Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cardiff City's Malaysian backers to 'stick by club'

Chief executive Gethin Jenkins has promised Cardiff's Malaysian regime will not abandon the club if they fail to win promotion to the Premier League.

The consortium, led by millionaire Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, has invested millions in the hope of the Bluebirds reaching the top flight.

"They will stick by the club, that is the short answer," Jenkins insisted.

The Malaysian consortium took over the Championship club following their play-off final disappointment in May 2010.

Cardiff suffered heartbreak at the end of the 2009-10 season as they were beaten 3-2 by Blackpool despite twice taking the lead at Wembley.

The backers helped stabilise the club's finances and staved off a winding-up order after HM Revenue and Customs took Cardiff, who had estimated debts of £15m-£30m, to the High Court regarding a £1.9m debt

Property magnate Vincent Tan, who is worth a reported £800m and owns around 30% of the club's shares, and chairman Dato Chan Tien, known as TG, are the main players in Cardiff's new regime.

They have helped manager Dave Jones build what is widely considered as the best playing squad in the Championship at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Craig Bellamy, Seyi Olofinjana, Jason Koumas and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas bolstered a squad that already included Jay Bothroyd, Michael Chopra, Peter Whittingham and Stephen McPhail.
While Cardiff are still in the promotion hunt for the third successive season, Jones's men have stuttered to fourth in the table after four games without a win.

"If you look at their track record, they stood by us after the play-offs," added Jenkins, mindful of the £90m financial jackpot that goes with promotion to the Premier League.

"And they are committed to carrying on with the club. They want us to grow into a strong, sustainable operation and they are fully supportive of doing that development."

Cardiff's Malaysian investors were lured to south Wales because of the possibilities of helping a club with potential into one of the most watched leagues in the world.

"They recognised that they have been able to support a club that was in trouble," Jenkins commented.

"And whatever goes on, we should fully recognise the commitment and support the Malaysians gave us last June and where the club was.

"If you spend any time in Malaysia or the Far East then football is phenomenally big - especially the Premier League as it gets more coverage in Asia than in the UK, believe or not.

"So there are a lot of opportunities for developing football in Asia and Vincent Tan's sons are passionate about football and TG's son has signed a professional contract with team in Malaysia.

"They are football fans but very, very successful businessmen and saw a club that needed help and were there to provide it.

"If the Malaysians hadn't had come in we would have had to look seriously at administration but we didn't do that."

And Cardiff chief Jenkins was adamant that Jones, the Championship's longest serving manager of almost six years, is under no ultimatum to get the team promoted or face the sack.

But he did admit that the Bluebirds would have a "fundamental review" at the end of the 2010-11 campaign.

When asked if there is an ultimatum for Jones to win promotion, Jenkins replied: "No.

"But at the end of the season we will sit down and have a fundamental review whether we get promoted or not and Dave will be fully involved in that.

"We are still going for play-offs and automatic promotion and you won't expect to lose the manager then. But I'm optimistic that we will get promoted."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


From time to time I present awards to sports personalities for the ridicolous manner in which they try to justify "truth" in accordance with their perception of understanding the true essence of the phrase. In other words - menegakkan benang yang basah.

The award forthe month will sure go to those quoted in The Malay Mail story published in March 30 as it is clear that they really do not understand the issue at hand and are merely puppeting what is told, or what they prceive to be the truth.

Political seems to be the key word, and perhaps Ibrahim was not in the country when the political tsunami swept on March 8, 2008. Mind you I was there and even the government of the day understands the situation and have changed in a lot of matters.

Read on the excuses as I will expose what a tennis player had to say about her exclusion from major events over the past few months.

The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) want outsiders to stay out of their affairs.
"Some of their comments are biased," said LTAM executive secretary Ibrahim Yusof Abu Bakar.
LTAM were barracked for ‘sidelining' national players for the WTA Malaysian Open. Malaysia were offered four wild cards.
However LTAM only used two — one was given to S. Theiviya, 17, and the other to Vietnam's Huynh Phuong, as part of a reciprocal arrangement with their Vietnamese counterparts.
"Our president, Tan Sri Abdul Razak Latiff, has already responded to the accusations," added Ibrahim.
National juniors coach Deen Heshaam said the "politicking" was not helping their cause, which is to expose the youngsters.
He defended LTAM's decision to send only Theiviya to the Malaysian Open.
"Some of the older players have been around for several years now. Yet they've been on the losing end," said Heesham.
According to him the junior players are showing a lot of potential and it is only fair they be given priority.
Heshaam, who has been with the juniors for over a year now, could not have chosen a better time to make the statement as the younger players showed a lot of promise during the national championships at the Jalan Duta complex yesterday.
Unseeded Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak, 15, sent second seed Abd Hazli Zainuddin and third seed Muhammad Ashaari Zainal crashing out in early rounds.
However, he could not overcome national No 1 Si Yew Ming in the final yesterday despite forcing a tie-breaker in both sets. He lost 7-6, 7-6.
In the women's category, Choo Lyn Yuen, 15, emerged victorious as top seed Jawairiah Noordin had to retire after the first set. Lyn Yuen won the first set 6-3.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


The saga of the telecast rights, over terresterial television, for the M-League is expected to come to an end soon with RTM paying a whopping RM6 million to the compny that bought the marketing rights for the M-League from the Football Association of Malaysia.

Let us be clear from the begining that the marketing company/right holders are within their jurisdiction on just how much to ask for as they would have penciled in the figure when they tabled their bid to the FAM at the end of last year.
What we re trying to do is provide an explanation with regards to the whole saga that dragged on for three months, when it could have been easily resolved if the parties had sat down and reasoned with each other.

The figure of RM6 million was the bone of contention as RTM had asked for a reduction to RM4 million as their previous agreements with MSL Sdn Bhd, prior to the 2008-2010 contractual season. But the right holders would have none of it and insisted that RTM had to pay RM6 million per eason if they wanted to screen the matches.

But despite paying such an hefty sum, it does not gurantee RTM the exclusivity as the rights holder itself is a cable TV station, and they can show any matches they opt to. This clause, differentiating cable and terresterial TV was included in the broadcasting agreement from 2008.

Now lets rewind back to when a cable TV station actually made a bid to show live matches on their station. This was in 2008 and there were two offers made, by a newly set-up Sports TV network operator in Malaysia, through the good offices of OCM, as well as a private TV station in Singapore.  

The figure that the Malaysian TV was told was RM2 million per season and that RTM had the first pick of matches. And the offer from the Singapore company was flatly rejected by the Chairman of MSL as it was linked to sports betting.

However the Malaysian cable TV were only willing to cough up RM1 million and it was rejected as RTM were told during the discussions that nothing less then RM2 million will be accepted from any cable station.

And when the current holders purchased the rights for last season under cable TV, a clause that was inserted in 2008, they paid RM1 million, though no one wants to clarify on this issue.

Now while we should view at the whole scenario as a business proposition, as to how the current right holders would be looking at it, the whole idea of the RM6 million came due to added clauses in the contract with RTM.

The government channel wre given rights to all international matches as well as the FA Cup and other M-League rights besides the customary branding rights on the pitch. And they were allowed to source sponsorship from TM which was the then official sponsor of the M-League. Prior to 2008, the FA Cup rights were sold to another TV station, but that is another story.

The catch was that while providing the live feed for overseas market, RTM were not allowed to collect any payment from the foreign TV networks ( as in the case of the Merdeka Tournament), as all payments were to be channeled to FAM. This included matches involving Brunei.

Hence RTM was right to stand firm on giving RM4 million, as they have previously done, without any issues. And the poor folks who cannot afford the dishes would have enjoyed the Terima Kasih, Terima Kasih, Terima Kasih from the chirpy Hafizal Hamad.

Still we applaud the gesture from the right holders in offering RTM and also their coverage has been great so far, no complaints there.

Folks in RTM have been bombarded with comments from football fans who did not understand the intricities involved in the rights issue.

Now with RTM agreeing to pay, the issue will be resolved. But at what expense? RM6 million which is yours and my money - the tax payers.

But I do have a suggestion to the Sports Minister though. Why did you not utilise the part of the RM14 million that was given to a private TV station, which closed their operations in Malaysia last December, and give it to RTM to help the public realise their dreams of watching their football stars in action?

Or is it in fixed deposit, collecting interest, as is the RM10 million that the Prime Minister announced in January 2010 after we won the Sea Games gold medal in 2009?

But in the end, it is resolved, as will the saga of Misbun Sidek, the KOAM issue, the blatant under counter payment requested by certain organisations for the rental of football fields nd so forth.....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


A former top official of the Asian Football Confederation slammed Mohamed bin Hammam on Monday for challenging Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency, saying the organization would be "doomed" if the Qatari wins.

Peter Velappan, a Blatter ally who was the AFC's general secretary from 1978 to 2007, said bin Hammam's pledge to bring "new blood" into the leadership of world football was "the joke of the century."

The Malaysian's comments underscore bitter divisions that could increasingly become public following last week's announcement by bin Hammam, the current AFC president, that he would run to replace the 75-year-old Blatter.

"FIFA will be doomed if Hammam became the president," Velappan told The Associated Press. "It would be very detrimental."

Bin Hammam announced his candidacy on Friday, mounting the first serious challenge to the FIFA head in nearly a decade.

Bin Hammam was travelling in France on Monday and could not immediately be reached for comment, according to a representative of AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Velappan claimed that bin Hammam had led the AFC like "an autocrat" since becoming president of the organization in 2002 and was insincere in his pledge to bring more democracy, transparency and integrity to FIFA.

"These are the very things he has not done in AFC," he said. "There is no democracy in AFC."

He added he believed bin Hammam would try to "buy up" support to win the June 1 vote in Zurich.

"He is definitely an underdog but you can't rule out his influence," Velappan said.

Bin Hammam recently spearheaded Qatar's winning bid for the 2022 World Cup. The 61-year-old still needs the formality of being nominated by one of FIFA's 208 national federations to run for the presidency.

In announcing his bid for president, bin Hammam said he would broaden FIFA's decision-making power and spread its wealth if elected. He proposed creating a new FIFA board to replace the existing executive committee, which some regard as concentrating power in too few hands.

"Sepp Blatter is a very experienced person and has made a significant contribution to the development of the game worldwide when he was a general secretary and when he was elected as president," bin Hammam said. "But I also believe there is always a time limit for everything and now the time is for new faces, new blood, new air, too."

Blatter, who has been nominated for re-election by Somalia, has led FIFA for 13 years.

"Blatter needs this (fourth term as president) to fight corruption in football, including FIFA," and to tackle the problem of illegal football betting, Velappan said. "This is not the time to challenge."

Bin Hammam has long held ambitions to lead FIFA, which has had only eight presidents in its 111-year history. If elected, he would be the first Asian to hold the post.

Friday, March 18, 2011


The Courts Young Lions have Vanda Sports Group behind them. The talent management and sports marketing agency been looking after the under-23 footballers' off-pitch activities since the start of the 16th edition of the Great Eastern Yeo's S-League last month.

It is still a work in progress and it remains to be seen if Singapore's fickle football fans will throng the stadiums.

Fast forward two months and Singapore athletics has also jumped onto the professional sports management bandwagon, with the first beneficiaries being the men's 4x100m relay team, who cracked the national record with their 39.82sec silver showing at the 2009 SEA Games in Laos.

Local company Pinnacle Sports Group have signed on Gary Yeo, Muhammad Elfi Mustapa, Muhd Amirudin Jamal and Calvin Kang - who replaced Lee Cheng Wei at the Commonwealth and Asian Games last year - for the programme.

Lee, who was hampered by a hamstring injury last year, could be included in future.

Managed by former national sprinter Frankie Lee, Pinnacle will assist the athletes with sponsorships, tailor customised plans to juggle studies, training and competitions, as well as plan their careers.

Speaking to MediaCorp yesterday, Lee said: "We work in consultation with the sportsmen and women, parents, schools, coaches, associations and sponsors to ensure the talents are well managed in all aspects of their lives, so that they can concentrate on improving.

"Each athlete will have a customised schedule, low risk investment trust fund asset up from their cash sponsorships, which will be managed by professional fund investors and planners, insurance, regular exposure to local and foreign media, and a strong fraternity of sports people to seek advice from.

"We are working with the SAA (Singapore Athletic Association) on other projects too, such as event sponsorship and are also in talks with other associations."

According to Lee, Pinnacle had recently secured sponsorship from Australian company Body Science to provide high-tech compression suits for the four runners, which will help their minimise training injuries.

Pinnacle is also trying to seek employment for Elfi and Amirudin after they graduate from the National University of Singapore this year. Said Amirudin: "This saves us the hassle of sourcing for sponsors as it can take very long, and they are helping us to create a more professional image. "Hopefully, with their help we'll be able to turn semi-professional when we graduate."

The 24-year-old psychology student has also begun training with a new coach, former Malaysian sprinter Azmi Ibrahim, to improve on his individual speed. He ran the season's best time of 10.53sec last year and hopes to finish in the medals at November's SEA Games in Indonesia.

Amirudin will join other members of the squad, which is to be expanded to include more runners, for relay training under coordinator Melvin Tan once a week.

Tan, who worked with the SEA Games silver medal quartet, has outlined a series of races - the Philippines Open (May 20-22), Taipei Open (May 28-29), Sri Lanka Open (June 4-5), Ho Chi Minh Open (July 1-4) and the 19th Asian Track and Field Championships in Kobe (July 7-10) - for the team to qualify for the SEA Games.

They will have to equal or better the qualifying mark of 40.16sec - the bronze winning time in Laos.

Said Tan: "My target is to bring the individual speeds to below 10.60sec by July, and to go below 40.16sec by then."

Thursday, March 17, 2011


"It was a decision I had to make given that I believe we must not only talk of being professional but act in a professional manner. And given the present circumstances, I was left with little choice but to send in my letter of resignation.

At this juncture it is not important to find fault or point fingers. A decision has been made by me with regards to my coaching tenure and I hope that all respect what I have done.

In coaching a team, we have to adhere to collective responsibility. As a coach I can only do so much and the execution is done by the players. Given the situation in Negri, we did not have the best of preparation and there were a lot of changes initiated. Whether it was for the good or bad of the team, only certain quarters have the answer.

Life goes on as far as I am concerned as football is my bread and butter. So at the moment I will stay put and sort out family matters.

I am open to offers and would like to get back to coaching soon. I suppose these are the hazards of being a coach, when you win you get the accolades but when you do not do well then all the fingers point at you. There is no such thing as contributing factors as the bucks stops here. And in this case I am man enough to take responsibility.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


So the disease of sacking players and coaches continues in Malaysian football.

After the sordid affair of Penang threatening to drop players based on their assumption of drop in performances, the resting of the Kedah coach, we now have the head honcho of Negeri Sembilan ( read story below) making threats to sack players and officials.

What I would like to see is the FAM rebuking the Negri Menteri Besar or even take him to their DB, let's see if you have the guts to do so.

Negeri Sembilan Football Association (NSFA) president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan on Wednesday issued an ultimatum to the coach, players and officials to shape up or ship out, after a series of poor results in the Super League and FA Cup competition this season.

Mohamad who is also the Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar said he would not hesitate to revamp, rest, suspend or sack any players or officials if they failed to produce the desired results.

"We can assess their performance and if it is not up to the mark, we will consider what kind of action to be taken. his is a professional world and everyone must accept the outcome," he told reporters after chairing a state Exco meeting on Wednesday.

Negeri Sembilan who are the FA Cup defending champion, were booted out from the competition in the second round this season, after losing 2-4 to Kuala Lumpur after a penalty shootout on March 4.

In the Super League, Negeri Sembilan who have played six matches are in ninth placing with nine points.

"We are paying high salaries to our players.....some are paid RM25,000, RM20,000, RM18,000 and RM17,000 a month but they don't seem committed. If they don't buck up, I will disband the whole team.

"Actually, I have already started making changes by sacking the assistant manager Faizal Zainal on March 1. He will have no further role to play in the team. We have also given a warning letter to players and officials, including coach Wan Jamak Wan Hassan after their FA Cup exit.

"We lost a number of matches due to tactical reasons and in this area, the coach is to be blamed. I have given the coach the best players, it is up to him to mould the team. However, we have not shown much promise or progress," he said.


While we appreciate the achievements of the athletes and officials who were honored at the National Sports Awards last night, one couldn't resist looking at the striking batik attire worn by the NSC and KBS officials.

The fact that they function is to cater for the elite few and not the general public was also not lost on me as each year the NSC goes to great lengths to ensure it is held in grand settings with an increase in cost.

The Prime Minister had sat with the RAKYAT to watch the proceedings of the AFF Cup, so really isn't it time that we take the awards public, that is to hold it in a venue where the public can participate in honoring our athletes.

Coming back to the attire, wonder how many such batiks adorn the cupboards of these senior officials as they are given one each year.

Now take that budget and use the money to improve the welfare of athletes as well as spend wisely in order to produce champions, that will be truly good administrators.

And at the same time please change how the awards are presented as it's the same for donkey years, no progress in terms of making it lively, boring is the key word.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Lee Chong Wei took a call from Malaysia’s prime minister after successfully defending his All England Championships crown in Birmingham on Sunday.

“Good job,” Najib Tun Razak told Lee for the second year running. His words - midnight time in Kuala Lumpur - came minutes after Lee had beaten China’s Lin Dan 21-17, 21-17 in a pulsating final at a raucous National Indoor Arena on Sunday.

That’s how much badminton and the All England, one of five top-tier events on the world badminton tour, means to many people in Asia. Especially when the opponent is Lin, the sport’s Olympic champion.

Lin was one victory from becoming the first player of the open era to win five singles titles at the All England and had lost only six of his last 24 encounters with Lee. The Malaysian’s win, achieved with clever lifts and precision drops, has now intensified the rivalry between the pair, shouldered with deep respect.

"This All England title is something special to me after I won it last year for the first time," said Lee.

There is every likelihood that Lin and Lee, 27 and 28 respectively, will feature in the world and Olympic finals, with Britain benefiting from hosting both events over the next 500 days. It should be some end considering that Lee will retire after the Olympics.

How Britain could do with one of these two in their ranks. But Adrian Christy, Badminton England’s chief executive, said: “We have got our own Lin Dan and he is called Rajiv Ouseph.

“We haven’t had a top-10 singles player for many years and he’s in his early 20s. For a European singles player to be getting that close is testament to the real work and effort the coaches have put in.”

Despite failing to make the last eight in the five disciplines, Britain finally had an air of stability about its doubles’ partnerships this week with Yorkshire’s Gabby White the stand-out player.

White, 20, had to cope with a mixed partner, Robert Blair, still recovering from flu while her partnership with Jenny Wallwork in the women’s doubles is continuing on a upward path at world No 22.

Christy added: “Gabby is maturing into the talent that we always believed she had and is definitely a superstar in the making.”

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Now we have yet to hear if the two bodies will be open to disclose their traveling expenditure for their office for the past year so as to justify that prudence begins at home.

Let's move to another disclosure and see if they are willing to talk about it though I very much doubt so.

It was announced that ESPN received RM14 million from KBS and that the local sports station was to receive that finding last year but KBS went on and gave the money to ESPN.

Now ESPN Malaysia shut operations in December so who gets that RM14 million and if so why is there a need to spend that money.

Imagine if given as a grant to lesser sports, since we have some 46 sports with OCM, we could easily provide RM50,000 as a grant to some of the lesser sports to help them survive.

And whatever happened to the football committee chaired by YB Razali Ibrahim the Deputy Minister? NSC officials were entrusted to come up with the Terms of Reference for the Technical Director last September.

Perhaps they need another lawatan sambil belajar as was the case when they were sent to UK last year?


Suhaizi Shukri will become the first Malaysian referee to officiate in an Indonesia Super League match (ISL) this afternoon when he takes charge of the game between Persija Jakarta and Persiba Balikpapan.

The game will be played at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Senayan.

Suhaizi arrived in Jakarta yesterday and attended the FA of Indonesia (PSSI) team managers’ meeting the same afternoon.

“I’m comfortable with the atmosphere here in Jakarta, it is much more lively and celebrated as compared to the same competition in Malaysia,” added Suhaizi.

Other than Suhaizi being the first Malaysian referee to officiate a game in the ISL, the PSSI had also previously used the services of another Malaysian – referee instructor Nik Ahmad Yaakab to streamline the running the of the referee department.

The PSSI decided to include foreign referees in their competition this year so as to raise the standard of the game on the whole.

“Of course, we hope that the AFC will recommend only the best referees in the region to be used in the ISL,” added Bambang Irianto, director of the PSSI Refereeing Department.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Former national player Mohd Hafiz Hashim has joined KL Racket Club (KLRC) in an effort to resurrect his career.

Hafiz made the statement today at a press conference and will play under KLRC sponsorship in the Swiss Open next week. He has set himself a top 16 target in order to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. Currently he is ranked 24 in the BWF rankings.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lee Chong Wei angered by timings as China draw controversy

Lee Chong Wei, the defending champion, stomped out of the National Indoor Arena on Thursday and side-stepped journalists after being given little notice of his second round match at the All England Open championships.  

Chong Wei, who ended Chinese dominance in the men's singles in 2010, was given a 10 a.m start time against China's Bao Chunlai, the only hitch being that he was still at his hotel with barely an hour to go before the clash. 

Chong Wei looked very bit the defending champion on court though. He put any grievances behind him and out-smarted the dangerous Bao 21-16, 21-16.

Bao was forced into a number of mind games with the officials, including sweat on the court and constant shuttle changes, which proved his undoing in the end.

Chong Wei avoided the media after telling reporters he would return for post-match interviews following physiotherapy.

An All England spokesperson said: "In the circumstances we quite understand why he was not able to fulfill his obligations. But we will be reminding him what is necessary to do to help the tournament." 

Lee's movement, even without proper warming up, was excellent. So was the variety with which he took the attack to Bao, a hard-to-read left-hander whose switches of direction and angle were hard to read.

Lee looked an even more complete player than while winning the All-England title for the first time last year, putting the shuttle emphatically on the floor when Bao lifted and cleared short, and tremendously quick in the mid-court exchanges.

His biggest moment of danger was when Bao reduced a six point deficit to two at 16-18 in the first game, at which stage the Chinese player failed to get a tumbling net shot over, and followed it with a service return into the net.

Bao also closed the deficit late in the second game, but his performance confirmed the impression of last year, that he has the talent to succeed at the highest level but that here there may have been a slight failure of temperament.
Meanwhile, there were some sceptical glances at the draw this morning after two notable withdrawals in the women's singles. 
Wang Shixian, China's top seed, was given a walk-over by her team-mate Liu Xin, who complained of a fungal big toe.

Then Wang Xin, the world runner-up and No 3 seed here, was also allowed to pass into the third round after her opponent complained of a back injury.

This time her opponent was Li Xuerui, who is ranked seven places below her colleague, and in this instance the ailment was described as a bad back.

Budget Cuts

While the National Sports Council are within their rights to cut budgets for National Sports Associations, one wonders if they are really serious about saving money.

Yesterday a national bowler vented his frustration with regards to the cutting down of allocation for his sport and took NSC to task for their failure to give due respect to the sport which had delivered at the Asian Games.

But while to a certain extent I agree with the NSC to focus on London 2012, just how much more will it cost to fund the limited number of athletes who will qualify and eventually compete in London next year?

Will NSC be transparent enough to declare what was the travel cost for it's officials who have been to overseas for their so called lawatan sambil belajar, tinjauan atlit as well as mengiringi Menteri?

And at the same time also make available figures with regards to how much the Industri Sukan labs and it's subsequent formation of secretariat cost, and please do not forget the recent Lindon trip which was a sheer waste of money.

Now if figures for the wife of the PM can be made public, why not the cost for the Sports Ministry together with the NSC?

And from there alone we will be able to judge if cost cutting is justified.

While you are at it, can you also tell us why your officials are all over the world while national bodies are made to tighten their belts?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Another suit for Tony

LONDON - FORCE India says its dispute with Formula One rival Team Lotus over intellectual property rights will be heard in England's High Court in January next year.

Force India says its intellectual property was used last season in the design of a car belonging to 1 Malaysia Racing Team, the parent company of Team Lotus.

Force India claims Italian aerodynamic firm Aerolab, with whom it had a contract in 2009, disclosed that information to 1 Malaysia Racing Team.

Aerolab's contract was immediately severed after what Force India described as 'a breach of confidentiality,' leading to the Italian company starting civil proceedings against the British-based team.

The High Court will hear Force India's claim on Jan 16.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


The saga of Misbun Sidek continues as no decision has been made by the former coach of world number one, Lee Chong Wei.

And from the grapevine, there are indications that Chong Wei has been entrusted to find a replacement who will help him to glory in London 2012.

The best person would have been Li Mao but he is know with Indonesia.

So the option is the next best thing, someone who has inside knowledge of what makes Lin Dan tick, someone who can do the trick for Malaysia to win gold at the Olympics.

Enter former world champion, the man who denied Wong Choon Hann the world title in Birmingham, Xia Xuanze.

Speculation is that Xuanze, who is one of the singles coach in the Chinese camp is set to leave and Chong Wei will probably negotiate the deal when he plays in the Chinese league.

Chong Wei had held discussions with an Indonesian coach when he played in the club championships last week, but that coach has impressive credentials for mixed doubles and not singles, hence the apprehension from BAM.

At one time or another Xia has experienced victory in most of badminton's biggest events.

The exception came in his sole appearance at the Olympics when he was beaten in the semifinals of the 2000 Games in Sydney by Indonesia's Hendrawan.

Xia settled for a bronze medal there after defeating Denmark's Peter Gade in the playoff for third place.

Earlier in that season Xia had won the prestigious All-England Championships over eighteen-year-old Taufik Hidayat.

He captured men's singles at the IBF World Championships in 2003 by defeating Malaysia's Wong Choong Hann.

Finally, in international team play, he was a member of the Chinese squad that ended a long drought by capturing the highly coveted Thomas Cup (men's world team competition and trophy) in 2004.

In Thomas Cup 2010, Xia coached Chen Jin, witnessing his country win 3-0 over Indonesia for their fourth consecutive Thomas Cup.