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NST Online: Sports

Malaysia pass with flying colours

Posted: 09 Feb 2011 08:51 AM PST

Malaysia’s Safee Sali (left) is challenged by Hong Kong’s Li Hang Wui in their friendly match at Shah Alam Stadium yesterday. Malaysia won 2-0. — Picture by Osman Adnan

Malaysia's Safee Sali (left) is challenged by Hong Kong's Li Hang Wui in their friendly match at Shah Alam Stadium yesterday. Malaysia won 2-0. — Picture by Osman Adnan

GOALS from captain Safiq Rahim and substitute Amirulhadi Zainal earned Malaysia a 2-0 victory over Hong Kong in their first match as Southeast Asian champions at the Shah Alam Stadium yesterday.

Malaysia had nine players from their AFF Cup winning squad in the starting line-up with defender Aidil Zafuan Radzak and striker Ahmad Fakri Saraani returning from injuries making up the first 11.

In the 13th minute, Safee Sali's venomous volley from 25 metres caught Hong Kong goalkeeper Yapp Hung Fai off guard but the ball came off his shoulders before bouncing off the crossbar into play.

Malaysia's persistence, however, paid off courtesy of Safiq, who stole the ball from Deng Jinghuang near the byline before side-stepping another defender to score from close range in the 44th minute. It was his first goal in an 'A' international match.

In the second half, national coach K. Rajagobal made a few substitutions with striker Sharizal Mohd Saad and midfielder G. Mahathevan, both earned their first senior caps when Rajagobal brought them in late in the match. Amirulhadi scored the second goal in injury time.

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FAM to affiliates: Settle all dues

Posted: 09 Feb 2011 07:39 AM PST

THE FA of Malaysia (FAM) wants all teams to settle monies owing to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), income tax, players and coaches -- apart from having a proper venue -- before the start of the 2012 M-league season.

To ensure everything goes well next season, the association's competitions committee will monitor all teams every four months.

Competitions committee chairman Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin hopes this will help the league run smoothly next year compared to the current one, which has been running into problems due to outstanding issues.

"We will send a circular to all affiliates reminding them that their house must be in order by the end of April. We intend to start monitoring by May," said Hamidin after chairing the competitions committee meeting at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday.

"Teams should settle all their dues on a monthly basis. We want them to start doing it this season. We will check all stadiums on a regular basis to ensure they are well maintained for the new season."

According to M-league regulations, teams must settle their arrears before the new season, failing which they will be expelled from the competition.

On the issue of problem stadiums, only two -- Sultan Nasiruddin Shah Stadium (Kuala Terengganu) and KLFA Stadium (Cheras) -- both with unplayable pitches, have not been approved by FAM.

"We will inspect the Sultan Nasiruddin Shah Stadium to see if it is fit for matches. The KLFA Stadium should be ready by the end of the month," said Hamidin, who added that the floodlights at Selayang Stadium and Sarawak Stadium have been improved to meet FAM guidelines.

Premier League side Johor can also return to the Larkin Stadium after its venue was approved by the committee on Tuesday. -- AJITPAL SINGH

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