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Thursday, May 30, 2013

 

Indonesia Squad To Play Netherlands

Keepers
Kurnia Meiga (Arema Indonesia), Andritany Ardiyasa (Persija Jakarta), I Made Wirawan (Persib Bandung).

Defense
Hengki Ardiles (Semen Padang), Zulkifli Sukur (Mitra Kukar), Ricardo Salampesy (Persipura Jayapura), M. Roby (Persisam Samarinda), Victor Igbonefo (Arema), Raphael Maitimo (Mitra Kukar), Toni Sucipto (Persib), Ruben Sanadi (Persipura).

Midfield
Imanuel Wanggai (Persipura), Hendro Siswanto (Arema), Ahmad Bustomi (Mitra Kukar), Vendri Mofu (Semen Padang), Ahmad Jupriyanto (Sriwijaya FC), Greg Nwokolo (Arema).

Strikers
Pemain Depan: Boaz Salossa (Persipura), Ian Louis Kabes (Persipura), Andik Vermansah (Persebaya 1927), Sergio van Dijk (Persib)

Game takes place 7th June at Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta

 

Update On The Ref Slapper. Ref Faces Harsh Punishment

Remember that Indonesian player who slapped the ref from behind? He initially got a life ban from the game for attacking the ref. From behind.

However that was subsequently appealed and the player, who hit the ref from behind, ended up with a 12 month ban.

Now comes news the ref involved in the incident faces a harsher punishment when his case is held. I am not sure what he is being charged with. Perhaps having his back turned on a player who wanted to hit him? Allowing his mouth to bleed too easily? Using a whistle in a built up area?

Don't look for logic 'cos you won't find any. And anyway look at England where the suspensions dished out there in recent years involving the likes of Terry and Suarez defy closer investigation.

Regular readers, both of you, will know I am not one for cynicism. I am a trusting sole who believes everything I read.

And now for something completely different. These are Persiwa's results since that player slapped the ref. From behind.

Pelita Bandung Raya v Persiwa 1-1
Persiwa v Arema 2-2
Persiwa v Gresik United 0-1
Gresik United v Persiwa 1-0
Arema v Persiwa 5-0
Persiwa v Sriwijaya 0-1
Persiwa v Pelita Bandung Raya 1-1

Persiwa P 6 W 0 D 2 L 4 F 1 A 11

Before the incident where the ref was slapped from behind away to Pelita Bandung Raya Persiwa had lost two home games in four and a half seasons. They have now matched that in three weeks.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

 

FAM Reacts Quickly To Pahang Overcrowding


Following the events of the postponement of the FA Cup semi-final between Pahang and Johor Darul Takzim yesterday, an emergency meeting was called today at FAM in Kelana Jaya. Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin chaired the 4.5 hours long meeting before addressing the media about their outcome.
The Local Competition Organising Committee met with representative from both teams, match officials as well as the Stadium Darul Makmur officials in the meeting. The committee took time to praise the part that Sultan Ahmad Shah played in trying to placate and solve the situation.
The match was postponed because of overcrowding and fans were sat on the track and not before the gate barrier separating the stands from the field. 4 entrance doors into the stadium were found to be broken down and this is attributed to be the main reason for the overcrowding.
The stadium gates were opened for fans to enter around 6pm yesterday. However, by 8:20pm, 4 doors were broken down. The slow reaction time of the stadium officials to react to the situation has been criticised by Datuk Hamidin.
The Darul Makmur Stadium is able to hold a capacity 32,500. Tickets that were sold yesterday amounted to a total of 31,300. There were 320 police on duty, together with 2 troops of FRU amounting to 120 people. The committee has also informed Pahang FA to perform additional investigation to see if there are other root causes for the problem.
Below are the result as per announced by the committee;
Match
  1. Match to be replayed on 1st June 2013 at National Stadium, Bukit Jalil at 4:15pm. The National Stadium is under maintenance of its floodlights and thus, is unable to be used at night.
  2. Fans with valid tickets for the original match are able to exchange for the rescheduled match.
  3. As the stadium can fit 90,000 people, additional tickets will go on sale starting Friday (31st May 2013) and are priced at a single value of RM15.
  4. No specific allocation to teams, as yet.
  5. Pahang are still the home team for the replay but the match organisation will be under the jurisdiction of FAM.
  6. National players selected from both teams are allowed to play in this match and will only return to the national team on Sunday (2nd June 2013)
Disciplinary action
Johor Darul Takzim have been found to flout competition rules on 2 accounts; for leaving the stadium at 9:50pm and thus, not adhering to the required rule of staying for 90 minutes and for having fans on the track. Johor FA are fined a total amount of RM20,000.
Pahang meanwhile have been found to flout competition rules on 3 accounts namely; causing the match to be delayed, for having fans on the track and for allowing home fans to reach the away fans. Pahang FA are fined a maximum RM100,000 and will have to pay the expenses incurred by the JDT team for the upcoming replay.
All decisions made by the committee are final and cannot be appealed. The Disciplinary Board will not take additional actions on this matter.
The committee viewed this incident with the highest importance and have reminded all Football Associations to carry out checks to ensure that such incident will not be repeated in the future.

SOURCE - Goal.com

 

Kelantan's Last Gasp Triumph In Terengganu

Losing 4-1 from the first leg Terengganu went all out last night for the convincing victory that would put them in the FA Cup Final. And for 92 minutes it looks like they had done enough.

Vincent Bikana gave the home team the lead on 5' before Puaneswaren made it 2-0 on 26'. Effa Owana made it 3-0 on 71' which levelled the tie at 4-4 on aggregate (away goals?) and Manaf Mamat sent the home fans into delirium with a goal in injury time making it 4-0 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate for the Turtles.

But it wasn't to be. Obinna Nwaneri scored for Kelantan in the 4' of injury time and the fans had to endure extra time.

The tie wasn't settled until the 119' when Dickson Nwakaeme scored again for Kelantan breaking the fans of the home support.

Kelantan will meet the winners of Pahang and Johor DT. Their tie was called off with fans spilling onto the pitch as the stadium reached capacity.

 

Pahang Overcrowding Forces Semi Final Cancellation


THE FA Cup second leg semifinal between Pahang and Johor Darul Takzim was abandoned due to crowd trouble at the Darul Makmur Stadium, here, yesterday.
The announcement of the cancellation was made by match commissioner Datuk Ahmad Fuad Daud who is also the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) assistant secretary at 10.30pm, after consultation with the match officials.
He said 40,000 fans had packed into the 35,000 capacity stadium, forcing the match to be abandoned due to safety reasons.
Ahmad Fuad said initial investigations found two gates in the stadium were broken down by fans to gain entry.
"Only 32,000 tickets were sold but the number of fans inside the stadium was much more, resulting in many not having a place to sit or stand...we will also not hesitate to take action against both teams for failing to control their fans," he said.
Ahmad Fuad said the FAM Competition Committee chaired by FAM vice president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin would convene a meeting to decide on the venue for the match, by next week.
Due to the chaotic situation, FAM president and the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah had to go down to the track area of the pitch to calm down the fans and clear the area to allow the match to go on, because the fans who did not have places to sit on the terraces, had spilled over into the field.
A number of fans were also reported to be injured by fireworks and mineral water bottles thrown at them.
SOURCE - Malay Mail

 

Malaysia's Tour Down Under

After cancelling the double header friendly against Singapore the fantastically awesome Malaysian FA have moved swiftly to send the national team to Australia where they will play three friendlies.

06/06 - Canberra All Stars (!)
11/06 - Marconi Stallions
13/06 - Sydney United.

The Canberra All Stars?

Perhaps Malaysia could have added a trip to the Gold Coast and play that Sunday School outfit the alternate Indonesia team played last year?

The Malaysians said they cancelled the games against Singapore 'in the best interest of the national team' causing many Singaporeans to suggest their foes north of the Causeway were, umm, scared!

 

PSIS Increase Ticket Prices; Persip Fans Not Allowed

With just a few games to go before the end of the season PSIS have announced they will increase admission prices. All prices will rise by IDR 5,000:

South Terrace - IDR 15,000
East Terrace - IDR 20,000
West Terrace - IDR 40,000
Main Stand - IDR 60,000

In other PSIS news they have announced no Persip fans will be allowed to attend the local derby this weekend on grounds of security concerns.

PSIS are currently second in Group 2 of Divisi Utama.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

 

Kelantan's Late Rally In FA Cup Semi

Kelantan v Terengganu 4-1 (Dickson Nwakaeme, Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Obinna Nwaneri, Zairol Anuar Zailani; Ashari Samsuddin)
Johor Darul Takzim v Pahang 1-0 (Leonel Nunez)

Amazing comeback by Kelantan in the north east derby. Trailing 1-0 to an early Terangganu goal they didn't pull a goal back until the 79' then added three more to set themselves up nicely for the 2nd leg tonight.

At Larkin Stadium Nunez continued his fine start to life in Malaysia giving the home team the slenderest of leads before they head to the east coast today.

 

Persiwa In Freefall

Persiwa v Pelita Bandung Raya 1-1 (Guy Junior Ondua; Marwan Sayedeh Mustafa)
Persipura v Sriwijaya 3-0 (Boas Solossa, Partick Wanggai, Zah Rahan) 23,842

There was a time when a team like Pelita Bandung Raya would have headed to Papua and returned with absolutely nothing. Not this time. PBR have drawn their last three games over there and are currently unbeaten in their last five.

Persiwa on the other hand have seen their season go tits up. Once famously unbeatable at home the Highlanders have drawn two and lost two of their last home games sending them sliding down the table rapidly. They are now winless in their last eight games.

Persipura however cemented their lead at the top of the ISL with a comfortable win over challengers Sriwijaya increasing their lead at the top to nine points and still unbeaten

Sunday, May 26, 2013

 

Singapore Announce New Friendlies

Singapore's double header friendlies against Malaysia next month have been cancelled after the Malaysians discovered they had no team available! Great organisation there...

The Lions, who will be coached by Bernd Stange for the first time, have instead lined up two new opponents.

04/06 Myanmar (Yangon)
07/06 Laos (Vientiene)

The Malaysian Football Association, who are absolutely fantastic and they do an amazing job, have said the Singaporeans had not decided whether or not to hold the games so they, the brilliant Malaysian Football Association, were considering playing against quality opposition from either South Korea or Australia saying 'FAM will ensure everything is in order. We need to play teams with high credibility'.

Please, don't mention Zimbabwe. That was not the fault of the FAM. They are fantastic. Indeed I have a poster of FAM on my wall at home cos they are that awesomely cool.


 

Persiwa Lose Another Home Game, Young Lions Earn First Point Shock!

Indonesia Super League

Persiwa v Sriwijaya 0-1 (Eric Weeks Lewis)
Persipura v Pelita Bandung Raya 1-1 (Boas Solossa; Rendy Saputra) 23,184
Barito Putra v Persisam 2-0 (Djibril Coulibaly, Yongki Aribowo) 6,475
Persiba v Mitra Kukar 0-0 5,317
Persita v Persib 2-2 (Ade Jantra Lukmana, Cristian Carrasco; Sergio Van Dijk, Hilton Moreira) 24,587

Bloody hell! Persiwa lose another home game and even Persipura drop points! Sriwijaya the clear winners with Persipura and Persib dropping home points. How to explain Persita and Persita. Persita come from Tangerang in Banten province. Before Banten became a new province it was part of West Java, same as Bandung. For this season Persita have been playing their home games in Kuningan which is in West Java. Against Persib however the game was moved to, umm, Bandung. Which means Persita's biggest home crowd of the season was in fact a home game for the away team. So there!

1 - Persipura 20 14 6 0 42-8 48
2 - Sriwijaya 20 13 3 4 36-26 42
3 - Persib 20 12 5 3 45-26 41
4 - Arema 20 12 3 5 40-18 39

SLeague

Albirex Niigata v Hougang United 2-1 (Kazuki Sakamoto 2; Mamadou Diallo)
Balestier Khalsa v Tampines Rovers 4-0 (Li Qiu, Kim Min Ho, Paul Cunningham, Park Kang Jin)
Warriors v Woodlands Wellington 1-1 (Inui Tatsuro; Atsushi Shimono)
DPMM v Young Lions 1-1 (Adi Bin Said; Fareez Farhan)

11 goals in four SLeague games...and just one scored by a Singaporean?! Anyway massive result for Balestier Khalsa, thrashing champions and leaders Tampines while Young Lions managed to earn their first point of the season in the most unlikely of places; Brunei! The White Swans narrow win over Hougang means the gap at the top is just two points now


 

European Clubs Eye Bumper Asian Payday


The English football season has ended but there will be little rest for the players as they contemplate adding to their air miles with the traditional pre season tours and as usual Asia will feature heavily as clubs target that crucial market.
After several years of enjoying the Austrian Alps Arsenal it seems have become a fixture of the Asian football calendar in the last two years and this year proves to be their most extensive yet.
The Gunners start their Asian jaunt with a game in Jakarta on 14 July before flying on to Hanoi to become the first English side ever to play a friendly in Vietnam three days later.
They follow up South East Asia by flying on to Japan for a couple of games. in 1968 Arsenal’s first Asian tour took in Japan and this year has extra meaning as they return for the first time in 45 years.
Their first game is against Nagoya Grampus 8 on 22 July; the club Arsene Wenger coached before his move to North London in 1997. On 26 July they play Urawa Reds for the Saitama Cup before returning home.
Chelsea currently hold the Europa League and the European Champions League and as a reward for their endeavours they are being sent on two tours; one post season and the other pre season!
They are presently in the US along with Manchester City but come July they will be following in the footsteps of Arsenal in targeting the screaming hoards of South East Asia.
On 17 July they are in Bangkok to play a Thailand all stars teams, one of those cocktails that try to pull together players from different clubs for a one off game. Four days later they are in Malaysia before arriving in Jakarta for a game on 25 July.
Liverpool also see some merit in Bangkok during the rainy season. They play a one off game there on 28 July on their way back from a friendly against Melbourne Victory in Australia.
Hong Kong this year plays host to the Premier League Trophy for the third time. Joining the token Hong Kong side, South China, will be Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland and games will be played as double headers on 24 and 27 July
Manchester United have a two week spin through the region starting on July 13 in Bangkok against another of those nebulous All Star concoctions before heading down to Sydney where they will meet an Aussie team of All Stars!
They follow up the Sydney winter flying north to Japan where they will play a couple of real football teams; Yokohama F Marinos and Cerezo Osaka before ending in Hong Kong with a game against local side on 29 July.
It’s not just English clubs heading our way. Last night a Singapore Selection, an All Star team by any other name, hosted an Atletico Madrid side who had just defeated Real Madrid in the Cope del Ray, losing 2-0.
Barcelona’s team of all stars will also be in the region later this summer. They have games planned in Shanghai on 4 August, Bangkok on the seventh and finish in Kuala Lumpur three days later.
Quite how Asian football benefits from this European munificence remains to be seen. The players jet in, get rushed through busy airports to be greeted by adoring, screaming fans action to get a glimpse of their heroes before moving to the hotel.
The stays are highly choreographed to minimize contact between the players and the local culture they are visiting; interaction is limited to a few words with the waiting staff or bellboys in the five star hotel, comments that get translated into the usual bland ‘we love being here’ quotes wheeled out at the obligatory press conferences which they enjoy as much as the rest of us enjoy sitting in traffic jams.
There will be the odd meet and greet where a few selected players will sit down behind plastic tables and fans will queue up to get them sign things and take pictures which will then be spread virally round their social media of choice followed by an open training session, yet more photo opportunities, and possibly a coaching clinic.
All very forced and very artificial but the clubs feel these events create a bond with the fans and the fans, who only ever see their adopted team on TV are happy to go along with the PR spin.
On the field things are not much better. The European teams are not fully fit, the games are just a warm up for them ahead of the new season and they are not fully toned. Injuries will always be at the back of their mind and no player is going to risk missing a huge chunk of the campaign thanks to one mistimed lunge on foreign fields in a meaningless game.
European clubs have been visiting this region for the best part of 15 years now and you only need take a look at the local leagues to see what type of impact they have had. But the European clubs are not concerned with the shoddy management of football in this part of the world.

SOURCE - My Jakarta Globe column last week, not available online. 

 

Indonesian Football & Politics


As monsoon rains swept the stadium, the chanting grew louder: “Indonesia! Indonesia!”
More than 60,000 people packed into Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on a recent Saturday night to see the national soccer team play. Another 100 million tuned in to television to watch the match, underlining the appeal of football in Indonesia where attendance rivals the top English and German football leagues.
Among the fans are two of Indonesia’s most powerful people — President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and politically ambitious businessman Aburizal Bakrie. Their parties have long been battling for control over the sport and its huge audience, hoping this could be a factor in elections next year.
Bakrie, who leads the Golkar party and has said he will be a presidential candidate, seems to have wrested control of a unified football association that was formed in March after almost two years of the two groups running parallel associations and parallel leagues. The association in charge of the sport controls marketing in the stadiums and on television.
“If you can control football, you are half way to controlling Indonesia,” said a senior official at the Indonesian national soccer association, or PSSI.
“No political party campaign can get such a huge, devoted and noisy crowd. No wonder they [politicians] are dying to get hold of this.”
Bakrie has own TV channel to both show matches and advertise his presidential ambitions. While he has announced his candidacy, Yudhoyono’s Democrats have yet to announce their front-runner for the 2014 presidential polls, which will be preceded by parliamentary elections.
Several other candidates are also in the fray for president and latest opinion polls suggest the front-runners are Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo and former military general Prabowo Subianto.
But controlling football will provide an edge in the country of 240 million people, where the sport is widely popular despite Indonesia being ranked 170 out of 209 soccer-playing nations. Weekend games are watched by 52 million television viewers, while about 12 million attend games each year, said Widjajanto, chief executive of PT Liga Prima Indonesia Sportindo, the operator of the Indonesian Premier League.
The league will merge with the rival Indonesian Super League by 2014, according to the agreement thrashed out in March.
By comparison, Germany’s Bundesliga had an attendance of about 13.8 million in the 2011-12 season, while England’s Premier League attracted 13.1 million people to its matches.
Votes are not the only prize. The potential business, if the sport can get back on track, is also mouth-watering.
The Indonesian Super League’s TV broadcasting rights were sold for just 1.3 trillion rupiah ($133.5 million) for 10 years in 2011. Widjajanto estimates that once there is a unified league, broadcasting rights and advertising would be worth at least $360 million a year.
Proxy war
“It’s very clear that it’s a proxy battle between the Democratic Party and Golkar for the 2014 elections,” said Tjipta Lesmana, a university professor and former head of a PSSI committee, of the battle for control of the association.
“The association has been used for political purposes and both parties’ executives realized that soccer has the influence to help them gather support.”
Before the chaotic arrival of democracy 14 years ago, Indonesia’s football was tightly regulated under the three-decade autocratic rule of former president Suharto. After his ouster in 1998, management of the sport went into decline.
In the new political era, freewheeling business interests gained influence. They included the Bakrie Group, founded by businessman Achmad Bakrie, whose son Nirwan became PSSI vice chairman in 2003. Nirwan is Aburizal Bakrie’s brother.
In 2010, the government stepped in and the battle for dominance began.
Yudhoyono, elected a year earlier to a second term, dispatched his sports minister to wrest back control of the PSSI which resulted in Nirwan Bakrie and the PSSI chairman kicked off the association board in 2011.
Bakrie’s backers set up their own association and the rival Indonesian Super League.
Heart and soul
The dispute scared off sponsors and ravaged club finances.
The government also withdrew state financing that some clubs received each year, causing many to shut down.
The sport hit a low point late last year when a Paraguayan player, unpaid for so long he could not afford medical treatment, died. Media reported that some other foreign players had taken to the streets to beg because they had not been paid.
This year, Yudhoyono sent Democratic Party executive Roy Suryo to sort out the mess.
“The government put me in the lion’s den,” Roy said. He convened a congress in March attended by both sides. Dozens of police stood guard in case tempers flared.
By the end of the meeting, a deal was brokered and Indonesian football was again left with one controlling body and the promise of a single league, although the outcome seemed skewed in favor of the Bakries.
Djohar Arifin Husin, who is aligned with the Bakries, was named chairman of the PSSI while six of the board members, aligned to the Yudhoyono faction, walked out.
Djohar told Reuters on the sidelines of the meeting that the deal was a major development for the future of Indonesian football.
Nirwan, although no longer affiliated with the association, is considered an influential figure in it. He dismissed suggestions that the battle for control of the PSSI was all about politics and money, calling it a dispute among people who loved the game but simply had different ideas how to run it.
“If you fall in love with your girlfriend, you give your heart but if you fall in love with football, you’ll give your heart and your soul,” he told Reuters.
SOURCE - The Jakarta Globe
COMMENT - and people thought it was about football. Scratch a bit deeper and you will find this is probably just another battle field in a war that covers Bank Century, Lapindo and Sri Mulyani.
I'm not sure about some of the numbers being quoted though. I have no idea where that number of 12 million fans watching games comes from; just two Indonesian clubs, Persib and Arema, average over 20,000. Compare that, as the article suggests, with Germany where the average attendance in the Bundesliga for 2011/2012 was more than 44,000 or the English Premier League which averaged 34,000 for the same season.
The Indonesia Super League was not set up in response to a new PSSI being founded. The ISL was already there, it carried on going.
Sponsors were scared off getting involved with the game long before the current mess began.
Interesting that Djohar is being linked with the Bakries. So when the new PSSI took over, kicking out the old lot strongly aligned with Bakries, they went and appointed a Bakrie person? Does that make sense? Does anything make sense here?
Minor gripes aside this was a good piece and one that needed to be written. As I've said many times, football is mirror image of its society and this piece finally puts the mess into a socio-political context which has long been lacking in the debate.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

 

Indonesia v Netherlands Tickets

VVIP West 1,750,000 IDR
VIP West 1,500,000 IDR
VIP East 750,000 IDR
Category 1 300,000 IDR
Category 2 150,000 IDR
Category 3 50,000 IDR

10,000 IDR = approx 1 USD

 

Persib Continue Fine Run

19/05 Gresik United v Persipura 0-1 (Paulin Pierre Bio) 13,500
19/05 Persib v Persepam 2-1 (M Ridwan, Sergio Van Dijk; Chris Gomes) 24,876
21/05 Persiba v Persisam 1-1 (Yusar Fandy Djavar; Lancine Kone) 6,129
21/05 Barito Putra v Mitra Kukar 5-1 (Rizky Ripal Ripora, Djibril Coulibaly, Okto Maniani, Yongki Aribowo, Syaifullah Nazar; Ahmed Amiruddin) 6, 537
22/05 Persidafon v PSPS 3-1 (David Laly, Aloso, Pape Latyr; M Isnaini) 1,268
22/05 Persela v Arema 0-0 12,500
22/05 Persiram v Persija 0-0 757
23/05 Persepam v Gresik United 1-1 (Ali Khadaffi; Matsunaga) 7,500

Let's be honest. Mitra Kukar's title change was blown out of the water with that defeat in Banjarmasin. Persib's fine form continues though they were pushed all the way by an inventive Persepam at Jalak Harupat. Persija are also in fine form at the moment though at the other end of the table while PSPS can't wait for the season to end!

1 - Persipura 19 14 5 41-7 47
2 - Persib 19 12 4 3 43-24 40
3 - Arema 20 12 3 5 40-18 39
4 - Sriwijaya 19 12 3 4 35-26 39

 

Hariss & Safuwan To Be Sent To Portugal

SINGAPORE — Portugal will be national footballer Hariss Harun’s first port of call for the 2013-2014 European season after he finishes his National Service commitments on Aug 9, top football agent Jorge Mendes told TODAY.
Also heading there is defender Safuwan Baharudin, who will follow his Singapore and LionsXII team-mate in the summer to start a professional career in Europe.
Mr Mendes, 47, also revealed that he is working with Singapore billionaire Peter Lim, a close associate and friend, to identify six more players to join Hariss and Safuwan later.
The Portuguese arrived here on Monday with La Liga’s Atletico Madrid, who won the Copa del Rey three days earlier and will face a Singapore Selection tonight at the Jalan Besar Stadium. The Spanish football giants are here to support the Peter Lim Scholarship that helps underprivileged young athletes chase their sporting ambitions.
Mr Mendes — who counts Atletico’s Radamel Falcao, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United’s Nani and superstar coach Jose Mourinho among his clients — met both Hariss, 22, and Safuwan, 21, at a pre-match dinner at 1-Altitude at the UOB Plaza on Monday.
Last month, Atletico’s Chief Executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin said the club would be using tonight’s match to assess Hariss’ suitability for trials with the club.
However, Mr Mendes has since decided to send Hariss to Portugal first. “We have a club ready to sign Hariss and I will bring him with me to Portugal for one season,” he said.
“The boy will improve for sure because he has quality. It will be the same for Safuwan. He will come with me for one season and he will also improve.”
Mr Mendes declined to reveal the clubs which will sign Hariss, and Safuwan, or whether they will play for the same club. But he said the pair should not be thrown into the deep end at the start. Instead, they need to acclimatise to European-style football before they are ready for bigger teams like Atletico, he said.
Hariss said he will go wherever Mr Mendes thinks is best for him. Mr Mendes said: “We should wait one year, he should work hard and I think he knows exactly what he should do to improve and to play as best as possible to get into a top club, if possible, for the next few years.”
Mr Lim said he roped in the top international agent under his scholarship programme because he wants young Singaporeans to have hope, especially for those whose families do not have the financial means to back their sports career.
Said the tycoon: “The danger with (these) young people ... is that they can easily lose hope and their lives can then spiral downwards.
“This is why I set up the scholarship. And I invite players like Nani and now (clubs like) Atletico to Singapore because many top footballers come from impoverished homes and they never gave up hope playing in big leagues.

SOURCE - Today 

COMMENT - remember those old Batman episodes with Adam West? Meanwhile at stately Wayne Manor, millionaire Bruce Wayne with his ward Dick Grayson etc?!

 

Indonesia Impotent In Face Of Fan Unrest


Indonesian football is in “such a mess” that nothing will be done to address the issue of unruly crowds at international games despite the country being fined $15,000, an official admitted on Tuesday.
The Asian Football Confederation on Monday fined the Indonesian association over several matches at which fans let off fireworks and threw plastic bottles and paper cups onto the pitch.
But the dire state of the game in Indonesia, still trying to recover from a bitter battle between rival federations, meant no action would be taken, said Rudolf Yesayas, a senior Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) official.
“Football management in Indonesia is in such a mess at the moment, we aren’t able to do anything about things like this. We have much bigger problems,” he admitted to AFP.
The fine was imposed over crowd problems at several matches this year and last, the most recent of which was an Asian Cup home qualifier against Saudia Arabia on March 23.
Indonesia would also have to play a match behind closed doors if problems reoccurred in the next two years, the AFC said.
Football in Southeast Asia’s biggest nation had been mired in controversy for two years, with the PSSI and rival federation, the Indonesian Soccer Rescue Committee (KPSI), running competing leagues.
The two groups finally agreed to unite in March, with the KPSI to become part of the PSSI, after world governing body FIFA threatened sanctions including a ban on Indonesia playing in international matches.
But Yesayas said there were sill many problems, with executives in the newly united federation jockeying for position.
“How can we possibly perform well, or according to the rules?” he said.
International matches in the capital Jakarta’s 88,000-seat Bung Karno Stadium are notoriously rowdy.
Two people were killed in November 2011 during a stampede at the stadium to get into the Southeast Asian Games football final between Indonesia and Malaysia.
SOURCE - Jakarta Globe

Monday, May 20, 2013

 

Indonesia Finally Punished For Fan Misbehaviour


1. Football Association of Indonesia is ordered to pay a fine of USD10,000/- for violating Article 67 par. 1 and par 3 of the AFC Disciplinary Code (hereinafter the “Code”).
2. FA of Indonesia is also ordered to pay a fine of USD5,000/- for repeated infringement in the following decisions (cf. Article 40 par. 1 of the Code):
a. 19th meeting on 28 August 2012 (Decision No. 280812DC03)
i. Indonesia vs. Australia match on 5 July 2012 (Spectators threw water bottles and lighted fireworks)
ii. Indonesia vs. Timor Leste match on 7 July 2012 (Spectators lighted fireworks)
iii. Macau vs. Indonesia match on 10 July 2012 (Spectators lighted fireworks)
iv. Indonesia vs. Singapore match on 15 July 2012 (Spectators threw paper cups and lighted fireworks)
b. 22nd meeting on 28 February 2013 (Decision No. 280213DC01) (Spectators threw water bottles)
3. Total fine imposed on FA of Indonesia is USD15,000/- to be settled within 30 days from the date this decision is communicated (Article 15 par. 3 of the Code).
4. Pursuant to Article 24 of the Code, Football Association of Indonesia to play its ONE official match involving its National men representative team in AFC competitions without spectators.
5. Pursuant to Article 33 of the Code, the AFC Disciplinary Committee hereby suspends its decision under Article 24 of the Code subject to no further violations of similar nature by Football Association of Indonesia for a period of two years from the date this decision is communicated, failing which, the said suspended decision is automatically revoked, the sanction applied.

SOURCE - AFC

COMMENT - the above is in legalese gobbledygook. From what I can make out the incidents refer to happenings at the AFC Under 22 Qualifiers which were held in Pekanbaru. Makes you wonder why nothing has been done about full internationals at Bung Karno.

Indonesia must pay $15,000 within 30 days...good luck on that one. Many have been waiting for much more money for much longer time. Form a queue eh?

And that one match to be played behind closed doors? Suspended for two years?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

 

Results 17-18/5

Indonesia Super League

Mitra Kukar v Persisam 2-1 (Arif Suyono, Ahmad Amiruddin; Lancine Kone) 5,195
Pelita Bandung Raya v Persidafon 2-1 (Gaston Castano, Marwan Sayedh; Frans Sauyai) 850
Arema v Persiwa 5-0 (Sunarto, Greg Nwokolo , Keith Kayamba Gumbs, Hendro Siswanto) 9,142
Persita v Persela 0-3 (Gustavo Lopes, Syamsul Arif, Zaenal Arifin) 2,325

Disappointing crowds for these games. The East Kalimantan Derby was big for Mitra Kukar standards. Pelita Bandung Raya overcame a Persiram side that surprisingly find themselves midtable thanks in no small part to a good home record. Persiwa's thumping away to Arema saw them slide down the table; they boast the worst away record in the league, as so often happens in this league it is only their home form that stops them being dragged into a relegation struggle.

1 - Persipura 18 13 5 0 40-7 44
2 - Sriwijaya 19 12 3 4 35-26 39
3 - Arema 19 12 2 5 40-18 38
4 - Mitra Kukar 18 11 2 5 36-28 38

Divisi Utama

Persebaya v Deltras 0-0
Persebo v Persekam 3-2 (Reza Anhar, Kusen, Ngom Totto; Andi Rohman, Setiyo Prastowo) 500

SLeague

Harimau Muda v Woodlands Wellington 2-0 (Ridzuan Abdunloh, Yazid Zaini)
Tanjong Pagar v Warriors 2-1 (Asraf Rashid, Hafiz Nor; Sufian Anuar)

Malaysia Super League

Perak v Terengganu 1-3 (Azlan Ismail; Abdul Manaf Mamat, Fakrurazi Musa, Khairul Zauwawi)
T Team v Johor Darul Takzim (Badrul Morris; Safee Sali, Leonel Nunez)
Pahang v LionsX11 1-1 Azamuddin Akil; Shahril Ishak
ATM v Negeri Sembilan 1-2 (Hairuddin Omar; Fauzi Nan, Nazrin Nawi)
Kelantan v Selangor 1-1 (Zairo Anuar Zailani; Adam Griffiths)
PKNS v Felda United 5-0 (Fauzan Dzukifli, Azrin Khazali, Patrick Ronaldhino Wleh, Roman Chemlo, Nizab Ayub)

Biggest shock surely was Negeri Sembilan earning their first win of the season away to title challenging ATM. On loan striker Safee sali netted only his second MSL goal this campaign as big spending Johor DT inflicted yet another defeat on hapless T Team while leaders LionsX11 were deprived of three points by Pahang's injury time winner.

1 - LionsX11 17 10 5 2 23-10 35
2 - ATM 18 10 3 5 32-19 33
3 - Johor DT 17 9 4 4 25-23 31

8 - Marlon Alex James (ATM)
6 - Fauzi Roslan (Pahang)
4 - Daniel Guiza (Johor Darul Takzim), Amri Yahyah (Selangor), Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh (Selangor PKNS)

 

ASEAN World Cup Bid? Don't Make Me Laugh!


The Fifa World Cup could be coming to Thailand - although football fans may have to wait two decades to see the planet's best players compete on Thai soil.
Thailand could be part of an Asean joint bid to host the World Cup in 2034, with the deputy president of Malaysia’s football association revealing tentative plans on May 16 to bring the finals to Southeast Asia.
Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is also a member of the Asean Football Federation (AFF), told reporters in Kuala Lumpur that he had been asked to chair a committee to oversee the bidding process for the tournament.
Mr Tengku Abdullah added that Asean sports ministers would meet on June 19 to discuss the bid.
“The proposal and draft are ready but we will look at other details before announcing the details of the meeting because 2034 is still a long way to go,” Mr Tengku Abdullah was quoted by Malaysia’s national news agency,Bernama.
“I spoke to Fifa president Sepp Blatter regarding the bidding process and received feedback that the bidding will start eight years before the actual tournament.”
The idea of an Asean World Cup was reportedly first floated during an informal meeting of Asean foreign ministers at the East Asia Summit in Bangkok in April 2011.
Malaysia was then given the task of preparing a proposal to be endorsed by the AFF.
“It will most probably be a co-hosting proposal,” The Star quoted Mr Tengku Abdullah.
“From what I’ve gathered, four to five countries will be involved. I think that based on facilities, we are definitely capable of hosting such a large event.
“However, we must have a good team. In 1997, we hosted the youth World Cup but did not have a team that could make an impact in the competition.”
Mr Tengku Abdullah’s statement was met with incredulity in the Malaysian press on Thursday.
Writing in The Star, columnist K Rajan called the plan “ridiculous” and "a waste of time".
“The FA of Malaysia (FAM) can’t even run the Malaysian league (M-League) properly,” he wrote.
“Malaysian football is in a shambles, we can’t even beat teams like Bangladesh and Singapore, and FAM are thinking about the World Cup."
The columnist also highlighted the problem of alleged match-fixing in Southeast Asia.
“Match-fixing is still prevalent in Malaysia. The Asean region, according to Interpol, is the hub of match-fixing syndicates. Get rid of this malaise first," he wrote.
“The World Cup is no laughing matter. It’s reserved for only the best of the best. Are we the best in Asean, even? So come on FAM, get real, please.”
Asean confirmed in July 2012 that the bloc was considering a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup as part of efforts to forge closer ties among member countries.
At the time, Thailand's Fifa executive member Worawi Makudi said the grouping might be ready to host the tournament by 2030, but argued that the world's football governing body would be unlikely to accept a joint bid of more than two countries.
Surin Pitsuwan, then-secretary general of the 10-nation Asean, said the bloc's foreign ministers had agreed to file a joint bid to host the tournament.
"As a part of community building efforts, Asean FMs (foreign ministers) agreed to propose to enter a competition to JOINTLY host the Football World Cup in 2030," he said in a Twitter message.
It seems Asean's plans may have now been delayed for a further four years.
Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup, with the tournament scheduled for Russia in 2018. 
No Asean country has ever qualified for the World Cup although a bid to host the competition in the region would be boosted by Fifa’s decision to award the 2022 tournament to Qatar, a country with little football pedigree that has never qualified for the finals.
The World Cup has only been co-hosted once in its 83-year history, when South Korea and Japan shared responsibility in 2002.
SOURCE - Bangkok Post
COMMENT - nope! Put it this way. Remember Indonesia's half hearted bid for 2018 or 2022? You know what came from that...Logistically? No. Financially? Infrastructure? No. Dead in the water? Yep

 

Singapore's Stange


It has taken almost six months but Singapore have finally appointed a new coach to replace the now departed Radojko Avramovic and after months of less than frantic speculation, we are after all talking about Singapore where they are more concerned about Sir Alex Ferguson than their own national team, the Football Association have opted for Bernd Stange.

The 65 year old German inherits a Singapore team that won the ASEAN Football Federation Cup at the end of last year. Avramovic was by far the best coach Singapore have had and leaves behind a hard act to follow.

Players like Baihakki Khaizan and Khairul Amri have added consistency to their undoubted talent while younger players like Hariss Harun and Shafiq Ghani are evidence of a productive conveyer belt of young talent, one that Stange will look to reap the benefits of.

He certainly brings a lot to the table. While rumours were rife Singapore were on the verge of appointing the likes of David O’Leary or Peter Taylor the headhunters appointed to lead the recruitment obviously saw something they liked in the experienced coach.

After hanging up his boots in 1970 Stange worked his way up through the coaching ranks at Carl Zeiss Jena in the old East Germany. He then switched to the national team and in a similar example of seamless Teutonic efficiency started off with the Under 21s before becoming assistant manager of the national and leading the Olympic team in 1984 before taking over the national team that same year.

The former East Germany was a very different place to West Germany across the border. A communist state with an all pervading secret police, the Stasi, freedoms were at a premium for the vast majority of people and while sports were seen as a way of glorifying the communist way ordinary people had to make do with shortages and restrictions.

From 1973 to 1986 it was reported Stange was an informer for the Stasi and on one occasion he broke into a flat to steal a diary. On another time he reportedly informed on a family friend’s plans to flee the country. Attempts to escape from the workers’ paradise were frowned upon by the state. The border was heavily guarded and soldiers were not afraid to shoot people trying to escape to the west.

In 1984 when coach of the national team it was reported Stange had contacted another coach, Jorg Berger, who had managed to escape to West Germany and asked him what he knew about the current East German national team. The Stasi used this to claim Berger was actively seeking to help players escape to the west, an example of the extreme paranoia that hung over the Communist  country.

“Stange was already the national coach and had no need to do this,” said Berger. “He was just career-obsessed and it was also about money.”

In the fine tradition of communists when the wall came down and the two Germanys became one Stange was there looking for a job, ending up with Hertha Berlin the second division but after his previous activities became known he had to resign and found work with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine before coaching Perth Glory to the National Soccer League in Australia.

He spent three months coaching the Oman national team before taking over Iraq in 2002 at the same time the US president George W Bush was banging the war drum over Iraq and their weapons of mass destruction. In the face of criticism back in Germany Stange was unrepentant. “I had a choice between staying unemployed or taking this job in Iraq.”

However questions over his judgment were raised when it was revealed Saddam Hussein’s son, Uday, had tortured Iraqi players. He just  dismissed the story as “manipulation”.

He showed another side to his character though, returning to the country four months after the US led invasion and laying the groundwork for the team that would win the AFC Asian Cup in Jakarta in 2007.

It was a dangerous time to be in Iraq when it was tearing itself apart in a sectarian bloodshed that followed the invasion.

"My car was shot at," he told BBC Sport. "I had death threats because there was a picture in the newspaper of me with the British foreign minister Jack Straw and 5,000 footballs that he had given us. "A photo of me with the mortal enemy! After that I had to leave the country."

His perseverance in difficult circumstances had gone some way towards deflecting the wrath he had received back home in Germany with Andrew McKenzie writing on the BBC website “The man accused of being a puppy dog to a dictator was now painted as a hero who had taken a stand against the war in the name of the beautiful game.”

After a short spell in Cyprus Stange found himself taking on another tough role with Belarus. Widely regarded as Europe’s most repressive state Stange again found himself in the firing line but remained stubborn, insisting he was a football coach first and foremost.

“I’m the national manager of a country with a huge football tradition and that’s all that counts. My working conditions are as good as anything that I’ve experienced in my long football career.”

He was however impressed by the cleanliness and safety the Belarus capital, Minsk, afforded its citizens, qualities no doubt that will endear him to the Singapore faithful.

From East Germany to Singapore via Iraq and Belarus, Stange certainly boasts an interesting CV but as he says, nobody ever called from Bayern Munchen or Manchester United.

"I have worked for communist regimes, capitalists, for a sultanate and a dictator, but my work is always the same. It's only ever about one thing - putting the ball in the net."

SOURCE - This first appeared in the Jakarta Globe 17/5/13

Friday, May 17, 2013

 

Ambitious Admiralty Join League Cup Fray

There is no promotion or relegation to or from the SLeague. It stands alone and clubs come and go as they feel like it subject to meet various regulations.

We have seen the likes of Etoile, Gombak United and Super Reds drop out in recent years while the arrival of Tanjong Pagar was a timely boost while many were sounding the death knell of the professional game.

Admiralty (wearing red) in NFL action
Now we have Admiralty. The ambitious club, strangely nicknamed Wolves (not very maritime, is it?) are reportedly keen on joining the SLeague and this year will enter the League Cup; the first time a National Football League club, no not that American nonsense with Tupperware, have entered.

They defeated Singapore Cricket Club, don't ask, 2-1 in the play off semi final thanks to goals from ex SAFFC man Gunter Djafril and a penalty from Mathew Shiva.

In the other play off Singapore Recreation Club defeated Westlake 1-0 to set up the final at Jalan Besar last Sunday.

Admiralty won 3-1 with goals from Djafril, Jonathon Xu and Haziq Sudhir.

Their reward was to enter the Singapore League Cup proper where they were drawn in a group with Harimau Muda, Home United and Woodlands Wellington with the dates of the ties to be announced later.

Being drawn with Woodlands is an interesting one because Admiralty have drawn heavily on the Rams alumni to get them where they are now.

Apart from Djafril they do boast plenty of experience.

In goal is former Singapore international Rezal Hassan. He may be 39 years old but everyone knows goalies can keep going, right? Has played for Tampines and Woodlands in the past.

Midfielder Shamsurin Abdul Rahman has played for Balestier Khalsa and Woodlands Wellington while Noor Ali, whose brother Jamil now plays for Tampines, has played for most of the SLeague teams including, of course, Woodlands.

Then we have defender Sathiaraj who has played for, you guessed it, Woodlands.

Who knows, others may have too but they don't have their own wiki page!

Anyway it's good to see clubs with ambition being allowed to mix it with the big boys.

 

Results 17/5

Indonesia Super League

Sriwijaya v Persidafon 1-1 (Herman Dzumafo; David Laly) 2,234

This result will be a major disappointment to hosts Sriwijaya as they failed to defeat bottom club Persidafon. And they had to come from behind. The side from Papua were bottom...this point lifted them above PSPS on goal difference.

Persidafon seem to have added for Singapore international Precious Emuejeraye to bolster their back line and in one of those oh look these things happen in football, in his first game he lines up against his one of his former clubs!

For Sriwijaya a squandered opportunity. Having played one game more than leaders Persipura they stay second and the gap is five points with Persipura travelling to Persegres on Sunday.

Divisi Utama

Persitara v Persiku 0-0
Perseru v Persigo 3-0
PSAP v PS Bengkulu 1-1
Persik v Persis 3-0
Persisko v PSMS 0-3
PSBS v Persbul 3-1
Perssin v Perseka 1-1
Sumbawa Barat v Yahukimo 6-0

In group one leaders Persisko lost their first game of the season against PSMS but remain top two points clear of PS Bangka.
Sumbawa Barat thumped lowly Yahukimo and in doing so managed to turn a negative goal difference into a neutral one.
Persik's win over Persis saw them take top spot in group 5, overtaking PSMP by one point but the Laskar Majapahit have a game in hand.
The second top scorer in the Divisi Utama is a guy called Baso Bintang (Perssin) which sounds like a cheap meal in a warung!

SLeague

Geylang International v Balestier Khalsa 2-2 (Wahyudi Wahid, Jozef Kaplan; Paul Cunningham, Kim Min Ho)

Geylang maybe in 10th place but they are a tough team to play against; we saw that away to Tampines last week. Balestier were leading with four minutes to go before the reliable Kaplan leveled the scores

Thursday, May 16, 2013

 

Persija Record Back To Back Wins

Persija finally put some daylight between themselves and the relegation places after they defeated Barito Putra in Solo yesterday. The visitors had taken the lead through Rizky Ripora and that was how things remained till the second half when Persija got their act together.

Fabiano,reconciled with the club after doubts over his future, levelled things on 50 minutes before the new signings took over.

Kenmogne made it 2-1 with 12 minutes left before M Ilham made sure of the points a minute from the end.

In the other game PSPS lost. Again.They were beaten 2-1 at home by Persiba Balkipapan; their first away win of the season.

The Honey Bears were 2-0 inside 26 minutes after Ade Suhendra and Young Kwang had pounced early. PSPS did pull one back in the second half but it wasn't enough and they fell to their fourth straight defeat.

15 - Persija 19 5 3 11 20-30 18
---------------------------------
16 - Persita 18 3 7 8 14-26 16
17 - PSPS 19 3 5 11 17-36 14
18 - Persidafon 18 3 4 11 18-34 13

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

 

Singapore v Atletico Madrid

Flyer promoting Singapore's friendly with Spanish side Atletico Madrid. Which name really stands out?

If you can't read the small print each grandstand or gallery ticket sold entitles fans to free entry to an SLeague game

 

Singapore's New Coach Is An Ossi Who Has Worked In Aussie!


SINGAPORE - After a five-month search, the Football Association of Singapore has finally found its new national head coach.
The national body has unveiled former Belarus coach Bernd Stange as the man who will be stepping into Radojko Avramovic's shoes at a media conference today (May 15). FAS officials said he was chosen because of his familiarity with Asian football, having coached at Perth Glory, Oman and Iraq, and his track record of lifting small countries such as Belarus up the FIFA ladder into the top-30 positions.
The German has signed a two-year contract with the option of extending it for another two years. His target is to rebuild the national team and secure qualification for the Asian Cup finals for the first time.
He has also been tasked to groom the likes of former national players V Sundramoorthy and Aide Iskandar so that they can be his eventual replacements.
Avramovic stepped down as national coach on Dec 31 after leading the Lions to their fourth Asean Football Championship title.
The triumph brought the curtain down on a successful 10-year stint which saw the Serb leading Singapore to three AFF titles, into the third round of qualifying for the World Cup finals on two occasions, and on the brink of Asian Cup qualification for the first time.
Following Avramovic's departure, the FAS appointed global search firm Sports Recruitment International to help it find the next national coach.
TODAY understands that more than 100 candidates had applied for the position. This list was trimmed in stages before Stange was awarded the job.
Stange is no stranger to controversy. In 2001, the 65-year-old German was given the opportunity to guide Oman to the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea and Japan but was fired after less than three months in the job.
After a year out of work, Stange took up the post of Iraq national manager in October 2002, despite escalating threats of an invasion of the country led by United States and British forces.
He consulted football's world governing body, FIFA, and the German foreign office before taking the Iraq job, but when a picture of the smiling coach in front of a portrait of Saddam Hussein appeared in newspapers he became the victim of a tabloid hate campaign back in Germany.
He was forced to flee when the conflict began but returned after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Prior to taking the Singapore post, Stange was the coach of the Belarus national team. He resigned after the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign ended in October 2011.
SOURCE - TODAY Online

COMMENT - none really. Bit of an unknown quantity in the region but I have come across him before elsewhere. In 1984 he was coach of East Germany who I saw play a friendly at Wembley. The picture comes from that programme!

 

Results 13-14/5

AFC Cup

Semen Padang v Da Nang 2-1 (Edward Wilson Junior, Vendry Mofu;)
Kelantan v Kitchee 0-2

Exciting game in Padang with the home team falling behind but pulling one back just before half time and the winner in injury time

Indonesia Super League

Persegres v Persiwa 1-0 (Aldo Baretto) 1,800
Persita v Persepam 0-0 1,341

SLeague

Harimau Muda v Tanjong Pagar 3-0 (Ridzuan 2, Maxsius Musa)

The Jaguars well and truly put to the sword in Malaysia with Ridzuan netting two penalties. They are now 10 points behind leaders Tampines having played one game more.

Malaysia Premier League

Perlis v Kedah 0-1
Sabah v UiTM 3-1
Johor v Pos Malaysia 1-1
Sime Darby v NS Betaria 2-0
SPA v KL 1-3
PDRM v Sarawak 1-3

1 - Sarawak 17 13 4 0 31-10 43
2 - Sime Darby 17 13 3 1 40-10 42
3 - Johor 17 10 3 4 43-18

Monday, May 13, 2013

 

Coach Weaver Watching From Sidelines


He came with a dossier full of modern football methods and looked to implement his ideas at Hougang United. -TNP 
Shamir Osman

Sat, Apr 06, 2013
The New Paper


Alex Weaver came with a dossier full of modern football methods and looked to implement his ideas at Hougang United.

The ambitious Hougang had set their sights on qualifying to play football in the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) regional competitions.

From match-preparation meetings peppered with video-clips and graphics to nutrition and post-match reports submitted to the club management, Weaver looked to change the Cheetahs' approach to football.

Evidently, it was not to everyone's taste.

After just six games of the 2013 S-League season, the Englishman will take a back seat, with Hougang's Prime League coach Johana Johari set to take over the reins of the senior team, at least for the moment.

Speaking to The New Paper on the sidelines of Hougang's 2-1 friendly win over V Sundramoorthy's LionsXII on Monday, when Johana took charge as Weaver watched silently from the bench, club chairman Bill Ng explained the move.

He said: "Alex is taking a step back so he can look at the team again, to perhaps get a big-picture view of the team. He has come with dreams and various ideas, but there seems to be a gap between theory and reality.
"This is the collective view of our technical team and the players, and this change has come about based on feedback from these two parties." (Management suggesting player power is behind this?)

Johana, 51, is an AFC coaching instructor.

His elevation to the senior side could be a temporary measure.

"Alex is an observer now, but he is still part of our plans. Our league game is next week, and we will see what the consensus is before we decide who takes charge," added Ng.

Under the 36-year-old Weaver, Hougang have played six games in the S-League, managing one win against three losses, with two draws.

Their solitary win, a 1-0 over the Courts Young Lions, was eventually credited as a 3-0 victory after it surfaced that Aide Iskandar's side had fielded ineligible players.

Hougang are 10th in the 12-team league.

They will play a friendly against Johor United at the Pasir Gudang Stadium on Friday, before facing Balestier Khalsa in the S-League next Tuesday.

When contacted yesterday, Hougang skipper Lau Meng Meng said: "(Weaver's) method is good, just that we need time to adapt to things, but the problem is that our results don't accurately reflect just how good his method is.
"Our management is result-oriented, and that's perhaps why this has happened." (Players suggest this is a management thing)

Lau has been with Hougang for five years.

The club have come through difficult situations in that time, and he says the players just have to focus on football.

"We can't do much because the management has the final say. As players all we can do is give our best on the field, and hopefully results will show," said the 29-year-old.

While Weaver declined to comment on the matter, Ng said: "The technical aspects of football are the realm of the coach, but if the coach has a blind spot, (the management) has to get involved.

"We'd rather take a pro-active approach now, rather than be forced to do restructuring later on. His changes have come too abruptly, but Alex is still part of our team," Ng reiterated.

COMMENT - yeah I know a bit old. Heard rumblings but was unable to use this  without more detail. Must be a South East Asian thing, benching coaches? They obviously don't want to sack the guy, that would cost money. So better pay him to do nothing? Isn't a smiliar thing happening to T Team?

It is refreshing to know that had the Hougang owner been in charge of Manchester United then Alex Ferguson would not have been around long enough for the 1990 FA Cup Final. But then there is a huge gap between theory and reality.


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