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Centralised training snag for Harimau Malaya

The national football team has no choice except to continue with the challenges in the second round of the 2022 World Cup/ 2023 Asian Cup qualification without any optimum preparation should the event be held in March.

Team manager, Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi admitted that the squad under head coach Tan Cheng Hoe may not gather for team training after the centralised training camp scheduled for this month was cancelled.

He said with the 2021 Malaysia-League competition starting at the end of February and the uncertainty over the implementation of Movement Control Order (MCO) presently, have compounded efforts to group players together.

“We have no choice as we could not hold it (centralised training camp) this month. If we want to call players in February, they would be busy with their respective club preparations for M-League which is commencing on February 26.

“Under such circumstances, how are we going to call them for a 10-day centralised camp, which team would released their players when they are busy with pre-season preparations,” Mohd Yusoff who is also the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president told Bernama today.

The centralised training camp for the national squad was scheduled from Jan 15 to 26 since November last year but had to be called off following the implementation of MCO in six states for 14 days until Jan 26.

At the same time, he said FAM was awaiting the official decision of International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) on the qualifying competition schedule, on whether to go ahead in March or postpone it to June at a selected location.

According to him, the national team can benefit from the international match calendar from March 22 to 30 for centralised training if FIFA decides to postpone the qualifying competition to June.

“In my view, they (FIFA) have to announce quickly so as not to burden all countries in deciding the direction this season. Nonetheless, whatever decision FIFA makes, we have to make new plans or adapt to the situation for the competition.

“So far, I could see that if the qualifying matches were to be held in March, it would be difficult to organise centralised training but if it is held in June, we still have a chance,” he added.

Malaysia are scheduled to meet the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Dubai on March 25 before hosting Vietnam on March 30 in Group G second round 2022 World Cup / 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Cheah, Kisona gain invaluable experience at Yonex Thailand Open

— Malaysian women’s singles shuttlers Soniia Cheah and S. Kisona may have lost to their opponents at the opening round of Yonex Thailand Open Badminton Tournament at the Impact Arena in Bangkok yesterday, but they both believe they have gained invaluable experience that will help them become better players.

According to Cheah, who is the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games mixed team silver medallist, her 15-21 and 12-21 defeat to the seventh seed, An Se Young of South Korea, served as the best lesson to improve her performance for the Toyota Thailand Open which is scheduled to commence from Jan 19 to 24 at the same venue.

“My opponent managed to control the rhythm of the match better than me, and it was kind of jitter since it was my first match (after not playing for some time due to COVID-19), but I do hope to get my rhythm back in the next tournament,” Cheah was quoted as saying in a post-match video interview by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

The video was made available to Bernama.

Sharing the sentiment was Cheah’s compatriot, S. Kisona who was delighted to be given a chance to play in the tournament following the withdrawal of Thailand’s player Nitchaon Jindapol due to an injury.

The 2019 Philippines SEA Games gold medallist said that despite losing straight-set 15-21 and 15-21 to the world number 20th Saina Nehwal of India in the first round, she was happy with her performance at the US$1 million (RM4.042 million) tournament.

“I tried to play my best to see how far I can go since this is my first tournament after not playing for a while (due to COVID-19),” she said.

“I think Saina played well and she is one of my idols. It was a good experience to get a chance to play against her,” Kisona added.

The defeat by both players saw Malaysia had no representatives left in the BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournament.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

KBS confident sports activities will pick up early next year

The Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) is confident that sports activities will be more vibrant next year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its deputy minister Senator Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said the ministry would ensure that all Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were adhered to if the government allowed some sporting events to be held.

“We (KBS) are looking at all possibilities before organising sports events. We have decided to introduce a sports bubble model and for some sports, no spectators will be allowed

“The people have been able to accept the new normal and we are confident that sports events will be lively again next year,” he told reporters after attending the Kelantan Youth and Sports Department Rakan Muda Volunteer Programme at SK Kedai Tanjong here today.

He said the sports bubble model to be introduced by KBS in early January will kick off with the organisation of a motorsports trial event at the Sepang International Circuit when the MotoGP teams from abroad will come to the country to try out the circuit.

He said through the sports bubble model, riders would not be allowed to leave the circuit area, while only a limited number of spectators would be allowed.

“The MotoGP trials is an experiment before it (sports bubble model) is implemented at other sports events as we want to see how the people adapt to the new norms through sports,” he said.

Asked about the organisation of the 2026 Kelantan Malaysia Games (Sukma), Wan Ahmad Fayhsal said the Federal government, through his ministry, will assist in the construction of several major venues such as stadiums and sports complexes.

“We will wait for the allocation that will be tabled in the 12th Malaysia Plan at the end of next January.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Ibrahim Mohd Yusof appointed as new Sports Commissioner

The Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia (KBS) has announced the appointment of Ibrahim Mohd Yusof as the new Sports Commissioner for a two-year term effective today.

In the statement released today, KBS said Ibrahim’s latest post at the ministry was as division secretary (policy and strategic planning) and he had been directly involved in drafting the Sports Development (Amendment) Act 2018.

Ibrahim, who began his career in the civil service as an administrative and diplomatic officer in 1997, has also been involved in formulating sports policies including the KBS Strategic Plan and the KBS Strategic Paper for the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“KBS is confident and believes in the experience, knowledge and credibility possessed by Ibrahim will be able to strengthen the governance of the Sports Commissioner’s office, and take the development of national sports to greater heights.

“KBS also hopes that all sports associations give their due cooperation,” the statement said.

Ibrahim, who holds a Masters in Information Management and a Bachelor of Statistics degree from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), has extensive experience in management, especially in policy planning and sports development.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Malaysia Cup can be held from January 2021 – Ismail Sabri

Good news for all local football fans. The government has agreed to allow the hosting of the country’s number one sport, including the Malaysia Cup competition, from January 2021, said Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said this after reviewing the proposal on the COVID-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) that was tabled by the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) to the technical committee yesterday.

“The Malaysia Cup competition can be held from January 2021,” he said at the media conference on the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) development today.

Yesterday, KBS Deputy Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal was quoted as saying that the ministry had presented the sports bubble SOP as part of efforts to revive all football matches that had been shelved in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Ismail Sabri said the presence of spectators at stadiums would depend on the movement restrictions placed on the respective states, whether they are under the RMCO, Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) or Enhanced MCO (EMCO).

He said a maximum of 4,000 spectators or 10 per cent of the stadium capacity would be allowed for states placed under the RMCO.

“For states placed under the CMCO, no spectators are allowed while for areas under the EMCO, no matches are permitted,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the hosting of international-level tournaments, Ismail Sabri said it would be subject to approval by the Malaysian Immigration Department (JIM).

He said the participation of COVID-19 high-risk countries would not be allowed, unless authorised by the JIM.

“The participation of national athletes in international meets, especially in COVID-19 high-risk countries, will also require approval from the JIM.

“For contact sports, participants must undergo swab tests and be confirmed negative before they will be allowed to take part,” he said, adding that the detailed SOP could be viewed on the Youth and Sports Ministry and National Security Council (MKN) websites.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Former Penang coach Yoke Ham dies, daughter describes him as ‘cheerful person’

Former Penang football coach Moey Yoke Ham, who passed away this morning, has been described by his daughter as “a cheerful man who did not show any signs of illness”.

Moey Mi Lin, 45, said her father died as a result of bleeding in the brain after falling at his residence in Batu Lanchang near here, yesterday.

“My mother phoned me to tell me that my dad, who had fallen down at home and was unconscious, had been taken to the Penang Hospital for further checks.

“However, the hospital authorities told us that there was nothing they could do. We got the opinions of doctors from other hospitals and their answer was the same.

“Since I live in Petaling Jaya (Selangor), I will call him daily, but he never showed any signs of being ill. In fact, he would joke with me as usual,” she said when contacted by Bernama today

She also described him as a loving and caring person, who always gave his full support to his two children to make their own decisions regarding their life choices.

She said that his remains would be cremated at the Batu Gantung Crematorium on Sunday (Dec 20).

Moey leaves his wife Lee Siew Koon, 70 and two children, Mi Lin and son Moey Khai Boon, 43.

Meanwhile, the Penang Football Club, through their official PFC Facebook page, said the 74-year-old former coach would always be fondly remembered for guiding the state to winning the 1998 Premier League I (now Super League) title.

He was the Penang head coach from 1996-2000 and he also guided them to runner-up finishes in Premier I in 1999 and 2000.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

National para athletes, PwD receive contribution from Jakel

— Non-governmental organisation OKU Sentral has collaborated with the Jakel Group and the Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM) to help national para-athletes and persons with disabilities (PwD) who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Under the initiative, the Jakel Group would be contributing 700 packs of basic necessities to the target group.


OKU Sentral president Senator Ras Adiba Radzi, who represents the PwD community in the Dewan Negara, said she was saddened by the plight of some national athletes who were struggling to support their families due to the pandemic.




“Some of the national athletes are the backbone of their families to earn a living. So along with the allowance provided by the National Sports Council, we would like to support them a little more that they can help their other family members,” she said at a press conference after the programme here today.


Ras Adiba said for a start, OKU Sentral and PCM distributed 250 packs of basic necessities to the national athletes, while the rest would be distributed in stages to the disabled around the Klang Valley through the relevant government agencies.


Meanwhile, Jakel Group chief strategy officer Mohd Fuad Ahmad said this was the textile manufacturing company’s first collaboration with MPM and OKU Sentral, and was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programmes to help the less fortunate.



PCM president Datuk Seri Megat D. Shahriman Megat Zaharudin as well as other leaders of the council were also present.


At the event, PCM also launched the PCM Mobile Van to deliver basic necessities to the homes of national paralympic athletes.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency