Monday, 13 August 2007


BorakBola is giving technology a big hug and we are migrating this blog into our own dot com domain. Within this week, we will move from blogspot to where we hope regal you with better lay-outs and sleek designs to our website. Our aim is to improve your reading experience. Heck, we also want to be seen a cool. Once the migration process is completed, we will continue to update on the new domain instead of here.

We are quite excited about this. Note that prior to this we don't know anything about html, domain registration etc, let alone webhosting and webdesign. But we have been learning on the go (and at our age, the progress is pretty slow). So bear with us if the new website's transformation is less than satisfactory. We will try our best and what we want is to provide an enjoyable reading experience for everyone.

Majulah Sukan Untuk Negara

Sunday, 12 August 2007

A New Era

Check out FAM's new webTV at

A good start to make the site more updated. We wished that there are more info in the webTV site so that we know who we are watching or what they were talking about. But a good attempt by FAM nevertheless., we'll give them that.

Check out our future, the kids from the Under-19/20 (K Rajagobal's boys) including captain of the U-20 squad that took second place in the recent AFF U20 Championship in Vietnam, K Gurusamy.

Best of all, watch the highlights from Malaysia's two games in the 1980 Merdeka Invitational Tournament (in all black & white, dodgy hairdo's and tight shorts et al). In the Korea game, check out Hassan Sani's blistering run that lead to James Wong superb's goal. If that won't give you goosebumps, then you are not Malaysian.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

There's Another Word For Unpaid Employees

Not to be pedantic, but in a way they are called slaves. Funny that, with the country nearing it's 50th year of Independence, we'd think that we've abolished such primitive practice of slavery by now.

Which goes to prove that although the country has progressed, many of the people in it are still stuck in past, with primitive mindset and thinking. BorakBola wanted to talk about this before, but SO MANY things are happening with football in this country that we just couldn't get to it. But after reading a similar story cropping up again, we just have to report this.

We are talking about how football professionals in this country, especially what is happening to players from Sarawak and now, Pahang, are not being paid their wages for months.

Before this it was reported in the local dailies that Sarawak football players have not received their wages for the last 5 months. So much so that the team risked not being able to play in some away matches as they couldn't afford the flight costs.

Malaysian side face uncertain future over unpaid rent

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 - Cash-strapped Malaysian Super League strugglers Sarawak face an uncertain future after they were almost banned from using their own stadium because of unpaid rent.

Sarawak, bottom of the 13-team league, owe millions of ringgit in back rent to the board of the Sarawak Stadium in Kuching, according to The Star newspaper.

Players were only allowed to train at the stadium on Monday after paying the 100-ringgit ($30) daily fee. The team were hit by another blow when they lost chief coach Pengiran Bala, a health department official who was recalled by the regional city council.

Sarawak have only seven points from 18 Super League matches and are favourites to be relegated at the end of the season.

Only one team will drop down this year while two teams from the Premier League will be promoted, boosting next season's Super League to 14 teams
Taken from Soccernet

It was so bad that a special charity match had to be arranged to collect funds to help the players. And some Good Samaritan turned up during training session and donated money to the players

Businessman comes to Sarawak’s aid
JOHOR BARU: Cash-strapped Sarawak, battling to stay alive in the Super League, received a pleasant surprise from a Good Samaritan who turned up at the team’s training session in Kuching on Tuesday to hand out RM1,000 to each player and team official.

Abang Adiqa Jaya forked out a total of RM24,000 for 21 players and three officials with high hopes that the Crocs will get a positive result in their penultimate match in the league against Johor FC in Pasir Gudang tonight.

Sarawak and Malacca are the two teams battling to avoid the lone relegation spot to the Premier League. Sarawak are in 12th place on 10 points – one point more than Malacca. The Crocs will be at home in their final fixture against leaders Perak on Saturday.

Sarawak’s caretaker coach Wahit Uji was more than pleased with the monetary contribution from the managing director of Adiqa Engineering. Earlier, the company had also contributed RM20,000 for the team’s trip to Johor Baru for the match against Johor FC.

It will be Sarawak’s first trip to the peninsula after calling off their Malaysia Cup Group C match against Pahang in Kuantan on May 26 because of financial constraints. Sarawak FA president Nyipa Tinggang later admitted that the association were broke.

Last Saturday, former coach Awang Mahyan Muhamad organised a charity match between Sarawak’s “Ngap Sayot” team of old and a selection of former national players at the Sarawak Stadium in Kuching to raise funds to help pay the salaries of the players.

The players had gone without salaries for the last five months but less than RM5,000 was raised at the match, which was not even enough to pay for the airfare, board and lodging for the peninsula-based former internationals led by Datuk Soh Chin Aun.

Said Wahit: “For the time being the salary issue takes a back seat for us. The players are ready to do battle to avoid the drop. They still have pride and dignity to keep the Sarawak flag flying.

“It is heartening to note that there are still many who want to help Sarawak football. Abang Adiqa is a good example.

“His generosity has certainly lifted the spirits of the players. They were pleasantly surprised to receive the money. The players have vowed to go all out in the remaining two matches.”

Wahit took charge of the team after Pengiran Bala was recalled by his employers, Miri City Council.
Taken from The Star

And now, Kosmo! reported that Pahang players have not been paid their salaries for several months.

Pahang players not paid salaries
Pahang's football players are living under a lot of stress. No, they are not facing any Cup final. They just have not received their salaries for several months. Some are facing lawsuits of various kinds while others have received letters that their cars would be repossessed.

Some of the players have also been evicted from their rented homes. “The players are only staying at home. We have no money to go anywhere,” one player told the daily.

“If I think of my future, I feel it is better for me to try out a new team but if I think of my love for the state, then I certainly want to remain here,” he said.

Pahang FA secretary-general Ahmad Nazri Mat Nor told Kosmo! that the association was making efforts to settle the issue of salaries.

“We have to find other financial resources to solve the problem,” he said, adding that part of the payment had been made to the players.

Ahmad Nazri said the association lacked funds this year due to poor ticket sales.

“If they keep losing, their fans will not want to turn up at the stadium,” he said.
Taken from Kosmo!

Need we remind which state's Sultan is also the President of the FAM?

What's going on? What happened to the funds that each state FAs should have before the domestic season begins? What's going on with the management of these FAs? Surely the goverment, despite the directives by FIFA for governments not to interfere with the country footballing's issues, have to do something. The people responsible must be brought forward and punished. These players are not children, or animals. They have families to take care of, children to feed, bills to pay. How could after so many years that the league in the country have gone professional that this is happening? Something must be done to tackle this now. The players must be protected.

And this is not the first time it has happened. For example, David Mitchell, former Selangor player, left Sarawak when he was coaching the team due to unpaid wages. And best of all MPPJ FC, 2003 Malaysia Cup champion, went bust in 2006. And they had a budget of RM 14 million. But they couldn't pay their players as well for two or three months, so much so that top hotshot, Juan Manuel Arostegui and also Juan Carlos Alberto had to walked our of their team and leave the country for good.

These are all, if we look at it, mismanagement and corruption. But are those people responsible taken to task?

We have even spoken to national players who told us about allowances been given late, sometimes over a few months. For example, according to one player, the national players' allowances from the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Tournament this year, which was played in January and February 2007, was only given to players in the week leading up to the 2007 AFC Asian Cup competition - five months down the line!

Something has to be done, and must be done now.

Khaider Is FAS President
KUCHING, Aug 5 (Bernama) -- Khaider Ahmad Zaidel has been unanimously elected to head the debt-stricken Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) while Serian Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Richard Riot Jaem was elected the deputy-president at the association's Annual General Meeting (AGM) here Thursday.

Speaking to the media after the AGM, the 61-year-old lawyer who succeeded businessman Nyipa Tinggang said his first priority was to ensure that all the Sarawak players playing in the Super League now, including the foreign imports, would get their salary by next month or in October.

"I was made to understand that FAS owed the players about seven months in salary amounting to RM600,000," he said, adding that his other priorities would be discussing with the newly elected FAS council members a new strategy as well as making a courtesy call to the Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Looking calm and composed, Khaider said despite the barrage criticisms by the local media and fans following Sarawak's poor performance in the Super League and the ongoing financial problem, FAS would remain positive and was prepared to hold a series of talks with the relevant parties on the best way to rejuvenate the Sarawak football development.

Describing the present FAS situation as "a sinking ship" that needed to be "floated up" urgently, Khaider who also the former FAS honorary secretary from 1984 to 1990 said he was prepared to face the arduous task together with the other council members.

Earlier when addressing the FAS' affiliates after the election, Khaider said FAS would study the association's assets and liabilities to determine the actual cause for the FAS financial problems and seek ways to settle them.

He said that one of the reasons FAS was in the red now was largely due to the fact that operating expenditures exceeded the low gate collection.

He promised the problems would be look into immediately and hinted the possibility of making drastic changes in the present senior squad which fortunately avoided relegation to the Premier League despite the thumping 2-4 defeat to Perak at the Sarawak Stadium last night.

Apart from the president and deputy-president, the AGM also elected Rakawi Ibrahim, Khamis Tuah, Paruwadi Musa, Fadzil Taman and Razali Dolhan as vice-presidents.
Taken from BERNAMA

National Football Awards

Khalid Jamlus among front-runners for National Football Awards

Perak's Khalid Jamlus and Selangor's Akmal Rizal Rakhli are among the front-runners for the favourite striker award for the M-League 100Plus National Football Awards to be held on Sept 9.

Khalid is best local performer in the Super League this season scoring 15 goals for his team.

Among the other players nominated for the favourite striker award are Pahang's Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Eddy Helmi Abdul Manan of Johor FC and Azlan Ismail of Perlis.

Meanwhile, this season's Super League top scorer Keita Mandjou who plays for Perak is the overwhelming favourite for the most valuable foreign player award.

The Guinean striker scored 21 goals for Perak in the Super League this season.

The other awards which will be given out are for favourite goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, coach and most promising player.

List of Nominees

Goalkeeper: Nasril Nourdin (Prk), Megat Amir Faizal (Sel), Sharbinee Allawee (Ter), Suffian Abdul Rahman (TMFC), Helmi Eliza Elias (Ked), Norazlan Razali (Johor PBT), Irwan Jamil (Sab), Abdul Rahman Ismail (Pol), Farizal Marlias (Shahzan Muda), Faizal Rashid (UPB-My Team)

Defender: Victor Andrang (Ked), Mat Saiful Mohamad (Pen), Khairi Zainudin (Prk), Shukri Ismail (Johor PBT), Hairul Nizam Haniff (TMFC), Norhafiz Zamani Misbah (Pah), Marzuki Yusof (Ter), Ronny Harun (Sab), P. Gunalan (Sel), Kaironnisam Sahabudin (UPB-My Team)

Midfielder: Hardi Jaafar (TMFC), Shukor Adan (Sel), Ahmad Fauzi Shaari (Ked), K. Nanthakumar (Prk), Eddy Helmi Abdul Manan (Johor FC), Azlan Ismail (Per), Kairul Ismail (Johor PBT), Reeshafiq Alwi (KL), Norfarhan Muhamad (Ter), Raymos Sari (Swk).

Striker: Khalid Jamlus (Prk), Akmal Rizal Rakhli (Sel), Safee Sali (Sel), Indra Putra Mahayuddin (Pah), Haris Safwan Kamal (UPB-My Team), Zainuddin Ariffin (TMFC), Hairuddin Omar (Pah), Cik Hishammudin Hassan (Ter), Liew Kit Kong (N. Sembilan), Hasmawi Hassan (Ked).

Most Valuable Player- Local: Shukor Adan (Sel), Ahmad Shahrul Azhar (Prk), Victor Andrang (Ked), Hardi Jaafar (TMFC), Kaironnisam Sahabudin (UPB-My Team).

Most Valuable Player – Foreign: Phillimon Chepita (Per), Marlon Alex James (Ked), Keita Mandjou (Prk), Walter Ariel Silva (Johor FC), Marin Mikac (UPB -My Team).

Most Promising Player: Khyril Muhymeen (Ked), Sabre Mat Abu (Ked), Safiq Rahim (Sel), Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak (N. Sembilan), Zaquan Adha Abdul Razak (N. Sembilan)

Coach: Dollah Salleh (Selangor), Ahmad Yunus Alif (Terengganu), Steve Darby (Prk), Abdul Rahman Ibrahim (Per), Azraai Khor Abdullah (Ked), Azuan Mohd Zain (Johor PBT), Abdul Rahim Ahmad (Kel), Mat Zan Mat Aris (KL), K. Thaiyanathan (Pol), Bojan Hodak (UPB-My Team).

Update: Merdeka Invitational - Lesotho and Zimbabwe Pulls Out

Lesotho and Zimbabwe confirmed on the last day for the deadline to submit the players list that they WOULD NOT be able to participate in the upcoming 39th Merdeka Invitational Tournament.

According to FAM, both countries were unable to provide the teams due to flight and visa problems.

This means, the total number of teams that will now play in the tournament will be just six teams instead of eight. As such, changes had to be made to the groupings which now sees Malaysia in Group A alongside holders Myanmar and Laos while Group B will be consist of Bangladesh, Singapore and Indonesia.

Earlier, Thailand also declined to participate in the tournament which will run from 19 August to 29 August.

Kedah Takes Super League

Meanwhile, in the domestic scene, FA Cup champs Kedah won the Super League. BorakBola can't report much on the domestic scene because we are so confused which league is what and who's in what and who plays when. All we know is that our favourite team, Selangor, didn't win anything yet so who cares? *grin*

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Super League Champs, Kedah

An example of how funny the fixtures and arrangement for the local league is this: yesterday Kedah played in the quarterfinals of the Malaysian Cup and won 6-1. Against, guess who? Melaka.

No disrespect to Melaka but how the hell does a team that only won two games this season, collecting only 9 points, managed to qualify to the quarter-finals of the biggest competition in the country? Macam mana tak kena belasah dengan Kedah?

However, we must say that there must be something good with youth football development in Kedah so something can be learned here from the Kedah FA. Datuk Basri must be smiling somewhere.

Tahniah Hijau Kuning! Now with the FA Cup and Super League title under their belt, they'd be looking for a unique treble as they are still very much the favourites to lift the Malaysia Cup as well.

By the way, for the record, we don't agree with the bit below about having Kedah's keeper as the national number one. Pleaselah. Not after what he did to Akmal. (oh yes, we remember mate!) Bring back Syamsuri anytime instead of the young punk. And who cares if he conceded less than Azizon. Azizon had a crap defence in front of him. If you are talking about goals conceded, perhaps we should also throw Sabah's Irwan Jamil into the equation. No, we can't just go by stats alone.

Azraai heeds destiny’s call
Fourteen years ago, Khor Sek Leng was just an up and coming tactician, assisting Robert Alberts to create history with a bunch of players from the second division. Now known as Azraai Khor Abdullah, Sek Leng may just go one step better than his mentor as Kedah eye a clean sweep of the domestic football titles.

In 1992, Alberts helped guide Kedah to the then Division 2 title and a place in the Malaysia Cup final —the first time a team from the lower division had contested Malaysia's oldest and most coveted crown.

A year later, Alberts worked his magic again as Kedah took home the Division 1 title and then went on to win the Malaysia Cup. In those days, Alberts could rely on Ahmad Sobri Ismail to keep a clean sheet, Lim Teong Kim to boss the midfield and Peter Nieketien and Olubunmi Adigun to knock in the goals.

Fast forward to the present day and Azraai can’t help but feel it is his destiny to win the Malaysia Cup for Kedah, but this time as their head coach. A year ago, he helped the unheralded team sweep all before them in the Premier League, which in essence is the Division 2 of Malaysian football.

This year, just like Alberts, Azraai has followed up that feat by winning the top division — the now renamed Super League.

Like his mentor, Azraai too, has a core of players he can depend on to guide his team. In goal he has the ever reliable Mohd Helmi Eliza, who many would say should have been the national No 1 for the just concluded Asian Cup instead of Negri’s Azizon Abd Kadir.

Going by stats alone, he should be as Helmi only conceded 21 goals while Azizon, or Bob to his pals, saw the ball whizz pass him 46 times.

In midfield it is Nelson Martin plotting the moves while Marlon James and Haswawi Hassan bang in the goals.

Kedah ’s feat in winning the league crown came after a titanic battle with Perak.

But a 1-0 victory over Brunei DPMM on Saturday, courtesy of a K. Soley goal meant the Hijau Kuning outfit claimed the top prize with 55 points. Perak, who defeated Sarawak 4-2, finished second two points behind while DPMM were third on 44 points.

Malacca, who were defeated 3-1 by Selangor, were relegated to the Premier League.

It was an especially cruel night for Perak hotshot Khalid Jamlus. Snubbed by the national team, he fired a perfect retort with three well-taken goals at Sarawak Stadium but to no avail.

Keita Mandjou added the other goal for Perak, his 21st of the season to make him joint top scorer with Brunei DPMM’s Shahrazain Said.

Kedah, who also won the FA Cup when they defeated Perlis in June, play Malacca in the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals on Thursday as they aim for an unpredecented treble.

“It ’s a dream come true to win the league as 14 years ago, I was just the assistant when Kedah won the title for the last time, ” said an elated Azraai, after arriving in Alor Star yes- t e rda y.

“Now that we have won the league and FA Cup, we will do our best to make it a clean sweep by winning the Malaysia Cup, though that is easier said than done.”
Taken from The Malay Mail

Malaysia Loses in Final AFF U20

Vietnam won the ASEAN Football Federation Under-20 Championship with a solitary goal in the first half. Apparently the rain-sodden field at the Thanh Long Sports Complex in Ho Chi Minh City did not allow for free-flowing football but the host, naturally they must've been supported well there, made full use of the situation anyway.

Malaysia's main fault, if we can point it out in this tournament, has been their slowness to get into the game as they have been guilty in this match as well as in their previous matches to concede early on in the game. In this particular case, Vietnam scored in the 8th minute after a poor clearance header from Muhamad Irfan Ghani. Their 'Bollywood Heroics' which helped them before eluded them this time around.

According to reports from the AFF website, the goal was a "paltry reward for their domination of the match where they enjoyed abundant possession that their forwards however could not leverage for maximum advantage" and that "In the first half, the Malaysian attack was virtually non-existent, the team unable to string more than two passes together".

Well, we don't know about the host, but (and we are going to defend our boys here), we are sure the conditions was poor for our boys to play. Now, unless we start to train the Malaysian juniors to play in the paddy fields, losing one goal in the final, (although it must've been heartbreaking for them poor kids), considering the conditions, should not break their spirit too much. They should really be proud of themselves and keep their heads high.

If the Goddamn KLIA wasn't too far from KL (or expensive to reach), we'd be scooting our asses to the airport to welcome the kids back. (We miss you Subang!)

BorakBola was taught to call a spade a spade so well done to the Under-20s get this far in the first place. And good job so far Mr K Rajagobal. Keep it up, maintain good, quality training (and for God sakes you don't need to fly the kids overseas to train!) and improve their tactical knowledge and work on the defence and concentration a bit, and the future doesn't look to dim after all.

Apparently, Malaysia tried harder in the second half to get equaliser, but they were unlucky.

In the third and fourth placing, Thailand finised third after defeating previous champion Myanmar 2-0.

However, we want to confirm something. In Utusan Malaysia, the report quoted Datuk Redzuan Sheik Ahmad as saying that the 'national squad displayed an energetic performance and created many dangerous chances' ("Timbalan Presiden Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia (FAM), Datuk Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad ketika bercakap kepada Utusan Malaysia berkata, skuad negara mempamerkan persembahan bertenaga menerusi banyak percubaan berbahaya ke gawang lawan"). So how come the news from AFF is so negative towards the Malaysian squad? So which one is which? Only who actually saw the match will know. Whatever it is, like we said earlier, we are sure the boys played their hearts out (we really hope so) and while they should be proud of their performance, they must keep their feet on the ground and see this as a stepping stone for future success.

Tahniah! Ayuh, cuba lagi Malaysia!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Champions Youth Cup Kicks-Off

Meanwhile, here in Malaysia (Kuching specifically), the Malaysia Under-19 squad or The Maggi Boys started their CYC campaign with a 1-2 loss to Bayern Munich. The Flying Dutchman is apparently quite happy with this.

Champions Youth Cup: Bayern overpower Malaysia
German giants Bayern Munich defeated Malaysia 2-1 in a Champions Youth Cup (CYC) Group D match at the Sarawak Stadium yesterday.

In another group match at the same venue, PSV Eindhoven beat Chelsea 1-0.

While the scoreline would suggest a close match, it was the opposite as Bayern took control of the match against Malaysia from the start and wasted a hatful of chances.

Malaysia were forced to play deep and it was only in the 17th minute that they had a look at the Bayern goal,

Badrul Bakhtir’s freekick forced Bayern keeper Ferdinand Oswald to punch clear the ball.
The Germans, who kept getting closer and closer, finally scored in the 37th minute when Gianluca Simari showed great composure to side-foot home a first time shot off a cross from Yannick Kakako.

Malaysia performed more decently in the second half and saw more of the ball and their positive play was rewarded in the 55th minute when Bunyamin Umar played a cross to Badrol Bakthir, who in turn, crossed the ball across the face of goal, leading to an under-pressure Bayern captain Bjorn Kopplin sending the ball into his own net.

That got the crowd roaring but there was not to be a famous Malaysian victory as Bayern scored their winner through Diego Contento in the 70th minute. Unmarked, Contento chested the ball from a freekick and slotted into the net from close range.

Still, a happy Malaysia coach Robert Alberts said: "We played against a world class team. Many people expected us to be thrashed, but the boys showed that they can play."
Taken from the New Straits Times

Disclaimer Before The Tourney

CYC Not Yardstick To Check Malaysian Youth's Development, Says Alberts

KUCHING, Aug 6 (Bernama) -- The Champions Youth Cup (CYC) soccer tournament to be held from Aug 8 to 12 will not be a yardstick to measure the success of Malaysia's youth development programme, said Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Technical Director, Robert Alberts.

Speaking to the media here today, Alberts, who is also the coach of the Malaysia Under-19 team that will be playing in the tournament, said the CYC will provide clues and answers as to the future of the players in the squad and ways to improve their standards.

"We know our standard, just see how our Under-16 team was defeated 0-5 by the Arsenal youth team. This tournament (CYC) is not a yardstick of measurement on our development programme," he said.

He said that after the tournament ended it would hopefully provide a clear direction on the preparation for the national senior and junior squads.

He added that at the moment he was not under tremendous pressure despite having handled the team for only three-weeks as his focus now was to ensure the team can play at their best level.

Malaysia are in Group D in the tournament together with favourites Chelsea, Bayern Munich and PSV Eindhoven. They play their first match against Bayern Munich on Wednesday at the Sarawak Stadium here.
Taken from BERNAMA

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

MyTeam 2 v Indonesia

Get this right, we are no fans of Son-in-Law, but if he can change the state of the football in this country, go ahead by all means. Country before personal feelings we say. At the end of the day, results on the fields matter (somehow we feel we might regret saying this now). And the performance of UPB-MyTeam in the Premier League makes his report card all nice and pretty. UPB-MyTeam finished second in the league, with the second best defensive record (only 16 goals conceeded) and second best strike-rate (29 goals scored).

BUT that won't change the fact that BorakBola still consider the current MyTeam2 selections as a big, publicity-sponge, circus show. Sorry Jason Lo, we like you as a person, football player, DJ and musician but what is MyTeam2 trying to prove again this time?

Those of you who spent time in Mars during the previous MyTeam incarnation can read all about MyTeam here

When we were in Jakarta for the AFC Asian Cup finals two weeks ago, we managed to speak to the technical staff of the Indonesian National Team and we asked whether they were really coming to Malaysia to play MyTeam2 (as ads on TV were already promoting the match) but they said they received no such notice from the management yet. We supposed at that time, negotiations were still in progress.

Yesterday Jason Lo announced that 'in principle', the management of the Timnas, PSSI (Persatuan Sepakbola Seluruh Indonesia) has agreed to send a full squad to play in the 'friendly' against Circus Team MyTeam 2.

The match will be on 21 October 2007 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

There's Still A Light - U20 qualifies for AFF Final

Perhaps the future is not too dim after all! While everyone back home is fussing about the Under-19 (The Maggi Boys) starting their Champions Youth Cup assignment tomorrow evening and the Under-23 (The Travelling Boys) playing 'guess who's our next opponent here in Slovakia?' game (see here), K Rajagobal Under-20 boys are creating waves by qualifying for the final (yes, the final!) of the ASEAN Football Federation Under-20 Championship (what we call the Tiger Cubs Cup) in Vietnam.

After qualifying for the knock-out round in a typical, come-back-from-behind ala Bollywood heroes kind of way (read our short report here), the U20 were slated to meet Group A leader Thailand in the semis yesterday evening.

Thailand steamrolled through their group, scoring 15 goals and letting in only 1 goal by winning in their games against Brunei (5-0) and Cambodia (7-0) and drawing with host Vietnam (1-1) and are favourites to win the Championship.

Malaysia, who according to coach K Rajagobal, "can play well up to the midfield but beyond that, they struggle due to the lack of calibre strikers", still managed to score 11 times in the group match, which is 3 more goals than leaders Myanmar.

Banking on the trio of captain K. Gurusamy, Ahmad Fakri Saarani and Abdul Shukur Yusuf, the U20 has done well to qualify for the finals, emulating the same achievement in the previous tournament, something their Senior brothers are unable to do in the Tiger Cup since 1996. The trio were the only players in the team with experience at the international level as they have been a consistent performer under Rajagobal where they featured in his plans in last year’s AFC Under-20 Championship in India.

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Firdaus Azizul (Left - Scored against Singapore) and Fakri Saarani (R)

In the semi-final game at the Thanh Long Sports Comples in Ho Chi Minh City, Malaysia defeated Thailand 2-1 with goals from Ahmad Fakri Saarani and Yusaini Che Saad. With this win, Malaysia will now meet Vietnam who defeated defending champion Myanmar in the other semi-final.

For the record, Malaysia finished as runners-up to Myanmar after losing 0-1 in the last tournament in Palembang, Indonesia.

K Rajagobal has mentioned that the AFF U20 Championship is to prepare the boys for a more important mission, the Under-19 Asian Cup Qualifiers in October. For the qualifiers, Malaysia has been grouped in Group F alongside North Korea, China, Macau, Singapore and Timor Leste.

In the finals of the Under-19 Asian Cup last year, Malaysia (also coached by Rajagobal finished last in the group which also included Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam

Well done boys, GOOD LUCK for the finals!

Let's Play A Game

The game is called, "guess who's our next opponent here in Slovakia?"

Opening Against Partizanske

7th August 2007 – The Malaysian national Under-23 team will begin their tour of Slovakia with a match against Second Division side Partizanske tomorrow.

Head coach B. Sathianathan said that with the cancellation of the game against Vion FC – following the latter’s qualification into the EUFA Cup – the decision has been made to confirm three other matches against First Division teams from Slovakia.

“The team is training into its sixth day here with the weather warm and dry,” said Sathianathan (pic).

“Training emphasis is on physical work in the morning with the afternoon spent on tactical. Norfarhan (Mohamad) is injured from an old injury and he is getting his treatment here.”

Apart from the game against Partizanske tomorrow, the First Divisions matches for the U23 team are Nitra (10th August), Sala FC (14th August) and Slovan Bratislava (15th August).

“After looking at their League games, I am very sure that the above teams are very strong and will test our players to the maximum,” added Sathianathan.

“I am going to test all the players and pick my probable team for the games against Sala FC on the 14th.”
Taken from FAM's website


BorakBola reported here that our Under-15 lads under Mr Who? are right now in England to enjoy the late English summer participate in the age-group competition which started on 29th July.

12 teams took part in the tournament which ended last Sunday.

Group A were Eldon Celtic (Berkshire), Cobham FC (Surrey), Actual Soccer (London) and Soccer Pro (Portugal) while Group B were Links FC (Surrey), Brunswick Youth (London), Bidvest Wits JFC (South Africa) and CD Guadiaro (SPAIN)

Malaysia were in Group C up against Beaconsfield FC (Berkshire), Pinnacle Youth (London) and Rorsjostaden (Sweden).

In fact, since the U15 were actually represented by the Bukit Jalil Sports School, the competition itself saw 'Malaysia' identified as 'Bukit Jalil Sports School' instead of 'Malaysia Under-15'. We assume this means that if the kids lost to some foreign academy or club then the defeat would not be too difficult to swallow. Technically, that makes it that 'Malaysia' didn't actually lose, only BJSS did. *phew*. That makes it alright then.

Okay, here comes the confusing part. Take a look at the results stated in the website for the Youth Tournament itself here and then compare it with the news from FAM itself. So which one is which? Did the U15 made it to the final or not?

Denied by Actual Soccer
6th August 2007 – The Malaysian national Under-15’s fabulous run in an age-group competition in London ended in the semi-finals yesterday when they lost out 1-2 to Actual Soccer.

The Malaysian lads had sailed through the preliminary round of the competition over the last week when they picked up seven points from three matches.

They drew with Pinnacle Youth 0-0 in their first game before beating Beaconsfield 6-1 in their second match and then a 1-0 victory over Rorsjostaden IF of Sweden in their final group tie.

They then overcame Brunswick 2-1 in the quarter-finals for the right to play against Actual Soccer in the last four.

“It was a little unfortunate not to be able to make the finals when we were so close but that’s football. The boys will just have to take the positive lessons from this tournament and develop from here,” added Aminuddin Hussin, the head coach of the Malaysian national Under-15 team from London.
Taken from FAM's website

King of Excuses

As long as the power-crazy King Yob is still anywhere near Wisma FAM, Malaysian football will remain where it is - the pits.

Fans Will Be Torn Between Malaysia Cup And CYC Matches Tomorrow

Oversight, ignorance or sheer arrogance... whatever you want to call it, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) remains defiant of the fact that the biggest youth football spectra - the Champions Youth Cup (CYC) - will begin tomorrow.

Despite the fact that Malaysia are hosting and playing the opening match of the CYC tomorrow against Bayern Munich in Kuching, the FAM has decided to go ahead with the Malaysia Cup fixtures scheduled tomorrow.

"We have no choice but to go ahead with the Malaysia Cup matches as any delay will offset our plans to have the final before the fasting month which is expected to begin on Sept 13.

"Furthermore, when the fixtures were set, the CYC dates were not finalised," FAM Competition Chairman Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar told Bernama when contacted today.

Tomorrow, the first leg of the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals will see three matches, namely Selangor vs Terengganu (Shah Alam Stadium), Negeri Sembilan vs Sabah (Paroi Stadium, Seremban), Perlis vs Perak (Utama Stadium, Kangar).

The Kedah vs Melaka was however postponed to Thursday as both the Darul Aman Stadium and the Hang Jebat Stadium are being used for the CYC. The second leg takes place on Aug 15.

The CYC is an Under-19 tournament that features 14 top clubs in the world together with host Malaysia and the Qatar national team.

The FAM general secretary, Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad when contacted refused to comment on the clash of fixtures and asked this reporter to speak to the Competitions Committee instead.

Last Thursday, Bernama had highlighted the clash of dates to Raja Ahmad and forwarded a Short Message Service (SMS) message to Dr Ibrahim who did not answer a number of calls earlier.

According to Raja Ahmad, a meeting was held subsequently but it was decided that it would be too late to make any changes as the final had been fixed for Sept 8.

The CYC which kicks-off tomorrow ends on Aug 19.
Taken from BERNAMA

Monday, 6 August 2007

Full of Amnesiac Morons (F.A.M)

Here's a very good articles by Rizal Hashim of The Malay Mail:

Sometimes we suffer from temporary amnesia. For the average Joe, the way the brain codes and stores information remains a mystery.

Likewise the FA of Malaysia remains a huge mystery, even for some who have been keeping tabs on its policies and decisions over the past two decades. Some of its leaders may be suffering from short-term or long-term memory loss, perhaps by choice.

A case in point is certainly its recently-established task force to probe the disastrous Asian Cup outing.

First of all, it is beyond anyone’s comprehension that the members of the panel are those who have been party to the decline.

FAM deputy president Datuk Redzuan Tan Sri Sheikh Ahmad is the chairman. Forming the panel are vice-presidents Datuk Anifah Aman and Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar, general secretary Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad, former Perak and national youth coach M. Karathu and Windsor John, FIFA Development offi cer based in Malaysia and who was formerly the head of research and development of FAM. Windsor, since then, has withdrawn.

The secretary is E.R. Subramaniam, a salaried staff of FAM since 2001. National coach Norizan Bakar, manager Anifah, independent writer Lazarus Rokk and FAM technical director Robert Alberts will submit their reports to the Task Force.

Grouse No 1 – None of them are entirely independent of FAM, with some having business links with the national body.

Grouse No 2 – The public is getting impatient, restless and tired of FAM’s committees.

If Redzuan can recall, an independent task force was formed to look into the Under-23 team’s 7-0 drubbing by Thailand in August 2005. It did not recommend for coach Bertalan Bicskei to be axed and instead he be allowed to continue until the Manila SEA Games. What did Redzuan and his cohorts do? They sacked Bicskei.

Grouse No 3 – Redzuan announced FAM’s desire to gather feedback from the public.

This must be one of the biggest jokes of the century. If Redzuan and the rest had bothered to read the papers and watch prime time TV, they would have gotten the signal by now. Bucketful of letters to editors, text messages, e-mails and “live” phone calls, concluded that FAM top brass must resign en bloc. That is the only way to start afresh.

Let’s not debate whether a mass resignation would serve any purpose or not.

Grouse No 4 – Perhaps Redzuan failed to advise the members of the task force of a forum held eight years ago. For the benefit of those who suffer from either short-term or long-term memory loss, a forum was organised by the National Sports Council (NSC) upon directive from the then Sports Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin, who wanted a comprehensive master plan to provide answers and panacea to our ills. Whatever happened to the resolutions?

Grouse No 5 – Let this not be the PriceWaterhouseCoopers issue Mark II, when FAM paid the audit firm more than RM200,000 in an exercise to identify the best candidate to replace Datuk Dell Akbar Khan as the general secretary in mid-2005. In the end Ibrahim, a vice-president then, was appointed. Rosli Hussein, who was identified as the man, was made the assistant general secretary but resigned in a huff last year.

Grouse No 6 – Why does it have to be two months before a report or a finding from the Asian Cup debacle be made known? Why does FAM have to wait for AFC’s technical report? FAM has a number of experts, namely Alberts, B.Sathianathan, K. Rajagopal and I. Gopalkrishnan, to name a few, to study the technical aspects of the team in Group C. Curiously, the report can only be made public after the FAM elections next month. By then the FAM new Cabinet could parade, among others, Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and UPB-MyTeam president, Khairy Jamaluddin.

Grouse No 7 – Is it true a former FAM officer was tasked to prepare a report for Ibrahim? It seemed as if it was only yesterday that FAM can boast of being the best organised and above all, the richest sports association in the country.

President Sultan Ahmad Shah and his men, the previous officebearers, mind you, had propelled the association from the archaic ranks of the mid-Eighties into the professional era.

The game evolved from the swamps of amateurism into a multi-million ringgit monster.

But this brought about a crisis of identity. A professional game of immense potential caught in the drag of amateurism and shady individuals motivated by self interest.

This task force will be another exercise in futility.
Taken from The Malay Mail

Our Own Hindustani Heroes

We are still unsure what to call the Under-20 and handsome coach K Rajagobal. If you have any suggestion, please email us.

Hakim left a comment that we missed reporting a unique event where for once, we were not on the receiving end of a SEVEN goal drubbing. Nice of him to catch that news before us. Actually, BorakBola have been closely following the results from the AFF website [] as news from everywhere else have been scarce but even then the results at the AFF website is quite slow. So we've been slow as well to report on this.

Someone out there gasped. "What? It wasn't us who got whipped? Nooo". Well, Yes. and we'll get to that in a bit.

Okay, okay. Some of you might been left in the dark here. Allow us to explain. There is an ASEAN Football Federation U20 Tournament going on right now in Vietnam. It started on the 31st of July and involves the AFF members. Yes, you can call it the Tiger Cup for the kids. (Tiger Cub Cup? Hehehe)

The Malaysian Under-20 squad, is in Group A, along with Myanmar, Singapore and Laos. K Rajagobal is looking at this competition to allow the boys gain some exposure and experience before the AFC Qualifiers in October.

Game One: Malaysia v Singapore (1 Aug)
In the first game, K Rajagobal boys defeated Singapore 3-0 with goals from Yusanee Saad and Ahmad Fakri Saarani in the first half and Firdaus Azizul scored the third in the 63rd minute. Surprisingly (we really should be giving our boys more credit than this, but really it's a surprise), despite Singapore looked like the likelier team to score first, Malaysia scored against the run of play when Yusanee headed in from a cross while the Young Lions keeper was still alighting his MRT at Bedok.

Singapore didn't help themselves when they were down to 10 men after Nurhazwan Shaik was expelled for a second yellow card. Despite the fact that our own Muhammad Irfan Ghani was also shown the red card for a second bookable offence late in the game, Malaysia managed to hold on for the win.

Game Two: Malaysia v Myanmar (3 Aug)
In a match which was eventually to decide the top two teams from Group A, Malaysia lost narrowly after Myanmar scored from a looping freekick in the 89th minute to end the game 2-1 to Myanmar.

Captain K Gurusamy managed to level the score earlier in the 82nd minute after Myanmar had scored from another set-piece in the first half, but Malaysia were unable to ride the pressure.

This means, that Malaysia would need at least a draw in their last game with Laos to qualify for the knock-out phase. The game against Laos was played yesterday and we searched all over for the results in the local media but we couldn't find it (damn these FAM glasses!). Of course, when Hakim alerted us to it we scooted over the AFF's website and there it was...

Game Three: Malaysia v Laos (5 Aug)
The knack of coming back after conceding, (in this particular instance, twice) is surely a positive (even if it's not good for the heart) point of the U-20s.

The game started at the Thanh Long Sports Complex in Hanoi in the rain where within 5 minutes, Laos took the lead with a shot from the top of the penalty area. Laos continued with the long shot tactic throughout the first half whereas Malaysia wanted to bring the ball closer to the opposition's keeper before taking a crack on goal.

And when the sun came out and Laos failed to sustain the pressure, Malaysia's tactic proved to be fruitful and they grabbed the equaliser through Mohd Syazwan Zinon with two minutes left to the break.

Laos then scored again after the break as the Malaysian players were still digesting their halftime Powerbars but superskipper K. Gurusamy did a replay of the Myanmar game by pulling level before putting them ahead with a header after that.

With that, Laos collapsed and Malaysian opened the floodgates with goals from Abdul Shukor Jusoh (77th minute), Firdaus Azizul (82nd) and Yusaini Che Saad (89th).

In injury time Myanmar scored another goal but Malaysia made it a magnificent seven with a yet another strike through Mohd Shazlan Alias for the final scoreline of 7-3.

Yes, you didn't read wrong and we are not pulling your leg. Rajagobal boys did slam the net seven times.

Well done boys. Well done for keeping the flame alive.

Malaysia will now meet Group B leaders Thailand in the semi-final tomorrow. We wish them, the best of luck.

The Unders

Post Asian Cup, we continue briefly with some heartwarming news from the motley crew of The Unders - our various Unders Squads. Next week The Maggi Boys will see some action in Kuching in the CYC while, which some of us might not be aware, the Under-20 squad is braving the quirky monsoon in Vietnam for the Asean Football Federation (AFF) U20 Championship. But for this post, let's continue with the Travelling Boys.

The Travelling Boys
The Travelling Boys are, well, packing and unpacking their luggages in Europe at the moment, specifically in Slovakia where they are preparing themselves for the SEA Games which will happen in December. Remember that they will play in the Merdeka Invitational Tournament sometime later this month (from 20th August). And before they leave for Korat, they will fly to Myanmar for the Challenge Cup.

Naturally, we are still puzzled why the fascination with Slovakia for the 300-Pages Passport Man. Perhaps the birds there are lovelier than the ones we have here? Only 300-Pages Passport Man knows best.

What we know,is that despite it's a brilliant summer up there in Central Europe and the Carpathian mountains, the relative humidity there ranges around the low 30's, while back home, WHERE THE MERDEKA INVITATIONAL WILL BE HELD, the relative humidity is around 65 - 70. For you non-meteorologist out there, this means, it will be much hotter back home here in Kuala Lumpur, than it will ever be than in anywhere near Bratislava. If even before this, professional league players from teams such as Manchester United and Barcelona have complained about the humidity in this region, how clever it is to send a bunch of young kids - which we bet our asses are less fitter than the European players - to 'prepare' in Europe, when they should be conditioning themselves here instead. After all, the next three assignments are in SOUTH EAST ASIA, and the earliest one will be merely 3 weeks away!

By the way, even if the Thais are in Germany at the moment preparing themselves, they will not play in the Merdeka Tournament. Which means they don't need to condition themselves to the region that soon, plus Korat is their backyard.

What's even ironic is that the Indonesian U-23 team are coming here, yes, in KL! Preparing themselves for the Merdeka Tournament and using KL as a training base instead.

We like the part when 300-Pages Passport Man said that he hoped the 'tour' will "change his boys into men". We hope he's not referring to any visit to some crimson coloured area in the capital.

Check out this news report from FAM's website. Is it just us who find it weird that they only confirmed their second opponent AFTER arriving in Bratislava?:


2nd August 2007 – The Malaysian national Under-23 team currently in Slovakia has confirmed a game against Sloven Bratislava as their second opponent after picking Vion FC as their first test.

The youth side which is being prepared for the SEA Games at the end of the year arrived in Vion yesterday and where they have been slated to play Vion FC tomorrow.

“The boys look tired (when we arrived in Slovakia at 5.45pm) but we immediately trained at 7pm,” said national Under-23 head coach B. Sathianathan.

“We did light workout at the Vion training centre before having dinner at around 8pm. The weather is super with the temp at around 24 degrees.

“We have eight opponents to choose from and I will pick the strong teams to play with.”

Mohd Nasril Mat Nourdin, Chun Keng Hong, Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal, Mohamad Syamsol Sabtu, Mohamad Zaquan Adha Abd Radzak, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Shahurain Abu Samah, Sumardi Hajalan, K. Thanaraj, Mohd Daudsu Jamaluddin, Samransak Kram, Mohd Khyril Muhymeen Zambri, Muhamad Zamri Chin, Mohd Farizal Marlias, Wan Azwari Wan Nor, Henry Parsi, Mohd Nizam Abu Bakar, Mohd Faizal Mohd Yusoff, Mohd Amirul Omar, Ahmad Shahril Zakaria, Mohd Azrul Ahmad, Mohamad Aidil Zafuan Abd Radzak, Azi Shahril Azmi, Mohd Safee Mohd Sali, Mohd Nor Farhan Muhammad, Joseph Kalang Tie, Mohd Azril Abd Hamid.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Time To Take It Easy

We have been tardy in updating the blog these last few days. We apologise. The BorakBola team have been away to Jakarta to watch the final match of the AFC Asian Cup 2007. And what a final it was! We will talk about the game in another posting.

Have you seen FAM's new logo? We think many have seen it as the email has been going round for about 2 - 3 weeks or so. If you have not, we are kind enough to show it to you here at BorakBola.

We received it two weeks ago and forgot all about it until another round of forwarded email was sent to us again. We think it's funny and brilliant. And whoever who was creative enough to think of this should take a bow.

Image Hosted by

And here's also what we heard recently:

We understand that Nestlé, through Maggie Malaysia, will be introducing a new, limited edition, stock gravy cubes in Malaysia. This is to commemorate our recent achievements in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup.

The specially packaged, yellow and black cubes, will be marketed and called The Laughing Stock

Image Hosted by

New FAM version coming out soon

Okay, so we stole the joke from Japan and made it local.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Takut Kut?

Extra-time for Malaysia's Asian Cup post-mortem

KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 (Reuters) - Malaysia's under-fire soccer officials have asked for more time from the government to explain why the national team flopped at the Asian Cup.

Ibrahim Saad, general secretary of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), told local media they were unable to meet the Sports Cabinet Committee's request for a Tuesday meeting.

Out of the Asian Cup's four ASEAN host countries, Malaysia were the only team to fare badly, losing all three Group C matches, conceding 12 goals and scoring just once.

'We have to conduct our own post-mortem of the Asian Cup first. We need to get reports from the technical study group and other officials involved,' Ibrahim said in the New Straits Times on Friday.

'We need sufficient time to give the people who are involved to compile the necessary documents, give their opinions and make the necessary recommendations.'

Malaysia's poor performances resulted in the resignation of FAM deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, while the government demanded sweeping changes in the country's soccer structure.

Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia co-hosted the tournament with Malaysia. The final is on Sunday in Jakarta between Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Taken from Soccernet

Where Are You?

Remember the posting after the Malaysia v Iran game that we at BorakBola highlighted that there were no familiar Malaysian or FAM faces sitting at the main area reserved for the VVIPs? This is the fact, NO ONE from the FAM Technical Committee except Datuk Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad turned up to watch ANY of the game.

How bad was it? Well, in this picture we took, albeit not really clear you will notice that 99.9% sitting in the red seats are non-Malaysian. So much so, that although in the beginning of the match we saw The Flying Dutchman sitting at the back, near where the Match Commissioner was seated, towards the middle of the game, someone perhaps asked him to join the front row of the VVIP seats to have a 'Malaysian presence' there.

That's him by the way, in yellow.

Free Image Hosting at

Funny that, having a person who's usually not in town replacing others who should've come to watch the game.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Merdeka Invitational Tournament

Here's what we know so far about this year 39th Merdeka Invitational Tournament or PestaBola Merdeka ke-39.

It will be held at the Shah Alam Stadium and MBPJ Stadium from August 20 - 29, 2007.

Malaysia will be sending the Under-23 aka The Travelling Boys to the tournament.

Other teams who have confirmed participation are defending champions Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia and Bangladesh. The FAM are waiting for confirmation from Thailand, Zimbabwe and Lesotho. It is likely that Myanmar, Singapore and Indonesia will also be sending their U-23 teams.

The FA of Selangor are sponsoring the tournament. The winners will receive US$10,000 while the runners-up will get US$5,000.

The team’s performance in the Merdeka Tournament will be an indication of how Malaysia will fare in the Sea Games in Korat in December.

Thailand, learning from Malaysia perhaps, have sent their team to Bayern Munich, Germany, for a one-month training stint before they head here.

Latest! Thailand has declined the invitation to join the tournament. Reports mentioned that Maldives will come and participate instead

The Adventures of the Maggi Boys continues

These are the players with the training team for the upcoming CYC:


Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, Mohammad Fariq Abdul Rashid, Muhammad Nuraizat Abdul Aziz, Mohd Khairul Anwar Ruslan, S. Kumaresan, Mohd Asraruddin Putra Oman, Muhammad Ibnu Kassim, Mohd Nazrin Mohd Nawi, Errizal Othman, Azrul Azmi, Badrol Bakhtiar, Mohd Noor Hazrul Mahd Mustafa, Mohd Shahrul Hafiz Mohd Shafei, Mohd Syazwan Mohd Roslan, Azri Alwan Nordin, Sazali Suwandi, Abdul Halim Zainal, See Kok Luen, Mohd Aliff Hafifi Mohamad, Mohd Fadzil Azahar, Wan Mohamad Aliff Wan Jasmi, Mohd Bunyamin Omar.

And these are the matches lined-up for the squad:

24th July, 2007: vs Kedah (at Darul Aman Stadium, 1-2

26th July, 2007: vs Kedah President’s Cup squad (at University Utara Malaysia, kick off at 5pm)

28th July, 2007: vs Perak (at Perak Stadium, kick off at 5pm)

2nd August, 2007 (TENTATIVE): vs Negeri Sembilan NAZA (at Stadium Paroi, kick off at 5pm)

And Now, The Under-19

Okay, so we mentioned the Under-15 and Under-23 (which sometimes also means Under-21 and Under-20), we will soon touch on Under-16 (oh yes, its' a different team altogether from the U-15) and also the Danone Under-12 squad.

With the Champions Youth Cup (CYC) starting in the first week of August, we will first include some stories and news about the Under-19 squad.

The Unders
Let us get this straight and readers are welcome to clarify this because we are damn confused as well. We think that these are the Youth Squads in existence in Malaysia:

    Under-12 (Danone Cup)
    Under-15 (Under Aminuddin Hussin aka Mr Who?)
    Under-16 (Also under Mr Who?)
    Under-17 (Do they exist? Under who?)
    Under-18 (Do they exist? Under who?)
    Under-19 (Supposedly under K.Rajagobal)
    Under-20 (See above)
    Under-21 (Under B Sathianathan aka 300-Pages Passport Man)
    Under-23 (See above)

The upcoming assignments this year so far that we know are:

    Champions Youth Cup 2007 (Under-19)
    Merdeka Invitational Tournament (Under-23)
    Challenge Cup (Under-23)
    Korat SEA Games (Under-23)
    ASEAN Football Championship (Under-20)
    AFC Under-16 Qualifiers (Under-16)
    FAC Qualifiers (Under-20)

It's all so bloody messed up. Wait, be prepared to scroll up and down because you WILL need the squad reference above again if you continue reading what we are writing below. Trust us.

Champions Youth Cup
In anyway, let's talk about Champions Youth Cup. Touted as the biggest football event in Malaysia since the 1997 World Youth Cup, this controversial tournament has so far cost (it was initially not recognised by FIFA as it is organised with the G14 football 'gang'), a hefty RM17mil. Big clubs affliated with the G14 will be sending their Under-19 squads to the tournament. Read that again, this is a competition for the Under-19 age groups.

Malaysia are drawn in Group D which will include Chelsea, Bayern Munich and PSV Eindhoven. The matches will be played in Kuching. Alor Star is the venue for Group A which is made up of AC Milan, Flamengo, Ajax and Arsenal.

Juventus, Qatar, Paris Saint Germain and Barcelona are in Group B, which will be played in Kuantan while Malacca will host Group C made up of Boca Juniors, FC Internazionale, Manchester United and FC Porto.

Incidently, Malaysia's opening match will be against Bayern Munich - coached by former Malaysian international, Lim Teong Kim.

If the Malaysian fans are looking for a glimpse of hope after the disastrous showing by the Seniors in the Asian Cup, they will have a hard time finding it as it is unlikely the Under-19s will create any impact in this tournament. Other than the fact that the kids will have a daunting task facing future stars of world football, note that the U-19 has only been called up and assembled less than a month ago.

With that, we shall now call the U-19 the Maggi Boys.

To prepare the Maggi Boys, they are now based in Sintok, Kedah for centralised training. Yesterday, the team lost to Kedah 1-2 and today will take on Kedah President’s Cup squad at the Universiti Utara Malaysia ground today for another friendly.

Does a team, that is hastily assembled in less than a month's time to go before the CYC tournament begins, stands a chance against established clubs like Manchester United, Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern when they cannot even beat a team like Kedah?

Isn't this perplexing?

It get's even more stranger. During the tour of Thailand earlier this month, Robert Alberts took a "team" that lost 8-0 and 5-0 respectively to Osotspa FC and Thailand International University. But wait, The Flying Dutchman didn't take the Under-19 boys for the Thailand trip, instead he took the Under-20 squad. So what was that all about?

So is the team really ready for the CYC? We doubt it. With ten days to go before the tournament starts, The Flying Dutchman himself has commented that the team needed to "improve on two weaknesses".

"We must be able to switch faster from defence to attack. The defensive line should be more organised when they are under pressure,"

Some of you may ask, who is Robert Alberts?

Robert Alberts is the Technical Director of FAM.

Some of you now may ask, after scrolling up again, why is he coaching the Under-19? Shouldn't it be K. Rajagobal?

Good question. The answer is: FAM is THAT disorganised.

Road Map
What we know is that Mr Alberts is rarely in the country. Somehow, despite the fact that he's supposed to prepare the 'Road Map' for FAM (since 2005) which is, we think, his primary task, he was busy earlier this year arranging the Under-16 trip to Brickendonbury. He was often out of the country that one time, the press caught one of the junior teams wearing adidas kits instead of the current sponsor, Nike. Because apparently, Nike will only liaise with The Flying Dutchman for distribution of the kit. So when he was not around, there was no one to get the training jerseys from.

Whatever it is, someone else really wanted Malaysia to host the CYC badly so like it or not, this is almost like the Asian Cup debacle all over again (Youth version) - let's host a big-ass competition but send an ill-prepared team. We've seen this script before.

But let's hear FAM's version:

Necessary Decision
20th July 2007 – Robert Alberts, the technical director of the FA of Malaysia (FAM) has defended the decision to use his services for the Champions Youth Cup next month.

The Dutchman explained that due to the fact that the coaching staff with the national body are each busy with their own assignments, the decision was made to use his experience for the youth tournament which will be held in Kuala Lumpur from 5th August to 19th August, 2007.

He said that Olympic head coach B. Sathianathan – in charge of the national Under-23 squad – will have to concentrate on the SEA Games preparation which will be held in December this year while national Under-19 head coach K. Rajagobal is busy with the preparation for the AFF meet (in Vietnam) and the AFC qualifiers in October.

“Coach Aminuddin (Hussin) on the other hand is currently in England with the U15 side where he is in charge of preparing the team for the AFC U16 qualifiers in November,” said Alberts (pic).

“It was not an easy decision to be made but we believe that since the other coaches are already involved with their respective assignments which have been drawn since last year, it is best that we do not disturb their programmes.

“Furthermore, with the Road Map almost complete, I believe that playing these games against opponents from Europe and South America will give me a better assessment as to where we should be heading as far as our youth development policy is concerned.”

In the meantime, Alberts said that the U19 squad will be leaving for Sintok in Kedah today as part of their preparation for the Champions Youth Cup where they have been placed in Group D alongside PSV Eindhoven, Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

The squad of 22 players will play a total of three matches before returning to Kuala Lumpur on 29th July, 2007.

They will then head to Port Dickson to complete their training programme before leaving for Group D base in Kuching on 5th August, 2007.

“Like what I’ve said before, the Champions Youth Cup is not for players to gain exposure but rather to win matches,” he quipped.
Taken from FAM's website

The Teacher and The Traveller

Whether Cikgu Jan or Coach Norizan Bakar has been sacked from his job is still a mystery to everyone but FAM. But in truth, we realised that with Sathianathan taking charge of the Travelling Boys for the Merdeka Invitational in August and Challenge Cup in October and Norizan's contract expiring in September, Norizan is as good as being fired. A somewhat 'finish up your annual leave before you resign' kind of thing, no?

So there ARE clever people at the Wisma in Jalan SS5A/9, Kelana Jaya after all. Amazing.

More Travelling

We always wonder who would actually pay RM600 for a 300-pages passport. We now have a few people in mind.

BorakBola was about to ask the question, "Where The Heck is Titus James?" when reader Lazlo Reparsi highlighted that SuperJuggler would be joining the Travelling Boys for the Merdeka Invitational/Challenge Cup/Korat SEA Games.

We searched high and low for clarification on this but as usual we haven't been looking at the right places and had our special FAM glasses on. We found out that SuperJuggler has a blog [] but that has not been updated since August 2005. The closest news we had was back in April when 300-Pages Passport Man mentioned that he wanted to call SuperJuggler back to join centralised training with the rest of the Travelling Boys.

The best bit we think from the news reports was this quote by (who else?):

“I’ll probably make a visit to see Titus play in France,”

Any excuse. Any excuse to go a-travelling.

It is said that SuperJuggler is keen to answer the call-up but must first meet his commitment with French Third Division The Third Division of the Ligue District - Seine et Marne Nord (or Seniors 3eme Division District) club, Villenoy AC. We recall that Bertalan Bicskei had also called him for trials for the Manila SEA Games back in 2005 but then he was only 18 then and was dropped.

A Bit About Titus James Palani
Titus started with the Villenoy AC Under-18 team before graduating into the senior side this year. He is the captain of the team and the club are currently third in the 15-team league.

The attacking midfielder was the team’s top scorer with 16 goals with the Villenoy Under-18 side two seasons ago.

He helped the team finish fifth in a 12-team league in Paris. Villenoy were also the FA Cup runners-up to Vaire.

Titus, now 20, went to France when he was 12 to seek a professional football future in Europe.

NB: This information about Titus James was gleamed from The Star. BorakBola cannot confirm the facts and we are conducting our research at the moment

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Middle East Fare

It will be an Iraq v Saudi Arabia final after all. Iraq managed to overcome Korea in last night's match in Kuala Lumpur by winning on penalties after the match ended goalless. Iraq's goalkeeper, Noor Sabri, who has a knack of wearing an adidas shirt despite the whole team being kitted out by Umbro, saved a penalty while Kim Jung-woo's final attempt for Korea hit the post.

This will be Iraq's first appearance in the finals in the history of the competition. The best result Iraq achieved was fourth placing in 1976. After a slow start in Bangkok, drawing 1-1 with host Thailand, Iraq turned on the style by defeating pre-tournament favourites Australia 3-1 on matchday 2. A goalless draw with Oman in the final group match meant Iraq went into the quarter-finals as group leader.

Iraq continued their good run with captain Younis Mahmoud scoring two goals in the win against Vietnam. The team's confidence grew and through tenacious defending, controlled passing and fluid movement showed by the team, the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil saw the Iraqis broke Korean hearts by taking the game into extra time and penalties. With that, Jorvan Vieira basically gave a big 'up yours' to the Mensa members of FAM who sacked him, if we are not mistaken, way back in 2002.

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Up Yours FAM

We cannot imagine how it would be if FAM had trusted Vieira to carry on working with the U-20 team instead. These players would've been around 25 years old by now and the Pasukan Kebangsaan may or may have not endured such a torrid Asian Cup campaign. It is interesting to note that Vieira only had two months to prepare the team for the tournament. We at BorakBola applaud the hard work that Vieira and the Iraqi team has shown, despite the situation back home in Iraq. We watched the game live yesterday and we were impressed by the skills and composure shown by the Iraqi players. Respect!

Meanwhile, in Hanoi, Saudi Arabia despatched the holders with a convincing 3-2 win. It was a fine example of fast-flowing football shown by the two teams. Osim's Japan were again let down by their lack of firepower upfront and over-reliance on Takahara who was well marked. This seems to be a perennial problem for Japan despite the fact that they have quality midfield and defence players. Twice Japan had to come back with their goals coming from central defenders Abe and Nakazawa but Malek Maaz superb solo effort ended Japan's hope of a back to back triple crown.

And it will also be a Brazillian affair between the coaches as Saudi Arabia is also managed by Vieira's compatriot, Helios Dos Anjos. A serving of shish kebabs with churrascarrian touch perhaps?

Shelf any plans to eat at Tarboush, Naab or any Middle-Eastern eateries this Sunday evening. Most of them would probably be closed.

Asian Cup Heats Up

Despite the fact the Pasukan Kebangsaan is no longer in the tournament, BorakBola will continue to watch the games live at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil as we don't know when the country will host another big football competition like this.

Matchday 5 of the competition will see the semi-finals being played in Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi where Iraq will meet Korea at 6.20pm and holders Japan will play against Saudi Arabia at 8.20pm (all times local) respectively.

It's interesting to note who the coach of Iraq is, being a certain Señor Jorvan Viera.

The Brazillian is the same person that FAM sacked a few days before the Asian Youth Championship in Johor Bahru and was replaced by current Under-19 coach, K. Rajagopal. Viera has coached the Under-20 for 3 years before he was asked to leave after a dismal outing in one of the tournaments that the team participated. At this moment, we can't remember which tournament it was.

Meanwhile, we are expecting to see Japan go all the way to the final and lift the cup for the third consecutive time and we hope that BorakBola would be able to report the game all the way from Jakarta.

See you at Iraq v Korea tonight!

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Next Stop

The next assignment for the Malaysian national football team would have been the upcoming Merdeka Invitational Tournament (Pestabola Merdeka) from 20 - 29 August 2007. If the national players who played in the Asian Cup wanted to redeem their battered pride anytime this year, they would have to wait because FAM has announced that they will be sending the Under-23 team instead to the tournament.

Whether this is a knee-jerk reaction or not, only FAM would know. It is however a good excuse to send the U-23 team instead of the Seniors since it would mean the U-23 would get more matches and extra preparation for the upcoming SEA Games at Korat as FAM will be sending the same team under coach B. Sathianathan.

Malaysia is aiming nothing less than a gold medal at Korat. It is likely that the U-23 team going to Thailand and the Merdeka Invitational will consist of almost entirely the same players that played in the pre-Olympic football campaign earlier this year. (Was that the U-20 or U-21 squad? It's confusing for us as well but we know Sathianathan coaches both U-23 and U-21 teams). If we were to judge the squad from the pre-Olympic qualifiers itself, we atBorakBola are not too confident about the team but would support the team nevertheless.

Travelling Boys
We are nicknaming the U-23 as the Travelling Boys because their warm-up matches prior to the qualifiers included a three-match tour of South Africa, friendly matches in India and playing in the Hanoi Cup in Vietnam. They also had friendlies against local club sides and S-League club side Geylang United.

The Travelling Boys only manage to draw once against Syria and won one game against Hong Kong during the qualifiers. They lost the remaining matches. On Sathianathan defence, he only had a limited time to work with the boys as he was caught in a situation of club/state vs country for the players.

Before the Merdeka Invitational, the team would leave for Slovakia for a two-week stint from Aug 1-15 where they will play some test matches against club sides there. These will include the Slovakian Under-22 side and First Division teams.

Why Slovakia? Is it because it is cheaper? Is it because they have better facilities? Do they have better teams? And the next three assignments are competitions in hot and humid climate. Does FAM blindly approve all these overseas 'training stints'?

Anyway, in September, the Travelling Boys will then go to Myanmar to participate in the Challenge Cup.

The Coach
Sathianathan had been an assistant to previous national team coaches Hatem Souissi and Allan Harris. He was also the person that FAM sent to Germany to watch or observe (whatever you want to call it) the 2006 World Cup and apparently, has presented a paper on the "Malaysia World Cup Dream. BorakBola would very much like to read that paper.

Coach Sathianathan has called up 33 players for centralised training at Wisma FAM. They include Syed Adney, Norfarhan Mohd, Poster Boy and Safee Sali, among others.

A Malaysian In The EPL?

Mr Soon-To-Quit Secretary-General announced today that the Olympic Squad and Selangor goalkeeper, Liverpool-born Syed Adney Syed Hussain will undergo trials with English clubs Darlington FC and Middlesborough next month.

The trials with the second division club will be for 8 days while trials with Premiership outfit 'Boro will be for 4 days. This will be the first time that a Malaysian player have been offered to undergo trials with English clubs, according to FAM.

BorakBola thinks that this will be an excellent opportunity for Syed Adney to gain valuable experience and exposure. We have only seen him play once during the Olympic qualifiers and one or two matches for Selangor and we have yet to see his true potential. However, his height is a great asset and he is indeed a good hope for the future. In anyways there's always room for improvement so we'll have to wait and see. Although we must add here that we hope that Syed Adney would put on some mass (unless he's going for that Van Der Sar route) and hopefully, if he is selected to join any of the English teams, we expect to see a top player manning the Malaysian goal in 2 - 3 years time.

Darlington and Boro shouldn't worry too much about working permit since Syed Adney is English-born, eh?

Good luck from BorakBola!

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More Pies Please

Boro trials for Syed Adney

PETALING JAYA: National rookie goalkeeper Syed Adney Syed Hussein (pic) is game for the big time.

The lanky Selangor custodian, who will turn 21 in November, has set his sights on playing in the English Premier League. He will get his first big break when he attends trials with Middlesbrough next month.

“I was not selected for the recent Asian Cup campaign because I was recovering from injury. But I am ready for the challenge in the EPL,” said Syed Adney yesterday.

He said that an agent from the United States had arranged for the trials.

Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad, the FA of Malaysia (FAM) general secretary, said it was refreshing to see a youngster from Malaysia getting a shot in the EPL.

“It will go down in the history books if he gets to play in the EPL,” said Dr Ibrahim, adding the FAM will sponsor the player’s trip to England.

Besides Middlesbrough, Syed Adney will also be attending trials with Second Division outfit Darlington FC.

“I am so happy to get the trials. And I am confident of getting a stint in England. If I get it I am going to stay there,” said Syed Adney, who played for the national team in the Doha Asian Games last year.

“I was born in Liverpool and my dream is to play for the Reds,” added the six-foot-two goalkeeper who returned to Malaysia with his parents at the age of eight.
Taken from The Star

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Interview with the Sports Minister

Here are parts of the interview between the News Straits Times and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. We reproduce here what was said with regards to FAM and football in this country.

"If I had my way, many decisions about athletes will be different, but as you know, government interference is not allowed in national associations. We don’t have 100 per cent say.

In the case of FAM (Football Association of Malaysia), there has been a public outcry and the Cabinet is also very disappointed but if FAM does not want to change, then nothing in the world can change FAM, because we are not part of FAM.

Q: What should FAM do to revive football, and do you think they can do it?

A: The disappointment with football is there was no urgency and spirit in the players (in the Asian Cup).

People are asking what is wrong with them. They were representing Malaysia They should have played with more pride. The Indonesian media praised their team despite losing, because there was fighting spirit. With the funding and support that the government is giving, this shouldn’t be the case.

But I bet you FAM will have 1,000 reasons why they failed, and what really makes the public very disappointed is that no one is feeling guilty about losing, and that is what really hurts.

The public outcry shows that the public is really disgusted with football.

If you look at badminton and squash, they go down and they come up again. They win today, they lose tomorrow, but unfortunately football loses consistently.

But because of Fifa regulations, we can only support but can’t intervene and everyone says maybe football must be taken over 100 per cent by the government, maybe football should be run by strong personalities, good managers.

It’s all up to FAM. We are calling them for the Cabinet Committee meeting on July 31. We are trying to see how we can help them.

I don’t want to be in a position that the eight-core sports programme has to drop football.

Q: Millions are being spent by the government. How long do you see this continuing?

A: If the rating system is accepted well, and if associations and the public understand that, I think the whole idea of subsidising associations will see a new phase in Malaysian sports and that is what we are hoping for.

Right now if you pull anything, it’s World War Three, but if you make them understand, when there is KPI (Key Performance Indicator), then I have achieved the objective. I would like see that in future, we only communicate with those who are high up in results."

God Help Us

If King Yob is chosen, then that's it for Malaysian football.

Jostling begins in FAM

JOHOR BARU: The FA of Malaysia (FAM) congress will only be held in September but the fight for the posts in the association has already started.

And sadly for fans, who have been clamouring for change, most of those doing the jostling are the old faces.

Deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah had resigned from all positions in the association and secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad will step down when his two-year term expires next month.

And one of those eyeing the seat vacated by the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang is incumbent vice-president Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin, who is also the FAM competitions committee chairman. He, of all people, has to take the blame for this season's messy M-League.

When news that Raja Ahmad, who is also a member of Parliament, had enlisted the help of his competitions committee members to lobby for him, those outside his camp sprang into action.

“Yes. We had a meeting in Shah Alam (recently). It was a hurriedly arranged meeting after learning that Raja Ahmad has made known his intentions to go for the vacant number two post. We are not happy with that for several reasons.

“There is a lot of unhappiness in the states over the manner in which the competitions committee handled things this season. Each time we complained, we were told that it was the council's decision. But we believe it was more of a “one-man decision”.

“This year's M-League is a big mess. It has been a bitter lesson for us and it is time we pick only those who can work - this is our secret pact,” said one official.

Former FAM vice-president Datuk Suleiman Mohd Noor, meanwhile, has called on FAM not to handle national teams any more. Instead, he said, a corporation consisting of sport-minded people, and headed by the Prime Minister, should be set up “to move football back to its original respectable level.”

“There are still many football brains that are capable of bringing back the shine to the game. Give them the due recognition. Stop the politicking for the sake of the sport,” said Suleiman, a former national manager
Taken from The Star

Friday, 20 July 2007

Teong Kim says sad state of affairs due to lack of infrastructure

Friday July 20, 2007

Teong Kim says sad state of affairs due to lack of infrastructure


PETALING JAYA: Former international Lim Teong Kim is not surprised at all over the sad state of affairs in Malaysian football.

The assistant coach of Bayern Munich Under-19 football team said that the dismal showing of the national team in the Asian Cup Finals was expected and the lack of infrastructure had hindered the growth of the game in the country.

“Bayern Munich are the top club in Germany. We have a very good infrastructure – five training fields and more coming up soon,” said Teong Kim, who is here to check out the facilities for the club's participation in the Champions Youth Cup (CYC), which kicks off on Aug 8.

Bayern Munich are in Group D and their matches against Malaysia, Chelsea and PSV Eindhoven will be played in Kuching.

“We have a complete infrastructure to cater for the professional team and also the youth teams. In fact, we have 11 youth teams in age-group between eight and 23. The other clubs in the Bundesliga also have a similar set-up.”

In the Finals, Malaysia lost all three matches in Group C. They were thrashed by China (1-5) and Uzbekistan (0-5) and were beaten 0-2 by Iran.

The 44-year-old Teong Kim said it was not fair to put the blame on the team when changes were not made to check the rot in the system.

He added that he had left the country for almost two decades but he had not seen changes or concerted efforts to develop the game, even in his home state Malacca where he started out playing for at the age of 17.

“When football is still the same here after so many years, how can we expect to see any changes to the game or standard? Why criticise the present batch of players and keep banging them on their heads for failures when no one cares for the development of the game,” he said.

“Football is a national agenda. I feel that every state should have an ideal infrastructure to develop the game.

“I have been in Bayern Munich for eight years now. Even the eight-year-old players travel extensively to play in invitational tournaments to gain experience. There are eight professional coaches at the youth level and players get plenty of exposure.

“The facilities are well-equipped with dressing rooms, rehabilitation rooms, physiotherapy, sauna and relaxation rooms.

“In Germany, we have technical problems but no infrastructure problems. If there are no fields how can the coaches get to work?

“The National Sports School in Bukit Jalil alone is not good enough. State FAs must get their infrastructure in place otherwise they cannot expect to produce results.

“I am just trying to pass my experience and knowledge learnt in Bayern Munich. It is difficult to see success if changes are not made. There is a saying in Germany – changes bring prosperity, contentment brings complacency.”

Teong Kim was a member of the national team who won the gold medal in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in 1989. That was the last time the national senior team emerged as the champions of the regional international tournament.

He added that there was no point in coaxing players to ply their trade abroad if they had no desire to go in the first place.

“I left to play in the Bundesliga in 1988 because I had the desire to do it,” said Teong Kim, who played for Division Two club Hertha Berlin
Taken from The Star

Here Comes The Future

Starting today, BorakBola will try to include more news from the junior and the youth teams.

One team, the National Under-15, flew to England this week to take part in an 'international tournament' later this month. This may seem like a good exposure for the young boys coached by Aminuddin Hussin.

Can someone please inform us at BorakBola, who in the blazes is Aminuddin Hussin?

Anyway, other than the tournament, BorakBola suspects that the U15 boys are being made political pawns and guinea pigs in one - because they will be training at the controversial Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre in Brickendonbury. Reports by The Sun earlier this week has stated that the centre itself is not ready in terms of facilities and accommodation and the matter is still grey - have the training centre been approved by the cabinet and FAM?

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The batch of U15 lads, which by the way, are represented by the Bukit Jalil Sport School, left for England on the 15th of July before taking part in the age-group competition starting on 29th July, 2007 and they will remain in England until the first week of August.

The tournament which will see 12 teams taking part will be from 29th July, 2007 until 5th August, 2007.

Malaysia are in Group C up against Beaconsfield FC (Berkshire), Pinnacle Youth (London) and Rorsjostaden (Sweden).

Group A are Eldon Celtic (Berkshire), Cobham FC (Surrey), Actual Soccer (London) and Soccer Pro (Portugal) while Group B are Links FC (Surrey), Brunswick Youth (London), Bidvest Wits JFC (South Africa) and CD Guadiaro (SPAIN).


Muhammad Fuad Mamat, Muhd Sukuri Mohd Rahim, Muhd Shaifullah Zainal, Shahrul Mohd Saad, Mohd Haizrul Asmiel Shamsul, Goh Jung Sern, Hazril Here, Mohd Nizam Mohd Yusri, Mohamad Fandi Othman, Sabri Sahar, Muhammad Nazrul Nakhaie Mohd Noor, Muhd Aminuddin Azmi, Zulfadhli Mohamed, Gary Steven Robbat, Iffi Afinaz Ismail, Muhamad Bukhari Idris, Mohd Alif Fadhil Ismail, Saiful Ridzuwan Selamat, D. Saarvindran, Mohamad Amer Saidin, Abdullah Am Ahmad, Mohamad Hakim Zainol.


29th July: BUKIT JALIL SPORTS SCHOOL vs Pinnacle Youth (London)

31st July: Beaconsfield vs BUKIT JALIL SPORTS SCHOOL

3rd August: Rorsjostaden IF vs BUKIT JALIL SPORTS SCHOOL

4th August: Quarter-finals

5th August: Semi-Finals/Final

Under-15 Squad To Train In Brickendonbury

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 (Bernama) -- The development of the national youth squad will concentrate on efforts to build up the players' personality, exposure to training abroad and academic knowledge, said the Director of the National Sports Institute, Datuk Dr Ramlan Abd Aziz.

"Besides the focus on the aspect of training in football, emphasis will also be given to the academic and personality aspects. We want our young players who will be future professionals to have strong personality," he said.

He disclosed this at a press conference on the training session for the Under-15 squad at the High Performance Training Centre at Brickendonbury, London from July 16 to Aug 8.

Besides undergoing training there, the squad under the guidance of Aminuddin Hussin will also participate in the Arsenal International Challenge.

The national Under-15 football squad will be the second group from the National Sports Council's (NSC) High Performance Sports Program for football to undergo training at the centre.

Earlier, the Under-16 football team had been sent to the same centre for training in May.

Dr Ramlan said that in view of their young age and that they were still schooling, the training session at Brickendonbury also emphasised on the aspect of education. As such, several teachers would also accompany them on their trip to London.

Meanwhile, the Football Association of Malaysia's (FAM) technical director Robert Albert noted that the boys would have the opportunity of a training session at the Arsenal Academy.

"Our intention of bringing the boys to London is to give them an international exposure since there are no major tournaments for them in the meantime here.

"At the Arsenal Academy, they will be exposed to the highest training level and the chance to use the facilities," said Albert.

The squad comprising 22 players, four officials and three teachers will leave for London on Sunday.
Taken from BERNAMA

Witchhunt and which one is which?

More heads are rolling. According to news report today, the puppetmasters holding the strings at FAM have sacked the manager and two members of the technical team of the Pasukan Kebangsaan. Datuk Anifah Aman and coaches Nasir Yusof and Lim Chuan Chin were asked to resign by the national football body.

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Team Manager Datuk Anifah Aman (in yellow), Nasir Yusof and Lim Chuan Chin (behind Norizan)

The reports stated that like coach Norizan Bakar, all three were asked to leave their positions immediately after the end of the Asian Cup campaign. It was also reported that all four were informed of the news right before the National Team took the field for the final group game against Iran. If this is true, it only goes to show the level of unprofessionalism on FAM's part.

Nasir Yusof, is a former national player, and as some may recall, one of the few capable playmakers that ever wore the national jersey. He has been one of the assistant coaches of the national squad since 2004 under Bertalan Bicskei.

Chuan Chin, former national goalkeeper and brother to Bayern Munich's youth squad coach, Lim Teong Kim, served as the goalkeeping coach for the team.

Which means that FAM would need to act quickly to reassemble the team in preparation for the upcoming Merdeka Invitational Tournament. However, it was also reported in The Star today that one of the deputies in FAM denied that Norizan has been sacked. So what is going on here?

FAM: Norizan is still the national coach

PETALING JAYA: FA of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Datuk Redzuan Tan Sri Sheikh Ahmad clarified yesterday that national coach Norizan Bakar had not been sacked and would have to serve out his contract, which expires in September.

Redzuan said that he was surprised to see media reports on the sacking of Norizan and the coach had misinterpreted the information given to him by team manager Datuk Anifah Aman on the eve of the Asian Cup Finals match against Iran on Tuesday.

“There has been total confusion. We have not sacked the coach. The message passed to Norizan that the Asian Cup would be his last assignment with the national team does not mean that he is sacked,” said Redzuan.

“Yes, we have the Merdeka Tournament next month. But there is a possibility that the SEA Games Under-23 squad under B. Sathianathan will play in the tournament. A decision has not been made yet.

“The FAM president, Sultan Ahmad Shah, has also made it clear that he wanted the manager and coach to hand in their reports on the Asian Cup by this week for them to conduct an inquiry. How can we sack the coach before the inquiry?”

Norizan in response to questions about his future with the national team at a post-match conference after Malaysia were beaten 0-2 by Iran in their final Group C fixture on Wednesday, said that he had been told by the team management to relinquish his duties immediately after the match.

“I have to accept this because hiring and firing are all part and parcel of the job. I understand, it's all about results when you assume duties with the national senior team ... life goes on,” said Norizan.

On what he would do next, Norizan said: “I will make a decision later. I am a teacher by profession. Just because my students fail does it mean that I have to stop teaching?”

The other coaches in the team, assistant Nasir Yusof and goalkeeper trainer Lim Chuan Chin, have also been told to go. They have contracts that run until the end of the year.

In other Group C matches, Malaysia went down to heavy defeats by China (1-5) and Uzbekistan (0-5). It resulted in a public outcry for the resignation of the top brass in the FAM.

And the FAM deputy president, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah quit all his posts in the association on Sunday. But his father, who is the president, said that he was no quitter and would continue to fight to raise the standard of Malaysian football, which has been in the doldrums for a long, long time.

The reality is that Malaysia still do not have a team to compete in a tournament of Asian Cup quality. Playing by virtue of being hosts in these Finals had done more harm than good to Malaysian football.
Taken from The Star

Thursday, 19 July 2007

First Blood - Norizan Sacked

It was bound to happen. Here's an example how things might LOOK like it will change, but it won't. Believe us when we say as long as the same people stay in power in FAM, things will continue in a vicious cycle. It has been the same kind of reaction after every 'disastrous' National Team campaign - SEA Games, Merdeka Invitational, World Cup qualifying etc etc. Someone will have to take the blame and deflect the actual fault by the management of FAM. Someone have be made the fall guy. Someone have to be seen as the bad guy or the devil. And it is always the coach who will be 'sacked' and the team disbanded.

BorakBola will state once again (and again and again) - SACK THE ENTIRE FAM MANAGEMENT. Rehire only those who have the heart, passion, commitment and professionalism to run the game. Prevent politicians from going for any top post. We are against people like Shahidan Kassim, who already have other posts in other sports association. If you are an MP, concentrate of your day job and take care of your rakyat. Rebuilding the state of football in the country is a full time job. If not the case of you WANT to do it, or HAVE to do it. Its whether you CAN do it or not.

Hire real businessmen (or women) to run the financial aspects of the game. Appoint a proper PR agency if needed to handle communication and day to day PR events. Hire proper football mindness people at the technical level. Perhaps do a 'juggling' test. If they can't play or kick a ball properly, then go home. Heck, even Bolivia's President, Evo Morales can play. At 4,000 m above sea level nevertheless!

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Senor Morales. No Problemo!

If readers would recall, BorakBola wrote somewhere in the blog that Norizan's contract is up after the Asian Cup anyways, so in truth this can be considered as 'contract not extended'.

Norizan axed as Malaysia coach

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KUALA LUMPUR - Norizan Bakar has been sensationally axed by Malaysia’s football authorities despite his side earning plaudits galore during a narrow 2-0 AFC Asian Cup defeat to Iran on Wednesday.

An emotional Norizan told reporters that he had been told of the decision before the Iran match, an encounter that followed a 5-1 defeat against China as well as a 5-0 drubbing by Uzbekistan, results that were clearly beyond the pale for those in power at the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).

The former Perlis and Penang boss, whilst philosophical about the news, was adamant that he had been poorly treated.

“I have been told by the FAM that my assignment as national team coach has come to an end at the Asian Cup,” the 46-year-old said.

“I was told prior to the Iran match and I must say that I think the decision is unfair as I have always tried my level best to achieve things with the personnel that I have at my disposal.

“You know, my training is as a teacher and I know full well that when a student fails I do not then immediately have to stop teaching. Having said that, this is football. In coaching there will always be hiring and firing and football is all about results and because of that I have to accept the decision.

“There now have to be solutions found to the problems. There were definitely problems in terms of our preparation for this tournament. Problems though are meant to be solved."

Despite finishing bottom of Group C, Malaysia’s performance against the might of group winners Iran, especially in the face of recent criticism, delighted the departing Norizan.

“With all the criticism and all the humiliation thee has been, the morale of the players was very low going into this match, in fact it was going from bad to worse. I therefore have to take my hat of to them. They showed real guts in the way they played," he said.

“I suppose nobody wants to be criticised. It was very hard for the players to play here. I have to say that the players showed their true selves tonight in terms of team spirit and togetherness.”

Norizan also revealed that his player’s much improved display was proof that the Malaysian team needed to be supported even if they continue, for the time being at least, to struggle against the big hitters of world football.

“A game like we had tonight shows that Malaysia needs to be supported. After the two looses and all the criticism the players were very down. But they bounced back," he added.

“Look we have nothing to lose by playing these bigger teams. We must learn from our experiences,” he added before leaving to a standing ovation."
Taken from PA Sport