Monday, January 30, 2012

Foreign problems coupled with bribery allegations


The FA of Malaysia have called for a Special Meeting tomorrow to discuss issues relating to soccer bribery in the M-League. Tengku Mahkota Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, the Deputy President of FA of Malaysia will chair the meeting.

It is barely a month since the 2012 M-Soccer League has began, and there has been countless number of problems surfacing.
To start with, the return of foreign players this season despite being warned of the ills, have already starting giving problems from being injured, not good enough and boycotting functions.
Then with the FA of Malaysia going back on their earlier decision on the deadline of registration for foreign players to open the doors again until next month, more problems have surfaced.
Many teams are taking the opportunity to change their players they have signed on earlier, while Kelantan, who had signed on four players (although only two are allowed for the M-league) to use the other two for the AFC competition campaign, have now decided to loan the two players to Kuala Lumpur and look for two more fresh players.
I am just wondering if all these changes and loan of players, have all been done according to the Players' Contract, or can we expect more problems with these players taking action against their employers or going to FIFA?
Then we have coaches in the M-League admitting that they have signed on players without having seen them in action, but only by viewing video clippings and based on players' agent's recommendations.
It really puzzles me how teams could sign on players in this manner. Is it out of sheer desperation to have a foreign player or coaches really do not have a clue how to engage foreign players? Do we need all these problems in the League, when we are suppose to raise the standard of the League?
To make matters, the foreign players have shut out many local players by taking their places.
Has the League standard actually improved with the foreigners?
All I can say that these foreign players use their height and physique to score goals and it is all about pumping the ball to these players. Has the game given entertainment value? Far from it.
Is the Stadiums packed to the brim? Far from it too.
The postponement of League matches has already started. Hardly a week goes without a match being postponed. Does this augur well for the reputation of the League?
Then, we have the bribery allegations from Perlis. Penang have come forward to admit that they too believe that elements of bribery still exist all this while, but teams and associations do not want to admit because they do not want to be embarrassed besides all these allegations difficult to prove.
But there will be no smoke without fire.
And what is even more sad is that the alleged player in the bribery outcry is a first season and young player.
What does that tell you? That the youngsters are the target of the bookies or they have been trained at the lower level - President's Cup.
Already last year, a President's coach was charged in court for his involvement in the bribery scandal in the tournament.
Cleary, it is evident that the President's Cup is the breeding ground, but how much is done to monitor these matches, the players, coaches and officials.
Everyone is pushing the buck to the next person and no one has come out to admit that it is a problem and it needs to be addressed immediately.
Sweeping all the allegations under the carpet is not going to help one bit.
Something has to be done urgently, before Malaysian soccer is exposed for another bribery scandal and tarnish Malaysian football image further - if it not already tarnished!
The last time a major match-fixing scandal rocked Malaysia in 1994, investigations saw 21 players and coaches sacked, 58 players suspended or banished and 126 players questioned over corruption. Among them were the young and talented, experienced, the cream and backbone of Malaysian soccer.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Circus in full swing?

Is the crowd back to fill the Stadiums to the brim with the return of foreign players and adding entertainment value?
So are the foreign players scoring? Are they hogging the limelight for the right or wrong reasons? Are all the foreigners making their mark? Or is it too early to make any conclusions? 
Have the local players been making waves with the presence of the foreign players?
So the FA of Malaysia has extended the deadline for registration of foreign players with the League ongoing in full swing. Does this augur well for the reputation of the League?
So was the change of decision because of the pressure put by Terengganu FA and the Menteri Besar of Terengganu Datuk Seri Ahmad Said with threats to pull out and take FA of Malaysia to court?
Official letters from the FA of Malaysia sending the wrong messages and misinterpreted. How does this all happen when the league has gone professional since 1994.
Of yes, we did not have foriegn players for the last three years, so we are rusty with the rules and writing letters!
What about all the seminars and courses held before the League commenced? Was there anything shed  to all the participants, or was it just a gathering for all States officials to make a trip to the city?
It is just three weeks into the League, and there has been so much to talk about for all the wrong reasons.
Wonder what will happen in the weeks to come? Will it get better, I mean the scenario going from bad to worse, or will it take a turn for the better for the right reasons.
Let us wait and see.
Anybody wants to take a wager on which way the League will go?
Anyway, almost everyone is betting on matches. Why not have a another bet on the cards?
Just answer all the questions asked above and make your own conclusion on which way the League is heading before placing your bets.

Extract from Circus In Town Early for 2012 posted on Dec 28 in this blog:


The foreign players have arrived?
We had illegal immigrants coming for trials, players with falsified records, players who could not get International Transfer Certificates (ITC) and the list goes on.
Then there were cases where teams failed to meet the deadline for registration of foreign players.
Then there is a case of player signed on, but is injured.
We have old faces coming back to play in the League they are so familiar with, while the news ones names do not ring a bell among names in the world of soccer.
Have we once again settled for half-baked players or con-players?
Oh sorry, the FA of Malaysia's vetting committee have gone through the list and given officially approval.
The state and club teams had sent in 35 applications, but the competitions committee only approved 26 based on guidelines set by FIFA. Two applications were withdrawn, while seven were rejected because they failed to meet the requirements.
So what is new from the previous years when we had foreign players. The same old problem exists despite FA of Malaysia taking stringent measures, having seminars to educate the State FAs and clubs - after all these years of playing in the professional league!
Can we expect to see more problems surfacing when the league begins?
Oops! The problem has already began. Foreign players in T-Team in Terengganu snubbed an official dinner organised for them.
I have always been against foreign players, unless they are really quality and renowned players. With the coming of the foreign players how many local strikers and midfielders are going to be denied a place in the teams.
Will the national team be affected by this decision to include the foreign players?
Who cares? As long as the Stadiums are filled and the game is entertaining - both of which are subjective.
So here we go again...the circus is in town early for 2012!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Help is at hand after plight highlighted

The Sports Minister and the National Sports Council will help to rectify the poor training conditions for the diving team after it was highlighted in the New Straits Times.

Read here: AQUATICS: Requests to be granted
Kudos for the help....but the association has to write in first and it will be discussed at the JKK meeting.
And this the sport in the Road to London 2012 programme.
In the first place this issue should not have never surfaced at all if everything was done well and looked into as part of the preparations for the Olympics.
Anyway, let is hope it all ends well.
And training for diving in China...why not Europe or even England. Maybe even in Leipzig . Time zone difference at a minimum in Europe? Climate and environment acclimatisation?. Or is it better in China where the coach comes from? Cheaper maybe? The experts knows best. Good Luck.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Malaysian sports at its best

Malaysian sports never fail to baffle me.

With the London Olympics just seven months away,it saddens me to read that the financial constraints and the poor conditions of the training facility in Bukit Jalil have affected the national divers' preparation for the London Olympic Games.
Read here:
Diving - Ahmad Amsyar Azman trains on despite the trampolines in the dry gym posing a safety hazard to the divers as they are torn. Pix by Supian Ahmad (New Straits Times)

Masking and duct tapes are used to cover the torn areas. Pix by Supian Ahmad  
Whatever happened to the Road to London 2012 programme launched by the previous Sports Minister Datuk Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on 16th Feb 2009.
Four sports (badminton, cycling (track), archery and diving) and a total of 21 athletes are under the programme currently.
And to hear of news that facilities is in poor condition for diving at this stage, is indeed baffling.
To talk about private sector coming to support to provide better facilities because the National Sports Council has limited budget, is indeed mind-boggling.
Yes, we need private sector support, but all these should have been dealt with much earlier.
We talking about giving RM 1 million to the first ever gold medal winner at the Olympics, we are talking about sports industry and flooding London with the Tiger jackets, but do not have money for proper sporting facilities!
Read here what is the thought of Being Frank by The Malay Mail's Frankie D'Cruz:
Then we have offered citizenship to a Chinese diver in the hope to win a gold medal. He is 30 years-old and has yet to officially qualify.
Read here:DIVING: Former China star Huang Qiang out to make Malaysia proud - New Straits Times -

Have we forgotten the Yuan Yu Fang episode! And whatever happened about true Malaysians winning medals for Malaysia. Just recently, we were condemning Singapore for using naturalised citizens.
While other countries who do not have the excellent facilities and financial backing are progressing by leaps and bounds, here in Malaysia where funds for sports is readily available and in some cases in excess, we are still struggling and having problems getting our footing right.
What a way to start 2012!