Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rest in Peace, Nazri

worldreferee.com

LATEST: Nazri's body is scheduled to arrive at KLIA on Friday at 3.25pm via Madrid and Amsterdam. Thanks to FAM, FIFA regional office in Kuala Lumpur, Wisma Putra, the Malaysian embassy in Madrid and the FIFA team in Canary Islands, the repatriation process was expedited without having to go through a lengthy local authorisation process which requires up to 15 days before a body is released to the next of kin. His remains will be accompanied by his brother Zaiviji Ismail Abdullah and wife, while one of FIFA's top guns, Walter Gagg, will join them from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Those who want to pay their final respects can do so between 5.45 and 6.10pm at his residence at 22, Jalan PJS9/14. The burial ceremony is expected to be performed before Maghrib prayers at the USJ 22 Islamic burial ground.


One of Malaysia's most respected referees, Mohd Nazri Abdullah, passed away early this morning in the Canary Islands, Spain. The 54-year old father of three from Kedah was in the island conducting an assistant referee's course ahead of the 2010 World Cup.



Apparently he collapsed at the hotel after jogging. Nazri was pronounced dead at 7.10pm Spanish time last night. A top FIFA referee instructor, Nazri was appointed as chairman of FAM's referee's committee last year. My deepest condolences to his family, FAM and the refereeing fraternity. Al-Fatihah. I last spoke to him outside the KL Stadium minutes before the Malaysia-UAE Asian Cup qualifiers. An obituary will be posted later.



UPDATED, an obituary for a friend

WHEN the old Malay Mail carried my story on the backpage on Pahang coach Jorgen Larsen taking a swipe at local referees in August 1997, little did I realise it would create a series of incidents.

Under the heading SAVE US FROM…THE MEN IN BLACK (in reference to the movie MIB released also that year starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones), Larsen said Malaysian referees were an inept lot and suggested their European counterparts to officiate M-League matches.

Of course the referees were not happy. Three days later we carried a response. I remember the article clearly for two reasons. It was ground-breaking for a referee to be speaking to the Press, and secondly the Malay Mail subs decided to put my byline as Rizal Abdullah, after my better known namesake who happens to be currently stringing for the paper since retiring from the Star.

Mohd Nazri Abdullah was given special permission by the FA of Malaysia to speak to me. So on Aug 26, 1997, under the heading BAD IS AS BAD GETS, the old Malay Mail carried Nazri’s quotes. He spoke on behalf of the 18 referees officiating in the old Premier League. Later, Larsen was hauled up by the FAM disciplinary committee for not going through the proper channel in voicing his grouses.

Nazri was a soft-spoken man, a really nice character who knew how to make you feel comfortable. No wonder he made it right to the top, as a member of FIFA board of selectors who gets to pick the men we like to point fingers at for the World Cups. He had seen it all, barring the one he coveted most – the FIFA World Cup.

A man of Nazri’s credentials deserved the World Cup spot. He missed it by a whisker on two occasions, the USA’94 edition and the next one in France. But reward came in other forms. He officiated the Sydney Olympics and the various FIFA age group tournaments. After blowing the whistle for the final time in the M-League in 2000, he joined FAM as a development officer and later rose to become the Asian Football Confederation head of referee.

His contemporaries included Nik Ahmad Yaakub, Amir Sharifuddin Wong, Kol Kamaruddin Sakhari and the late Wan Rashid Wan Jaafar.

Born K. Letchumanan on January 23, 1955, Nazri hailed from Kulim, Kedah and began his career as a referee at the age of 17 when he obtained his Class 3 certificate from the Penang FA after coming to a conclusion that he would not make the cut as a footballer with Prai Rovers.

He obtained his FIFA badge in 1989 and refereed a pre-World Cup match involving characters like Stuart Pearce, Paul Ince, David Seaman, David Platt and Ian Wright in Bologna in 1993.

“You Kulim tang mana?” when I hand-delivered my wedding invitation to him in 2001. Each time we met the former TNB personnel would be asking me about Kulim!

I regret that our last meeting took place less than a minute. He was about to enter the KL Stadium through the VIP entrance for the Malaysia-UAE Asian Cup qualifiers on January 21 when I stopped him.

“Ref, what’s happening with the referee’s department and committee (since he was the chairman). I’ve been hearing a lot of things?”

“Slowly lah, let’s do things gradually. Don’t worry, we are looking into it,” Nazri assured me. Someone else must take over the mantle I guess.

Nik Ahmad, when contacted, was overcome by emotion.

Former FAM media officer, Ahmad Khawari Isa, said: “Football in Malaysia has suffered a great loss. He was a fantastic individual with great inter-personal skills who had the interest of the referees and the standard of refereeing at heart.

“We spent a lot of time together, brainstorming, arguing and discussing a variety of footballing issues. He initiated the young referees programme, where he himself went to schools to identify and persuade schoolkids to take up a career in refereeing.”

FAM assistant general secretary Saifuddin Abu Bakar was sobbing when we spoke over the phone.

“Last Friday Nazri asked me to join him in his car to go for Friday prayers but I opted to go with someone else. We last spoke on Saturday, discussing several matters at great length but he did not inform me he was going to Spain.”

Saifuddin added: “FAM and FIFA are trying to make arrangements for his jenazah to be flown to Kuala Lumpur as soon as possible.”

Nazri’s old boss, Datuk Dell Akbar Khan, said: “It is a great loss not only for Malaysia and Asia but the world of refereeing in general. Nazri was a dedicated one man who never minced his words, was focused and very frank. He knew his job well and above all, he had only good and honest intentions and no ulterior motives.”

Nazri leaves behind wife Roziah Abdul Rahman and three children. Al-Fatihah. May Allah bless his soul, forgive him of his sins, make his grave a garden and grant him the highest levels of paradise….. Ameen.

27 comments:

KakiBola said...

He was the first person to notice my talent and took me to play for Kilat Prai in the Penang FA 1st Division. A good friend and a good mentor. I have high respect for arwah. Al-Fatihah.

Anonymous said...

Al fatihah but keluarga allahyarham
Beliau kurang berpolitik di FAM kehilangan satu tenaga pengajar yg berpengalaman

muhammad hakimi said...

Al Fathihah dan dalam masa sehari saya kehilangan 3 orang yang rapat dengan saya. Saat untuk bermuhasabah, untuk diri dan anda semua. Tetapi kehilangan Allahyarham Nazri merupakan kehilangan kepada bidang pengadilan Malaysia. Dia yang terbaik pada eranya cuma rezeki tidak berpihak kepadanya untuk beraksi di Piala Dunia. Wassalam

Batu_Api said...

Orang yang terlalu baik akan disayangi Allah dan akan 'dijemput'
lebih awal dari kita.

Email dihantar kepada arwah pada Jumaat tidak dibalas. Sekali lagi petang semalam juga tidak dibalas. Cuma itu perubahan yang nampak kerana selalunya, arwah akan memberi maklum balas dengan segera.

FAM, AFC dan FIFA kehilangan seorang instruktor yang berkebolehan dan sukar dicari ganti.

Al-fatihah dan semoga roh mu akan ditempatkan disisi orang-orang yang soleh. Insya Allah.

Anonymous said...

Come on la tuan pengendali website FAM, ni betul-betul nak mintak tolong ni... Berita kematian arwah Nazri ni buatlah betul-betul sikit. Jangan main hentam mcm cerita bola dlm website FAM tu.

Jenazah arwah akan disemadi di Puchong (dekat tol) dan bukan di kediaman arwah. (tuan taip 'KEDIAMA')

Bila akan disemadikan pun belum confirm lagi kerana keluarga arwah mahu kalau boleh dilakukan malam esok juga dan bukan khamis seperti yang tuan dakwa. Keluarga arwah akan buat keputusan bila dah betul-betul confirm pukul berapa jenazah boleh sampai. Kalau masih awal (sekitar 8 atau 9 mlm), berkemungkinan akan disempurnakan malam esok juga. Jika tidak, Insya Allah hari Khamis.

Al-Fatihah

Red Devil Kola Perlis said...

Only knew him from TV. Al fatihah.

Danny Ong Kim Heng said...

The nation has lost one of the most respected towering figures in refereeing, both local and international. He was a man that stood up to make changes for the good of Malaysian referees by allowing the younger faces to referee in the M-League as well as exchange programmes with our neighbour countries like S'pore and Japan, whilst maintaining the highest levels of fitness and discipline, and remaining humble hence ensuring everlasting friendship amongst fellow referees. There is no replacement for him and our nation will sorely miss his wonderful personality and valuable contributions. My deepest condolences to his family. Rgds Danny Ong and Family

Danny Ong Kim Heng said...

The nation has lost one of the most respected towering figures in refereeing, both local and international. He was a man that stood up to make changes for the good of Malaysian referees by allowing the younger faces to referee in the M-League as well as exchange programmes with our neighbour countries like S'pore and Japan, whilst maintaining the highest levels of fitness and discipline, and remaining humble hence ensuring everlasting friendship amongst fellow referees. There is no replacement for him and our nation will sorely miss his wonderful personality and valuable contributions. My deepest condolences to his family. Rgds Danny Ong & Family

abang_manja said...

Jadi satu kerja pulak kita nak tegur dan semak apa yang webmaster FAM tulis. Skrg dia dah ubah dah...

Memang amat terasa kehilangan arwah Nazri. Beliau bukan saja seorang mentor yang berwiwaba tetapi seorang rakan yang sentiasa berterus terang dan tidak pandai bermain politik.

Al-Fatihah dan semoga rohnya sentiasa terpelihara. Insya Allah.

John said...

He is arguably our biggest export in football. RIP.

Anonymous said...

Rest in peace my friend...a great loss to world, asian, south east asian and malaysian football.

NAZRI ABDULLAH
WORLD CLASS

for the game...for the world

coretan_khalayak said...

al-fatihah

Anonymous said...

Majoriti stesyen TV memetik berita pemergian arwah daripada web FAM. Nasib baik isi kandungan cerita dalam web itu telah diperbetulkan (walaupun masih ada kesilapan fakta.

Mujur juga stesyen TV berkenaan tidak memetik bulat-bulat fakta bahawa beliau "mula menjadi pengadil semasa pusingan kelayakan Piala Dunia" seperti yang ditulis.

Untuk rekod, selain diamanahkan sebagai Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pengadil FAM, beliau juga merupakan Ahli Majlis FAM,

Semoga roh arwah Nazri akan ditempatkan di sisi orang yang soleh. Al-Fatihah

Anonymous said...

I knew Allahyarham Nazri when he was here as an invited VIP instructor conducting courses every now and then as well as during our Annual Referees Seminar. He have my utmost respect as someone who is unique and instrumental in his own way... He never fails to catch our attention with his deep knowledge and witty remarks.. Al-Fatihah... Semoga rohnya dicucuri rahmat...

Adzhar Adziz
Singapore Referee

Wan said...

Al Fatihah...

Hafizal Hamad said...

Al fatihah.secara peribadi saya kehilangan seorang yang banyak mengajar saya tentang bidang pengadilan bersesuaian dengan kerjaya saya.

berita pemergian arwah dimaklumkan saudara subkidin salleh yang nyata sebak ketika menelefon saya.

ni yang dinamakan qada dan qadar.moga arwah ditempatkan dikalangan org2 yang soleh.

Anonymous said...

I am truly sad to hear of Nazri's sudden death.He was a good bloke, helpful and with time for friends.I read the tribute from the AFC president about Nazri. Well, as they say, we never have kind words for the living - only the dead!.Such was the case with Nazri and the AFC.Rest in peace my friend.

anak sukan

ed_the_red said...

Al-Fatihah

jarval1016 said...

A great lost for all being involve with Refereeing. A great mentor known for his interesting lectures in class and the tough practical sessions that being we being put through. A very knowledegeable guy in refereeing.

No politics, no hidden agenda. Just Refereeing. Its in his blood.

How many of the so call instructors, referees' inspectors and commissioners in Asia can be on the same level with him? Think about it. A iconic figure in Asia for his contribtuion to Football Refereeing.

Condolences to his family.

Jarrod Lim
Singapore

jarval1016 said...

A great lost for all being involve with Refereeing. A great mentor known for his interesting lectures in class and the tough practical sessions that being we being put through. A very knowledegeable guy in refereeing.

No politics, no hidden agenda. Just Refereeing. Its in his blood.

How many of the so call instructors, referees' inspectors and commissioners in Asia can be on the same level with him? Think about it. A iconic figure in Asia for his contribtuion to Football Refereeing.

Condolences to his family.

Jarrod Lim
Singapore

Hakim Amir said...

Inalillah...al Fatihah for arwah Nazri.. a loss for teh nation. Rest In Peace, arwah Nazri

Hakim, in Keswick, Cumbria

Anonymous said...

Dengan pemergian arwah, pengadil Malaysia akan hilang tempat bergantung dan tempat mengadu. Maka akan bermaharajalela lah pihak-pihak tertentu yang hanya menunggu masa untuk memperkotak-katik kan ref kita.

Pandai-pandai la bawa diri wahai ref Malaysia..... arwah Nazri dah tak de!

Shamsul Yunos said...

Innalillah

I never knew we had such a dedicated referee in our midst

Anonymous said...

Ya Allah ampunkanlah segala dosa nya dan tempatkan rohnya dikalangan orang orang yang beriman dan soleh. He is one of the man who i will dont forget forever, he is my brother, my teacher, my friend.

Batu_Api said...

Cut and paste dari web FAM:
'Pihak FAM ini memaklumkan bahawa jenazah Allahyarham Mohd Nazri Abdullah akan tiba di rumah nya di Bandar Sunway pada pukul 5.45ptg esok (6 Februari) daripada KLIA. Setibanya jenazah dirumah, ianya akan disembahyangkan dan pihak keluarga beliau akan membenarkan rakan-rakan, sahabat karib dan mereka-mereka yang mengenali Allahyarham untuk memberi perhormatan terakhir. Selepas itu jenazah akan dibawa terus ke tanah perkuburan islam USJ 19 Subang Jaya untuk dikebumikan.'

Letih betul dengan webmaster FAM ni. Ayat berterabur...ejaan tunggang-langgang...
'penghormatan' dan bukan perhormatan la bro...

Apa-apa pun, diharapkan semoga jenazah Almarhum Nazri akan selamat sampai ke Malaysia & semoga roh Almarhum sentiasa terpelihara dan dirahmati. Ya ALLAH ampunkanlah segala dosa hambaMu itu dan tempatkan lah beliau disisi orang yang soleh dan beriman. Amin.


BATU_API
Guangzhou, PR China

Family Arwah Nazri said...

salam kasih sayang buat semua kenalan arwah ayahanda Nazri kami....

marilah kita sama-sama merufukkan diri kita kepada Pencipta kita, Allah SWT... dan marilah kita sama-sama menadah tangan kita berdoa agar Arwah berada disamping para nabi, sahabat dan para solihin..
kepada semua Kenalan Arwah kami semua mengucapkan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan diatas kerjasama dan sokongan dari anda semua..
akhir kalam..
marilah kita sedekahkan Al-Fatihah... semoga roh Arwah dicucuri rahmat Allah SWT.. amin yarabbal'alamin..

psimmons said...

I only ever knew Nazri for a few days. I was a stranger to him and KL but Nazri showed me around and helped me like an old friend. He was one of the finest ambassadors a country could have.