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.