Monday, November 1, 2010

Diamond award for PM, Tan Sri for Hammam?

Kuala Lumpur: When Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak receives the AFC Diamond of Asia award on November 24, he will join a list of illustrious awardees, including FIFA President Joseph S Blatter and Japanese football pioneer Captain Saburo Kawabuchi. THIS MAKES ME WONDER WHY THE PM, CONSIDERING THE FACT PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS WERE FOOTBALL ACTIVISTS, NOT POLITICIANS.

The first recipient of the AFC Diamond of Asia, which is bestowed for exemplary contribution towards the development and promotion of football, on and off the field within the Asian continent, was none other than Captain Kawabuchi, the man credited with the spectacular rise and rapid spread of football in Japan. YES, I'VE MET HIM PERSONALLY AND YES HE WAS DESERVING OF THE AWARD.

His vision and planning helped in the metamorphosis of the J-League from a semi-professional league to the immensely successful and viable commercial model of today, and his brainchild, the '2005 Declaration', which exhorts the Japanese to win the World Cup by the year 2050, is seen as a novel motivational tool that is spurring the team to greater heights.

In 2006, FIFA President Blatter received the award in Abu Dhabi, another glittering moment in the Swiss’s long football career. The accolade was in recognition of his sterling contribution towards the development and promotion of football on the continent. OF COURSE LA, WHEN MR HAMMAM WAS CHUMMY-CHUMMY WITH HERR BLATTER.

Former UEFA President Lennart Johannson was the next recipient in 2007 when the awards gala was held in Sydney. Johannson was a great friend of Asian football and contributed significantly to the development of Asian football in his capacity as UEFA chief from 1990 to 2007. SURE MUST KEEP COUNTERPART FROM EUROPE HAPPY.

Johannson said in his acceptance speech: “During my tenure, I saw that there was immense potential in Asia and we, the other confederations, would have a problem competing with Asia (in football). And, I was right that time. Asian football has grown in all aspects.”

In 2008, the AFC Diamond of Asia was awarded posthumously for the first time to the late Ken Naganuma, a former Japan national team manager and one of the pioneers of the J-League as the chairman of the Japan Football Association. SEE, ALSO ANOTHER FOOTBALL ACTIVIST.

AFC President Mohamed bin Hammam presented the award to Naganuma’s wife Yumiko and daughter Rie, who expressed her pride at the recognition given to her father’s immense contribution to Japanese and Asian football.

Ken Naganuma had passed away in June 2008 at the age of 77.

2009 was Asian Referees’ Year and the AFC Executive Committee fittingly chose refereeing pioneer General Farouk Bouzo of Syria for the AFC Diamond of Asia award. The stalwart of refereeing in Asia is respected as one of Asian football’s greatest leaders.

General Bouzo was the first-ever referee to earn a 10 out of 10 from a referees assessor, during the 1978 World Cup in Argentina in the match between Germany and Mexico. VERY TRUE. GENERAL BOUZO HAS BEEN AROUND SINCE THE 70s.

"This award is a great honour for me and shows the appreciation of the AFC President and all the national associations for the work I have done over the past 30 years," said Bouzo. "And I hope to continue working for Asian football for many years to come."

General Bouzo was also chairman of the AFC Referees Committee for more than two decades and was instrumental in introducing the back-pass law to the game in the early 90s.

All the recipients of this honor enjoy a distinguished position within AFC, and are entitled to special privileges, including invitations to all AFC competitions and to all AFC official functions and events. Furthermore, the recipient ranks only after the AFC Executive Committee in terms of importance within AFC's protocol and hierarchy. SURELY DATUK SERI NAJIB DOES NOT NEED THIS...

SO MY QUESTION IS, IS IT TRUE MR HAMMAM WILL BE CONFERRED THE TAN SRISHIP?

Well I hope I will not be barred from AFC functions...but my mind is intrigued by this decision...
Let it be known AFC have done little to help Malaysia. In fact there is this mind-boggling tendency to demonise and discredit Malaysians who had helped build AFC into what it is today...

Look what happened to Datuk Peter Velappan, secretary of AFC from 1978 to 2007...also Datuk Paul Mony Samuel, who was reduced to signing papers at the tailend of his tenure...

If I were in a position to influence Mr Hammam who could well be bestowed TanSriship next June, I would have suggested some other Malaysians for the award...

1...for a start Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Alhaj, who mooted the idea of having the Merdeka Tournament and the Asian Under-19 championship (posthumously la). Also AFC president from 1958 to 1977.

2. Sultan Ahmad Shah, AFC president who sought the Government's assistance for the land which currently houses Hammam's cushy office at Bukit Jalil. AFC president from 1994 to 2002.

3. Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah, the only Malaysian to have held positions in FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). AFC president from 1978 to 1994.

4. Koe Ewe Teik, a knowledgeable figure from Johor who served as secretary of AFC from 1965 to 1974 (posthumously la). Former referee.

But I guess it will not serve any purpose except little footnotes in the cyberworld of AFC's recognition of individuals who are no longer around or those who have little relevance...

But if AFC confers the award to the chief executive of the country....hmmm many things can be done...

On Aug 2, 2008, I wrote the following article for my column in Kosmo...sorry la, lazy la to translate...

AYUH, PERTAHANKAN WARISAN MALAYSIA

BAGI pemerhati bola sepak yang mengikuti perkembangan Gabungan Bola Sepak Asia (AFC) dengan tekun, berita mengenai cadangan presidennya Mohamed Hammam Al Abdulla memindahkan urusetia persekutuan keluar dari Kuala Lumpur tidaklah mengejutkan.


Penggiat bola sepak Malaysia, khususnya yang pernah menyumbang keringat, tenaga dan air mata dalam membangunkan AFC sepanjang berdekad lalu, sudah tentu membantah cadangan ini.


Bagi bekas setiausaha agungnya, Datuk Peter Velappan, cadangan itu satu tamparan buat sejarah dan warisan bola sepak Asia dan Malaysia.


Ini menunjukkan AFC tidak menghormati sejarah dan sumbangan Malaysia dan warga Malaysia dalam menaikkan imej bola sepak Asia.


Tanpa Malaysia dan warganya yang bertungkus-lumus mencanai idea dan dasar ketika beroperasi di Pulau Pinang, Ipoh, kemudian menumpang Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia (FAM) di Jalan Maharajalela pada 1978 sebelum berpindah sebumbung dengan Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM) pada 1995, AFC tidak mungkin semasyhur ini.


Biarpun batu asasnya diletakkan di Hong Kong, badan induk bola sepak Asia itu berkembang apabila sekretariatnya dipindahkan ke Malaysia di bawah teraju Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Alhaj.


Daripada sebuah organisasi yang sederhana dari segi penampilan, kedudukan kewangan dan reputasi, AFC dianggap antara organisasi paling disegani di peringkat dunia.


Jumlah pendapatannya dikatakan mencecah RM400 juta setahun, satu kedudukan kewangan yang tentunya melampaui imaginasi pemimpin-pemimpin terdahulu.


Ini berbeza dengan keadaan AFC yang tenat ketika Tunku Abdul Rahman dipilih menerajui AFC pada Kongres pertamanya di Tokyo serentak dengan Sukan Asia pada 1958.


Dalam bukunya Lest We Forget (1983), Tunku Abdul Rahman mengimbas:


“Ketika saya dipilih selaku Presiden AFC ketika temasya Sukan Asia di Tokyo pada 1958, setiausaha AFC ketika itu bekas pemain Hong Kong yang terkenal, Lee Wai Tong.


“Kantung AFC boleh dikatakan kontang (menurut buku Power of Dreams yang dikeluarkan sempena ulang tahun ke-50 AFC, badan induk itu hanya mempunyai HK$3,300 ketika itu). Bola sepak Asia tidak mempunyai wang dan organisasi yang tersusun.


“Apabila saya mengambil alih teraju AFC, bekas pengadil Koe Ewe Teik menjadi setiausaha agung. AFC mula berfungsi dan bola sepak Asia mula disegani. Saya ditemani beberapa individu lain seperti Datuk Kwok Kin Keng, Lim Kee Seong dan Datuk Teoh Chye Hin dan kami berganding bahu menjadikan AFC sebagai antara persatuan bola sepak terkemuka dunia.


“Apabila Chye Hin menjadi setiausaha agung, Ewe Teik menjadi bendahari. Kami meninggalkan AFC serentak pada 1978, dengan RM1 juta dalam simpanan AFC.”


Masih segar dalam ingatan saya apabila membuat liputan untuk sebuah akhbar berbahasa Inggeris ketika Rumah AFC yang bernilai RM18juta dirasmikan lapan tahun lalu. AFC akhirnya mempunyai bangunan sekretariatnya sendiri di Bukit Jalil, di atas sebidang tanah kurniaan Kerajaan Malaysia.


Disebabkan presiden AFC ketika itu adalah Sultan Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah, AFC menikmati banyak kelebihan. Kebanyakan tulang belakang di balik tabir AFC juga adalah warga Malaysia.


Bagi kita, Rumah AFC adalah satu lagi mercu tanda kebanggaan negara selepas Litar F1 Sepang dan kompleks Sukan Bukit Jalil.


Tidak lama selepas Sultan Ahmad Shah memberi laluan kepada Hammam untuk mengambil alih tampuk pimpinan AFC pada 2002, tanda-tanda memusnahkan legasi ini sudah kelihatan.


Kakitangan warga Malaysia yang dulunya kakitangan tetap dijadikan staf secara kontrak selama empat tahun bermula pada Disember 2005.


Australia dipelawa menyertai benua Asia dan AFC, manakala ibu pejabatnya membuka pintu kepada pakar-pakar dari luar negara untuk mengambil alih daripada warga Malaysia. Ini atas nama profesionalisme, kononnya.


Hammam yang disifatkan sebagai presiden yang bersifat autokratik, dikhabarkan mahu meminta Kerajaan Malaysia memberi keistimewaan dari banyak segi, termasuk pengecualian cukai, tanah di Putra Jaya dan layanan permaidani merah ke mana saja dia pergi.


Seorang usahawan yang mempunyai 10 anak, Hammam nampaknya sedang menguji sejauh mana Malaysia sanggup mempertahankan warisan yang bermula 50 tahun lalu di Tokyo.


Pelbagai isu, termasuk kontroversi membabitkan pembatalan kehadiran Manchester United pada Julai 2007 dan penganjuran Champions Youth Cup yang disokong oleh AFC menjadikan hubungan AFC, FAM dan Kerajaan Malaysia ibarat "retak menanti belah".


Apakah kita sekadar berpeluk tubuh dan membiarkan Kongres AFC menentukan masa depan ibu pejabat AFC dalam persidangannya Mei tahun depan?


Bukankah baru saja tahun lalu Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak melawat Hammam di Rumah AFC, ditemani satu rombongan besar yang diberi pelbagai hadiah, termasuk pen mahal setiap seorang?


Bukankah bekas Menteri Kewangan Tun Daim Zainuddin dilantik mengetuai jawatankuasa audit dalaman AFC tidak lama dahulu?


Apakah kita berpuas hati menjadi penonton dalam drama ini?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

buat apa nak cerita about afc, tu tuan jenderal tukar dulu

Hang Tuah said...

Bang Rizal, Time has changed la, now football and politics are so intertwined. This award are occasion to berampu ampu dan berbodek bodek. You tahu la Bang Rizal you scratch my back I scratch yours.
What is the big deal our PM dapat Diamond award Harman gets a Tan Sriship.
Bang sekarang dunia bola sepak dah berlain la.

Anonymous said...

Rizal tak berani cerita yg kurang enak pasal FAm sebab takut kena gantung

Doctor Romario said...

Hmmmm...looks like a booby trap :)


For the Game. For the World.

armouris said...

info tentang bola sepak di SIHAT SELALU - Kecederaan di Padang Bola Sepak

Anonymous said...

apa lagi mau cakap? hang tuah sudah betul. jangan salahkan orang lain kalau mau angkat kaki atau mau bungkus afc house ke lain tempat. salahkan diri sendiri apasal jadi begini. jangan terlalu bergantung pada sejarah tapi perlu tengok hadapan. afc punya perancangan sendiri untuk majukan bolasepak asia. kalau duduk di malaysia tak boleh maju, lebih baik keluar saja. memang fam sendiri tak tau buat karja untuk majukan bolasepak malaysia. afc ambil pendirian, kalau nak maju, perlu kawan sama orang yang maju juga. kalau kawan sama orang mundur, akibatnya, mereka pun mundur juga. renung-renungkan...