Friday, November 28, 2008

Hammam v Velappan

Hammam issued a statement following a series of Malay Mail's articles in 2004
Westerners run AFC House...hehehe

It was back in early 2004 that I wrote about the first signs of a rift between Mohamed Bin Hammam and Peter Velappan, with the Malay Mail carrying a series of articles indicating there was a conspiracy designed by his enemies to give Velappan the boot.

Naturally Velappan was not too happy with the report and he even threatened to sue me and the paper. I really did not understand his reasonings then because I felt at that point of time I was doing him a great favour and the articles were meant to defend a fellow Malaysian who had established himself as a respected football administrator. Well, I had plenty of things to write then.

So when I was summoned to Velappan's office a short while after we ran the stories, I was taken aback when one of my sources was there too. He was in fact providing Velappan the ammunition to attack me. Talk about betrayal of the highest order. But I did not stoop to his level. I could have easily revealed to Velappan that person was in fact the snitch, the mole. But I did not. I wanted to protect him. He was not the issue. The real story was that a wedge had been driven between Hammam and Velappan. But sometimes in life, wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

The war of words between Hammam and Velappan is not entirely surprising then. Imagine, Hammam accusing Velappan of having undermined and conspired against previous AFC presidents.

Read Hammam's theories, Tengku Abdullah given the mandate and East and West divide
My question to Velappan is, did he really conspire against Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah and his successor Sultan Ahmad Shah?

To Hammam, I'm pretty sure he was the one who instructed Velappan to write the letter to the Malaysian Government, laying out his demands which among others the diplomatic status for the AFC president.


kajang-today said...

seems like you an uncanny similarity with RPK, never one to expose his informer.
What's with AFC going or staying? Close proximity with them certainly did not bring any good to our Malaysian team or to raise the standard of our competitiveness either.

Anonymous said...

My friend sometimes i think you either let your imegination run wild or you have bad sources.Let me relate you the story of how Tan sri Hamzah was made to give up the fam presidency,it happened in LA during the 1984 games.As most know Tan sri is from pahang and it was during the game that Tuanku asked what was it like to be the fam president and i quote mesti seronok kan.Well Tan sri being himself decided at that time to relinquish the post,now ask me how i know, simple a member of Tan sri's family who was in la told me the night this happened.
Remember what happened after that Tan sri was challenged by another royal for the ocm presidency but this time he put his foot down.Personally i don't know Peter Vellapan but like Dato Viji of hockey i think they did a wonderful job.
In conclusion didn't the rot of both association start only to go all the way to the Asian level.We Malaysians love to undermine people to the extend we bring sports into the picture and see what we have today ,every association we have in the country is messed up.

Anonymous said...

Thats why i repeat again...and urge the football replace the AFC President fast...he will destroy everything if he does not get his way.

Why should we give him respect if he does not earn it?

He has even attacked New Zealand. Just google 'Hammam new zealand'

For the Game. For The World.

shah said...

As an Asian football fan, I am surprised with the level of professionalism lately shown by the AFC President, Mohamed bin Hammam and his defensive exploit.

The AFC President was reported of showing to a group of international journalists in Shanghai recently, an AFC letter in 2003 sent to the Malaysian government which was signed by the former AFC General Secretary, Dato' Peter Velappan.

Among the details of the letter are making a request to the Malaysian government for diplomatic status immunity for the AFC President and tax exemption to all AFC staff.

We are fully aware now that the AFC President have accused our fellow Malaysian Dato' Peter Velappan of being a 'conspirator' and conspired against past AFC Presidents as well.

With this latest debacle, the former General Secretary is fast becoming being turned into a black sheep by the head of AFC. Putting a fault on Dato' Peter by the AFC President is like shifting the focus from the current issue and blaming a man who has been largely responsible for AFC success and administration matters for over 30 years.

The AFC President act in exposing the confidential letter is an unambiguous sign of weakness and I have to say the AFC President has shot himself in the foot by accusing the former General Secretary as a conspirator.

For those who are familiar with administration or political matters in sports organization, be it in a national or international sports body, we can safely assumed that it is a standard practice for a General Secretary to undertake the correspondence and liaising with external party. As Saudara Rizal put it, I am also certain that the former General Secretary was merely acting upon instruction from the AFC President back then to ask for the extraordinary privileges from our government.

Why the letter was not signed by the AFC President is a mystery.

I would love to give a balance view and give the benefit of the doubt for the AFC President.

However, the sequence of events so far suggested otherwise. And now, with one question at the back of our mind; why didn't the AFC President have the guts then to send the letter with his signature since the nature of the correspondence was a top-level communication with the host nation government?

Say, if Dato' Peter Velappan was truly a conspirator, with excessive demands in 2003, we wonder why some five years later, Mohamed bin Hammam is still championing the same cause and in actual fact, he has added amazing list of demands which include interest-free loan, a 30,000 square metres of land with no encumbrance, guaranteed issuance of visa and work permits for all AFC staff and few others.

And as per AFC President conversation with Saudara Rizal, Mohamed bin Hammam mentioned .. "I get zero privileges".

Obviously, Mohamed bin Hammam wanted some kind of 'privileges' for quite some time.

Now, we are wondering who is the true conspirator.

I must say the AFC President is a very smart person in protecting himself from the beginning and pointing the finger to someone else when it matters.

Besides, his non-commital to sign the letter to the Malaysian government back then and passing the buck now to Dato' Peter Velappan could be interpreted as a coward act and irresponsible.

Previously, the Malay Mail carried a frontpage report a month ago about AFC advance planning to relocate through an unprecedented move in local employment practice.

From the report it is learnt that in 2005, AFC sent out a letter of 'offer' to all Malaysian staff at the AFC House to convert their employment status to a fixed-term contract which concurrently stripped them from permanent employment status.

The letter was signed none other by another Malaysian, by the then Deputy General Secretary, Dato' Paul Mony Samuel.

Of course, many years from now Mohamed bin Hammam would be pleased to reveal in the court of law and to the international press that he was not the one who conspired and sent the letter of 'offer' to all Malaysian staff in December 2005.

For a neutral, we can't help but notice this is a clear indication that the AFC President has a non-favourable agenda towards Malaysians all this while.

Now I hope the Malaysian government will assist AFC wherever possible to make it easy for the AFC President to move the AFC House out of this country if he insists with his approach to make life difficult for the government and Malaysians in particular.

For the good of the game in Asia, I sincerely hope my opinion on all the above which is based from the media report recently and in the past few years, will be proven wrong.