Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Liputan Olimpik masa akan datang

Apakah cabaran wartawan media cetak dan elektronik hari ini dalam membuat liputan temasya besar seperti Sukan Olimpik? Baca kolumku di arena.my di sini

Monday, July 30, 2012

Memories of Athens Olympics, part 1

It is customary for journalists covering the Olympic Games to pen a column to be dispatched to the head office on top of the daily news. I wrote a few when I was in Athens in 2004.

Below is one of them.

A tale of two attaches

Jordao Antero Marques Henrique and Jean-Francois Quenet are Press attaches in the ongoing Athens Olympics. But they are worlds apart.

While Timor Leste's Jordao appears to be streetwise and fun, Frenchman Quenet, with his ala John Lennon spectacles, is a highly educated yuppie who represents the other end of the spectrum.

Jordao is a member of the six-strong Timor Leste contingent, while Quenet, who prefers to be called Jeff, is in charge of the French media covering the Games, all 186 of them.

I knew Jeff since 1997, when he first came to Kuala Lumpur to cover the second edition of Le Tour de Langkawi.

He has missed only one Tour since. I met Jordao only yesterday. He approached me when I was browsing at the Olympic Shop at the Main Press Centre (MPC).

He overheard me talking over the mobile phone in Bahasa. "Apa khabar orang Malaysia?" was his way of breaking the ice.

Over a cup of espresso on the rooftop of the MPC, it emerged he is in fact a journalist masquerading as a Press attache.

His ID security tag indicates OLV, MPC, IBC, all venues plus the fork and spoon pictogram, which mean he has access to the Olympic Games Village, the MPC, the International Broadcasting Centre and the Games Village dining area, superseding those even of the chefs-de-mission who are not allowed to enter the MPC.

"I believe I am the only media personnel staying inside the Games Village. Haha ... Europeans like to think they are better than we Asians. They tend to underestimate Asians. We may be small in size, but big up here," his finger pointing at his temple.

A former youth footballer for Timor Leste, Jordao works for a Portuguese-language newspaper, Semanario. Among those he had interviewed included FIFA president Sepp Blatter, Asean Football Federation (AFF) secretary, Datuk Paul Mony Samuel and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) deputy president, Datuk Dr M. Jegathesan, who happens to be the Malaysian chef-de-mission in Athens.

For most sports journalists, including yours truly, covering the Olympics is the pinnacle of our career. Yet Jordao insists on wanting to tread on the untrodden path.

"I want to become a war correspondent," he said.

Jeff, a Breton who is a history graduate, faces a different kind of war.

"I'm here to please my French colleagues ... I am the press attache for the French media contingent ... my job is to help ensure there is a flow of information between the contingent and the media," he said when I paid him a visit at his office, more like a cubicle, at the fifth floor of the MPC.

Quenet (right) at the Beijing 2008 Games

Our conversation ranged from Tour de Langkawi organiser Datuk Wan Lokman Ibrahim to the newly-appointed French national football team coach Raymond Domenech and Zinedine Zidane's retirement.

I happened to buy copy of the 2004 official guide of Tour de France with eventual winner Lance Armstrong on the cover, without noticing his article.

Wearing a look of pure satisfaction, he showed me his byline under the title Tale of the Tape, comparing German rider Jan Ullrich with Armstrong.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monaco, Dolgo coming...and a 35 percent discount...

The Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2012 is thrilled to announce tennis’ newest Top 10 player, and one of the craftiest and most exciting players on the ATP World Tour, have today confirmed their participation in the US$947,750 ATP 250 tournament, to be held September 22 to 30 at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil.

Top-ten debutant Juan Monaco of Argentina, one of the standout players of the 2012 ATP World Tour season, will be making his first visit to Kuala Lumpur, while the “welcome back” mat will be laid out for the fabulous play of the Ukraine’s World No.17 Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Monaco and Dolgopolov join the previously confirmed David Ferrer of Spain, the World No. 5, who won his fifth title of the year last week in Bastad, Sweden, and the popular Japanese player, and Asian No.1, Kei Nishikori, ranked No. 18. Monaco is enjoying the best year of his career.

Yesterday, the 28 year old from Tandil, a hotbed of tennis talent in Argentina, won his third title of the year at the ATP 500 tournament in Hamburg, and is now at a career high ranking of No.10, something he could very well improve on, come September.

His participation was confirmed just hours after his Hamburg victory, following an initial meeting with “Pico”, as he is affectionately known, by IMG’s Tournament Director Nick Freyer, during Wimbledon.

This third title of the year places Monaco behind KL bound Ferrer and tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most titles won so far in 2012. Monaco has now taken his win-loss record for 2012 to a very impressive 31-10.

He has six career titles and has reached another nine finals, following his run to the final last Sunday at the ATP 250 event in Stuttgart. “It's amazing, it's a dream come true,” Monaco said of his new position in the Top 10.

I will always remember this great week because it's very important for me and my team. It was a big goal we had pre-season when we were practising very hard.”

The victory over an in-form Tommy Haas in Hamburg adds to titles he won in Vina del Mar and then in Houston where he beat two giant servers, Kevin Anderson and in the final John Isner. He was a semi-finalist at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Miami where he had a stunning run, beating, in back-to-back matches, Gael Monfils, Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish.

He also made the last 16 at the French Open accounting for Milos Raonic is a five set thriller and has a career win over Ferrer. He now turns his attention, along with Ferrer and Nishikori to the London Olympics. Dolgopolov is also coming off a solid recent week on the ATP World Tour having made the semi-finals in Umag, Croatia.

Dolgopolov is one of the most exciting players in men’s tennis. The 23-year old Ukrainian was ranked No.13 following the Australian Open earlier this year. He plays tennis with such a carefree attitude that fans are left gasping at some of the winners he produces.

It is such a thrill to witness his style of play that fellow players who watch him in action are even left shaking their heads with his talent. “I have fond memories of my last visit to Kuala Lumpur,” Dolgopolov said.

“My coach Jack and I felt very comfortable and welcome in Malaysia and we are excited to return and play the highest quality tennis. I hope it will deliver another KL Champion from my part of Europe, and I would love it to be me.” Rafael Nadal said of “Dolgo”, as he is known everywhere:

“He's a crazy player, not like a crazy guy (but) because you can expect everything. He can play really aggressive; he can play very fast; he has a very good serve; and the ball is going too fast sometimes. He can beat you and you will not have something to do with it. He's a special player. I know he can hit a winner from every place in the court.”

The tournament also announced that fans visiting the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2012 should make sure to keep their ticket stub. Every ticket stub will have a coupon printed on it that will entitle the holder to discounts (including a 35% discount on Wilson products from the tournament booth at the stadium) when purchasing a variety of the great sponsor products that will be on offer.

“Our fans mean a lot to us so we are delighted to be able to offer them something back. We want them to have a fun experience at the tournament and this promotion just ads to our “Catch the Autographed Ball” and “Win 500 ATP Shirts per day” activities that have already been announced,” added Freyer.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the official website, www.MalaysianOpenTennis.com.

Azizulhasni is OK

Let us all pray our pocketrocketman Azizulhasni Awang, Asian keirin champion and Beijing Olympics quarterfinalist in the sprint, recovers quickly from his latest mishap in the Cologne Grand Prix, his final race ahead of the London Olympics. Malaysian local daily Utusan Malaysia carried the report here

Coach John Beasley has given the assurance Azizulhasni, or Jojo to his friends, will be ready to saddle up on Aug 4 for the sprint. Three days later he will renew his rivalry with 2008 triple gold medallist and current world champ Chris Hoy, who is also Team GB's flagbearer in the opening ceremony, Australia's Shane Perkins, Dutchman Teun Mulder and France's Mickael Bourgain.

Pics courtesy of Beasley's FB

"Hi all as you can see Azizul is fine, these are nothing to him, he has some superficial skin loss on the usual places, arm, shoulder, hip, otherwise he is alright. It is nothing and after a couple of easy days he will be ready to go. His form is good so we will now try to keep him healthy leading into the Games which is always hard in the village where there is so many people from all over the world. I will write a report at the airport tomorrow if I have time." John Beasley on his Facebook wall.

With the surgery to remove a nine-inch splinter from his calf muscle after a spectacular crash in the Track World Cup in Manchester still rankles...and widely reported, refer here, his fellow Malaysians wish Azizulhasni the best of luck.

The lad from Dungun has checked into the London Games Village with fellow track cyclists Josiah Ng and Fatehah Mustapa.

Chong Wei's media manager

My former colleague at the Malay Mail, Satwant Singh Dhaliwal, is the media manager for Datuk Lee Chong Wei, the men's singles badminton top seed for the London Olympics kicking off Saturday, Malaysian time. For updates on Chong Wei and the badminton contingent in London, visit his blog here.


Responding to this posting, Satwant writes:

"Contrary to what was reported by my former colleague from The Malay Mail and now a TV celebrity, Rizal Hashim on his blog, I must however correct the blog entry that i am not the Media Manager for Dato Lee Chong Wei nor am I employed by Badminton Association of Malaysia in any capacity.

"I am merely helping a friend and also those in the media bridge the communication gap between the two parties on a pro-Bono basis. To Rizal I thank you for promoting my blog and I hope to bring up to date news on the happenings at Wembley Arena for sports fans in Malaysia. There are many members of the Malaysian media that are accredited and they will surely be bringing in depth news from London."

That's Satwant (wearing a Bayern Munich jersey), with loose cannon trying to be funny as usual, while Mustapha Kamaruddin looking not amused as opposed to Tony Yee.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ikuti detik-detik Olimpik secara 3D

Kuala Lumpur, 23 Julai 2012 – Buat pertama kali di Malaysia, pelanggan Astro B.yond HD dapat menikmati liputan Sukan Olimpik 2012 di London dalam bentuk 3D setiap hari, dari 28 Julai hingga 13 Ogos di saluran Olimpik 24-jam (ESPN 3D, saluran Astro 838) di Astro.

Pelanggan Astro B.yond HD yang melanggani Pakej Sukan Astro akan menikmati lebih 200 jam liputan 3D, termasuk Siaran Langsung serta laporan-laporan hangat sepanjang musim Olimpik ini.

Antara siaran langsung yang akan disiarkan dalam bentuk 3D termasuk Majlis Perasmian Olimpik [Julai 28 (Sabtu) pada 4 pagi] dan Majlis Penutupan Olimpik [Ogos 13 (Isnin) pada 4 pagi], serta acara-acara sukan yang diminati ramai seperti acara olahraga, renang, gimnastik dan terjun yang akan disiarkan dalam bentuk 3D buat kali pertamanya.

"Para pelanggan Astro pastinya akan kagum dengan liputan Olimpik dalam bentuk 3D pada tahun ini" kata Encik Lee Choong Khay, Naib Presiden, Perniagaan Sukan di Astro.

"Selain itu,kami turut berbangga menawarkan ‘SPECIAL TV PASS’ (Pas TV Istimewa) kepada para pelanggan Astro untuk acara gemilang ini," katanya.

Choong Kay atau CK pada majlis pelancaran tadi

Semua pelanggan Astro kini mempunyai pilihan untuk menyaksikan acara gemilang ini melalui ‘SPECIAL TV PASS’ (Pas TV Istimewa) dengan bayaran sekali 50 ringgit, tanpa melanggani pakej Sukan Astro.

Dengan ‘SPECIAL TV PASS’, pelanggan Astro boleh mendapat akses secara komprehensif ke acara ini. “"Kami amat berbesar hati untuk bekerjasama dengan Astro untuk membawa liputan terbesar di Malaysia untuk siaran Sukan Olimpik 2012 di London. Rakyat Malaysia boleh mengharapkan siaran yang paling komprehensif untuk acara gemilang ini. Ini termasuk liputan 3D di saluran ESPN 3D untuk kali pertama, serta liputan yang meluas dalam definisi tinggi (HD) dan definisi standard (SD).

"Kami komited untuk membawa pengalamanterbaik untuk rakyat Malaysia menyaksikan acara Sukan Olimpik ini,"kata Encik Adam Zecha Eksekutif Naib Presiden, Ketua Jualan untuk ESPN STAR Sports Asia Tenggara.

ESPN STAR Sports adalah penyiar rasmi di Astro untuk Sukan Olimpik 2012 di London. Tahun ini, pelanggan Astro boleh mengharapkan liputan terbesar dan paling meluas dalam sejarah Malaysia. Ini termasuk liputan 24-jam di saluran ESPN (Astro saluran 812), STAR Sports (Astro saluran 813), ESPN HD (Astro saluran 832) dan ESPNEWS (Astro saluran 818).

Buat pertama kalinya, peminat sukan boleh menikmati 10 saluran ESPN STAR Sports khas untuk liputan Sukan Olimpik dalam bentuk SD dan HD, serta di saluran khas 3D di Astro.

Liputan Astro juga termasuk saluran tambahan interaktif yang mempunyai butir-butir program, kuiz dan skrin 'mozek' yang membolehkan peminat sukan mengemudi secara mudah antara saluran-saluran khas Olimpik.

Pelanggan Astro boleh melanggani Pakej Sukan Astro atau ‘SPECIAL TV PASS’ (Pas TV Istimewa) melalui perkhidmatan Portal Astro (saluran 200) – sebuah perkhidmatan baru yang kini tersedia di kaca TV anda. Untuk melanggan Pakej Sukan ASTRO, sila hubungi Astro menerusi talian 1300 82 3838 atau SMS ASTRO No. Akaun Astro#SPORTS ke 32888* (contoh: ASTRO 0812345678#SPORTS). Untuk maklumat lanjut mengenai SPECIAL TV PASS (PAS TV ISTIMEWA ), sila hubungi Astro di 03 9543 9833 (*Caj telekomunikasi biasa akan dikenakan) Pelanggan Astro turut boleh melayari lamanwww.astro.com.my/shop untuk melanggani Pakej Sukan Astro.

Our claim to fame

With the flag-bearing duties handed to diver Pandelela Rinong despite the last-gasp attempt to have Datuk Lee Chong Wei given the honour (read here), the international media spotlight in the London Olympic Games will fall on only a select few Malaysians, even if their performance on their respective fields falls short of expectations.

By virtue of his stature, Chong Wei's present condition - from his diet of hot porridge to help him recuperate from a severe ankle injury to his rivalry with Lin Dan - will come under great scrutiny.

Attention will also be given to Pandelela, the first female competitor, and second diver to be given the flag-bearing duties. The 19-year old lass from Sarawak, gold medallist in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, is a medal prospect in synchronised diving.

Pandelela will carry Jalur Gemilang on July 27 - Friday London time

Also assured of her 15-minutes of fame, regardless of her sharpshooting skills in the 10m air rifle category, is an eight month pregnant Nur Suryani Taibi, the nation's first ever ISSF shooter to qualify for the Olympics.

The 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist and 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist was given a rousing send-off with a doa recital (prayers) by her neighbours in her residential area at Puncak Jalil on Sunday. She will be accompanied by husband, Marhazli Mhotar.

There will be demands for more interviews than ever for Suryani in London

Bryan (third from right) given the duty in 2004

When diver Bryan Nickson Lomas was named as the flag-bearer of the Athens Games in 2004, the idea was for him to market Malaysia's belief in youth. It worked. The amount of publicity, air time and column inches it generated was invaluable.

Everybody wanted to have a piece of, or do a piece on Bryan - from Suddeutsche Zeitung, Time magazine to the foreign wires - for the Sarawakian lad was not only the contingent's flagbearer, he was also the youngest, smallest and lightest male competitor of the Athens Games.

Bryan remains a member of the select band of 14 personalities to be bestowed the honour. Here's the full list since Malaya made their debut in Melbourne in 1956.

The Melbourne Games 1956 - Tan Kim Bee (weightlifting)
The Rome Games 1960 - Kuda Ditta (athletics)
The Tokyo Games 1964 - Shaharudin Mohd Ali (athletics) now Datuk
The Mexico Games 1968 - Nashatar Singh (athletics) now Datuk
The Munich Games 1972 - Ali Bakar (football)
The Montreal Games 1976 - Ishtiaq Mobarak (athletics)
The Los Angeles Games 1984 - Sabiamad Abdul Ahad (shooting)
The Seoul Games 1988 - Nordin Mohd Jadi (athletics)
The Barcelona Games 1992 - Razif Sidek (badminton)
 The Atlanta Games 1996 - Nor Saiful Zaini Nasiruddin (hockey)
The Sydney Games 2000 - Mirnawan Nawawi (hockey)
The Athens Games 2004 - Bryan Nickson Lomas (diving)
The Beijing Games 2008 - Azizulhasni Awang (cycling)
The London Games 2012 - Pandelela Rinong Pamg (diving)

From Athens, I was among the few Malaysian journalists to chronicle the moments when the eyes of the world were fixed on the contingent as the Olympic family celebrated the homecoming of the Games.

Clad in beige-coloured Malay traditional dress, the baju Melayu Teluk Belanga Johor style (round neck collar fastened by one button) with yellow, red and blue motifs on the samping tied P. Ramlee style, the contingent marched past with a three-time Olympian and former National Scientist of the Year leading them out of the dug-out and the smallest, youngest and lightest male competitor of the Games as the flagbearer.

The contingent emerged from the bowels of the Olympic Stadium in Maroussi after Morocco and were represented by 11 athletes. The rest were swimmers Allen Ong, Saw Yi Khy, divers Leong Mun Yee and Gracie Junita Terry Pega, sprinter Nazmizan Muhammad and race walker Yuan Yufang, sailor Kevin Lim, women's badminton doubles Chin Ee Hui-Wong Pei Tty and shooter Ricky Teh.

The remaining 13 were excused to prepare for their events starting the following day while Josiah Ng and Elaine Teo were scheduled to arrive the following week. The officials were headed by chef-de-mission Datuk Dr M Jegathesan (now Tan Sri), a three-time Olympian and the first ever Malaysian to advance to the semi-final of the Games. He was also a recipient of the National Science Award in 1995. One of the most admired sporting heroes in Malaysia, Dr Jegathesan completes a unique distinction in Athens, having been part of the Games as an athlete, medical doctor, deputy chef-de-mission and now the CDM.

Thanks to a 33-strong contingent that boast a former World No 1, Malaysia's first woman flagbearer and a pregnant shooter, Malaysia will be assured of worldwide fame, whether or not our cream of the crop returns with a gold!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My two sens on Kien Keat...

My two sens on Koo Kien Keat...for 24 seconds...18:26 to 18.50...

Arsenal arrive today

UPDATED. 6.32pm...

I managed to ask only three questions in the welcome Press conference for Arsenal at Saujana a while ago...

1. Datuk K. Rajagobal, how crucial is this series of matches, against Arsenal and then Man City, in your attempt to form a decent side to defend the AFF Cup?
"...the chance to play against one of the best teams in the world is hard to come by...

2. How do you respond to criticism saying that matches of this nature do not help boost our FIFA rankings?
"...Ranking does not matter much, if you look at Brazil, they are one of the best teams but currently ranked 11. This Arsenal team has a host of world-class players and my players are assured of a top quality match..."

3. Mr Wenger, you were here in 1999 and since then have made three more visits to KL. Why do you keep on coming here?
"Why not?" he retorted followed by laughter from the floor.
"One of the reasons I did the job was to meet people from different cultures. Don't forget I spent two years here in Asia in Japan." The rest of his answer can be found in the form of this story here

Before making his welcoming remarks, Wenger faced Rajagobal, "I would like to congratulate you my friend, because you are still in charge, you must be that good," he said in what can only construed as a good-natured jibe.

When I posed Raja the first question, he began with:

"Mr Wenger, I have been with the federation (FAM) since 2002."

Original posting

ARSENAL arrive today...

It is Arsene Wenger's fourth trip to Kuala Lumpur since 1999. Read here

Arsenal FC (July 24) and Manchester City FC (July 30) - ah thankless tasks for the national team.

In recognition of the players’ selfless efforts, ProEvents – the exclusive organiser of the tour - treated the whole team and their families to a dinner at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya on Friday.

ProEvents Chief Executive Officer Julian Kam also presented the players with VIP tickets worth RM388 for the highly-anticipated matches at the National Stadium, Bukit Jalil.

“The Malaysian national team has never failed to impress whenever they have been pitted against any team from the English Premier League. In view of the upcoming matches against Arsenal FC and against Manchester City, we would like to take this opportunity to wish our national team the best of luck for the coming games.

"It is also the perfect occasion for all within the fraternity to come together for some good food and a good time before the holy month of Ramadan begins tomorrow,” said Kam.

Tickets for the match are priced at RM58, RM68, RM108 and limited VIP tickets at RM388. Tickets are available at all Ticketpro outlets nationwide, Ticketpro hotline 03-7880-7999 and www.ticketpro.com.my.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Open letter by Thai coach

Wah, Thai national coach Winfried Schaefer has written an open letter asking everyone connected to the game to throw their weight behind the team ahead of the AFF Cup in November. One day Ong Kim Swee might be tempted to do the same!

Read it here

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Only during Ramadan

I love this commercial! Jassim Yaqoub and Luis Figo getting engaged in a round of one upmanship, with Jassim having the last laugh as he "enjoyed" the prestige of having played in the Al-Roudan Tournament.

Al-Roudan's futsal tournament is a yearly contest that takes place only during the holy month of Ramadan. The tournament is held for 28 consecutive days, 3 games a day.


This will give you an inkling on who Jassim Yaqoub is or was...he was the Kuwaiti equivalent of our own Mokhtar Dahari...Read John Duerden's piece here

Syafiq best Bolt poser!

PUMA Malaysia is proud to annouce Syafiq Syazwan as the winner of the Puma Evo Speed Best Pose competition which ended yesterday.

The 25-year-old beat a total of 459 Puma fans of various ages and background with his most creative look using the giant Puma Evo Speed and other props available. Syafiq wins a giant shoe, a goodie bag and Puma voucher worth RM 300.

The winning pose

The Puma Evo Speed Best Pose contest was held in all Puma stores in the Klang Valley as a pre-promo for the range of shoes which will be available in all Puma stores from the end of July.

"Based on our successful viral video Semua Boleh Bolt! which featured national goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, we used the giant replicas of the shoes and other props from the video for our fans to pose with," said Puma Malaysia Head of Marketing, Gabriel Yap.

"The giant replicas were a great hit with the fans as many young and old recognised it as part of the prop in the video hence we had a tough time to pick the winners," he added.

Meanwhile, coming in second was Janine Cherrie while Shazni took the third spot. Both receive a giant shoe and goodie bag each along with RM 200 and RM 100 vouchers respectively.

Puma Evo Speed is the latest range of the Global Sportlifestyle company in which features a designed based on current 100m Men's world record holder and Puma ambassador Usain Bolt.

Using speed as it's main characteristics, Puma has developed the range for sports including football, motorsports, golf, indoor sports and running.

Meanwhile, for the fourth to tenth place winners will get a goodie bag each.

List of winners: 1. Mohd Syafiq Syazwan 871126-02-5005 2. Janine Cherrie 920927-65-5056 3. Shazni 881008-07-5043 4. Tan Allan 881112-26-5269 5. Muhammad Faliq Idrus 860406-14-5059 6. Nerissa Liu 981223-13-5422 7. Dzaf 950304-14-6519 8. Situ Nur Najmin 870608-02-5978 9. Tan Wei Sin 800608-04-5107 10.Zharif Abu Safian

Supermoto anyone?


Malaysia today joins the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship with a round to be contested in December this year, and officially launched the 2012 Malaysian Supermoto Series which will consist of three races in its inaugural season.

Both the Malaysian round of the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship and 2012 Malaysian Supermoto Series was officially launched by Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme ASIA (FIM Asia) President Stephan “Mackey” P. Carapiet.

Also present at the event were Chairman of the Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) YM Tunku Datuk Mudzaffar Tunku Mustapha, MAXASIA Co Ltd Chief Executive Officer Noriyuki Kawai as promoter for the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship, the Motorcycle Federation of Japan (MFJ) General Manager Akira Goto, the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of Thailand (FMSCT) President Thongchai Wongsawan, and Bike Nation Motorsports Director Dato’ Eric Loo.

Promoted by Bike Nation Motorsports, the Malaysian round of the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship is scheduled to be held in December at the PLUS Speedway Circuit in USJ Subang, while the first of three planned races in the 2012 Malaysian Supermoto Series is expected to kick off in September also at the PLUS Speedway Circuit.

“With the hosting of the Malaysian round of the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship and the organizing of this new local series, the very best of Malaysian riders will now have the opportunity to compete alongside their compatriots from within the region and this ultimately, will significantly contribute towards enhancing not only the competitiveness of local riders, but also go a long way in raising the profile of the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship as a whole,” said FIM Asia President Stephan “Mackey” P. Carapiet.

This sentiment was shared by AAM Chairman YM Tunku Datuk Mudzaffar Tunku Mustapha who said that events such as the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship and the 2012 Malaysian Supermoto Series, will be another important platform in the long term efforts to produce a greater pool of Malaysian as well as Asian riders capable of not only moving up from domestic to compete in regional events but in creating greater presence in the international arena.

Meanwhile, Bike Nation Motorsports Director Dato’ Eric Loo reiterated that the hosting of such a prestigious event not only underlines Malaysia’s capability and reputation for hosting numerous regional and international events, but it is with the objective of providing a platform for talented Malaysian riders to be able to compete at an international level.

“While we have incredibly competitive Malaysians competing in the various disciplines of motorcycle racing domestically, very few have the opportunity to benchmark their true talent and ability against the region or world’s best.

In hosting a round of the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship, it is our hope that Malaysians will be able to benefit from the valuable racing experience and exposure an event of this magnitude offers…The introduction of the 2012 Malaysian Supermoto Series on the other hand, is to help establish greater presence and recognition for the sport domestically, and more importantly, to create a platform in which talented riders can then be identified, developed and groomed to compete regionally and internationally,” said Dato’ Eric.

Promoted by MAXASIA Co Ltd, the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship opens with round 1 in Indonesia, before moving on to Thailand in November, Malaysia in December and the Philippines in February 2013.

The 2012 Malaysian Supermoto Series meanwhile, is promoted by Bike Nation Motorsports, organised by Comma Motorsports and sanctioned by the Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM), and will feature two races in September and the third and final round in November.


Supermoto or also known as Supermotard, is motorcycle racing on a closed circuit that alternates between three types of track: flat track, motocross and road racing, using motorcycles designed for that purpose or generally modified off-road, motocross and dirt bikes.

Supermoto was originally conceived as something like an all-star game, in which the best riders from the three separate genres of motorcycle racing could temporarily leave their normal race class to come together and compete for the title of best all around racer.

Today supermoto is a distinct genre of its own. Races are commonly held on road racing or medium sized go-kart tracks with an off-road section in the infield. Most supermoto race tracks have a tarmac size of 50-75% and the remaining percentage of the course is off-road.

The dirt sections are usually constructed of packed clay and feature motocross style obstacles like bermed corners and jumps. The motorcycles used run on road-racing wheels and tyres, while the riders wear a combination of road race and off-road equipment, normally road racing leathers and motocross helmets and boots. Racing speeds are generally less than 160km/h on short and technical tracks where rider skill is more important than just machine performance.

Round 1 22 September Indonesia
Round 2 10 November Thailand
Round 3 9 December Malaysia
Round 4 February (2013)
Philippines (to be confirmed)


Round 1 9 September Speedway PLUS Circuit
Round 2 30 September Speedway PLUS Circuit
Round 3 4 November Speedway PLUS Circui
 Event Categories: • Open 250 – Unlimited until 250cc • Open 450 – Unlimited until 700cc • Open Veteran – Unlimited until 700cc (for rider age 45 and above) • Production unlimited up to 200cc • Production unlimited KLX 150cc

Liga Sosial


Oleh Fadzrie Hazis, Editor Sukan Astro Awani

Formasi FC ditubuhkan saya sendiri, pada April 2012 dan ia khusus untuk Liga Komuniti Tune Talk Safee Sali yang bermula pada Jun 2012 hingga 15 Julai 2012.

Saya mengumpulkan rata-rata kawan-kawan saya, bersama dengan beberapa kakitangan dari Astro Awani untuk membentuk sebuah pasukan yang saya sendiri tidak menjangka, mampu mara ke final pertama kami di Liga Tune Talk Safee Sali.

Di peringkat awal,..kami mengadakan enam perlawanan persahabtan setiap Ahad pada bulan April.

Sebahagian besar pemain Formasi FC, adalah rakan-rakan yang membesar dan bermain bersama saya sendiri di taman perumahan kami di Bukit Damasara serta beberapa rakan sekolah saya dulu, Sekolah Menengah Bukit Bandaraya,Bangsar.

Saya mengambil keputusan melantik Irfan Al Akiti, sebagai kapten pasukan manakala seorang lagi rakan saya, Azfendy Azzuddin yang baru mendapat lesen C sebagai jurulatih pasukan kami.

Aksi pertama kami sebagai sebuah pasukan, berdepan SS10 FC, pasukan rakan-rakan Safee Sali.

Kami menang 6-3 dan meraih dua lagi kemenangan dan tiga keputusan seri dalam baki aksi persahabatan. Sebelum saingan liga bermula, Irfan menyerapkan seorang bekas pemain pertahanan Liga M Kuala Lumpur 2010, Anwar Rahim untuk bermain di posisi tengah.

Saya sendiri turut menyerapkan Farhan Zainal (Tam), bekas pemain Piala Presiden Selangor yang seangkatan dengan Mahalli Jasuli dan Asraruddin Putra Omar untuk jadi gandingan Anwar di bahagian tengah. Namun, Tam dan Anwar memiliki corak permainan terlalu sama, iaitu pemain tengah yang gemar bergerak dari bahagian bawah midfield (seperti Andrea Pirlo) dan ia sedikit menyukarkan permainan kami di peringkat awal.

Justeru, saya mengambil keputusan…meletakkan Tam di bahagian bek tengah dan Anwar kekal menggerakkan bahagian tengah selaku playmaker.

Formasi FC turut dibarisi bekas pemain Olimpik 2000, Kuala Lumpur dan Public Bank Selangor..Zulkifli Che Din.

Namun, kesibukan tugas membataskan penglibatan Zulkifli bersama kami dalam saingan kali ini, di mana dia hanya beraksi dalam satu perlawanan ketika pertemuan dengan Southern yang berakhir dengan seri satu sama.

Dalam saingan peringkat kumpulan B, kami bersaing dengan Southern FC dari Klang, Corleone FC (pasukan bekas pelajar Sekolah Menengah Bukit Bintang, PJ) dan juga seteru kami FCFC (sesetengah pemain kami termasuk saya, berasal dari pasukan ini).

Kami meraih tiga kemenangan, dua seri dan satu kekalahan untuk meraih 11 mata selaku juara Kumpulan dan mara ke suku akhir.

Selepas minggu kelima perlawanan, setiap pasukan dibenarkan menukar tiga pemain dan kami memasukan dua pemain baru, kedua-duanya, pemain penyerang dicadangkan Irfan, iaitu Afiq Desa (adik bekas pemain KL Faizal Desa) dan rakan Irfan dari Guinea, Sam Taoure.

Afiq tampak menonjol apabila menjaringkan lima gol sebelum aksi final untuk membantu kemaraan kami.

Di peringkat suku akhir, kami berdepan naib juara Kumpulan A,..Goms FC yang sudah lebih dua tahun beraksi sebagai satu pasukan.

Afiq beraksi cemerlang pada perlawanan ini, apabila meledak dua gol, manakala dua gol lagi dijaringkan Junaidi Mohamad dan Mohd Shahrizal Sharif untuk Formasi membelasah Goms FC 4-1.

Ramai yang mengikuti Liga ini, tidak menjangka Goms FC dari Gombak tewas mudah di tangan kami, malah lawan juga seakan memandang rendah keupayaan kami. Formasi FC menggunakan formasi 4-4-2, 4-1-4-1 atau 4-2-3-1 sepanjang saingan Liga Komuniti Tune Talk Safee Sali berlangsung, dengan dua pemain sayap yang bijak menyusupi kawasan lawan dan Afiq selaku penggempur harapan.

 Bahagian tengah dikemudi dengan baik Anwar, yang saya sifatkan sebagai pemain Formasi FC paling konsisten. Tam, tampak ampuh mengemudi benteng walaupun silih bertukar pasangannya di bek tengah, iaitu Hafezul Rahman dan Zulkifli Hassan yang kadang-kala ditugaskan sebagai bek kanan atau kiri.

Menanti kami di separuh akhir, ialah MyManunited....kelab penyokong Man Yoo yang dibimbing oleh Samsudin Ismail, bekas jurulatih Sekolah Menengah Victoria dan jurulatih remaja Kuala Lumpur yang tidak asing lagi, di era 90-an ketika saya di sekolah menengah.

Samsudin juga adalah bekas jurulatih Piala Presiden dan penolong jurulatih skuad Liga M Kuala Lumpur.  Ketika di saya bermain zaman sekolah menengah, sekolah saya..Sekolah Menengah Bukit Bandaraya kerap tumpas di tangan Sekolah Menengah Victoria bimbingan Cikgu Samsudin.

Justeru, impian melakar kemenangan sudah mula berkisar di minda saya dan apakah gandingan saya dan Azfendy mampu meraih kemenangan berdepan seorang jurulatih yang cukup pengalaman, di peringkat akar umbi.

Penjaga gol utama kami, Herman Misbah...adalah bekas pemain yang pernah diasuh oleh Cikgu Samsuddin ketika membantu Kuala Lumpur menjuarai Piala Presiden 1998.

Sebelum aksi separuh akhir bermula, Herman mengakui kepada saya bahawa dia sedikit gementar dengan kehadiran Cikgu Samsudin di pihak lawan.

Saya hanya berkata kepada Herman,”Kau keeper experience, main saja macam biasa”. Herman turut pernah berada dalam skuad Liga M warga kota,..pada 1999 hingga 2002 dan kemudian beraksi sebagai penjaga gol kedua dalam skuad Public Bank Selangor di bawah kendalian E Elavarasan.

Kami tidak memulakan aksi separuh akhir dengan baik, apabila menerusi satu serang balas, MyManyoo berjaya membuka tirai jaringan untuk mendahului 1-0. Herman gagal mendakap kemas rembatan penyerang lawan dan seorang lagi pemain lawan membuat tindakan susulan pantas untuk memecah kebuntuan.

Terus terang, saya berasa cemas ketika itu namun Azfendy tenang mengarahkan pemain-pemain kembali bangkit tanpa memarahi Herman, kerana tidak mahu memberi tekanan buat penjaga gawang utama kami.

Pemain-pemain Formasi kemudian menunjukkan perwatakan sebenar di penghujung babak pertama,...apabila ledakan Anwar terus menerjah gawang lawan untuk jaringan penyamaan. Jaringan itu memberi keyakinan semula buat kami, terus menguasai permainan dan ancaman MyManyoo dihadkan kepada gerakan pemain sayap kiri dan kanan mereka.

Masuk babak kedua, kami berjaya mendahului 2-1 apabila sepakan percuma Anwar..berjaya disudahkan dengan sempurna oleh Afiq. Namun, lawan kembali menyamakan kedudukan di penghujung babak kedua untuk kedudukan 2-2. Di babak ketiga (liga sosial ada tiga half),..kami kembali mendominasi perlawanan dan ketika perlawanan berbaki lima minit,..gerakan satu-dua Irfan dan Afiq menghasilkan gol kemenangan// Afiq muncul wira, dengan menympurnakan peluang itu untuk memabawa Formasi FC ke pentas akhir di pembabitan pertama kami sebagai satu pasukan.

Menang atau kalah di pentas akhir pada 15 Julai,..Formasi FC tampak berjaya, membuatkan beberapa bekas pemain Piala Presiden dan Liga M beraksi dengan menjelmakan aksi terbaik mereka.

Anwar mengambil keputusan, untuk menumpukan perhatian kepada pelajaran, dalam jurusan kejuruteraan di Kolej Damansara Utama pada 2011 dan meninggalkan skuad Kuala Lumpur.

Faktor masalah kewangan Persatuan Bola Sepak Kuala Lumpur, KLFA adalah antara yang mendorongnya menamatkan karier sebagai pemain profesional.

Dia kini adalah seorang jurutera di sebuah syarikat kejuruteraan.

Saingan Liga Komuniti Tune Talk Safee Sali tampak membolehkan pemain seperti Anwar kembali menjelmakan aksi ampuhnya di tengah padang.

Begitu juga dengan Herman, yang bersara sebagai pemain profesional kerana masalah kecederaan dan tonggak pertahanan kami Tam pernah mengalami kecederaan ACL ketika bersama skuad Piala Presiden Selangor.

Justeru, usaha Safee dan pengurus peribadinya, Zakaria Rahim menubuhkan liga ini, jelas satu usaha terpuji, biarpun ia adalah saingan tahap amatur.

Pemain Formasi FC diperkenalkan kepada CEO Tune Talk, Jason Lo dan Zakaria Rahim

Ia memberi peluang buat pemain-pemain amatur,..yang juga merupakan peminat bola sepak tempatan beraksi dan bersaing bersama beberapa bekas pemain liga M.

Nota: Formasi FC tewas kepada Shah Alam FC 2-1 pada aksi final di Stadium MPS

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Nasib Rozaimi

Md Rozaimi Abdul Rahman - nama ini meniti di bibir peminat bola sepak Malaysia selepas dia mengumpul 10 gol ketika pasukan negara menduduki tangga ketiga pada pusingan kelayakan Piala AFC Bawah 22 tahun baru-baru ini.

Kaki kirinya berbisa dan berseni - kalau dalam bahasa Inggeris biasa disebut cultured left-foot. Tontoni saja jaringan ketiga Sabah ketika menewaskan Perak 3-0 pada final Sukma di Kuantan Sabtu lalu, apabila Rozaimi atau Amy tenang menolak bola ke dalam gawang dengan kaki kirinya.

Rozaimi...ihsan FB Sabahawks

Bapanya Abdul Rahman Latip adalah petugas Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu, manakala ibunya Dayang Salmiah Awang Bagul suri rumah sepenuh masa.

Pada tanggal 6 Oktober nanti, Amy genap berusia 20 tahun. Anak kelima daripada lapan beradik ini dulu khabarnya sukar menyesuaikan diri menjalani latihan.

Sukar menyesuaikan diri dengan cara hidup dalam pasukan, selepas dua hari, dia pulang ke rumahnya di Taman Keramat, Kota Kinabalu. Itu dulu. Kini selepas diberi pendedahan dalam Sabahawks Juniors dan seterusnya bersama skuad senior sebelum disenaraikan oleh Ong Kim Swee untuk kempen pra-Olimpik pada 2011, Amy jauh lebih yakin.

Penonjolannya bersama skuad Kim Swee mendorong K. Rajagobal menyenaraikan Amy dalam senarai pelatih menjelang Piala AFF.

Bukan itu saja, ada kelab dari Portugal dan juara Thailand, BEC Tero Sasana, mahu memikatnya.

Sebagai pemain, Amy tentu tidak sedar selok-belok perjalanan hidup seorang pemain bola sepak tempatan kadangkala ditentukan pegawai.

Misalnya, di saat dia berpeluang berkelana ke Thailand untuk menyarung jersi kelab Thai Premier League, BEC Tero, Rozaimi sibuk melayan permintaan Selangor untuk mewakili Gergasi Merah itu bagi kempen Piala Malaysia.

Sabah FA pula mungkin menghormati Selangor dan otai-otai yang ada macam Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin, maka mereka akur dan turut kata. Sedangkan sepatutnya Sabah FA bersedia meletakkan kepentingan pemain dan negara mengatasi segalanya dan merelakan Rozaimi ke Bangkok dengan proses penghijrahan mengikut yuran perpindahan.

Bagi peminat yang menyedari bola sepak Malaysia pernah diwarnai bakat dari Malaysia Timur seperti James Wong, Hassan Sani, Peter Rajah, Razali Zinin, Matlan Marjan dan adiknya Zainizam, kemunculan Rozaimi harus disambut dengan senyuman.

Tapi apakah wajar jika bakatnya yang sepatutnya boleh digilap di luar kotak pemikiran Piala Malaysia, kekal  di Malaysia?

Takut peluang seumur hidup ini lebur dek kerenah pegawai Malaysia yang tidak profesional.

Inilah masalah bola sepak Malaysia.

Minggu ini pengurus besar BEC Tero, Robert Procureur akan beri kata putus sama ada Amy akan ditawarkan kontrak di Bangkok atau tidak!

Ataupun Hamidin lebih berkuasa menentukan masa depan Amy?

Procureur bekas pegawai Muangthong United

Friday, July 13, 2012

Our shuttlers depart

Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng, Chan Kwong Beng, Goh V Shem, Lim Khim Wah, Ong Jian Guo and Nelson Heg. Yes, they were on board flight MH2 Boeing 747 late last night, bound for London. But they are the supporting cast, so to speak. Their job is to make sure Malaysia's creme de la creme - Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Tee Jing Yi, are kept on their toes in the final homestraight before the 2012 London Olympics kicks off exactly two weeks from today.

Chef-de-mission Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid giving the badminton contingent a rousing send-off at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport

From left Chan Peng Soon, Goh Liu Ying, Tee Jing Yi, Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Tan Boon Heong and Koo Kien Keat come under the glare of the spotlight before their departure.

Team manager Ng Chin Chai says the 11-day stint at Bath as the final-tune up for Wembley Arena would put the team in the right frame of mind.

"Five days of training, one day rest and followed by another five days of training before we travel to Wembley by a chartered bus seem to be the ideal preparation," said Chin Chai.

In London, the singles players will be divided into 16 groups, with a minimum of three and maximum of four in a group, which is designed in such a way to prevent shuttlers from the weaker nations to take the first flight home so early in the Games.

The winner of each group will advance to the elimination round. In previous Games, it was a straight forward knockout battle from the opening round.

"We will see how the draw on July 23 goes but there is the likelihood of Chong Wei playing only one game in a space of four days based on this round-robin format," said the BA of Malaysia secretary.

The shuttlers will be greeted in Bath, about 150km west of London, by former squash official, Wong Ah Jit, as the National Sports Institute's representative and high-performance committee member. Suprising to note the former Army man, despite not having a sports science background, is leading a group of sports scientists and two chefs. 

In brief

Lee Chong Wei (men's singles)
Age: 29 (30 in October)
Latest world ranking: 2
All time best ranking: 1
Coach: Tey Seu Bock/Rashid Sidek
Motivation: Seeking the elusive gold medal and major title
Current condition: 85 percent fit, following ankle injury in May

Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (men's doubles)
Age: 26 (27 in September)/24 (25 in September)
Latest world ranking: 8
All time best ranking: 1
Coach: Pang Cheh Chang/Tan Kim Her
Motivation: To rediscover the form of late 2006, early 2007 after departure of top-class coaches Rexy Mainaky and Yoo Yong Sung
Current condition: 95 percent

Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (mixed doubles)
Age: 24/23
Latest world ranking: 7
All time best ranking: 7
Coach: Jeremy Gan
Motivation: To cement place as nation's best ever mixed pair
Current condition: Probably at their peak

Tee Jing Yi (women's singles)
Age: 21
Latest world ranking: 60
All time best ranking: 48
Coach: Chi Shanrong (Rashid will supervise Jing Yi in London)
Motivation: Out to enjoy her maiden outing
Current condition: 100 percent underdog

KL Racquet Club owner Datuk Seri Andrew Kam has promised a gold bar, worth RM2 million, to a local gold medallist in badminton. The 12.5kg gold bar will be shared should there be more than one gold medallist. Unfortunately it applies only to badminton. Wonder why it was not extended to other disciplines?

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ferrer, Nishikori for Malaysia Open, ATP

Press Release

KUALA LUMPUR: Celebrating its fourth year, the US$947,750 Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur ATP World Tour tournament, today announced that brilliant Spaniard David Ferrer, the World No. 5 and Asia’s incredibly popular leading player and World No. 18, Kei Nishikori of Japan, have confirmed their participation in the event, which takes place at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil from September 22 - 30.

“With David being a French Open semi-finalist, Wimbledon and Australian Open quarter finalist this year and having already won 2012 titles in Auckland on hard court, Buenos Aires, Acapulco on clay and ’s-Hertogenbosch on grass, he will be the highest ranked player ever to play our tournament,” said Tournament Director Nick Freyer, of organisers IMG.

David Ferrer is currently the 2012 match win leader on the Tour. He has won more matches than any other player, including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.”

“Kei, who launched his rise to the upper echelons of the rankings last year in KL, first played here as a wild card recipient ranked #170 in 2009. Having recovered from a stomach muscle injury that prevented him from playing at Roland Garros, he went on to reach the final 32 at Wimbledon. If his form continues, we hope that he will play the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2012 as a newly minted top 10 player come September.”

The Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur is supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Malaysia who are founding sponsors of the tournament. The event Patron is YABhg. Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

“Now in its fourth year, the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur has built a global reputation amongst players and fans as one of the most polished, enjoyable and hospitable ATP World Tour 250 tournaments anywhere,” said Y.B. Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia.

“Broadcast into millions of homes around the world and featuring “Malaysia Truly Asia Review” (Hawkeye line calling technology), the tournament is a must see week which sports fans, visitors and residents alike truly look forward to.”

“The Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Malaysia are proud to be associated with this event once again, as it continues to showcase our country through a multitude of media and new media platforms in Malaysia and internationally.”

As part of its 4th anniversary celebrations, the tournament is excited to announce four major new sponsors – Rado, Corona (an ATP World Tour Premier Partner), 100Plus and the DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, which join long-term sponsors Wilson, CNN International and Astro, the official host broadcaster.
This year the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur will join forces with the DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur on a “Baked with CARE” charity initiative where some of the ATP World Tour players will bake DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies.

These will be presented for sale in autographed cookie tins with proceeds going to the Dignity For Children Foundation charity. More information is available through www.dignityforchildren.org. These cookies can be purchased at the tournament information booth, the VIP Hospitality suite and at the hotel itself.

“We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to play host for the first time to some of the world’s best male tennis players, and as we continue to extend our culture of CARE beyond the team and our guests, into the community in which we operate. Our dedicated team is here to provide the warmest, personalized service possible, so that all players can be geared up to put on a great show when they walk on court,” said Ian Barrow, General Manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur.

“We are delighted and appreciative that after three years of world-class performance, that the corporate community is beginning to step up and recognize the value that the tournament delivers,” said Tournament Director Nick Freyer of IMG. “We are still very much indebted to the Event Patron and the Minister of Tourism and her team for making this tournament possible, and this year, I would also like to express deep thanks to Y. Bhg. Datuk Jamil bin Salleh, Deputy Secretary General (International and Administration), Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia, and the team at Stadium Putra for accommodating us during their renovation year.”

Astro, the host broadcaster will televise all singles matches LIVE on Center Court from Thursday to Sunday. The Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur will be televised internationally in over 100 countries and will be viewed by an estimated global audience, including Malaysia, of 350 million viewers. It is one of the most televised ATP World Tour 250 events anywhere and is a powerful advertisement for Malaysia. Domestic and international broadcasts will include “Malaysia Truly Asia Review” Hawkeye technology and graphics branding. The event is sanctioned by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) which is also a founding supporter of the event. As per tradition, at least two qualifying wild cards will be provided to local players and there will be opportunity for one or two local players to participate in the main draw of the doubles. There will also be a tennis clinic, this year called the “100Plus Junior Tennis Clinic”, for aspiring elite players with some of the ATP World Tour stars.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pentingnya pangkalan data

Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia (FAM) teruk kena hemtam lagi. Satu isu Kongres FAM Sabtu lalu, yang dikhabarkan diadakan tanpa banyak beri ruang kepada idea-idea untuk dikemukakan. Ikut statut FAM, sebarang usul hendaklah dikemukakan kepada urusetia lebih awal.

Kedua, isu Myanmar yang membariskan pemain melebihi had umur pada kelayakan Piala Asia Bawah 22 tahun baru-baru ini. Baca laporan ESPN Star

Sepanjang 20 tahun membuat liputan bola sepak, isu ini bukan baru.

1994, Syria muncul juara Asia Bawah 20. Iraq tempat keempat. AFC guna imbasan sinar X atau x ray untuk mengukur kematangan rangka tulang yang terbentuk. AFC juga cadangkan pemeriksaan gigi pemain.

1999 pra-Olimpik di Hong Kong - Kecoh isu pasport pemain Nepal...tapi sekadar cakap-cakap tanpa bukti.

2000 - Oman, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand dan Iran dikenakan tindakan yang sama kerana didapati bersalah menipu umur pemain.

Pada 2001 Thailand didapati bersalah menurunkan dua pemain lebih usia untuk Kejohanan Asia Bawah 16 tahun di Vietnam.

Pada 2002, AFC menggantung 12 pemain dari Yemen dan Pakistan Kejohanan Asia Bawah 17 tahun
empat dari Yemen, lapan dari Pakistan. Ini hasil pemeriksaan x-ray AFC dan juga imbasan tulang pergelangan tangan yang mengukur kematangan rangka tulang tubuh.

Seperti ribuan yang lain, aku yakin Myanmar memang menipu umur pemainnya.

Tapi kalau aku jadi Ong Kim Swee, ini yang aku buat:

1. Memandangkan kita dah suspect Myanmar dah lama, dari awal jolok pemberita dan wartawan untuk timbulkan isu ini sebelum kejohanan. Nampakkan ia datang daripada media, bukan pengurusan pasukan.

2. Nyatakan bantahan dalam mesyuarat pengurus-pengurus pasukan.

3. Kalah atau menang, dari segi persepsi Malaysia sudah menang sebelum menentang Myanmar kerana sudah ada gambaran atau tanda-tanda mereka menggunakan pemain melebihi had usia.

4. Bekerjasama dengan pegawai IT FAM untuk menyiasat segala rekod pertemuan membabitkan Myanmar dalam semua kategori had umur sebelum ini dan menyiasat nama-nama pemain dan tarikh lahir mereka.

Untuk mengharapkan FAM mengemukakan rayuan sedangkan Myanmar memberi dokumen-dokumen menunjukkan kononnya pemain layak dari segi had umur, adalah sukar.

Jadi ini cadangan aku:

1. Pastikan setiap pasukan kategori umur di bawah naungan FAM ada pentadbir yang skop tugasnya menyiasat latar belakang pasukan lawan. Kumpulkan semua maklumat semua pemain, semua pasukan untuk diselitkan ke dalam pangkalan data, lengkap dengan biodata, video dan gambar. Kalau dibuat dari usia 12 tahun, bermakna kita ada rekod sehingga pemain itu beraksi di Sukan SEA yang dikhaskan buat pemain Bawah 23 tahun. Kalau ada sebarang syak wasangka, siasat ikut carian. Melainkan negara lain meletakkan pemain yang tidak pernah beraksi di peringkat had umur, pangkalan data ini boleh menafikan dakwaan negara lawan yang mereka tidak menipu. Jika ada kes dan hujah yang kuat, AFC terpaksa timbang dan tidak bergantung sepenuhnya kepada laporan Match Comissioner.

2. Gabungan Bola Sepak Asia, istilah yang kita pakai dulu sebelum ditukar jadi Konfederasi  (AFC), harus lebih berani mengambil tindakan dengan mengenakan syarat-syarat ketat sambil memantau Jawatankuasa Penganjur yang biasanya digelar LOC, Local Organising Committee (LOC). Jangan ingat nak bercuti atau ambil elaun dalam US dollars!

3 . FAM pula harus bijak berbincang dengan pemain yang menjadi mangsa agar faham bahawa sebarang bentuk bantahan harus diiringi hujah dan bukti kuat sambil meyakinkan mereka usaha sedang dibuat agar isu ini tidak berulang.

Dulu masa aku kerja di BH dan Malay Mail, dua minggu sebelum kejohanan aku sudah buat story mengenai kekuatan dan kelemahan pasukan selain tonggak mereka kerana kita sudah tahu kekuatan dan kelemahan team Malaysia. Itu zaman sebelum ada facebook, twitter dan google. Jadi kalau nak bantu pasukan, media Malaysia juga harus bekerja keras!

SAM di landasan yang betul

Baru-baru ini Persatuan Penulis-penulis Sukan Malaysia (SAM) mengadakan mesyuarat agung dwitahunan di Wisma MOM. Barisan kepemimpinan tertinggi SAM kekal selepas menang tanpa bertanding. Satu-satunya muka baru di kalangan exco ialah Hafizal Hamad dari RTM.

Barisan SAM penggal 2012-2014

Aku tukang kira undi cukuplah

Dan kutip undi

Baca duniasukan online di sini. Tetamu kehormat Datuk Naim Mohamad menyaran SAM menerajui usaha mewujudkan satu portal sukan untuk rujukan semua pihak yang mengandungi maklumat gelanggang di daerah sehingga info kejohanan besar membabitkan atlet negara.

Bagi aku cabaran SAM ialah memastikan ahlinya terbela dari segi tugasan dan kerja, berpeluang menggarap ilmu di organisasi media di luar, mematuhi etika kewartawanan dan melindungi kepentingan petugas media elektronik, cetak dan dunia siber. SAM berada di landasan yang betul.

BH dan aku...ringkas

Berita Harian sudah 55 tahun. Kini berwajah baru. Selamat berjaya kepada teraju BH.

Enam tahun aku belajar selok-belok kewartawanan di BH, sebelum berhijrah ke The Malay Mail pada September 1996. Perpindahan "in house" tidak digalakkan tetapi ketika itu aku memecah tradisi. Kalau dulu Pak Samad, Adibah Amin dan A Kadir Jasin biasa ada byline di kedua-dua akhbar teraju NSTP itu selain Zian Johari bermula di New Straits Times sebelum berpindah ke Berita Harian, manakala Husin Rahman dari BH ke NST, aku pecah tembok penghalang pada skala yang lebih kecil...

Sebagai anggota skim latihan kewartawanan NSTP atau Pre-Editorial Training Scheme (PETS) generasi keempat yang bermula pada Julai 1991, kami didedahkan kepada dunia amali dengan awal, sekitar bulan Ogos dan September. Aku ditempatkan di Harian Metro, ditugaskan menyumbang kepada kolum bisnis, orang jual orang dan membuat liputan banjir, jenayah, kebakaran, mahkamah dan sukan. Dua bos HM ketika itu - Mior Kamarul Shahid dan Ahmad Puad Onah.

Aku, Zurina Waji, Sulaiman Abdullah, Munir Ana'am Zuljadan dan Azwani Abdul Ghani yang dilihat kurang bernasib baik kerana tak ditugaskan di akhbar utama Berita Harian seperti sembilan anggota lain - Izman Ismail, Noordin Zakaria, Azizi Othman, Mohd Johari Ibrahim, Faezah Abdul Jalil, Jenny Juanis, Saufi Hamzah (Mat Belia), Saniboey Mohd Ismail dan Allahyarham Nadzim Ahmad Jamaluddin. Yang masih setia bersama BH ialah Johari (JOIB), Saufi dan Munir. Azizi baru-baru ini menyertai NSTP selaku pengarang eksekutif selepas beberapa tahun menjadi ketua pengarang Astro Awani.

Dari kiri Saniboey (Parit Jawa di astro first idea dia) sekarang Ketua Unit Pentauliahan Drama (commissioning drama unit) Astro, Ebi Azly Abdullah (CEO Panorama Langkawi), Azizi dan aku seperti biasa paling rendah...

Selepas sah diterima sebagai kakitangan, aku ditempatkan di meja am/berita BH...ketika itu di bawah Ibrahim Yahaya dan Manja Ismail. Berita Minggu bawah jagaan Hishamuddin Aun. Pada Disember 1991, aku dipindahkan ke meja sukan! Impian terlaksana! Anggota PETSIV yang dikirim ke meja sukan kendalian Zian ialah Munir, Saufi dan aku. Aku diletakkan di unit sisipan Jaguh...aduh, tak dapat buat berita secara harian. Rupanya banyak hikmah di sebaliknya.

Memang benar meja sukan BH ada pengikut setia...generasi terdahulu selalu sebut zaman Allahyarham ZB (Zainuddin Bendahara), reporternya hebat-hebat - Husin, Zian, Haniff Hadi, Hishamuddin, Rahim Zain, Razali Yahya, Abu Bakar Atan...tapi generasi aku apa kurangnya - Saodi Mat Atar, Rosli Safar, Norbakti Alias, Ahmad Khawari Isa, Radzi Wahab... 

Aku bersyukur kerana dapat belajar dan bertugas di sisi nama-nama besar seperti Zian (yang kemudiannya melonjakkan pengedaran Harian Metro), Hishamuddin (kini Datuk), Badrulhisham Othman, Norbakti Alias dan V. Ashok...

Pengarang sukan BH sekarang ialah Rasid Rahaman, bekas wartawan Karangkraf, HM yang memenangi anugerah Kajai bersama Hamid Karim pada 1992

Zoy atau nama sebenar Zohri Sukimi, dulu ada kartun yang aku ikuti di Utusan Malaysia

Dari kiri Zulkifli Ibrahim (Titun), Rosli Safar, Ridzuan Yop, Ridzwan Mohamad, Wan Sabariah Shikh Ali (penerbit eksekutif TV9, Nasi Lemak Kopi O), Ahmad Fauzi Mustafa, Saufi, aku dan Pak Mus (Datuk Mus Omar bos HM)

Di BHlah tempat aku belajar cara menimba ilmu, mengasah bakat, berinteraksi dan menyara hidup. Nama aku tertera membuat liputan Sukan SEA Chiangmai 1995. Jadi setiap kali ada kesempatan menjalin semula persahabatan, biasanya aku gagahi juga. 

Ex-BH dari satu sudut...

Dari sudut yang lain

Dari satu sudut lagi - banyak posing, maklumlah beratus-ratus gambar

Ex-BH lebih banyak sembang dan gelak ketawa. But aku Lotto tertinggal, habis kena buang...sedih

atau makan...

apapun aku sempurnakan penalti untuk bantu Ex-BH duduki tangga ketiga bola sepak Karnival BH baru-baru ini. Jasa but Lotto sebelum dibuang Omay...

Kepada rakan-rakan BH, selamat maju jaya. Kepada rakan-rakan Ex-BH, siap sedia tahun depan, kalau dijemput lagi lah.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Chance for school to host Wenger and Arsenal


Students to battle it out for the chance to host Arsenal in their school

PETALING JAYA, JULY 4 – Nike kicked off the “Gunners Interschool KL Challenge” today in conjunction with Arsenal’s pre-season tour to Malaysia.

This year’s edition of the challenge will be an interschool tournament based on Nike SPARQ, a training and conditioning system that helps build better athletes and used by some of the best football clubs in the world.

Nike is expecting more than 20 schools to take part in the Nike “Gunners Interschool KL Challenge” this year.

Last year’s “Gunners Challenge KL” which was held at the Midvalley Megamall attracted more than 1,000 fans as they competed among each other in a 5-on-5 futsal tournament.

This year, the participating schools will be judged based on a series of challenges via Nike’s training and conditioning system, Nike SPARQ.

The school which achieves the highest average SPARQ score and with participants that complete the most “Make it Count” missions will win the opportunity of a lifetime of having some the Arsenal players visit their school and RM5, 000 worth of Nike products.

During the visit, students from the winning school can also look forward to hearing first-hand stories from the Arsenal players themselves and obtain an exclusive inside look at their lives as world class professional footballers.

The event serves to highlight Nike’s commitment to the young football community in the country. By providing an exclusive access to the Arsenal players, Nike aims to empower and inspire young aspiring footballers to take their game to the next level and to ultimately, achieve their goals.

“We at Nike Malaysia have always been committed to playing a part in developing football within the country whilst providing platforms for young aspiring footballers to better their game through various grassroots programs. Through the Nike Gunners Interschool KL Challenge, we want to provide these youths with an exclusive access to the players with the hopes of inspiring them”, Joan Yeoh, Country Marketing Manager of Nike Malaysia said.

Earlier today, members of the media were given an exclusive sneak peek into the Nike SPARQ system. Nike SPARQ consists of four components which tests a player on various abilities such as speed with the 20-Metre-Sprint, agility from the Arrowhead Agility Test, endurance with the Yo-yo Intermittent Recovery Test or YIRT and power with the Vertical Jump.

At the end of the SPARQ test, each player is given a score which tells them their conditioning level. In conjunction with the Arsenal tour, fans can obtain a complimentary RM68 match ticket and a training pass to see the team train by purchasing an Arsenal home jersey at any of the following Nike outlets from July 1 – 21: • Nike Store Midvalley Megamall • Nike Store KLCC • Nike Store Pavilion • Nike Store One Utama (New Wing) • Nike Store Alamanda • Nike Store The Curve • Nike Store Sunway Pyramid • Al-Ikhsan Bukit Bintang Plaza • Al-Ikhsan KL Festival

Sahabat Puma

Peminat sukan rata-rata mengenali manusia paling pantas dalam dunia, Usain Bolt. Dia duta Puma paling masyhur ketika ini.

Tapi bagi peminat sukan baya aku, tentu ingat Pele dan Diego Maradona. Mereka masyhur berdekad sebelum Bolt meluncur pantas membakar trek.

Pele memenangi Piala Dunia di Mexico pada 1970 dengan menggunakan but Puma...

Sama ada dengan Boca Juniors, Barcelona dan Argentina, Maradona model kasut Puma paling dikenali pada era 1980-an. But kirinya membebaskan Jorge Burruchaga menjaringkan gol kemenangan Argentina pada final Piala Dunia 1986. Maradona juga menggunakan but Pumanya melonjak menewaskan Peter Shilton dalam insiden gol Hand of God!

Sejarah Puma juga menunjukkan semuanya bermula di Jerman, apabila dua bersaudara Adolf dan Rudolf Hassler bertelingkah mengenai cara terbaik merencana masa depan syarikat adidas.

Kempen Puma tentunya berkisar kepada Bolt tetapi tadi, Puma Malaysia melancarkan koleksi evoSpeed dan kempen Semua Boleh Bolt sambil memperkenalkan sahabat baru jenama itu, Baddrol Bakhtiar

Pengurus Besar Puma Malaysia Sheryl Wong bersama Baddrol

Pengerusi majlis Ghaz Ramli, bekas rakan setugas aku di the Malay Mail, sekarang buat perhubungan awam...

Aku ambik gambar anak aku

Lepas tu dia kata nak ambik gambar aku...aku berilah walaupun ramai jurufoto profesional di majlis itu...inilah jadinya...habis tak nampak gigi jarang aku

Kasut ni best beb, ihsan Zulfikar

Masih putih pasal kawan-kawan tak berani pijak 

Dapat buah tangan keychain but Puma ok la tu...

Majlis pelancaran tadi dibuat di pejabat Puma bukan saja bertujuan melancarkan koleksi evoSpeed tetapi juga memperkatakan video iklan yang dibintangi antara lain Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, Mahalli Jasuli dan K. Reuben.

Sekalipun dianggap memiliki bakat semula jadi berlakon, Khairul Fahmi atau Apek berkata dia tiada niat untuk menerima sebarang tawaran kerana mahu menumpukan sepenuh perhatian terhadap kerjayanya selaku penjaga gol.

Apek dan Baddrol serta Mahalli dan Reuben beruntung kerana menjadi sebahagian daripada jenama yang dikaitkan dengan dua legenda bola sepak dan Bolt yang dianggap pilihan menakluki London 2012.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

MCA a proxy?

Read the Telegraph India report on the recent International Cricket Council (ICC) annual conference in Kuala Lumpur here. Is it true?

Apek jadi Bolt?

This Semua Boleh Bolt (Part 1) video features Malaysia's top goalkeeper, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, right back Mahalli Jasuli and midfielder K Reuben, with Phat Fabes as the taskmaster. Funny...

What happens when a group of world-class sports personalities in their own right is pitted against the speedster?