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M-League teams to continue enjoying broadcasting rights revenue – MFL

KUALA LUMPUR, Teams competing in the Malaysian League (M-League) are guaranteed to continue enjoying broadcasting rights revenue this season, but the amount would depend on the overall sponsorship amount received by the Malaysian Football League (MFL).

MFL acting chief executive officer Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan confirmed the matter today after the league operator signed a joint venture agreement with Telekom Malaysia (TM) Berhad through its subsidiary, TM Multimedia (TMM), making TM the main sponsor of the Malaysia Cup competition.

Ab Ghani, who declined to comment on the teams’ chances of enjoying better broadcasting rights income from last season, said the MFL had always respected the rights of the competing teams, and was actively looking for more sponsors.

“We are still looking for sponsorship for this season. At the MFL level, we are expecting more sponsorships as we have a responsibility to our affiliates,” he told reporters at the TM Convention Centre here today.

MFL board member Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi was previously quoted as saying that the amount of broadcasting rights revenue enjoyed by teams this season was likely to be lower than that of last year, due to the difficulty in obtaining sponsors.

Super League and Premier League teams were expected to receive RM3 million and RM1 million in broadcasting rights each respectively for the 2019 M-League season, however, they only received half the amount due to issues with the main sponsor.

Meanwhile, Ab Ghani said lower sponsorship amounts and the current economic downturn had forced MFL to suspend its plans to set up the independent body for referees, namely the Professional Match Officials Malaysia (PMOM).

“So far it (PMOM) has been postponed due to the huge expense required… the same goes for VAR (video assistant referee), it has also been deferred,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Canoeing president wants to focus on para athlete development

KUALA LUMPUR, Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM) president, Datuk Seri Megat D Shahriman Zaharudin, has hinted that the time is coming soon for him to give up the top post at the Malaysian Canoeing Association (Masca) to focus on para athlete development.

There will be a written announcement and press conference, but I can’t reveal when. Only that it is near time, he said today at a special press briefing on the second postponement of the 2020 ASEAN Para Games (APG) in the Philippines due to the 2019-nCoV outbreak originating in Wuhan, China.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has advised the Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) to reschedule the games to a new date. Before this it was deferred from Jan 18 24 to March 20 28 because of financial and logistical problems.

Megat D Shahriman, who is also Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA) president, had made a promise to relinquish his post in one of the sports associations after he was elected PCM president last Dec 14.

He also faces a no-confidence vote and an accusation of nepotism from some Masca members who allege he misused association funds and appointed someone with family ties as treasurer.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

TM returns as title sponsor for Malaysia Cup

KUALA LUMPUR, Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) through its subsidiary, TM Multimedia (TMM), today signed a collaboration agreement with the Malaysian Football League (MFL), making the telecommunications company the main sponsor of the Malaysia Cup competition.

The three-year deal with the amount undisclosed, also sees TM as co-sponsor of the Super League, Premier League, FA Cup and Challenge Cup fixtures in the Malaysian League (M-League) starting Feb 28.

The collaboration, aimed at the development of local football, was signed by MFL acting chief executive officer, Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan and TMM chief executive officer, Moharmustaqeem Mohammed, witnessed by MFL president, Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin.

We are thrilled to rekindle our partnership with MFL, making TM the longest-running sponsor for a football programme in Southeast Asia.

“We want to bring exciting football to all Malaysians, especially the matches involving the Malaysia Cup, FA Cup, Charity Shield, Super League and the historic and most-loved in the country, the Premier League,” Moharmustaqeem said at a press conference, here, today.

Meanwhile, Hamidin who is also Football Association of Malaysia president, expressed his confidence in TM’s commitment to revitalising the local football scene based on the role and contributions of the telecommunications company had played before this.

TM’s long-term commitment to the league proves that the M-League has the potential. TM has always been a loyal supporter of Malaysian football and MFL is grateful to TM for bringing Malaysians together, he said.

TM through its brand Unifi had already signed an eight-year contract worth RM480 million with MFL in January 2018 to become an M-League sponsor.

However, in March 2019, MFL and TM terminated the contract after both parties failed to reach an agreement.

All Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup matches will be broadcast live via unifi TV service on five unifi sports channels (channels 701-705).

However, to enjoy all the live games, football fans have to subscribe to the unifi TV Ultimate Pack while customers without the pack can purchase a watch pass to see the matches on unifi TV through Media Box or unifi PlayTV app.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

2020 National Junior Squash meet gets massive response

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7– A total of 554 young players will take part in the 15th National Junior Squash Championship that will be held from Feb 11-16.

According to a statement by the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM), due to the overwhelming response, the championships will be played at two venues – the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil and the Squash Centre in Jalan Duta.

SRAM coaching director Maj (R) S.Maniam said the finals will be played at the National Squash Centre’s Nicol David Arena in Bukit Jalil.

They will be five age categories: the under-11 (U11), U13, U15, U17 and U19 for the boys and girls divisions.

Key players to watch out in the girls event are 2020 British Junior Open (BJO) winner Harleein Tan and BJO finalists, siblings Aifa and Aira Azman.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Challenges the LTdL 2020 organiser will have to overcome

KOTA KINABALU, Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2020 organiser, Human Voyage (M) Sdn Bhd, says the 2019-nCoV outbreak in China is one of the challenges it will have to deal with in order to ensure Asia’s most prestigious cycling event runs smoothly.

Already, the epidemic has led to two Chinese teams — Hengxiang Cycling Team and Giant Cycling Team � pulling out from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) ProSeries event which is taking place from Feb 6 � 15.

The other challenges are the lack of world teams and higher logistical costs due to the event also being staged in Sabah and Sarawak for the second time since 1997, reveals company chief operating officer, Shahaizereen Abdul Hamid.

However, the company that specialises in cycling events, has taken extra measures to ensure everything goes well.

Everyone, including the local agencies, know their responsibility. We have prepared for every eventuality and hope to provide a safe environment for the riders, their convoy and officials, he says.

Being billed as a silver jubilee edition, LTdL 2020 will feature two new support races: the Malaysian International Criterium Race and Malaysian Classic.

Human Voyage believes that the non-attendance of the Chinese teams won’t make a lot of difference to LTdL 2020 as there will be exciting rivalry between the 21 other teams that are attending, including NTT Pro Cycling Team from South Africa and a world top rider, Youcef Reguigui (the LTdL 2015 overall winner).

The Malaysian challengers are Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG), Team Sapura Cycling (TSC) and the national team with riders like Nik Mohd Azwan Zulkifle, Anuar Manan and Sofian Nabil Omar Mohd Bakri.

Not only are spectators encouraged to cheer on the riders at the event themed ‘Sports Unite, Cycling Contributes’, there are also some parallel activities lined up at each of the eight stages of the race like a cycle ball mini tournament and BMX freestyle show, to enjoy.

The 1,114.9km race will take the riders to Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu, Pahang, Selangor, Perak, Pulau Pinang, Kedah and the Federal Territories, and will be broadcast live by Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Asia-Pacific, China’s Hainan TV, Qinghai Satellite and Zhibo TV, as well as Radio Televisyen Malaysia’s (RTM) TV1.

The event was conceived by Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to put Langkawi on the tourist map, and since it was initiated in 1996, the island’s tourism industry has grown and the best teams take part in LTdL.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Coronavirus: Athletes advised to avoid China if possible

KUALA LUMPUR,The National Sports Council (NSC) has advised national sports associations not to send their athletes to China following the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) outbreak unless it is unavoidable.

NSC director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail said sports associations should exercise caution in this matter although so far only Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, had been declared out of bounds.

“For example, if there is a competition in Beijing and organisers have observed all the required procedures, we may have to participate if necessary.

“However, we should avoid going to China for now if possible. We can look for alternatives (for training and competition), he told reporters at the 2020 Periodisation Plan workshop here today.

Ahmad Shapawi admitted that the 2019-nCoV had slightly affected athletes’ preparations, especially those seeking Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualification, following the cancellation or postponement of several championships.

“International sports bodies are in constant discussions to find a better solution to this, he added.

Among the major meets affected by the coronavirus outbreak were the Asian Athletics Championships in Hanzhou, China scheduled for Feb 12 and 13 and the China Masters which was supposed to be held from Feb 25 to March 1 in Sanya.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Shapawi said there were no plans to call back diver Cheong Jun Hoong from her training base in China.

The 2017 world champion is training in Qinhuangdao under a special programme conducted by former national coach Yang Zhuliang.

He said the 29-year-old diver had said that she was comfortable training there and the facilities were good.

“It’s not that we are not concerned about Jun Hoong’s safety but she herself has said it is better for her to continue training with her coach there, he added.

Jun Hoong, who partnered Pandelela Rinong to win gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, has not participated in any competition since May last year after undergoing knee surgery.

Jun Hoong needs to be among the top 18 divers in the 10m individual platform event to qualify for Tokyo.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

No sibling support for Mamat at LTdL 2020

KOTA KINABALU,Terengganu Inc TSG Cycling Team sprint specialist Mohd Harrif Saleh has to do without his brother Mohd Zamri at this year’s edition of the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2020 which gets underway tomorrow with the Malaysian International Criterium Race in Padang Merdeka here.

The 31-year-old, more fondly known as ‘Mamat’ , is now counting on teammates Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Mazuki and Carlos Julian Quintero Noreno of Colombia to back him up in the stages.

“He (Mohd Zamri) guided me a lot especially in terms of strategies but he just recovered from health problems and the demands of the LTdL are extremely high.

“So, for me, it is better for him to get all the rest he needs. I hope Carlos and Nur Amirul can assist me this time especially in the sprint to the finishing line,” he said at the pre-race press conference here today.

The TSG management did not list Mohd Zamri as the 35-year-old rider underwent heart surgery at the National Heart Institute in September and is still in the convalescence period.

Mohd Harrif, who hails from Kuala Terengganu, explained that he has to watch out for the Australian riders tomorrow because the majority of them had the edge in flat terrain.

He said this year’s edition had more flat routes and that this would be advantageous to pro-teams from Europe which are relying on sprinters for podium finishes.

“However, I am also eyeing podium finishes,” said Mohd Hariff, who won the second stage of the LTdL 2019 from Senawang to Melaka.

Meanwhile, Carlos who previously rode for Chinese continental team, Ningxia Sports Lottery-Livall Cycling Team is upbeat about his chances of clinching victory in stage four or queen stage in Genting Highlands on Monday, which would decide the Yellow Jersey winner (overall champion) of LTdL.

“This is my second time in LTdL after 2014 where I finished in 10th place overall with the Colombia national team and I hope to give my best for TSG,” added the 33-year old.

Besides Mohd Harrif, Nur Amirul and Carlos, TSG are also placing their hopes on three other riders to be on the podium in LTdL 2020 namely Drew Morey from Australia, Metkel Eyob (Eritrea) and 2018 yellow jersey winner Artem Ovechkin of Russia.

The LTdL 2020, the 25th edition of the prestigious cycling race, which ends on Feb 15, involves a distance of 1,114.9 kilometre and seven states and two federal territories – Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu, Pahang, Selangor, Perak, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)