Apr 29, 2010


Four former footballers yesterday threw their support behind a proposal to legalise sports betting ahead of the World Cup finals in South Africa.

They said legalising sports wagers would reduce illegal betting and match-fixing, but some said it could encourage people to go into debt.

Last month, the New Straits Times said sports betting may be legalised in time for the World Cup, which is being held from June 11 t o July 11.

Berjaya Group was seeking government approval to operate sports betting activities.

Datuk Soh Chin Aun, 60, a captain of the national team in the 1980s, said people would probably resort to illegal gambling if there was no legal option.

"I don't see any harm in it. If you don't legalise it, people would participate in illegal gambling. It should be legalised."

Maxis, Malaysia's top mobile operator, which has the exclusive right to deliver live coverage of all 64 World Cup matches to customers, said it would transmit the matches to its mobile users as well as on its satellite-TV service.

Corruption has long blighted football in Asia, particularly in Malaysia, Vietnam and China.

Asian Football Confederation chief Mohamed Hammam has described match-fixing as a "cancer" that was destroying the game in Asia.

Former national defender Santokh Singh, 58, said: "I think it is better for us to legalise betting. There will be no corruption and no match-fixing."

Former striker James Wong, 56, welcomed sports betting but cautioned it could cause "some harm" to society.

"Some people may take loans to gamble. Legalising betting may encourage people to bet.

"But it could help fight match-fixing, the biggest evil in football today."

Hassan Sani, 52, another ex-player, said: "The authorities should legalise betting. It will stop illegal betting."

Berjaya Group made a similar proposal a few years ago but then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi shot down the request.

A senior Malaysian sports official said last month that the government could channel the revenue from legalised betting to promoting sport. -- AFP

Apr 28, 2010


Cyclist Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and squash queen Datuk Nicol Ann David were named the 2009 National Sportsman and Sportswoman respectively.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin presented the main awards and a RM10,000 incentive each to the two winners at the 2009 National Sports Awards here Tuesday night.Nicol, who won the award for the seventh time, was not present as she is still training in Amsterdam.

The award is the first for Azizulhasni, 22, the track cyclist based in Melbourne, Australia, who ranked first in last season's World Cup Series and also ranked first in the Keirin until March last year.The Terengganu-born cyclist, who is coached by John Beasley of Australia, showed consistent performance last year by winning the silver in the Keirin event at the World Championship in Poland in March before winning the gold in the same event at the World Championship in Beijing in April.

The national football team, who ended a 20-year gold medal drought in football in the SEA Games in Laos in December, was named the National Men's Team.

List of award winners at the National Sports Award 2009:

National Sportsman: Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (Cycling)
National Sportswoman: Datuk Nicol Ann David (Squash)
National Men's Team: SEA Games Football Team (Ahmad Fakri Shaarani, Amar Rohidan, Mazlizam Mohamad, Mohd Farizal Marlias, Mohd Baddrol Bakhtiar, Mohd Sabre Mat Abu, Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal, Mohd Asrarruddin Putra, Mohd Nasriq Baharom, S.Kunalan, Mohamad Aidil Zafuan Abd Razak, Mohamad Zakuan Adha Abd Razak, Abdul Manaf Mamat, Mohd Sharbinee Allawee Ramli, K.Gurusamy, Mahalli Jasuli, Mohamad Muslim Ahmad, Mohamad Azmi Muslim Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and Safiq Rahim).
National Women's Team: Leong Mun Yee, Pandelela Rinong (Diving)National Paralympic Sportsman: Mohamad Salam Sidik (Archery)National Paralympic Sportswoman: Norhayati Sarnoh (Lawn Bowl)
National Men's Coach: K.Rajagobal (Football), Yoong Thong Foong (Wushu)
National Women's Coach: No winner
National Leadership Award: The late Edmund Yong (Golf)
Sports Figure: No winner
Special Award: Dr T. Ponniyah (Karate)

Apr 24, 2010


(National Coach K.Rajagopal, FAM General Secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad with Nike Country Marketing Manager Ms Menaha Nadaraja at the Media Announcement held at Wisma FAM)

NIKE Malaysia and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) are proud to announce this year’s edition of the Manchester United Premier Cup Tournament set to take place around the country.

The tournament supported by the Ministry of Education will see the winner of the Finals in Kuala Lumpur competing in the Regional Finals against teams from around the region including Indonesia and Thailand.

As part of its commitment to grassroots football, NIKE Malaysia’s partnership with the FAM aims to provide youth with the opportunity to play football under a competitive environment against the top Under-15 teams from around the country as well as the chance to compete on the international stage.

It is clear to NIKE Malaysia and the FAM that young aspiring footballers would stand to gain by utilizing the development step of participating in real match scenarios which will provide the impetus and inspiration to hone skills as well as to nurture a temperament and an ability to cope with the pressures of a big game. The program is a key part of NIKE’s commitment to providing the ultimate football experience for youths.

“NIKE and the FAM see this tournament as an invaluable means in enhancing Malaysia’s development on the football scene. It is an important step in the right direction as participation increases each year and youngsters are aware of the tournament as the perfect opportunity for them to showcase their abilities and subsequently build upon their dreams of becoming one of the elite players in global football” stated Country Marketing Manager of NIKE Malaysia, Menaha Nadaraja.

The Manchester United Premier Cup Tournament is the largest international youth football tournament in the world. Global superstars that have participated in the tournament and subsequently been spotted by international talent scouts include; Fernando Torres, Carlos Tevez, Robinho and Fransesc Fabregas.

On the local scene, Malaysian National Team members; Aidil and Zaquan Abdul Razak as well as Khairil Muhymeen are proud alumnus members of the tournament. It is the hope of NIKE that this tournament will serve as a viable ground for the discovery of local talent that can be further developed and be fully capable of competing on a high level on the international scene.

This year’s tournament will be making its rounds to Penang, Kuantan, Johor, Kuala Lumpur before culminating in the capital once more for the finals on the 22nd of May. The winners of the Malaysian edition of the tournament will represent the nation at the regional finals in Si Racha Thailand from the 14th to the 17th of June.

The winners would then be given the ultimate honour of playing in the World Finals in Manchester .

Apr 22, 2010


TODAY the former FAM General Secretary and Kuala Lumpur Chief of Police Dato Dell Akhbar Khan celebrates his 62nd birthday. I worked with Dell when he was the team manager of the national team. Yesterday blogger Satwant Singh and Myself had breakfast with the former international. We spoke about sports in general and of course we spoke about football in the country.

On Saturday Chief of Staff at ASTRO Arena Khawari Isa celebrates his birthday as well.

JAIHO wishes both this people a wonderful celebration and God Bless You Always

Apr 20, 2010


MSSK KEDAH and SMK Pulau Nyior were the first two teams to clinch a berth in the NIKE-FAM-Ministry of Education Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC) National Finals in Kuala Lumpur on May 15.In the first leg competition in Penang last Sunday, MSSK Kedah defeated SMK Pulau Nyior 4-3 on penalty kicks after a goalless game.">

The MUPC Cup inaugurated in 1993, has a total of 128 teams taking part this year.The top two teams from the four legs qualify for the final round.The winner of the National final will represent Malaysia in the regional finals to be held in Sri Racha Thailand from June 14. “I am very happy to be given a chance to play in this tournament and am proud that MSSK Kedah are the champions. We hope we can do well in the National Finals in Kuala Lumpur”, said Muhamad Syafiq Ahmad who won the top scorer award with 7 goals. (With legend Dato M Chandran)

The Manchester United Premier Cup Tournament is the biggest international youth football tournament in the world. Global superstars who have participated in the tournament and were spotted by international talent scouts include Fernando Torres, Carlos Tevez, Robinho and Fransesc Fabregas.On the local scene, the Malaysian National Team members Aidil and Zaquan Abdul Razak as well as Khairil Muhymeen are proud products of this event."

It is the hope of NIKE that this tournament will serve as a viable ground for the discovery of local talent that can be further developed for competing in the international scene."Another 32 teams will be competing in Kuantan on April 24 and 25 followed by Johor on 1- 2 May, Kuala Lumpur 8-9 May to qualify for the National Finals in Kuala Lumpur."NIKE and the FAM see this tournament as an invaluable stage in Malaysia’s football development.

It is an important step in the right direction as participation has seen an increase each year and the youngsters look to it as a perfect opportunity to showcase their ability and to dream to be an elite global footballer” said Menaha Nadaraja, Country Marketing Manager of NIKE Malaysia.

Apr 18, 2010


CAN Malaysia win the Thomas Cup? with all the happenings in BAM nowI don't think Malaysia is ready and prepared to win the Thomas Cup.

After spending so much of money it is interesting to know that there are many issues in BAM that are not resolved such as salary and allowances.

Khawari has given some insights on BAM read here .

This issue must be resolved as soon as possible, otherwise a failure in Thomas Cup may see many heads being chopped.

Apr 13, 2010


WHAT'S happening with BAM ? The story below states that BAM President Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh has sacked Ganga Rao. But why now, why one month before the Thomas and Uber Cup which will be held in Kuala Lumpur. It is learnt that BAM is yet to settle many matters related to the Thomas and Uber Cup. Do we need this now, personally I think someone has pushed Nadzmi to do this. Is there an agenda behind the sacking of Ganga ?

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) on Monday sacked its honorary secretary-general, P. Ganga Rao.

BAM president Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said the dismissal would take effect immediately and that Ganga Rao would no longer involve with the BAM.

"I would like to assure that the decision will not affect the preparations for the Thomas Cup in May," he said in a statement.

Nadzmi gave no reason for the termination but earlier newsreports indicated that the association was disappointed with Ganga Rao's decision pertaining to a sponsorship deal which the association claimed to be beyond his scope of duties.

Meanwhile, Ganga Rao said he was not surprised by the decision taken by the country's badminton governing body.

Ganga Rao, when contacted from Singapore, said the BAM had yet to inform him about his sacking.

"I've had enough. I don't want to think about it anymore," he said.

Ganga Rao said he might take action against those responsible for his sacking but would only do so after the Thomas Cup on May 9-16 as he did not want to jeopardise the national squad's preparations.

Apr 12, 2010


A cross-causeway tournament involving S-League clubs and Malaysian sides, rekindling some of the old Malaysia Cup fever, will go ahead this June, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) confirmed yesterday.

"The FAS and Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have met and, in my view, it appears to be a meeting of two like minds," FAS president Zainudin Nordin, who is also the mayor of central district Singapore, told MediaCorp.

"We will do it for the first time this year, and well see what the constraints are for the subsequent years. But one thing is clear: This is not a one-off event. We want to make this happen on a regular basis."

FAM secretary-general Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad expressed Malaysia's keen interest in the tourney.

"It has been quite a while since Singapore football has been absent from Malaysia, and clubs here are very keen on this competition," the former Malaysia international told MediaCorp from Kuala Lumpur.

"We are hoping it'll be a big thing. We're working out the details and moving into the next phase of looking for sponsors for the event."

The tentatively-named FAS-FAM series is scheduled to take place between June and July when domestic leagues take a break for the World Cup in South Africa.

Datuk Azzudin revealed that the tourney is likely to feature both leagues top two sides in 2009, along with the winners of each country's domestic cup competitions joining the fray.

Singapore's representatives are likely to be S-League sides SAFFC, Tampines Rovers and RHB Cup winners Geylang United, and they will face Malaysia's Selangor, Perlis and Negri Sembilan.

And it will not be just the club sides that face off on the pitch.

"In the past few years, relationship between the two countries has improved tremendously, and we would like to further this by having more interaction at all levels in the sporting arena," said Zainudin.

"I am proposing that when the senior sides play a friendly, every level below them from the under-23s down through the ranks plays as well."

While the dates have yet to be finalised, the competition is likely to take place between June 22 and July 11 and, according to Datuk Azzuddin, fans either side of the Causeway will get a taste of the action.

"Fans in Singapore will get the opportunity to see the teams play, and fans here will also get a taste of the action," he said.

Apr 5, 2010


UNIVERSAL Fitness & Leisure (UFL) Managing Director Datuk Radha Krishnan has been appointed as a Board of Director for Olympic Council of Malaysia Sports Academy.
Radha is not new to the sports industry having started UFL from scratch he is known in the country for developing brands such as Power Bar and Coleman.
An entrepreneur who started his business from a car booth, today Radha is managing close to 10 showroom and UFL is still growing strong with close to 200 staff strength around the country.
A market leader in Sports Fitness and Products indeed OCM has got the right man to take the academy to a higher level.
Congratulations Datuk !


NSC has been under the microscope since the issues was highlighted by Malay Mail reporter and Astro Arena Panelist Haresh Deol. May be this is a good discussion material for the Cafe Sukan program on Astro Arena. Read Here

National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong and NSC management division director Abdul Rashid Yaakub have been let off the hook after the Sports Ministry decided that the acquisition of two premier chalets by the council in 2004 was not their fault.

The two units of Legend Water Chalets in Port Dickson, which cost RM850,000, were purchased during Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad’s tenure as NSC director-general.

Apparently, Mazlan had "verbally" instructed Rashid and Zolkples to buy the units after responding to an advertisement in a newspaper.

Both Zolkples and Rashid were issued warning letters in which they were to appeal within 14 days. Rashid responded earlier while the ministry received Zolkples’s letter days later.

After scrutinising their appeals and discussing the matter with the appeals committee, Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek decided not to take any action against the duo.

This was revealed during a separate meeting after the NSC management board met at Casa 1 in Bukit Jalil last week.

"A decision was made to issue a warning to both Zolkples and Rashid but after gathering the facts, we decided not to pursue the matter," said Shabery.

"The only issue here is the method it was purchased. Both Zolkples and Rashid were merely following orders and there was no loss of money. There were no irregularities in the transaction. They will be handed a caution letter (surat ingatan secara pentadbiran) instead."

The Paper That Cares, in its report headlined "NSC in the soup — again!" on Feb 4, revealed that the council earned a ticking-off from the Auditor-General for the purchase of the chalets — resembling more of a honeymoon suite — which contradicted the Government Contracts Act 1949 (revised 1979) and NSC Act 1971.

It is learnt that the maintenance for the chalets is about RM5,000 a year. Both chalets have not been used since their completion in 2006.

When asked if action would be taken against Mazlan, Shabery added: "We haven’t come to that stage yet." It is believed that action, if any, against Mazlan could be discussed in the next board meeting, the date for which has not been fixed.

Shabery admitted that the ministry may approve the purchase as the value of the property had increased.

"You can give me a bungalow in Pulau Tioman for RM2 and I might not even want it as we have to look at the maintenance costs and other factors involved," he said.

"We will take all factors into consideration (in approving the purchases) but I’ve said this before, buying properties is not the core business of NSC."


INTERESTING to read Harian Metro's story here about the accusations hurled at each other. Karim says Zol his is best friend, but putting that a side, is there any truth to this matter or is it just another story that was blown out of context.

ISU pergeseran Ketua Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN), Datuk Zolkples Embong (gambar), dengan Timbalan Presiden Kesatuan Olahraga Amatur Malaysia (KOAM), Karim Ibrahim, semakin parah.

Ini berikutan pegawai induk olahraga tanah air itu mendakwa Majlis Sukan Negara tidak telus dalam melaksanakan projek penurapan semula balapan latihan di Bukit Jalil kerana kerja berkenaan tidak mengikut prosedur sepatutnya.

Karim berkata kerja projek bernilai RM2.3 juta itu dilaksanakan tanpa mengambil kira pandangan Jawatankuasa Teknikal KOAM terlebih dahulu.

“Projek penurapan balapan olahraga di Bukit Jalil itu dibuat tanpa pengetahuan kami, ia tidak mengikut prosedur apabila MSN tidak merujuk kepada S Chinathamby (Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Teknikal KOAM) dan S Vegiyathuman. Projek itu dibuat secara senyap-senyap, tapi kenapa selepas siap baru nak panggil pegawai KOAM? Tiada tender terbuka, mungkin ada unsur-unsur penyelewengan.

“Kenapa isu trek ini ditimbulkan oleh Datuk Zolkples sedangkan mereka mendakwa trek itu sudah mendapat kelulusan daripada IAAF (Persekutuan Olahraga Amatur Antarabangsa)? Kenapa selepas empat bulan projek dilaksanakan, empat sejam sebelum serah semula trek itu baru nak panggil pegawai KOAM? Sepatutnya satu demi satu fasa projek itu siap ia perlu dimaklumkan kepada jawatankuasa teknikal,” katanya.

Selain itu, Karim memberitahu bahawa Zolkples melakukan pembohongan sebelum ini apabila mendakwa beliau menjadi dalang menghalang ketua jurulatih kebangsaan Harun Rasheed serta beberapa pegawai KOAM daripada menghadiri sesi pemeriksaan trek bersama kontraktor Khamis lalu.

“Saya tidak puas hati dengan tuduhan Datuk Zolkples itu, saya tidak pernah hantar SMS (sistem pesanan ringkas) menghalang pegawai saya dan Harun supaya jangan pergi, ia satu pembohongan. Saya tidak tahu kedudukan Harun dalam hal ini, kenapa dia kena pergi kerana tugas pemeriksaan ini sepatutnya dilakukan kepada pegawai teknikal KOAM. Saya mahu Datuk Zolkples menerangkan hal sebenar isu ini,” tegasnya.

Sebaliknya, Zolkples berkata tidak timbul mengenai isu penyelewengan mengenai projek penurapan semula trek berkenaan kerana ia dilakukan menerusi tender terbuka oleh Kementerian belia dan Sukan (KBS).

“Projek itu ikut prosedur, ia dilakukan menerusi tender terbuka oleh lembaga tender KBS jadi tidak timbul soal seleweng atau tidak telus.

“Mana boleh KOAM tidak tahu mengenai projek ini sedangkan kami sudah bentuk jawatankuasa teknikal yang turut dianggotai bekas jurulatih kebangsaan sebelum ini Hanapiah Nasir, malah Hanapiah sendiri yang banyak memberi cadangan mengenai spesifikasi yang perlu dilakukan ke atas trek itu.

“Tidak ada apa yang perlu saya jelaskan lagi, kalau beliau (Karim) tak puas hati, nak saman saya, samanlah,” katanya.