Monday, July 5, 2010

A believer of the German mean machine

By Jugjet Singh


FOR the majority of Malaysians, the World Cup was officially over after their favourite teams crashed out, and it was back to work, as tedious as it might sound, after almost a month of dreaming.
I have always failed to understand why most of my journalist friends support England, but respect their decision nevertheless, as many Malaysians also support Brazil, Ar gentina, France and Italy -- all because Malaysian soccer is still stuck in kindergarten league.
I didn’t need to go out for opinions as fellow journalist Arnaz M. Khairul said the Malaysian men can’t even qualify for the women’s World Cup, while soccer writer Ajitpal Singh said we can’t even beat the Japanese Under-18 team.
There is so much of passion among soccer supporters in the country, but none is projected towards their own team for obvious reasons.
At the watering holes, including teh-tarik joints, fans poured out their emotions when England was brushed aside by Germany, then Brazil was shown the exit by Netherlands and Argentina made to look like novices by Germany.
Many could still not come to terms that Italy and France were not among the semi-finalists.
I didn’t see anybody decking up with Uruguay attire, and even though they are in the last four, they will not find many supporters here when they square off against Netherlands on Wednesday.
Germany, who finished third at home in 2006, and are the best prepared team so far, do not seem to ignite passion among soccer lovers here.
They are seen as emotionless, and even though we love their car, but hate their tendency to work like their well- known car engine.
When Argentina played Germany, I was lucky to share a table at the mamak stall with a group of teenagers as I arrived minutes before kick-off and all the good spots were already taken.
All of them cheered for Argentina, and became angrier and angrier as Germany kept on scoring.
And at half-time, a girl in the group was heard lamenting: “I am going to keep on supporting Argentina no matter what happens because they have such a sweet blue jersey. I hate the Germans, they have such a sinister black jersey!
The remark would have been hilarious if not for the fact that she would have been supporting the golden-yellow jersey of the Malaysian team, and not some foreign country, had they been good enough to qualify.
I was very angry when Arnaz and Ajitpal made the remarks, but they were only speaking the truth. So, lets look forward to Rio de Janeiro 2014, where I will wear the German jersey, for I am now their true believer.

Project skid Suisse Selection

PROJECT 2013 players won their third consecutive match when they brushed aside Suisse Selection 4-0 in their European Tour yesterday.
In earlier matches, the Project boys had beaten Geneva Selection 3-2 and Lyon Football Club Hockey Team 8-0.
The players are now in Barcelona, where more friendlies and training has been arranged. They will return on July 22.
Yesterday, Joel Van Huizen, Mohamed Sabri, Mohamed Rashid and Amir Farid were on target via field goals.
R. Ramesh was selected as the best player of the series.
“The team has started showing signs of maturity and should be ready to fight for a spot in the Junior World Cup Qualifier,” said team manager Mirnawan Nawawi.

Project boys on a Swiss high

THE Project 2013 hockey team started their Europe playing Tour on a high when they beat Geneva Selection 3-2 at the Richmont Hockey Stadium on Friday.
After that, they went on a rampage to beat Lyon Football Club Hockey Team 8-0 yesterday.
The team, preparing for the 2013 Junior World Cup, left on June 30 on their training-cum-playing Tour and will be back by July 22.
Against Geneva, the Project boys were 0-2 down when the half-time hooter blew, but bounced back with goals from Amir Farid (45th, 70th) and Firhan Ashaari (61st).
And against Lyon, the scorers were Mohamed Nor Faez (two goals), Mohamed Rashid (two), Mohamed Sabri, Mo hamed Nor Izzat, Amir Farid and Syamim Yusof.
Their third match in Geneva will be against a Suisse Selection, after which the team will go for a well deserved boat ride around the Chizmone lake, and will travel for more matches to Barcelona today.
“The overall performance against Geneva Selection was not convincing especially in the first half because the players looked rather lethargic and had trouble getting used to the European,” said team manager Mirnawan Nawawi.
“However in the second half the boys picked up their game and manage to score the three goals. We had at least six clear chances to score but lacked sharpness and goal scoring ability.
“And in the second match, I was impressed with the fighting spirit and character of the players which was the tonic towards winning with a big margin.”