Saturday, February 11, 2006

The good, the bad and the ugly (10/02/2006 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 10/02/2006
Headline : The good, the bad and the ugly

THERE has been quite a bit happening in the sports scene this week and to
ensure that at least the major ones gets addressed, I have decided to
categorise them 'the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.'
To start with the good, nothing was sweeter then the announcement by
Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein his Ministry is dead
serious in developing sports and has given the two sports schools (Bukit
Jaili Sports School and Bandar Penawar Sports School) 15 years to
establish themselves as world renowned sports schools.
In line with the vision, Hishamuddin established a Sports Advisory
Panel headed by former National Sports Council director-general - Datuk
Wira Mazlan Ahmad - whose sole aim is to accomplish the vision.
It is hoped the panel will do some serious work and ensure the vision
is realised.
This panel must be action orientated and hands-on. They have to be
involved in planning and implementations of the projects.
It is not all about having more coaches in the respective sports, but
more facilities likes fields, tracks, gymnasiums, courts and halls.
It is not only the two sports schools they must be paying attention too.
The idea would to be to ensure that sports development gets equal
emphasis throughout the country and all schools.
The government have approved RM10 million through Sports Cabinet
Committee for the development of sports through schools with the first
payment made at the end of last year.
Fifteen schools, who were also the State school sports centres,
benefited with a grant worth RM585,000 each.
How well the money was spent is not known, but it is hoped that the
Panel ensure the grants are put to good use.
The bad is the issue surrounding bowler Shalin Zulkifli who has said
she does not want to represent the nation anymore but is available for
the Doha Asian Games.
The Sports Minister, Datuk Azalina Othman Said, has come forward to say
she will meet Shalin and Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) next
week, probably to get to the bottom of the issue.
But if it is to coax Shalin to return to the team or ask MTBC to bend
the rules set by the National Sports Council (NSC) with their contracts
for the athletes, to accommodate Shalin, it will certainly be sending
wrong signals to athletes in the country.
Sometimes, many are clouded by the issue and make statements without
weighing the matter.
No one denies Shalin has brought honour to the nation since
representing the nation at the age of 14.
She has reaped more than a million ringgit through the game, attained a
degree, had a bankruptcy charge withdrawn and her international passport
returned because she was a national bowler and even had allowances made
to carry the name of the bank who charged her with the bankruptcy on her
attire whenever she bowled.
While she has been hailed the queen of bowling for her exploits, she
has time and again failed to deliver when it matters most in individual
She has competed in the AMF World Cup seven times, the World Ranking
Masters five times and the World Championship four times but failed to
win a single title.
Now with so many youth bowlers stamping their mark, is it time to move
Esther Cheah won the World Championship individual title in her debut
attempt last year.
Shalin cannot dictate which coach she wants to trains under.
Besides, if she is interested in a coaching career, she should pursue
it and stick by her decision not to don national colours.
If she wants in into the national team, then she has to adhere to rules
set for all.
The ugly must surely be FA of Malaysia's appeals board chairman, Datuk
Seri Abdul Shukor's, statement in relation to Perak skipper Ahmad Sharul
Azhar's successful appeal against his earlier one-year ban by the
disciplinary board for misconduct in a Super League match.
Sharul was found guilty of two offences - elbowing an MPPJ player and
confronting match officials.
Abdul Shukor's statement: "We found that Ahmad confronted the match
officials but he was not violent towards them. Tapping the chest of the
match official is not considered as violent."
FIFA rule is very clear about violent conduct against match officials
where even laying a finger on them or even pointing a finger menacingly
at them, is considered violent conduct.
How Shukor came to the conclusion that Ahmad's actions were not violent
is baffling to say the least.
Maybe he wants to see a match official knocked out before he considers
it violent enough.
It is officials like Shukor, who do not have a clue of the game, who
make a mockery of football, turning it to a battle field and letting
loose players who have no respect for the rules.

No comments: