Monday, October 4, 2010

REAL MADRID: ALL GLAMOUR AND COMMERCIAL APPEAL?



ONLINE POST #1 – Ashikin
25 August 2010

Another football season, another mistake. Or so they say.

Spanish football’s ‘Galacticos’ or perennial money minded champions– Real Madrid – have done it again. 

Last week, they purchased one of the world cup’s most coveted players, Mesut Oezil, from Werder Bremen in what can only be called a last-minute coup.

After all, according to the Spanish media, all it took for the club’s president, Florentino Perez to seal the deal was a phone call with Oezil’s father, Mustafa.



The deal cost approximately €30 million, and was accepted by Bremen even though Oezil had earlier declared his allegiance to the Bundesliga side, reiterating his desire to see through the remaining one year of his contract.



The question now is, is the lure of the Santiago Bernabeu too much for any professional player to pass up?




Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Friendly Match between Manchester United and Airtricity League XI

By, Lee Jung Ai

Flooding of goals and fans could be seen in Avida Stadium, Dublin where there were visitors of 49,861 fans came to watch a friendly match between Manchester United and Ireland’s Airtricity League XI.

During the play, even from the beginning, Manchester United was in upper hand in which as in possessions. Had already tipped us with the result of the match from the beginning and also with the members Sir Alex Ferguson dispose.

How Un-ethical can a World Star Be: Ups and downs of Tiger Woods

By, Lee Jung Ai

World-class, internationally-renowned athletes live their lives in the public eye. Their lifestyles are similar to those of movie stars. Tiger Woods, a professional golfer, also known as ‘King’ in the golf world, is widely regarded as one of the best golfers ever to play the sport. He has broken many records in professional golfing history and is the only player ever to have won all four major golf championships in a row.

Due to him excelling in professional golf, many major brands like Gillette, Nike and American Express have signed him on endorsement deals. Men and boys hopes and dreams to play, earn and live like Tiger Woods. His success on the greens and off it, with a happy family, has transformed Tiger Woods into an idol.

This and that’s of Soccer player transfer rates

By, Lee Jung Ai

Football, another name of Soccer is favourite sports of all ages, and genders throughout whole nation. Fans love players and media are making gossips of them every day every hour possible.

One of the gossips will be the transfer of players in between the clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and etc… Better they play, higher the clubs have to pay to bring them in to win the cup for the game.

Tiger Woods. John Terry. What do these people have in common?

By, Lee Jung Ai


They are all top sports stars in their respective sports. They are celebrities in their own right, live their lives akin to Hollywood movie stars, and are even are on equal standards with their Hollywood counterparts earnings.

What would living life in the public eye be without a little controversy? Life under the flashing lights of cameras isn’t just all glitz and glamour. Every move, whether right or wrong, is captured by gossip-hungry paparazzi and all your dirty laundry is hung up on display for all to see. All of the mentioned sports stars have been involved in extra-marital affairs that were exposed to the public.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sports- Getting Out of Hand?

An opinion piece by Abeer Yusuf

The recently concluded football World Cup brought to light many issues- the primary being the popularity of sport in today’s day. While it highlighted how words like vuvuzela became everyday lingo (having recently being inducted into the Oxford Dictionary of English), it also showed a dark and sinister side of the sport- the French Government, disappointed by France’s early exit in the World Cup, got involved and launched an investigation into the why team did not make the cut. In the process, many members of France’s management were sacked and suspended.

The Rise of Sport

An opinion piece by Abeer Yusuf



40 years ago, if you were to tell someone that sports would one day influence fashion and food choices, you would probably get laughed at and dismissed as a lunatic.
Today however, the situation is different. ‘Sports personalities’ endorse everything from power drinks to sporting and suiting brands to pizzas! Over the last four to five decades, sports has come to command a position so persistent in society that perhaps the only way to describe its permeanance is to equate it to being a religion.
Where a particular sport is the religion, such as football, icons like David Beckham are God, or messiahs at the very least.
But why exactly has this happened? Newspapers have come to devote 5-6 pages exclusively to sport, while sporting events like the Olympic and Commonwealth Games produce mega viewers and audience unfailingly. Perhaps one of the factors at play is the socio-economic change in the lives of the middle-class. Sports became a fixed part of people’s lives thanks to the various advances in technology, the most impacting inventions being television and radio. A 9-to-5 work culture ensured free time and allowed for the pursuit of sport, which all culminated in more interest in popular sports like football, cricket, racing and so on. As sport began to root itself in the typical household, players also began to cement their places in spectators’ hearts, winning affection for fair play, notoriety for un-sporting behaviour, and adoration for winning championships in major events. Many historic moves have found themselves engrained in various Halls of Fame, one prominent example being the ‘Hand of God’ goal played by Diego Maradona from Argentina. The goal became an urban legend and is till today hailed as the ‘Goal of the Century’.
Today, there is not one avenue free from the proliferation of sport; more specifically its’ advertising. As sport grips a firm hand on popular culture, one can confidently say that the rise of sport isn’t at all over; it has merely begun.

Sports at Monash Malaysia- An Investigative Report

By Abeer Yusuf
Pictures and text by author, Abeer Yusuf
Picture of N. Fahim taken from Facebook (all rights rest with owner)



Petaling Jaya- If you’re a Monash Malaysia student, chances are you’ve seen the recently installed Futsal Court diagonally opposite the Cafeteria. But look around and you’ll find no other sports facility in the university premises, despite the free space one can find around.


Free space around the university premises

A prominent feature of any commendable university are the facilities they offer for extra-curricular activities. Harvard has their own rowing boat team and lake for students to train in, while even the local universities have their own football and rugby pitches.
Is it not fitting then, that a renowned university like Monash, which regularly features in the Top 50 Universities in the World, ought to have at least some sort of sports facility at its Malaysian campus for its 5000 students?

Currently, under the Clubs and Societies Division of the Student Association, there are 19 sporting clubs, whose members make up an approximate 1000 students. These clubs range from the likes of the Bowling Club to the Football Club, even comprising a Fencing Club, Cricket and Karate Club.
Evidently the range of sports activities offered at Monash ranges far and wide. Membership is teeming in all these clubs as well. But what of facilities? Where do all these people go to practise and train?

Dzariff Jaafar, President of the Monash Fencing Club, uses the Foyer for training. The Club used to use the Dancing Studio, but had to move to the Exam Hall due to space constraints. The Exam Hall soon had to be abandoned because there was always some or the other event going on. Jaafar and his club were finally given permission to use the Foyer, which is where they train weekly now, but not without inconveniences.

“We have issues with the venue persistently because we need a big space to practise in and Monash has no facilities where we can steadily practise every week.”

Moving around like homeless evacuees, Jaafar believes a sports stadium would do everyone good. “The Fencing Club could use the place to train and also hold tournaments and competitions in the future, while the multipurpose space would let other clubs have their weekly events as well,” says Jaafar.


The current basketball/futsal court

Commenting on the make-up of the clubs and societies, Jaafar, 21, feels that the Administration isn’t doing enough for the sporting clubs in Monash, arguing that “non-sporting clubs have many weekly activities for which they don’t need specific spaces and can hold their events anywhere within the University. But for sporting clubs, all we have are our training and tournaments. Monash ought to delegate some space for our betterment”.

Indeed this request has persisted throughout the entire year that Ong Lee Ching has been the Head of Clubs and Societies Division for. Every club has complained, and after tireless efforts, the Futsal Court was inaugurated in 2009. Yet this is not enough. And the Administration doesn’t seem to be doing anything about this. No representative was available for comment on the matter either.

Ong says that more people are demanding a football field as well as a badminton court, in addition to a space where various martial arts can take place. Though a centre that would satisfy each of the 19 clubs’ demands would be an ideal situation, it wouldn’t be a practical and cost-effective solution for the University.

In all of these requests, what would then be the best compromise that would satisfy everyone while keeping the school budget in check?

Ong suggests a multipurpose hall that even non-sports clubs can use for their events, adding, “currently all clubs, sporting and sporting have to use either the Foyer, Library Rooftop, Concourse area or Plenary Theatre for their activities. This places a great constraint in organising events on a large scale, especially if they want to invite students from other universities and colleges.”

“Monash being a classroom-oriented campus means the classrooms don’t have enough space either. Therefore the best solution would be to have Monash construct a multipurpose hall. Presently if any of the sports clubs need to use a bigger space, they have to either rent out the Sunway College space, for events like football matches or go to 3K for badminton practise. With a multipurpose hall, all these events can be held within the Monash premises itself. What’s more, events like the annual Cultural Night won’t have to be outsourced to Sunway’s Multipurpose Hall and exams can be held in a bigger space than the current Exam Hall which can only hold a limited number of students.”

Ong also points out the financial benefit Monash stands to gain from such a proposed move, “once we have our own space, Monash won’t have to pay as much to rent out other places or pay money to clubs to go practise in other campuses. Having a multipurpose hall of our own will also mean that we can attract business from outside, renting out our space for events to other universities and colleges. Monash should look at the long-term benefits of rental.”

Perhaps the money saved could go into another aspect of sports Monash seems to be neglecting- the promotion of sports. For instance, few students know that the Bowling Club came in third place in overall medal tally at the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (MACPU) Competition, or that the Fencing Club won gold medals at the Inter-Varsity Competition in individual saber and foil events. Monash historically has also never hosted any sort of intra-university competition, championship or tournament. Hosting events of the like would only serve to push Monash higher up the ranks in offering a holistic education.

Nabil Fahim, a student of the Business School says that “if you compare Monash with other universities, there are no major intervarsity competitions that Monash takes part in, and when they do, no one comes out to support them. There is no school spirit at all. Monash should do more to provide support and encourage participation and attendance. A good facility wouldn’t hurt either.”

So what would the students like to see in a sports facility? For starters, an individual basketball court would be good, as the current Futsal Court doubles up as a Basketball Court, meaning only one sport can be played at a time, recounted by Fahim, 20.

(Nabil Fahim)

Fahim, from Sri Lanka, adds that “it is surprising to see that there is no badminton court either, as that is one of the most popular sports in the country. In other features, I’d definitely like to see a swimming pool, as many people don’t know how to swim and Monash can call in trainers and earn good money off of that. The currently flagging Swimming Club would also get a much-needed boost and perhaps provide more incentive for people to join”.

Zaleha Khalilur Rahman, 20, believes that students are discouraged from participating in sports and joining clubs because of the inadequate facilities, and recommends adding a functioning shower room, football pitch, and a big field for multipurpose use. An occasional basketball player, she affirms that she would join an institutionalised club if there were proper facilities, “as I’m not a big fan of going to class smelling like sweat and testosterone.”

Zaleha Khalirur Rahman

Kurtwin Low, President of the Monash Bowling Club, would like to have an indoor basketball court, football field and a running track, which he believes is the hallmark of any university.

In entirety, it is evident that there is popular demand for a sports facility in the university. After all, as Jaafar says, “Monash University doesn’t prioritise on sports. The focus is largely on academics. For a holistic learning experience, combining education and sports is necessary. Sports and education both have intangible qualities- building the spirit of teamwork, sportsmanship, incalculating leadership potential and so on.”

And perhaps there is hope. Monash University has begun the second phase of its development, nearing completion on its very own hostel. If enough people and power got behind the movement, perhaps the higher ups would consider a sports facility that would greatly benefit both students and Administration.