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More than 3,000 Kedah fans snap up Malaysia Cup semi-final tickets

ALOR SETAR, More than 3,000 Red Eagles fans jammed up the counters at Darul Aman Stadium this morning to purchase tickets to the first leg Malaysia Cup semi-final match between Kedah and Pahang scheduled at 9pm tomorrow.

A Bernama observation found Kedah football supporters have already started queuing as early as 6 am and were able get hold of tickets to the match at Darul Aman Stadium when counters were opened at 10.10 am.

One of the Red Eagles staunch fans, Norhayati Che Ros, 50, said she and her husband, 53, left their home in Taman Sri Angsana, in Sungai Petani at about 5 am to be on time at the stadium.

“Even though we drove an hour to reach the stadium, we are happy to obtain three tickets to the match. My husband and I and my daughter will be there to support Kedah.

“I hope Kedah will bash the visitors 3-0 so that I could go down to Bukit Jalil Stadium to support Kedah in the final, she said when met near the stadium ticket counters.

Meanwhile, a 64-year-old housewife, Siti Rizana Hadzir said she came to the stadium on a motorcycle alone from Jitra at 7 am to get tickets for herself, husband and grandson.

I started getting interested in the sport even since I accompanied my grandson to his school football matches. From there I watch almost all Kedah matches and I will be at the stadium tomorrow night.

As for Muhammad Alif Najmi Nor Shabudin, 19, from Pendang, he hoped Kedah would beat Pahang 3-0 to enter the final.

I hope to see Kedah meet Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in the final and I think Kedah will redeem themselves this time, he said.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Agong tells Malaysian tigers to focus on qualifying for 2020 Olympics

KUALA LUMPUR, The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah wants the national hockey team to forget about the failure to qualify for 2016 Rio Olympics and instead focus on playing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Al-Sultan Abdullah said the team under head coach Roelant Oltmans needs to win two play-off matches against Great Britain for a 2020 Olympics slot at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London on Nov 2 and 3.

He said it is the hope of all Malaysians to see the national squad qualify for the largest multi-sport event in the world and he prayed victory would favour the Malaysian Tigers.

“I hope all players will continue to give their best.

“Make sure that you are all super fit…eat sufficiently. InsyaAllah, after departing (for London), you will all play for the country, play for the whole rakyat of Malaysia and not forgetting for the king and queen of Malaysia,” he said.

Al-Sultan Abdullah was speaking at a Hi-Tea hosted by him and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah for the national hockey squad at Istana Negara today.

The royal couple were met by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal.

In this regard, Al-Sultan Abdullah who was MHC president from 2008 to 2015, also planned to invite other national athletes to attend similar programmes during his reign as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“I am looking forward to today’s event…to invite athletes or national players. Not just the hockey team.

“Nonetheless, today is rather special. Just to let you know you are the first team to come to Istana Negara to have tea with me,” he said.

For the record, Great Britain under coach Danny Kerry will be featuring players from world number seventh, England, Wales (18th) and Scotland (19) while the national squad are now ranked 11th in the world.

Malaysia last qualified for Olympics in the Sydney 2000 edition.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Budget 2020 :RM299 million for sports for all programme

KUALA LUMPUR, The Sports for All Programme will get a RM299 million shot in the arm in Budget 2020, including for rehabilitating and upgrading of overall sports facilities, Youth & Sports Complexes and Community Sports Complexes throughout the country.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said apart from that, RM179 million would be allocated for preparations for international sporting events such as the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and Hanoi Sea Games 2021, including the development of paralympic athletes.

RM45 million (will be allocated) for the National Football Development Programme, compared to the RM15 million in last year’s 2019 Budget, he said when tabling Budget 2020 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Lim said to produce more world class women athletes in future, the government would be allocating RM10 million for the purpose.

The sportswomen in our country such as Datuk Nicol Ann David (squash) , Pandelela Rinong (diving) and Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (gymnastics) have succeeded at the highest levels and made Malaysians proud, he said.

He added that the Government will continue to intensify youth development programmes with an allocation of RM138 million for the Youth Power Club (YPC), Malaysia Future Leaders School (MFLS) and volunteerism initiatives

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Ahmad Hazwan, Fadhli Shas to strengthen JDT II for challenge cup finals

KUALA LUMPUR, The Johor Darul Ta’zim II (JDT II) seeks the services of Ahmad Hazwan Bakri and Muhammad Fadhli Shas to strengthen the team to face UKM FC in their 2019 Challenge Cup finals second-leg at Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium, this Saturday.

The Malaysian Football League (MFL) yesterday approved the registration of two Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) players Muhammad Fadhli and Ahmad Hazwan to join JDT II.

Its team captain, Shakir Shaari said the presence of two experienced players from the JDT squad could help the other young players in their quest for the championship title.

“I think (Ahmad) Hazwan and (Muhammad) Fadhli have experienced players so I hope they can help other young players and we hope for the best from them.

“Last season, we lost in the semi-finals to UKM FC and were disappointed because we were hoping to win it. But I think it is a motivation for us to not repeat the same mistake and we can achieve success tomorrow,” he said at the Challenge Cup pre-match press conference at Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium here today.

JDT II brought a one-goal aggregate over UKM FC for their away match at Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras following a solitary goal scored by Amirulhadu Zainal in the final first-leg on Oct 5.

Meanwhile, JDT II head coach Ervin Boban said the presence of the two players from the JDT squad could help fill in the vacuum in the squad as many players were injured including defender Bruno Soares, who was injured in the semi-finals against Terengganu FC II (TFC II), last September.

“Bruno is out because he had injuries, so we decided to have some help from Hazwan and Fadhli to give us more power, intelligence, experience and hopefully can turn the result for us. Of course, the result from the first match is an advantage but we are aware of UKM FC’s strength and we need to be humble in this situation.

“The rest of the boys are ready, they know what they need to do, who they represent, and after the long season and battle with Sabah and Terengganu (TFC II), we end up finishing in second place and now this is another chance for us to finish this season with a good result,” said Ervin.

UKM FC assistant head coach Juzaili Samion said the presence of the two JDT players did not put pressure on his squad but it was a challenge for the players to be more careful in their return leg match.

“We take this as a challenge. This is the second finals for UKM FC. For this match, we have made improvements and preparations as best as we can. We will make sure UKM FC dominates the game and gives their best tomorrow night,” said Juzaili.

UKM FC was the runner-up of the inaugural edition of Challenge Cup last year after lost to TFC II on 2-4 aggregate.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Communication lapse costs us dearly – Mohd Farizal

HANOI, Harimau Malaya captain, Mohd Farizal Marlias was peeved by Malaysia’s 0-1 loss to Vietnam in a Group G match in the second round World Cup 2022/ Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers at My Dinh National Stadium yesterday.

The veteran goalkeeper who dreamed of witnessing Malaysia collect one point, was rudely shocked by a goal by Nguyen Quang Hai in the 39th minute to snatch the game from Malaysia.

Commenting on the goal, Mohd Farizal said Malaysia paid dearly over a communication lapse between defender Mohd Shahrul Saad and him.

The result is disappointing as we did not bring back at least one point. We need to improve technically and I hope we would be more prepared and more aware of our weaknesses.

The team have done their best but we were punished heavily for a slip-up. Maybe it is a communication error between me and badak ( Mohd Shahrul) that led to the goal. I accept the defeat and will learn from the mistake,he said when met by Malaysian media after the match here today.

After three games, Malaysia are now in the fourth place with three points while United Arab Emirates (UAE) topped the table with six points after beating Indonesia 5-0 in their second match yesterday.

Thailand and Vietnam shared four points in the second and third spots after two games.

Meanwhile, Mohd Farizal is optimistic that Malaysia would seize a slot to the third round and confirm a place in the Asian Cup 2023 finals as the contest is still open with five more matches to go.

We hope to collect full points to brighten our chances in the following games, he said.

Malaysia will be hosting Thailand on Nov 14 and Indonesia (Nov 19) at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Syafiq concedes being at peak against Sri Lanka

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysian hattrick hero, Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad concedes that he was at the peak of his performance in his career after helping the Harimau Malaya squad thrash Sri Lanka 6-0 at an international friendly match, last night.

The 24-year-old player scored in the ninth, 76th and 89th minutes and sent a cross which helped Norshahrul Idlan Talaha score a goal in the 17th minute at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The performance saw the Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) striker emerging as the third Malaysian player to score hattricks against Sri Lanka in three meetings between the two teams in Malaysia, after national player Shaharuddin Abdullah in 1972 and Ahmad Hazwan Bakri in 2012.

With the hattrick against Sri Lanka, the Penang-born player had scored five goals in three matches with the team under Tan Cheng Hoe after netting one goal each at the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup qualifying actions against Indonesia and United Arab Emirate (UAE).

However, Muhammad Syafiq said credits must be given to all his team mates in ensuring Harimau Malaya’s stylish win last night, to simultaneously help him achieve his first hattrick in his career for the national team.

”This is the best performance in my career. This may be the sustenance from god after I was injured prior to this…This performance could be a boon from the injury,” he told reporters.

He suffered a knee ligament injury in the first match of the first round 2023 Asia Cup/2022 World Cup qualifier against Timor Leste in June, and missed the reciprocal match which saw Malaysia winning with a 12-2 Aggregate.

Meanwhile, on the action against Vietnam in the qualifying campaign on Thursday at the My Dinh Stadium, Hanoi, Muhammad Syafiq said he and his team mates must work harder to win.

”We must show the determination that we want to win against Vietnam. I feel the pattern of play shown by Sri Lanka is the same as Vietnam, namely, to defend. Maybe, taking the momentum to Hanoi could be an advantage for us,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Dragon boat club calls for more transparency in MASCA selections

GEORGE TOWN, The Malaysia Canoe Association (MASCA) was told today to buck up when conducting future selection sessions, after it was accused of botching the last one held to select the team that would represent the country at the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines.

Pacific West Dragon Boat Club team captain, Muhammad Shazwan Zainuddin, whose team represented Malaysia at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, claimed there were issues concerning the recent trial, and they are now forced accept that the Kuala Lumpur team would be representing the country in the Philippines.

According to Muhammad Shazwan, the second of two sessions organised recently was very unfair to his team, who had won the first session but lost the second one.

“We respect MASCA’s decision to select a team to represent the country but we want a change on how selections are being held and to make it fair to all teams involved,” he told reporters when met in Tanjung Bungah here today.

Muhammad Shazwan said in the first selection session in Putrajaya on April 6, his team emerged winners from nine participating teams, but was not informed that only one round of competition will be held in the second session on July 6, where the winner of the second session would be automatically selected for the SEA Games.

He noted that during the first selection session in Putrajaya, the organiser used a competition format, including a semi-final and final stage to determine the winner.

The top two teams in the first selection qualified for the second selection session in Penang, where there was only one race to determine the winner, he said.

“We hope MASCA, the Olympic Council of Malaysia and the National Sports Council will review the selection process and hope this kind of situation would not be repeated in future selections,” he said, adding that his team had trained over four hours a day for six months in preparation for the SEA Games selections.

He noted that the club, which has 45 members, was established 20 years ago and was coached by experienced trainer, Lawrence Koh.

“We are currently training for the ICF Dragon Boat World Cup in Ningbo, China beginning Nov 2,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)