while Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying beat the Vietnames pair of Duong Bao Duc-Thai Thi Hong 21-15, 21-11.



While the Malaysian media were congratulating K. Rajagobal after his boys defeated hosts Laos to go into the football final of the 25th SEA Games, the coach's frowned expression suggested that he was thinking hard.

Perhaps he was thinking of ways to fire up the spirits of his squad who will meet Vietnam in the final on Thursday. Vietnam had beaten Malaysia 3-1 in the second match in Group A on Dec 6.

"Maybe I shouldn't be talking too much and let the players think for themselves how to boost their own spirits and win the final," he said after the Malaysia-Laos semi-final match at the Main Stadium, National Sports Complex, here, Monday night.

Vietnam were top in Group A and Malaysia the runners-up.

In another semi-final match at the Chaou Anouvong Stadium, here, Vietnam trounced Group B runners-up Singapore 4-1.

The Malaysian Under-23 squad, not expected to go into the final, beat the hosts 3-1, giving them a chance to win gold since Malaysia last did at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in 1989.

On Monday's match, Rajagobal said after Baddrol Bakhtiar scored the first goal in the 13th minute, there was a lapse of concentration and his boys allowed their opponents to control play.

But they got a wake-up call when Laos equalised in the 72nd minute through Kanlaya Sysomvang and then started to play more attacking football.

Rajagobal said not many people realised how difficult it was for the Malaysian squad playing against Laos as they were without their regular strikers.

"Mohamad Zaquan Abdul Radzak is still injured while Ahmad Fakri Saarani and Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal are suspended.

"I only had a midfielder of calibre, Safiq Rahim, and he proved his capability," said a relieved Rajagobal.

While controlling the midfield, Safiq also gave Malaysia's third goal in the match. Baddrol had earlier scored the second goal in the 79th minute.

Laos coach Alfred Riedl said Malaysia controlled the first-half and his charges the second.

"But lady luck was not on our side as Malaysia managed to find our net twice in the second-half," said the Austrian coach.

In their last meeting at the Jakarta SEA Games in 1997, Laos beat Malaysia 1-0.-Bernama

Dec 14, 2009


Liverpool suffered their second home embarrassment in five days as Arsenal grabbed the points in a game which was supposed to be a new beginning for the Anfield men.

Manager Rafael Benitez had insisted the season started again today after the midweek Champions League defeat to Fiorentina.

But he did not get his wish even though Liverpool led at the break through Dirk Kuyt and should have had a penalty when William Gallas felled Steven Gerrard.

Arsenal grabbed two quick goals through a Glen Johnson own goal and an outstanding winner from Andrey Arshavin to heap more misery on the men from Merseyside.

Arshavin hit four last season in a 4-4 draw, but this time one was enough.

Bill Shankly's first official day behind the manager's desk at Liverpool was 50 years ago tomorrow, and Benitez will sit uncomfortably in that same office after this.

Liverpool made six changes from the side dumped out of the Champions League in midweek, with Fernando Torres back in the starting line-up for the first time since early November. Fabio Aurelio was brought in at left-back against the pace of Theo Walcott.

Arsenal were unrecognisable from the side that lost to Olympiacos in Greece, only Walcott being retained by manager Arsene Wenger.

With Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs all dropping points 24 hours earlier, both sides were desperate to take advantage.

And at last Anfield was treated to a pulsating clash after weeks of insipid displays.

The tempo and passion came from both sides and Liverpool could have had two goals in the opening 13 minutes.

First Torres broke away, fed Gerrard to his right and then took the return before failing to lift the ball over Almunia when clear.

Two minutes later referee Howard Webb controversially denied Liverpool a penalty when Gallas felled Gerrard.

The Liverpool skipper may have pushed the ball too far, but Gallas clearly took Gerrard's legs.

Denilson was booked for a high tackle on Mascherano as Liverpool poured forward.

Arsenal survived, at times with difficulty, but still sought to play their intelligent, passing football out of defence.

Samir Nasri fired wide and Cesc Fabregas tested Jose Reina as the threat on the break from the Gunners became increasingly apparent.

But four minutes from the break Arsenal finally cracked.

Aurelio lifted a free-kick into the six-yard box, where Almunia, under intense pressure in the air, managed only a weak punch and Kuyt fired home from 10 yards.

Arsenal were furious with a supposed aerial assault on their goalkeeper, Wenger making the point angrily to fourth official Andre Marriner.

The Gunners' chief was even more upset two minutes later when it looked like Aurelio stopped Walcott's run with an arm across his face. Only a booking ensured.

Arsenal came out after the break fired up for the challenge and were level after 50 minutes.

Nasri tore down the right and fired in a low cross that Johnson turned past Reina for an own goal with Walcott lurking behind him.

Mascherano was soon booked for a foul on Fabregas and it was soon to get worse for Liverpool, and especially Johnson.

Fabregas' cross after 58 minutes eluded Johnson, who then failed to stop Arshavin turning to fire in off the post from 18 yards.

Benitez finally turned to Aquilani with 25 minutes left, Mascherano making way, and with the watching Xabi Alonso applauding from the directors' box as the man bought to replace him trotted on.

But Aquilani made little impact and finished the game limping.

As much as the first half had been so positive for an aggressive Liverpool, the second was becoming deeply frustrating.

Passes started going astray, Liverpool were no longer in Arsenal's faces, rather chasing their heels.

The passion had gone from Liverpool and the accomplished young Gunners had a measure of control they were not going to lose.

Arshavin was booked for one too many late challenges on defenders clearing the ball, then Fabregas for kicking the ball away from a free-kick.

David Ngog coming on for Yossi Benayoun and then Philipp Degen for a flagging, disconsolate Johnson did little to change the flow of the match and Liverpool now have just three wins in their last 15 games.- soccernet

Dec 12, 2009


Malaysia erased Thailand's 36 years record of qualifying for the semi-finals of the SEA Games football tournament when its footballers defeated the Thai defending champions 2-1 in the last match of Group A played at the Main Stadium of the Laos National Sports Complex here on Friday.

While the Malaysian coach, K.Rajagobal, was cheerful, Thailand's under-23 squad coach Steve Darby was a picture of dejection.At a news conference after the match, Rajagobal credited goalkeeper, Mohd Sharbinee Allawee; substitute player, Mohamad Azmi Muslim; and S.Kunanlan as well as the rest of the team on their hard work, eventhough the team was down 0-1 in the 52nd minute due to a goal by Arthit Sunthorphit."

Although down, my boys strived to get the equaliser. We actually should have settled the match at half-time through three tries but had to wait till the 81st minute to equalise," Rajagobal told reporters.The equaliser was scored by Mohd Nasriq Baharom while the winning goal was scored by Ahmad Fakri Saarani in the 89th minute.

He said on paper Thailand had advantages in physique and in speed but the spirit of his charges was very high today.In the semi-final against Laos on Monday, Rajagobal said he hoped striker Mohamad Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak, who has an eye problem, would have recovered to shore up the Malaysian attack."Tomorrow, I will have just light training and develope a strategy to take on the hosts, Laos, on Monday," he said.

Darby, meanwhile, said he was responsible for today's loss.Asked again by Thai media whether he took responsibility for the defeat which resulted in Thailand's exit after succesfully being the semi-finalist for 36 consecutive years since the 1973 edition, he said: "I take responsibility."He said his team controlled the match for 81 minutes until the equaliser from Mohd Nasriq killed his team's spirit."We're really dissappointed but I dont want to blame my players. There are no excuses," he said.

Dec 9, 2009


Malaysia beat Cambodia 4-0 in a SEA Games Group A match at Chao Anuvong Stadium here Tuesday night to keep its semi-final hopes alive.

The goals were scored by Abdul Manaf Mamat (34min), Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (76min), S.Kunanlal (81min) and Shafiq Rahim (84min).Malaysia has to beat SEA Games defending champion Thailand this Friday to book a ticket to the semi-final.


HEAD of FAM Competitions department Haji Ahmad Fuad Daud, and Head of International Affairs Kelly Sathiaraj(pic) has been apppointed as FAM deputy general secretary. Bot the appointments will take effect in January 2010.

It is learnt that FAM President Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah wanted a candidate who has international exposure and Kelly fitted well into the plan. Kelly was a part of AFC competitions department spent close to 8 years in AFC before joining FAM in 2006. Meanwhile Fuad was Pahang FA secretary before joining FAM in 2004.
To both Fuad and Kelly, Jaiho wishes you all the best.

* Thanks Razlan for the Photo.

Dec 8, 2009


Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wants his players to be prepared for do-or-die missions during the Asia Cup and Commonwealth Games next year in efforts to earn a ticket to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Tengku Abdullah said the MHF have placed high hopes on the players to perform well and earn a ticket to London especially after failing to make the cut for the World Cup."The team must do well in the Asia Cup in China and the Commonwealth Games in India.

That is the do-or-die mission for the team," he told reporters after handing contributions from three corporate bodies to the Majlis Ugama Islam Pahang at Istana Abdul Aziz here.He also urged the senior and junior players to train hard and be prepared physically and mentally to face the stiff challenges ahead during the two tournaments.

"We need experienced players to change their mindset and be disciplined, so that they can help strengthen the team and if we can gel the young and senior players together, it fill further strengthen the team," he said.- BERNAMA


FAM has done it again and this time around Pahang has been saved, and Harimau Muda sacrificed read here and here , make your analysis and judgements. To FAM I dedicate this music album. Enjoy Guys.


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that Malaysia will be hosting the prestigious golf competition, the PGA Tour, next year."It was my childhood ambition to see the PGA Tour brought to Malaysia and now it will become a reality...and today, I am proud to announce that next year Malaysia will be hosting the PGA Tour."

We will be the first nation in the South East Asian region to host such a prestigious golf competition. It is a great honour to be given the opportunity," said Najib in his speech at the official launch of the Asia Pacific Golf Classic Malaysia, here Monday.

The inaugural tournament will be held at the Mines Resort and Golf Club in Seri Kembangan, near here.At the ceremony, Najib also announced that the golf competition offers a total prize money of US$6 million and the winner of the competition will walk home with US$1 million."I was not quite sure then that it could happen and I didn't know what it takes to be able to host the PGA Tour event in Malaysia.

Because it certainly requires a full agreement of the PGA Tour. Fortunately, we have Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, an entrepreneur who has the courage and vision to do things that are difficult or almost impossible to do."The competition (the Asia Pacific Golf Classic) will also be the largest prize purse tournament in South East Asia. And, there is a commitment in place to guarantee the growth of the purse," said Najib.

He noted that the competition would further boost Malaysia's revenue through tourism and enhancing the country's standing in the international sporting arena."It will be a boost and very positive. It will make the Mines golf course more popular as one of the major golf courses in the world. It will also make Malaysia as the favourite golfing destination," said Najib.

He said that over the four-day competition, over 400 million households and in 200 countries around the world would be watching the prestigious competition and this would be a good avenue not only for golf but also Malaysian tourism.The inaugural Asia Pacific Golf Classic Malaysia will feature an international field of 40 players competing.The top 25 players from the PGA Tour's final FedExCup standings will automatically qualify, as will the top-10 available players from the Asian Tour's Order of Merit and at least one Malaysian professional will be guaranteed a place in the field.Bernama


National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong described the action of the men's football team to manhandle match officials after their 1-3 loss to Vietnam, as a disgrace to the country.

He added that the reason offered by head coach K. Rajagobal that the incident was triggered by bias and controversial decisions made by the referee against Malaysia, cannot be accepted."To me, the referee was fair and indeed a number of decisions made by him favoured the Malaysian team," said Zolkples who was among those who watched the match on Sunday.

In the match held at the Main Stadium of the Laos National Sports Complex, Malaysia lost 1-3 to Vietnam, a result that put Malaysian semifinal hopes on tender hooks.When South Korean referee Kim Jong Hyeok blew the final whistle, some of the Malaysian players charged at the referee to register their protest after the South Korean had dismissed substitute Mohd Zaquan Adha Abd Radzak for a second bookable offence.

Players had also retorted to throwing water bottles aimlessly at the match official before security officials from Laos intervened and prevented the situation from getting out of hand.Zolkples also blamed all the Malaysian team officials for further provoking the players, with the exception of Tan Cheng Hoe (coach) who sat calm on the bench.

He added that Malaysia should have just accepted the result because the Vietnam players played better as they were fitter and faster."From my observation, our players played below their capabilities and paid too much respect to their opponent," he said.-- BERNAMA

Dec 6, 2009


Malaysia's hopes of making it to the semi-finals of the Laos SEA Games men's football competition, suffered a major setback after a 1-3 loss to Vietnam, at the Laos National Stadium here Sunday.

Malaysia who beat Timor Leste 11-0 on Wednesday, were not able to find their scoring boots today, in a match dominated by the fitter and faster Vietnamese and even the solitary goal was a result of an own goal by Vo Hoang Quang who headed the ball into his own net.

It was the second consecutive time Malaysia suffered a defeat at the hands of Vietnam in the SEA Games, since Vietnam scored a similar victory during the Korat SEA Games in Thailand two years ago, a result that doused Malaysia's hopes of winning a medal.

Vietnam scored their first goal through Nguyen Cong Minh in the 11th minute after South Korean referee Kim Jong Hyeok awarded a penalty for handball.

Jolted by the goal, K. Rajagobal's boys went on the offensive in search of an equaliser, leaving gapping holes in defence and Vietnam exploited the opportunity when Mai Tien Thanh set out on a solo run to beat Malaysian goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias in the 24th minute.

A minute later, Malaysia were thrown a lifeline when an own goal by Hoang Quang, reduced the deficit to 1-2, but any hopes of a resurgence diminished when Nguyen Trong Hoang struck the third goal to restore a two goal advantage in the 43rd minute.

Rajagobal tried to inject fresh blood by introducing Mohamad Zaquan Adha Abd Radzak, K. Gurusamy and S. Kunalan for the non-effective Amar Rohidan, Abdul Manaf Mamat and Ahmad Fakri Saarani, but though the trio managed to mount a series of attacks, they were not able to penetrate a stout Vietnamese defence.

Meanwhile, Rajagobal attributed the loss to the inability of his young players to control their temper, due to a number of poor decisions made by the match officials.

"There were many questionable decisions by the referee and that resulted in the players losing their rhythm and focus. Zaquan may also be penalised further for his red card," he said after the match.

Even after the match, players who were unhappy with the match officials, surrounded them while some threw water bottles into the pitch, but Rajagobal managed to calm down his boys and restore order.

With the win, Vietnam top Group A with seven points from three matches while Thailand are second with four points from two matches and Malaysia has three.

Malaysia will now have to beat Thailand in their next match to have any chance of making it to the next stage.- Bernama

Dec 2, 2009


THE delay in flying to Laos did not stop K.Rajagopal's boys in thrashing Timor Leste in a 11-0 opening of the Group A match at the National Stadium in Vientiane.

Striker Ahmad Fakri Saarani scored a hat-trick, while Norshahrul Talaha scored a brace. Zaquan Adha Abdul Razak, Baddrol Baktiar, Amirulhadi Zainal, Amar Rohidan, Safiq Rahim and Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak contributed a goal each.

"The boys played well and we took the chances. It will be a good motivation for the players for the next match." said K.Rajagopal after the game.
Timor Leste ranked 198 in the world, surely are not a real test for the Malaysian side, who are more capable and have better team cordination. Timor Leste have hardly played in any international matches and the fact that they have withdrawn from many international matches goes to show the poor development of the game in the country.

FAM President Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah ordered the team to return with medal, but experienced coach K.Rajagopal has set his eye on a semi-finals berth.

Malaysia's second match will be against Vietnam on Sunday, Cambodia on Dec 8 and defending champions Thailand on Dec 11.

All matches will be played at the National Stadium except the match against Cambodia, which will be played at the Chao Anouvong Stadium.Group B comprises host Laos, Myanmar, Singapore and Indonesia.

Nov 30, 2009


MALAYSIAN Under-23 team were unable to take off from the RMAF Air Base, Subang. The team was at the airport since 9.30am, and were brought back to Wisma FAM at 4 pm.

"There was a delay in flight arrangement, we wrote to the necessary agencies and approval was given 10 days ago, but it was unfortunate that this has happened." said an official.

This delay in travelling to Laos is surely not good news for K.Rajagopal as they will take on Timor Leste on Wednesday in the opening match.

Many may wonder why the national team is travelling in a private chartered flight? The reason is simple, the national team is placed in category B; which means they will make their very own arrangements in terms of travel and lodging. Should they win a medal, they will be reimbursed in full.
No doubt, the six hour delay would have tired out the players. They will make yet another journey to RMAF Subang tomorrow and one can only hope that there will be no more delays.


Arsenal now have it all to do in the title race.Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea at Emirates Stadium leaves Arsène Wenger’s side 11 points adrift of the Premier League leaders.It is still only November of course and Arsenal have a game in hand but they have to claw back ground quickly if they are to stay in touch with top two.

This game was an indication of the task they face. The home side had the majority of possession and were on the foot front for most of the 90 minutes but they were picked off twice just before half-time and then finished off just before full-time. It was a lesson in taking your chances.The first two goals were provided from the left by Ashley Cole. In the 41st minute, his cross was turned home expertly by Didier Drogba. On the whistle, Thomas Vermaelen miscued an attempted clearance into his own net.

Arsenal tried their best to respond in the second half but any lingering hopes were extinguished four minutes from time when Drogba thumped home a free-kick.It was a sobering afternoon for Wenger’s side, who now drop to fourth. Key injuries had undoubtedly hampered them but Arsenal’s pursuit of the Premier League crown will now be long and difficult.At the moment, their hopes of silverware appear to lie elsewhere.

Rain had hammered down in North London all day. It seemed that the Gods were doing their best to dampen the atmosphere for this utterly crucial game.They need not have bothered.The feverish press room flurry that met the publication of the team-sheets was as good an indication of this game’s importance as anyone might need.

Defeat for either side would peg back their respective title ambitions while a draw would let in Manchester United.Both managers had key players with injury doubts but, in the end, they all played. The swelling on William Gallas’ eye had gone down sufficiently for him to start. Wenger also recalled Armand Traore at left back – his problem position – and Bacary Sagna on the opposite flank. Eduardo returned to spearhead the attack.

As a result, Emmanuel Eboue and Carlos Vela dropped to the bench while the injured Kieran Gibbs was, of course, sidelined.For their part Chelsea welcomed back Frank Lampard to their midfield following a thigh injury. With Drogba having returned in midweek, the Stamford Bridge outfit were at the peak of their considerable powers.As Wenger had said in his pre-match press conference, this was the acid test for Arsenal.

The ever-confident Frenchman had also stated that “this was the time” for his side. And in the early stages, they proved him right.The opening quarter of an hour belonged to Arsenal. Cesc Fabregas had a shot blocked and Eduardo nearly wriggled through the centre of the Chelsea defence only to have the ball pinched from his toes.Although opportunities were rare, the home side were having all the possession and territory.

But, in fact, the visitors would carve out the first real chance of the game – and it had a whiff of controversy.Nicolas Anelka chased Lampard’s ball down the left-hand channel and went momentarily clear inside the area. Sagna was in close pursuit and the full back’s right arm appeared to knock his compatriot off his stride. The tumbling Anelka slipped over as he miscued his effort at Almunia then Lampard’s follow up went wide. Referee Andre Marriner waved play on and the majority of Emirates Stadium breathed a sigh of relief.

The opportunity seemed to pull Chelsea from their shell. Midway through the first half, Drogba nodded straight at Almunia when he should have done better and five minutes before the break he headed over.Arsenal still had an ample amount of the ball but they were creating only quarter-chances - little that would trouble Petr Cech.

Chelsea would make them pay.Twice.In the 41st minute, John Terry slipped a pass down the left-hand channel to Ashley Cole. The former Arsenal full back was allowed to put the ball on his favoured left foot and, when he whipped in a low cross, Drogba steered home a shot at the near post. The ball juddered between the angle of post and bar before deciding to go in, nonetheless it was ruthless football.You could argue that Arsenal did not deserve to be behind. But they definitely did not merit the second goal on the stroke of half-time.

Again Ashley Cole was the supplier but this time his low cross hit the knee of Vermaelen and went in the top corner off the woodwork once again.

Arsenal had to find a response and, at the break, Wenger did his best to provide it.
He withdrew Alex Song for Theo Walcott. The Englishman slotted in on the left-hand side pushing Nasri just behind Eduardo.It made a difference.Again Arsenal pegged back Chelsea in the early stages. They did get the ball into the net but by the time Arshavin had slammed home the referee has long since blown for a foul by Eduardo on Cech.

It was the Croatian’s last meaningful act. The 26-year-old was replaced by Vela.By now, Arsenal were pressing and persistent. However they just could not penetrate the meanest defence in the Premier League. In the first half, Chelsea had sat back, soaked up Arsenal’s pressure and then picked their pocket.

They so nearly stole a third goal just before the hour. Drogba tried his luck from the left of the area and the ball hit Gallas then Lampard before trickling to the right of the wrong-footed Almunia. The keeper recovered to make a brilliant save.In the 66th minute, Wenger threw on Tomas Rosicky, his last substitute, in place of Nasri. Still Arsenal had the play but Chelsea had the chances. Five minutes later, Drogba shrugged off Traore before whipping a cross that was just over Anelka’s head.

As the game neared its conclusion, Arsenal's challenge faded. Drogba had been Arsenal's main agitator this afternoon and, just to prove the point, with four minutes to go Fabregas brought down Michael Essien and the Ivorian rifled the free-kick beyond Almunia.
Having lost their top-scorer to a long-term injury on Saturday, Arsenal lost to one of their biggest title rivals the next day.It has been a tough, tough weekend at Emirates Stadium. ARSENAL.COM

Nov 24, 2009

AFC signs 1 Billion Dollar Deal

Asian soccer chief Mohamed Bin Hammam signed a $1 billion dollar rights deal with World Sports Group on Tuesday.The deal gives Singapore-based sports marketing, event management and media group WSG rights to Asian Football Confederation (AFC) events up until 2020."Asian football is scaling new heights," Hammam told reporters in the Malaysian capital."

It is AFC's pleasure to renew our tight relationship with WSG, who were the first ones to recognise the incredible potential of the Asian game." WSG have been commercial partners of the AFC since 1993."They came to support us when our revenues (from rights) were close to zero. We had difficult times where our competitions were worth nothing ... people wanted to pay nothing."

The agreement is expected to deliver "at least" $1bn in revenues to the AFC over the contractual period, WSG said."This is a landmark deal and shows what Asian football is capable of achieving."WSG Chairman Seamus O'Brien, said: "In 1993, we made a commitment together with the AFC to take Asian football to the world."

Today, in just over a decade and a half, the value of Asian football has grown 10-fold and it has earned its rightful place on the international stage."Its events are being watched and followed throughout the world, not just in Asia, by billions of passionate fans and viewers."Financial details of that deal were not made public, but under that multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement WSG are responsible for marketing and managing sponsorships and licensing arrangements for the golf tour. - AFP


AN excellent column written by my former boss Datuk Syed Nadzri, Group Editor of NST. A former sports writer, a man with humility and wisdom, he has given his side of the story of what is wrong with Malaysian Football. Read it here

REMEMBER the name: Elizabeth Lambert. The American girl has epitomised, through dirty play in a football match earlier this month, the reality of the world -- about how things are sometimes not what they appear to be.

She has shown, in split seconds of utterly bad sporting behaviour, everything about the dangers lurking around us and the deceptive, stealthy moments in life. We can connect that to Malaysian politics even.Lambert, a 21-year-old central defender for New Mexico in a local women's tournament in the United States, created quite a sensation all over the world when she was captured on video blatantly flooring her opponents in the match against BYU (Brigham Young University).

The footage of Lambert punching an opponent from behind, robustly tripping another and brazenly yanking an opposing striker's pony-tail till that player fell flat to the ground first made it to the news channels and was then viewed more than six million times on YouTube.This one has to be seen to be believed. The way she committed the fouls would make Malaysian football's notorious hotheads of yesteryear like Hassan Deraman, Manja Man and Wan Hassan Ibrahim appear like ballet dancers in comparison.The episode turned Lambert, who has since been suspended from playing, into a national villain. But in an interview with the New York Times last week, she said she was no monster.

"I think the way the video came out, it did make me look like a monster. That's not the type of player I am. I'm not just out there trying to hurt other players. That's taking away from the beauty of the game. And I would never want to do that."Well, that's life. Sometimes you get sucked into a moment of madness without even realising it and sometimes you get hit by a person or a situation you least expect.

It is the vulnerability of man. Apply that to Malaysian politics and it hits home. Look at what's happening in MCA where friends have become foes and where intrigues, backstabbing as well as unexpected turns rule the day. The similarity extends to the undercurrents in Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Pas and Umno.Relate that to a bigger football stage -- something wicked just came the way of Ireland and two North African nations.

It struck Ireland in a crucial World Cup qualifying match against France last Wednesday, that sucker punch coming through a highly dispu-ted French equaliser very late in the game that knocked out the Irish from the finals in South Africa next year.The French victory has created a firestorm around the world. Millions of viewers watched French captain Thierry Henry illegally guide the ball with his hand before kicking it to another player, who headed it in for the crucial goal.

The referee missed the infraction and since then, Ireland has exploded in anger, while France is roiled in an uncomfortable national debate over the nobility of accepting a tainted win.In a similar vein, this tale of the unexpected extended to yet another explosive pre-World Cup clash last week, where Egypt was bundled out after losing to Algeria. It even led to a diplomatic row as Egypt recalled its ambassador to Algeria following mob attacks on Egyptian fans after the match.It's a shocker because North African countries have never been known to be that volatile about their footballing fortunes, and demon-strations in whatever form or for whatever reason are rare in both countries.

So that's it again. Things are sometimes not what they appear to be.

And while on the subject of football, another stunner for most people was to find out that New Zealand has also qualified for the World Cup. Yes, that country where there are more sheep than humans and whose sporting fortunes have always centred on rugby and cricket. It will represent the Oceania zone after beating Bahrain from Asia in a playoff last week.

Now, if New Zealand can qualify, perhaps Malaysia needs to rethink its strategies in football. Maybe it should apply to leave Asia (Asian Football Confederation) where the competition is a lot tougher and join Oceania instead. Perhaps only then could the country join the ranks of World Cup qualifiers.But wait a minute.

The way football is being run in this country, even to be grouped with Antarctica would be a tough bet for Malaysia. In Oceania, there is also Fiji which is ranked higher in the Fifa listing (133rd as against Malaysia's 152nd).

And are we sure Malaysia, in its present standard, can beat Vanuatu?Despite a long tradition of football, Malaysia is far short of its potential as a football-loving nation and things are not what they appear to be, as there is a disconnect between the frenzy over foreign leagues and the national team.The solution is plain and simple -- the Football Association of Malaysia must change its leadership.

The president must go and the excuse that he has an unfinished agenda is unacceptable. For the glory of the country, Malaysians must demand a key performance indicator (KPI) accountability from FAM.Enough is enough. And so what if that's the monster in me speaking out.

Nov 19, 2009


KELANTAN coach B.Sathianathan did not waste time in signing players for the new season. The former national coach who only spent four days in Kuala Lumpur was on his way back to Kota Baru as Norshahrul Talaha, Akmal Rizal and Mohd Shakir Shaari will be signing up with Kelantan on Saturday at the KB Mall.

"We need to strengthen the team and with these players I hope we will be able to achieve more success, it is important to have a balanced team. I am sure the players will give their best." said Sathianathan who met up with JAIHO during his trip to Kuala Lumpur

Akmal Rizal, who was once dubbed as a prolific striker lost his sting after a couple of injuries and operations. Akmal spent a couple of years with the Under-14 national squad which was then coached by Amin and Holger Obermann.

It was in 1995 and then 1997 when Akmal was roped into the World Youth Squad where his true potential was unleashed. His exposure in France and Germany will surely come in handy and the fact that Akmal decided to play for Kelantan is only a challenge for him to get a place in the national squad.

Shakir who played for UPB My Team is expected to revive his career in his home town. Norshahrul Talaha having played for Sathianathan when he was managing the national team, is also part of the integral plan in taking Kelantan to higher levels.

JAIHO hopes the investment made on the trio will bear fruit in due time.

Nov 15, 2009


TASHKENT – Uzbekistan put themselves on the brink of a place at the 2011 Asian Cup after two goals from Alexander Geynrikh helped the central Asians overcome Malaysia 3-1 at JAR Stadium. Following a goalless first-half, the hosts went in front just after the break through Server Djeparov (pictured) before Geynrikh found the back of the net in the 57th and 65th minutes to give Uzbekistan a comfortable advantage.

Zaquan Abdul Radzak pulled a goal back for Malaysia but it ultimately proved little more than a consolation.Uzbekistan came into the game having not found the net in their last five contests and that barren run was extended over the opening 45 minutes as they failed to convert a number of chances, Aziz Ibragimov heading one of the better ones the wrong side of the post.

Coach Mirdjalal Kasimov decided to introduce Geynrikh at half-time having left him out of the starting line-up as the striker had been suffering from a fever and it proved an inspired decision as Uzbekistan sewed up the points in the second period.

The hosts went in front with the first attack of the half. Geynrikh fed the ball to Anvar Soliev and he in turn set-up Odil Ahmedov. The midfielder made a hash of the opportunity but the ball fell to Djeparov and he forced the ball over the line.

Defender Murod Khalmukhamedov, making his international debut, then strode into the area two minutes later but his powerful shot was wide of the target.However, Geynrihk doubled the hosts' lead in the 57th minute when he scored from the edge of the box with a curling effort.The striker then bagged his second of the night in the 65th minute with a similar effort to put the result beyond doubt.

Malaysia pulled a goal back shortly afterwards when Zaquan headed home a free-kick and came agonisingly close to claiming a second when he outpaced Anyar Gofurov but saw his shot hit the post.Uzbekistan had further chances to add to their lead when Geynrikh freed both Soliev and substitute Timur Kapadze but neither could find the back of the net with just the keeper to beat.It did not matter, however, as Uzbekistan comfortably closed out the win that saw them take a big step towards Qatar in 2011. - the afc

Nov 11, 2009


The Kelantan Football Association (Kafa) have been slapped with a RM50,000 fine for the unruly behaviours of their supporters in the Malaysia Cup final at the National Stadium on Saturday.
FAM disciplinary committee deputy chairman Datuk Mohd Taufik Abd Razak said Kelantan fans had committed three offences, namely hurling firecrackers and other objects on to and towards the pitch, hitting match officials with objects and damaging stadium properties.
For throwing firecrackers and other objects on to and towards the pitch, Kafa was fined RM5,000, hurling objects which hit match officials (RM20,000) and damaging the seats and the gates of the stadium (RM25,000), he told reporters after chairing the committee's meeting.
Mohd Taufik said the fines imposed were the minimum amount for each offence and Kafa could appeal within 14 days.Kafa was represented by its president, Tan Sri Annuar Musa and Kelantan football management committee chairman Azman Ibrahim.
FAM secretary-general Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad said the FAM had to pay RM138,150 to the National Stadium for the damages.He said the damages included RM2,400 for 16 seats damaged by fire, damage to 205 seats (RM30,750), track damaged by fire (RM60,000) and damage to toilets (RM20,000)."The amount was presented by the stadium management at the disciplinary committee meeting.
Will there be claims for other damages, I will not be able to say," he said.Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek was reported as saying that Kelantan supporters had caused damages to the stadium to the tune of RM214,000.About 85,000 football fans, of which 80 per cent were Kelantan supporters, watched the final where Kelantan went down 1-3 to Negeri Sembilan.-- BERNAMA


FOOTBALL writer Eric Samuel, gives FA of Malaysia an advise on security management read here ,of course none of us condone such shameful act by the Kelantan Fans, if this trend continues, there will come a time, KAFA migh need to find extra cash just to pay the fine that will be imposed by FAM.
FAM displinary board meets today at 3pm at Wisma FAM and I will not be suprised if Kelantan is suspended from the M-League next season based on what happened at the final.


The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has to be held responsible for the damage estimated at RM214,000 caused by Kelantan fans to the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last Saturday as it had rented the premises, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said."Although the FAM promised a percentage from its gate collection, it has to be held responsible for any damage," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

Ahmad Shabery said FAM would be notified of the total damage estimated by the Bukit Jalil Stadium Corporation as well as the cost of repairing the damage caused by disappointed Kelantan supporters after their team lost 1-3 to Negeri Sembilan in the Malaysia Cup final.

Asked about suggestions to limit the number of fanatic supporters and those with bad records from entering the stadium, he said the move would be contrary to the concept held by the sports industry."The development of a sport is linked to spectators, and if we take stern action which makes it difficult for the public to watch, the sport will not do well," he said.

Ahmad Shabery said spectators bought tickets to help boost a team's revenue and the popularity gained could attract good sponsorship from private companies and broadcast rights, as was happening in the West.

Nov 8, 2009


After a long wait, Negeri Sembilan succeeded in lifting the prestigious Malaysia Cup when they beat Kelantan 3-1 in the final at the National Stadium, Bukit Jalil Saturday night.The last time Negeri Sembilan won the cup was 61 years ago when it was then known as the H.M.S. Malaya Cup in 1948.

The 'underdog' status clearly was not reflected in the game put up by the squad led by Wan Jamak Wan Hassan when they opened accounts as early as the 18th minute.Shahurain Abu Samah sent a powerful shot in the penalty box which beat Kelantan goalie, Mohd Halim Napi after an error by defender Mohd Zamri Ramli that sent the approximately 15,000 Negeri Sembilan supporters into frenzy.

Stunned by the goal, Kelantan raised the level of their game in front of at least 70,000 of their supporters by launching several raids that failed to break through the opponents' defence led by Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak and Mohd Syukor Adan.

Negeri Sembilan too had several opportunities to widen their scoreline through Hairuddin Omar, who was on loan from T-Team, who had at least three chances to score but was foiled by Mohd Halim, and the 1-0 score ramained at half-time.In the second half, the 'Red Warriors' substituted two of their strikers, Horhisham Hassan and Mohd Nizad Ayub with Che Hishammuddin Hassan and Mohd Khalis Jamlus, who were more experienced.

However, Negeri Sembilan appeared to be the more fierce side with Hairuddin scoring the second goal in the 46th minute after breaking free from the Kelantan defence.In the 58th minute, Negeri Sembilan confirmed their victory when national striker Mohd Zaquan converted a penalty kick after Shahurain was brought down in the box.

The goal prompted a large section of the Kelantan supporters to leave the stadium with some of them burning flags, banners, chairs and letting off firecrackers.The Red Warriors' lethal striker, Indra Putra Mahayuddin eventually scored for Kelantan in the 93rd minute (extra time) after taking the free kick from outside the penalty box, thus emerging as the top scorer in the Malaysia Cup series with 11 goals.

Commenting on the match, Wan Jamak said the early goal was certainly needed by any team playing in the final and Shahurain succeeded in achieving it."The goal would determine the direction of the team and could immediately change their rhythm of play," he told reporters after the match.

The former national coach said the Negeri Sembilan players had proven that they had the resilience and mental strength to face the thousands of their opponents' supporters."I was certainly confident of victory based on the previous matches played by the team in the Malaysia Cup competition but I did not want to be over-confident," he said, adding that he was proud of the Negeri Sembilan record as the only team who had never lost in the Malaysia Cup matches.

Meanwhile, Kelantan coach B.Sathinathan said the second goal scored by Negeri Sembilan had broken the spirit of his players.Meanwhile, a Kelantan supporter was detained on suspicion of attempting to start a fight after the game.A police spokesman said the incident occurred at about 12.05am at the Bukit Jalil LRT Station.It was learnt that the man, in his 30's, tried to provoke the Negeri Sembilan supporters. The suspect was taken to the police station for further investigation.-- BERNAMA

Nov 6, 2009


SO this is it, the big moment for Kelantan and Negri Sembilan has finally arrived. Kelantan were Malaysia Cup runners- up in 1955 and 1970, while Negri Sembilan won the Cup in 1948 and runners-up in 2000 and 2006.

Indeed, this Malaysia Cup is special for both teams. Read Eric Samuel's preview here.

For me personally, it is a great moment for two former national coaches. I had the privillege to know Wan Jamak who worked with me in the corridors of FAM and Kelantan Coach B.Sathianathan whom I have known for years. Wan Jamak resigned after the 1997 loss to Laos.

These two coaches are unique in their own way, they know each other's strengths and weaknesses very well. I hope it will be an interesting final, a final that will send a message out reinforcing that football in the country is very much alive and 'kicking', and not in the pits.

This inspiring video is dedicated to Wan Jamak and Sathianathan, who went through misery and challenges during their times in FAM. All the criticism that was directed at them, is coming to fruition today.

To the players, this is time and moment to fight for every inch on the field.

JAIHO will be at the Stadium seated among the Kelantanese fans in his Malaysian Jersey.

JAIHO Malaysia!

Nov 5, 2009


MAYBE the Malaysian Football Team can be sponsored by KFC. Why not, after all KFC Holdings is doing well. For a start they can sponsor the Under-23 team, since the team is performing based on friendly matches. Read the story below on how Thailand Football Team is ahead of us not only in terms of ranking but also sponsorship.

Thailand’s top soccer players will feast on free burgers as part of a three-year sponsorship deal with American fast food giant McDonald’s worth almost US$900,000, the country’s soccer president said yesterday.

McDonald’s will provide 25mil baht (US$747,000) for the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) and will offer 5mil baht in products in exchange for shirt sponsorship for the next three years, starting this month.

“This will be a great help towards our efforts to reach the 2014 World Cup Finals,” FAT president Worawi Makudi told Reuters.

“This funding will help develop our game, especially youth football, and all the players, junior and senior, will get to enjoy the food too,” he added.

Thailand’s national team, who are currently 110th in the FIFA rankings, signed a five-year kit sponsorship deal with US sports giant Nike in 2007 for an undisclosed figure.

The team have never qualified for the World Cup Finals and are now being coached by former England and Manchester United captain Bryan Robson

Meanwhile, Sweden, Poland and Denmark will play in next year’s King’s Cup tournament with hosts Thailand, a local newspaper reported yesterday.

The four countries will contest the annual round-robin tournament in the northeastern Thai city of Nakhon Ratchasima from Jan 17-23, the Bangkok Post quoted Worawi as saying. — Reuters


Arsenal moved to the verge of qualifying to the knockout round of the Champions League on Wednesday after beating AZ Alkmaar 4-1 with two goals from captain Cesc Fabregas.

Samir Nasri and Abou Diaby also scored for the Gunners at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal lead Group H with 10 points. Despite the loss, AZ still has a chance to qualify from its last two matches because second-place Olympiakos lost 2-0 to Standard Liege.

The Dutch team has two points, Olympiakos has six and Liege has five.

"It was a brilliant performance because we dominated our subject technically, tactically, and overall we never felt under threat," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "We played with the needed confidence. Overall, I'm very happy."

Fabregas' weak shot in the 25th minute should have been stopped by goalkeeper Sergio Romero but beat him at the near post. Romero seemed surprised by Fabregas' shot and was slow to dive to his right, barely getting his fingertips on the ball. "The first goal our goalkeeper can do something more with that shot," AZ coach Ronald Koeman said. "But he (Fabregas) is a fabulous player."

Fabregas' first goal spurred AZ into action and the Dutch side pressed the ball further up the pitch. Maarten Martens surged forward in the 30th minute with a good run, but his shot was easily caught by Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia - his first save of the night. Two minutes later, midfielder Brett Holman fired a shot from distance but the ball swerved wide.

Arsenal's second goal came just before halftime when Nasri collected a throughball from Andrei Arshavin. The France midfielder shrugged off a defender and curled a low shot past Romero, who again got his fingers to the ball. It was Nasri's second appearance in all competitions this season since returning from a broken leg he sustained in preseason training.

Fabregas scored his second in the 52nd minute after AZ conceded possession and Arshavin's throughball found the Spain international, who curled a shot over Romero. AZ nearly scored five minutes later when Graziano Pelle latched onto a deep cross and his shot from close range struck the crossbar.

A quick counterattack led to Arsenal's fourth goal, after Eduardo da Silva's backheel flick found Arshavin. The Russia international blazed down the right before squaring a pass to Diaby on the left who fired a shot past Romero.

AZ pulled one back in the 82nd minute on a counterattack, with second-half substitute Jeremain Lens firing a low shot past Almunia.

"In the first 25 minutes, I thought the organization of the team was quite good," Koeman said. "But in front of goal we weren't able to do much.

It was the first time that Koeman lost to Arsenal in six matches dating back to 2003. In 2007, Koeman was manager of PSV Eindhoven when it eliminated Arsenal from the first knockout round of the Champions League.

"I don't think we'll qualify for the Champions League, but if we win two more games it's possible - it's not impossible," Koeman said. "It's very clear in the next game against Olympiakos we have to win."

Nov 4, 2009


Kelantan striker Indra Putra Mahayuddin swept the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Best Striker awards at the 100 Plus-FAM National Football Awards.

The international striker who scored 14 goals en route to guiding Kelantan to their first ever Malaysia Cup final in almost 40 years, beat names like Mohd Nizaruddin Yussof from Perlis, Amri Yahyah from Selangor and Mohamad Zaquan Adha Abdul Razak from Negeri Sembilan for the title.

K. Devan who guided Selangor to the Charity Shield, FA Cup and Super League titles in his debut season, walked away with the Best Coach award while Selangor capped a superb season by winning the Best Team award.
Selangor also added another feather to its cap when skipper Amri Yahyah was named Best Midfielder for his sterling performances and goal scoring ability, since he was also Selangor's top scorer with 13 goals.Meanwhile, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) who expect a bumper crowd for the Malaysia Cup between Kelantan and Negeri Sembilan, said they had taken all the necessary steps to ensure safety of the fans as the meeting of the two teams in itself has a history of violence.

When Kelantan and Negeri Sembilan met in a first round FA Cup match at the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium in Kota Baharu back in April, crowd trouble inside the stadium escalated into a riot outside the stadium which forced the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) and police to act.Subsequently, the FAM barred Kelantan from playing their matches at home."We will do everything possible to ensure the safety of the fans. We are working very closely with the police to make sure everything goes on smoothly," said FAM secretary-general Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad.-- BERNAMA


Kelantan has declared Sunday as a state holiday to mark the Team's historic Malaysia Cup appearance in the final on Saturday, Nov 7 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.Deputy Menteri Besar of Kelantan Datuk Ahmad Yakob said Nov 8 (Sunday) was declared a state holiday to celebrate Kelantan's historic appearance in the final of the Malaysia Cup after 39 years.

"It is an incentive for the people of Kelantan to go and support the team in Bukit Jalil. As for the players and officials, the state government will bear the cost of their Umrah package and also provide cash incentives for making it to the final," he told reporters here Wednesday.Kelantan made it to the final after beating Perlis 5-1 on aggregate after a 2-0 home win in Kota Baharu and a 3-1 away win in the second leg at the Utama Stadium in Kangar.

The last time Kelantan qualified for the Malaysia Cup final was in 1970 but lost 0-2 to Perak.This time around, Kelantan will meet a resurgent Negeri Sembilan who demolished Terengganu on a 4-1 aggregate."We hope that with the next day declared a holiday, fans will not rush back home but take their time and drive slowly and carefully home," he said. - BERNAMA

Nov 3, 2009


Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat has promised the state's football team a "most special" reward never before given by any state if they win the Malaysia Cup for the first time ever in the final against Negeri Sembilan on Saturday.

State Executive Councillor and Kelantan Stadium Corporation chairman Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan would announce the reward tomorrow after the state executive council meeting at Kota Darulnaim, he told Bernama last night

when contacted in Kuala Lumpur where he had attended the meeting of the Conference of Rulers.Kelantan or "The Red Warriors" have yet to win the Malaysia Cup since the inception of the competition in 1921. They made it to the Malaysia Cup final in 1970 but lost 0-2 to Perak.Negeri Sembilan last won the cup in 1948.

The final will be played at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.-- BERNAMA

Nov 2, 2009


Six teams, including Kelantan and Perak, have been disqualified from the Malaysian Leagues 2010 as they had infringed on the conditions set by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).On the other hand, UPB-MyTeam and Proton FC have pulled out from the from the Super League and the Premier League respectively, said FAM vice-president Datuk Che Mat Jusoh.He said the other four teams disqualified were Penang (Super League), Pahang (Premier League), Melaka (Premier League) and Shahzan Muda (Premier League).

He said among the conditions infringed by the teams were failure to settle outstanding salaries of the players and remit their Employees Provident Fund subscriptions until the deadline on Saturday."So we have decided that they are not qualified to take part in the leagues next season," he told reporters after chairing the FAM Local Competition Committee meeting at Stadium Nasional, Bukit Jalil here Monday.

Che Mat, however, said the fate of the six teams would rest with the FAM Council meeting to be chaired by FAM president Sultan Ahmad Shah soon."The competition committee's decision, which was based on the stipulated rules, would be submitted to the FAM Council," he said.If the council endorse the decision, the Super League will be left with 11 teams next season from 14 teams this season while 10 teams will compete in the Premier League compared to 14 now."If the Super League is down to 11 teams, FAM will invite another team from the Premier League to join the Super League to bring the number of teams to 12."

We have also accepted requests from UPB-MyTeam and Proton FC to withdraw from the Super League and the Premier League respectively," he said, adding actions on the two teams would be decided later.On the 100PLUS-FAM National Football Awards 2009 on Wednesday, he said Selangor was adjudged the best managed club, Johor FC (the best club) and KL Plus (of having the best fan club).

On the Malaysia Cup final between Kelantan and on Saturday, Che Mat said tickets were priced at RM20 for adults and RM5 for children below 12."We have printed 85,000 tickets, of which 30,000 were booked by Kelantan and 20,000 more by Negeri Sembilan."The remaining 35,000 tickets will be on sale at Stadium Nasional, Bukit Jalil from 11 to 10pm on Friday and from 10am on Saturday," he said,

The following teams qualified for Super League 2010: Selangor, Perlis, Kedah, Johor FC, Terengganu, KL Plus, Harimau Muda A, Negeri Sembilan, KM Naza, Johor and T-Team.The Premier League 2010 will be made up of PDRM, Kuala Lumpur, ATM, PKNS Selangor, Sabah, KL Felda United, KL Pos, Perlis KSK Tambun Tulang, Harimau Muda B and Sarawak.-- BERNAMA

Oct 29, 2009


Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat has promised to reward the Kelantan football team if they win the Malaysia Cup final.

He told reporters at a Aidilfitri celebration at Kota Darulnaim here that the state government had contributed RM5,000 to the team for making to the semi-final.

The cheque was handed over to the Kelantan Football Association (Kafa) president Tan Sri Annuar Musa last night.Last night, the Kelantan team, The Red Warriors, defeated Perlis 2-0 in the first leg of the Malaysia Cup semi-final.

Nik Abdul Aziz said the government would also built a stadium on a 10 hectare site in Tunjung.

On the action of Kelantan supporters throwing fire-crackers and flying flags of a political party during matches, he said it did not reflect a true sporting spirit and could endanger other people's lives.


CITIZEN Nades writes about the multi million dollar tennis events that is held in the country, read here, early this month I wrote about the abuse of tax payers money read here, but then again no one is listening, no one bothers about it, who cares ?


The loss of inspirational striker Indera Putera Mahayuddin has left Kelantan coach B.Sathianathan a worried man as he plans for the Malaysia Cup semi-final second leg against Perlis."

Indera Putra was shown the second yellow card last night, meaning he will not be allowed to play in the next game."I am not sure whether the rules say two or three yellow cards. I will have to check the Malaysia Cup rules," he told reporters here Tuesday night.

Kelantan beat Perlis 2-0 in the Malaysia Cup semi-final first leg at Sultan Muhammed IV Stadium here last night.Sathianathan said he was still dissatisfied with the 'Red Warriors' performance and described it as a lucky win."Perlis controlled most of the game in the first half but we were lucky to scroe two goals," he said.

The coach expected Perlis to be better prepared in the second leg as the game would be played at their home turf.Meanwhile, Perlis coach Irfan Bakti said he would plan a more effective strategy to ensure a win for the 'Northern Lions'.He said as the second placed team in the Malaysia Cup, Perlis players should not have panicked last night."The strong support shown by Kelantan fans made me feel like I was in England. It put pressure on my players," he said.(Bernama)

Oct 25, 2009


Perlis, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu advanced to the Malaysia Cup semi-finals after beating their respective opponents in their second leg quarter-final matches Saturday night.

In KANGAR, Perlis beat Johor FC on a 4-1 aggregate at the Stadium Utama tonight.In the match tonight, Perlis beat the visitors 2-0, with the goals coming from Amar Rohidan with a header in the eighth minute and Nizaruddin Yusof provided the second goal in the 48th minute.The match was marred by a fight in the field between two Johor players and a Perlis player in the 59th minute.

Mohd Saiful Sabtu and Sivakumar Munusamy of Johor and Perlis's Azi Shahril Azmi were sent off the pitch by referee R.Krishnan.

In ALOR SETAR, visitors Negeri Sembilan trounced Kuala Muda 3-0 at the Stadium Darul Aman to qualify for the semi-final.The goals were contributed by Mohd Shukor Adan (12th minute), Mohd Zakuan Adha (28th minute penalty) and Shahurain Abu Samah (36th minute).

At the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium in Kota Baharu, Kelantan thrashed KL Plus 3-0 in front of their 20,000 die-hard supporters.The 'Red Warriors' three goals were scored by Indra Putra Mahyuddin (13th) and two goals by Mohd Norfarhan Mohamad (75th and 78th).With the home win, Kelantan advanced to the semi final with a 4-1 aggregate after a 1-1 draw in their first-leg match.Meanwhile, Terengganu edged Selangor 5-4 in a penalty shootout after they were tied on a 2-2 aggregate in their second leg quarter-final match.

Terengganu's Abdul Manaf Mamat opened scoring in the 12th minute but in the 62nd minute, Selangor drew level through defender D.Surendran.The 1-1 draw (2-2 aggregate) remained till the end of regular time and the 30-minute extra time which forced the match into a penalty shootout.Terengganu won the penalty shootout 5-4.-- BERNAMA

Oct 22, 2009


I am saddened and shocked by the passing of my friend Ms. Joanne Ong, whom I refer to as "Puan Sri" since 1996. She passed away an hour ago at the Subang Jaya Medical Center after battling with leukemia for close to three months.

The late Joanne, who was my colleague in FAM, was then employed by TicketAccess and in 2006 launched her very own ticketing company called J&A Events and managed TicketPro Malaysia office. From providing tickets for Malaysian Open, she managed the Penang Jazz Festival and the latest Manchester United Tour to Malaysia.

After the United tour to Malaysia, Joanne was admitted to SJMC and diagnosed with leukemia. She was started on chemotherapy drugs. Two weeks ago, the doctors tried getting a match to do a bone-marrow transplant but failed.

I saw her when she was admitted and was planning another visit this Saturday, but God had a better plan and place for her.

It is truly sad, and as my good friend San Boon Wah rightly put it, it is great loss to all of us. May her soul rest in peace.

More updates later.

Oct 20, 2009


FORMER Kedah coach Azraai Khor who was once a leading candidate as national coach received the offer letter as Under-21 head coach yesterday. Azraai will begin the new journey in FAM on November 1,2009.

The Under-21 side is expected to be fielded in the Premier League next season, but will this successful coach in the local scene have the support of the fellow coaches. Life can be different for coaches who work with the national association, many go with the hope that changes can be done and much later they realise it is not the same. They realise that it is not easy to work in a national association.

Coaches put a plan and financial budget and then they are told they don't have the money, of course if you are a coach, and if you say "mana beli kasut itu cantik, your tie is beautiful and your looking sharp in that armani suit," then your financial needs are approved and maybe your life will be easier.

But if you go against the powers of the corridors, then Azraai you are looking at a short lived tenure in FAM. I will not be suprise coach, if next November you tell me "I had enough, its time to move"

For now enjoy the moment, the best Char Keuy Teow and Banana Leaf in Kelana Jaya awaits you. If you need some advise and help, the General Secretary is the man to see. Remember he only carries out instructions given by the council and exco.,

All the best coach.

Oct 15, 2009


JAIHO wishes all it's readers and friends a blessed and holy deepavali. May god bless you and your beloved family.


KEDAH coach Azraai Khor submitted his letter of resignation as team coach, to Dr Hamdan a couple of minutes ago. Azraai is one of the most succesful coaches in the local scene, guided Kedah to a back to back double treable, could not accept the way the team has been treated.

Two weeks ago thousands of Kedah fans were not allowed into the stadium and only 2000 tickets were printed. The way things has been happening in KAFA as though they demanded Azraai to resign.

JAIHO salutes Azraai's values and pricipals, it's time to move on. The grapevine has it that Azraai could be taking the national Under-21 team that is to be featured in the MSL next year. Let's wait and see .


IS Malaysian Super League (MSL) in a crisis that is beyond any help? It is learnt from the corridors of power within FAM that Sarawak, Malacca, Penang, UPB My Team,Police and Armed Forces apparently have decided to withdraw for the league next year and it has all to do with financial constraits.

"Many teams have not deposited the money, which only means that they dont have the money. It is a tough situation, we just have to wait and see the outcome" said an FAM official.

Six states owned almost RM 1 million just on salaries both to players and coaches, that excludes all payments to the stadium and cost of managing the team.

This is in addition to the whopping RM6,291,481 owed by State FAs to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). Malacca top the list of errant employers, owing players and coaches RM286,378.99.

Perak are second with RM272,000, followed by Penang (RM46,216.25), Kelantan (RM63,400) and Sarawak (RM48,500). Negri Sembilan, meanwhile, have yet to settle their dues to former Slovakian import Marian Juhas totalling US$60,500 (RM214,321).

Juhas played for Slovakian Super League club FC Kosice and Perak before plying his trade with the Deers last season.

Perak, Penang and Kelantan played in the Super League this season while Malacca and Sarawak are in the Premier League. Perak still owe skipper S. Subramaniam two months wages totalling RM12,000.

The Kinta Valley side are also struggling to pay their former players, including Hardi Jaafar (RM28,000). Hardi now plays for Super League champions Selangor. All teams must clear all outstanding payments (wages and EPF), place a deposit of RM150,000 and at least RM2.5 million in their accounts.

"It is not easy for teams to come out with that amount of money, but we have no choice to implement these conditions. Otherwise football will always be in trouble and we will end up saving the state teams."added the high ranking official.

All registration is expected to be submitted to the competitions committee who will then make the necessary recommendations to the council.

Oct 14, 2009


WINDSOR JOHN Paul leaves for Nigeria tonight as the FIFA General Co-ordinator for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. It is not suprising that FIFA has appointed Windsor to be based in Abuja, which will host the finals as well.

Nigeria's capital, Abuja enjoys a rare blend of natural and modern monuments uncommon in the continent's sub region. Rich in tourism and infrastructure, Abuja has become a safe haven for foreign tourists and expatriates.

Abuja replaced Lagos as Nigeria's federal capital on 12 December 1991 and is a uniquely planned city. The 2006 census put the population of the territory at 778,567. Abuja's geography is defined by Aso Rock, with the Presidential complex, National Assembly, Supreme Court and much of the town extending to south of the monolith. ‘ASO' means ‘victorious', just as ‘Asokoro' means ‘victorious people'.

In addition to being a major governmental centre, Abuja is the headquarters of the Economic Community of West Africa States, ECOWAS; it also house the regional headquarters of OPEC. As a result, Abuja and the surrounding area have experienced a huge population growth.

The national Mosque and national Christian centre are located opposite each other on either side of independence Avenue.

Abuja will host Group A matches which will see Nigeria, Germany, Honduras, Argentina vying for two spots while Group B match between Switzerland and Brazil will also be held there.

Windsor who resigned as the FIFA Development Officer last month is expected to be the man in charge at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Malaysia at this point in time, with the current system will not be able to be there, but at least a Kedah born, from a simple community is keeping the Malaysian flag flying in Abuja.

The other Malaysian that will be involved in Nigeria, is our reknown referree Sukhddin Salleh, who represents the Asian Zone. Sukhddin who is among the FIFA elite referees might see action in South Africa.

click here to read more on the FIFA U17 World Cup.

Oct 13, 2009


The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) are expected to send a contingent comprising 370 athletes and 120 officials for the Laos SEA Games, held from Dec 9-18.

OCM Honorary secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said the list by numbers had already been sent to the Laos SEA Games Technical committee recently while the final name list would be send on Oct 26.

"The smaller number of athletes is due to Malaysia athletes competing in only 21 of the 25 sports contested," Kok Chi told Bernama here on Tuesday.

Malaysian athletes would feature in swimming, diving, archery, athletics, badminton, snooker & billiard, boxing, cycling, football, golf, judo, karate, silat, petanque, sepaktakraw, shooting, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting and wushu.

Malaysia are not sending athletes for soft tennis, wrestling, muay thai and shuttlecock juggling.

For the record, Malaysia sent 734 athletes to the 2007 Korat SEA Games in Thailand, 403 to the 2005 Manila Games in the Philippines, 349 to Vietnam (2003), and fielded 569 athletes when Kuala Lumpur hosted the games in 2001.

Kok Chi said the final list of athletes would be known after a Chef-de-Mission meeting in Vientiane on Oct 26 for all participating countries, including Timor Leste.

Meanwhile, the Laos SEA Games website today said more than 4,200 athletes from 10 Asean countries are expected to participate in the games that offers 398 gold medals in 25 sports.

SEA Games Technical committee vice chairman, Kasem Inthara said Laos as the host, would be fielding the biggest contingent, comprising 661 athletes, followed by Thailand (637) and Vietnam (600).

"The final number of athletes from each nation will be announced on Oct 26," said Inthara who confirmed that except for Timor Leste, the rest - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos had already submitted the list of athletes, by numbers.

He said although the countries had sent the numbers to the committee, the confirmed final number and their names would only be known at the end of the month.



The Ministry of Youth and Sports has proposed to set up a council to resolve the Malaysian Professional Golfers' Association (MPGA) issue.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the formation of the council was aimed at helping local professional golfers who are members of MPGA which was suspended by Sports Commissioner Datuk Nik Mahmud Nik Yusof last year and placed under an Ad-hoc Committee headed by Datuk Thomas Lee.

"The job of the council will be specifically to organise tournaments for the professionals. As for the status of the association, it is still beleaguered with problems under the law.

"We will leave it to the ad-hoc committee to find a solution. But setting up the council is important because we cannot wait for the court cases to be over," he told reporters after opening a forum "The Way Forward" with professional golfers and those involved in the golf profession, at the International Youth Centre in Cheras here on Tuesday.

He added that forming a new association for professional golfers would take a long time.

"I seek a little understanding and confidence from the players and allow the ministry to carry out its responsibility. The ministry will manage the council for an interim period before a proper association can handle its matters," said Ahmad Shabery.

He added that the setting up of the council must however, get the blessing of the professional players and the ad-hoc committee.

According to Ahmad Shabery, who himself is an avid golfer, the council would be represented by three professional players, three vocational pros, golf club owner (1), golf industry (1), media (1), government (2) and corporate (2).

"The ministry will allocate RM500,000 for the council to start operations and it will be my 'baby'. I do not know the history of MPGA and I do not want any cronies to be involved.

"We also need to set up an academy to determine the professional status of a golfer. We will engage the services of an experienced man to handle it. I have also asked RM1 million allocation for the academy," he said.

Ahmad Shabery said his has set a December dateline for the council to draft a programme and calendar of activities.

"If possible, we want to organise at least two tournaments a month, offering RM300,000 as prize money. We do not want to organise tournaments that offer RM30,000 or RM50, will be embarrassing," he said.

Meanwhile Thomas Lee said a meeting would be held soon with the players.

The council which was proposed by the minister would be the route map for us to enhance our professionalism in the golf industry. With the minister's announcement, the hard work begins now. We will meet again next week to discuss the details," he said - Bernama

Oct 12, 2009


The decision of the Sarawak Football Association (FA) to withdraw from the national football arena for three years beginning next season is the best move to prevent the association from incurring more debt which now stands at RM3 million since 1995.

Sarawak FA secretary Mohd Abu Bakar Marzuki said although some people described the decision as bringing down the integrity of Sarawak football and giving a bleak future for the sport in the state, it was an appropriate decision before things became worse for the association.

"The Sarawak team is like a leaking ship, and we have to drop anchor to repair the leak because we know that we will sink if we go on," he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama, here.

He said the Sarawak FA would hold a meeting with the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) on Monday to inform the parent body about Sarawak's withdrawal in the league organised by the FAM next season.

Abu Bakar said the Sarawak FA had its own plans with the focus on the club championship at the division level as well as the Sarawak Cup.

The Sarawak FA, with the cooperation of the State Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation, has a five-year development plan for football and the focus is on the development at the school level up to the 18-year-old youths.

"The perception that we will hang our boots when we withdraw is not correct because we will continue to concentrate on the development of football at the division and local club levels," he said.

In addition, Abu Bakar said the development of the Sarawak team would also go on and the Sarawak FA had already received support from football clubs in West Australia which were willing to give a chance to local players to train there.

He said Sarawak also planned to take part in friendly matches if there were offers from clubs in the peninsula or Singapore.

However, he said the Sarawak FA was prepared to shorten the withdrawal from FAM tournaments if there were sponsors who were willing to help the FA in settling its debts.


A total of 6 matches were played in week 2 of the Selangor Hockey ending Sunday. In the midweek Division 2 game between Selangor Polis Veteran & JUPEM, it was a closely fought battle with JUPEM edging out as 3-2 victors.

On Saturday Division 1 matches, JLJ, after their opening game hiccup, got back on the winning side trashing Selangor Sikh Association 9-0. Mohd Hanip proved to be lethal both in Penalty corner conversions as he got his hat-trick thru them, and as he raised his tally to four goals through a field goal in the 55th minute. Other scorers were Mohd Szuhairi 33rd & 37th minute Mohd Rahmie 37th, Farish 53rd & Nor Fadzeu adding the 9th goal on 70th minute.

OLAK got on to a winning streak as they came from behind to snatch a victory in a closely fought match against MBPJ. OLAK being 2 goals down at one point came back to win 3-2 and collect all 3 points. MBPJ started off strongly taking control of the match and deservedly went ahead on the 7th with a well taken field goal by Abdul Jalil.

Umpire Selvakumar and veteran Umpire K.Thillynathan, kept a tight control of the match, had flashed a total of 7 cards (4 Green & 3 yellow) in this fast paced, exciting tactical match that had the crowd on the edge of their seats.

Leading at half time MBPJ doubled their lead as Abdul Jalil once again converted a field goal to give MBPJ a 2-0 lead on the 42nd minute. OLAK battled back as Pragesh Ramachandran slammed in a well executed flowing move on the 49th minute. Both teams continued to attack each other’s goal mouth and on the 52nd minute Umpire Selvakumar awarded a penalty stroke to OLAK after a deliberate infringement by the MBPJ keeper Mohd Razali. Nur Hrsikesa was up to the task as he coolly converted the stroke to equalise the game. MBPJ paid the price when on the 62nd minute they were dealt a double blow. MBPJ keeper Mohd Razali limped out of the match injured and his replacement Abdul Rahman, had no chance to save the winning goal in the next attack by OLAK as Mohd Noor Khairul slammed in the winner from an acute angle to collect all 3 points for OLAK in the 62nd minute.

In another Division 1 tie on Saturday, RAMD showed no mercy as they whipped Selangor Polis 14-0.

On Sunday, the Division 2 matches turned out to be an exciting affair. The matches, which were played in Pandamaran Stadium, RAMD Juniors carried on their winning streak beating JUPEM 11-0, Synergy having lost their opening match beat Projek 11-B 3-1 and SIA edged out IIUM Mustang 1-0 in a fast paced match - PRESS RELEASE