Sunday, 10 February 2013

Psy to arrive in Penang early Monday

GEORGE TOWN: South Korean sensation K-pop singer Psy is expected to arrive in Penang Monday, several hours before his scheduled performance at the state Barisan Nasional Chinese New Year Open House here.

Psy, or Park Jae-sang, whose Gangnam Style hit took the world by storm, is slotted to perform in front of some 80,000 people at 11.45am Monday at the open house at the Han Chiang High School field.

Organising chairman Oh Tong Keong, who is state Barisan Youth chief, said he was not sure of Psy's time of arrival but that the singer had requested for security personnel to escort him to the performance.

Psy had been on a two-day visit (from Feb 8 to Feb 10) to Salvador in Brazil for the world's biggest street party.

At around 10am (Malaysian time) Sunday, Psy tweeted that he was leaving Brazil, without giving any hint of his next destination.

KTM train derails near Bukit Mertajam; none injured, no service disruption

BUTTERWORTH: A southbound KTM train carrying more than 150 passengers derailed near Bukit Mertajam at 2.45pm Saturday, causing its engine to catch fire. No one was injured in the incident.

The 10-coach Ekspres Sinaran Utara was on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Butterworth when it ran off the tracks at KM13.5 between Bukit Mertajam and Simpang Ampat.

A KTM Berhad spokesman said investigations were ongoing to find the cause of the accident.

"The passengers will be transferred to another station by bus so they will still be able to catch a train to Kuala Lumpur," he said.

He added that the accident did not cause any disruption in train schedules.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Soccer-Chelsea to visit Indonesia

Chelsea will visit Indonesia for the first time in July as the final leg of their pre-season tour of Asia.

The European champions will face an Indonesia XI at Jakarta's 88,000-seat Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on July 25, following matches in Thailand and Malaysia.

Chelsea, whose website has Indonesian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and South Korean versions, have established strong links in Asia which chief executive Ron Gourlay says the club is keen to expand further.

"South-east Asia remains home to an ever-growing and passionate Chelsea FC support," he told Chelsea's website (

"In particular I look forward to visiting Indonesia for the first time, a country where we have an extensive fanbase that is eager to see Chelsea play.

"I am sure we will face strong opposition in packed stadiums as we celebrate the successes of some of our important regional partners and we will once again leave an important legacy in terms of the community work we conduct during the tour and for long afterwards."

Chelsea are opening a soccer school in Indonesia, having already established grassroots facilities in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

Manchester United are also embarking on an Asian tour before the start of next season, announcing a match against Japanese side Yokohama F-Marinos in the Nissan Stadium on July 23. – Reuters

Carragher to retire at season's end

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher will retire from football at the end of this season, the English Premier League club said in a statement on Thursday.

"This will be my last season at Liverpool and my last as a professional footballer," said Carragher.

"I'm making this announcement now because I don't want the manager (Brendan Rodgers) or the club to be answering questions on my future when I've already decided what I am going to do."

The 35-year-old former England international - a one-club man - joined home-town side Liverpool as a youth player and has since made over 700 senior appearances following his debut in 1997.

Carragher, second behind only Ian Callaghan in Liverpool's all-time appearances list, has won several major honours in his career, including the Champions League, the UEFA Cup and two FA Cups.

He confirmed on Thursday his intention to continue playing for the remainder of the campaign, but added that he would be making no further statement about his future between now and the end of the season.

"I will be fully committed between now and the end of the season to doing the very best for Liverpool Football Club, as I've done my entire career since joining aged just nine years old," he said.

"It has been a privilege and an honour to represent this great club for as long as I have and I am immensely proud to have done so and thankful for all the support I have had.

"There are many memories I want to share and people to thank but now is not the time for that. I won't be making any further comment on this decision until the end of the season.

"All our focus and concentration should be on achieving the best possible finish in the league this season and trying to win the last remaining trophy (the Europa League) we are competing in."

Carragher's friend and former Liverpool team-mate Michael Owen predicted that the centre-back still had a future in the game.

"What a servant Carra has been for Liverpool," Owen wrote on Twitter.

"A rare breed and it's been a privilege to play alongside, room with and be big mates with one of football's real men. I doubt we have heard the last of him. He has too much to offer the game to be away for long!"

Another former Anfield colleague, Robbie Fowler, tweeted: "Sorry to hear the news on carra, his quotes regarding retirement tell you everything about the man... An absolute legend of a player."

Born in Bootle, Merseyside, Carragher signed his first professional contract with Liverpool in 1996.

He represented England at under-20, under-21 and senior level, earning 38 full caps.

Having retired from international football in 2007, he returned to play under Fabio Capello at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, before retiring definitively after the tournament.

His finest achievements at Liverpool were the 2001 treble of the League Cup, the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup, and the 2005 Champions League success, which saw the club claim their fifth European Cup.

Carragher also received praise from Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who partnered the Liverpool man in central defence for England.

"Jamie Carragher has been a great servant to Lfc," Ferdinand wrote on Twitter. "Great player&a top fella! Funny guy! Nutter when we were kids but management material now."

Former England striker Gary Lineker, now a television pundit, tweeted: "Jamie Carragher will hang up his boots at the end of the season. Those boots were worn by a player respected by everyone in the game." – AFP

Two arrested hours after robbing women

BATU GAJAH: Two suspected robbers were picked up hours after they relieved two women of their cash and valuables.

The first suspect was arrested at an empty house at Bandar Baru Lahat at 8.40pm on Tuesday, while the second suspect was arrested by the roadside of Jalan Dataran Lahat Baru 12 at 9.45pm on the same day.

Batu Gajah district police chief Assistant Commissioner Shaharon Anuar Abdul Latif said the two, with previous convictions, had robbed the victims, aged 25 and 37, at 3.10pm at a factory in Pusing

"The suspects had entered the factory on the pretext of looking for jobs.

"After ensuring that the surrounding was clear, one of the suspects then flashed his Rambo knife at the victims, warning them not to put up a fight and to handover their valuables," he added.

Besides taking away four mobile phones, the suspects also took RM700 cash and a company laptop from the victims.

"Following the arrest of the suspects, police had recovered the laptop, four mobile phones, a sun glass, a helmet, a coolent lap top, a pen drive and RM218 cash," he said.

Both suspects had tested positive for drugs.

They have been remanded for seven days to assist in police investigation.


No shame in defeat, says coach

ASIAN CUP: Errors deny Malaysia a share of points with Qatar

BUT for individual errors, Malaysia might have had something to show for their exertions against Qatar rather than a 2-0 defeat in the opening Asian Cup qualifying Group D match in Doha on Wednesday.

Two defensive mistakes gave Qatar a deserved win on the balance of play after Malaysia excelled in holding their more fancied opponents goalless at half-time.

But just as national coach K. Rajagobal's side began entertaining thoughts of returning with a point at the least, disaster struck when Khalfan Ibrahim scored off a deflected free-kick in the 55th minute before Yusuf Ahmed added a second on the counter-attack on the stroke of full-time.

The defeat extended Malaysia's poor record in the Asian Cup since 2003 to 11 consecutive losses in a 13-match winless run in qualifying and finals matches.

Malaysia's away form in the continental event is even worse, having not won a fixture outside the country since beating North Yemen 4-1 in Kolkata in 1984.

Rajagobal, who fielded a make-shift side after being deprived of 10 key players through injuries and suspension, was pleased with the effort put in by his hardworking but outclassed players.

Malaysia lacked a cutting-edge in attack, often lumping the ball forward which was easily cleared by the taller Qataris, who returned with interest to put the defence led by Aidil Zafuan Radzak under tremendous pressure.

"They (Qatar) were lucky," said Rajagobal at the post-match press conference at the Al-Sadd Stadium.

"The first goal was a deflection and the second from a counter-attack.

"It was not easy as the players were tiring. They were playing at a very high level and I think there is nothing to be ashamed of.

"We played well and managed to finish the first half with a scoreless draw.

"We had some chances of our own to score which we nearly did but we were unlucky.

"We tried our best to make a comeback but we were hit with the second goal. Overall, we played well."

Malaysia share third place in Group D with Yemen, who lost to Bahrain by the same score on neutral ground in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Rajagobal made just one change from the side which started in a 3-0 defeat to Iraq in a friendly with regular right-back Mahalli Jasuli replacing Abdul Shukur Jusoh in central midfield, as the coach had been hinting in his preparation.

He praised Mahalli for adapting well to his unaccustomed role, K. Reuben, despite his inexperience at this level though the right-back was partly at fault for the second goal, and the hard running of Amri Yahyah and Shakir Shaari.

"Shakir played well and Amri worked so hard," said Rajagobal.

"Mahalli, you must have been surprised seeing him in midfield, had a very good game and Reuben also had a good performance."

Amri, making a return to competitive international action since the 2010 AFF Cup, sent a stooping header just wide of the post in the 20th minute from Azamuddin Akil's cross was the only piece of threatening action of the first half as Malaysia successfully kept Qatar at bay.

Mahalli was giving an inspired display in midfield but it was his needless foul 25 metres out from the Malaysian goal 10 minutes after the break which led to Qatar's opener.

Ibrahim's shot deflected off defender Fadhli Shas, who turned his back on the free-kick which wrong-footed goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.

Fahmi denied Hasan Al Haydos in a one-on-one before Uruguayuan-born Sebastian Soria poked wide of the goal after a slalom run in the box.

Substitute Hadi Yahya, who replaced the ineffective Khyril Muhymeen Zambri, screwed a header wide in 73rd minute before Shakir cleared off the line at the other end after Reuben allowed Ibrahim Majeed a free-header.

Ibrahim went close twice more before Qatar hit Malaysia on the break in the 90th minute when Rueben and Fahmi got their wires crossed which allowed Magid Mohammad to slide the ball through to Ahmed for a simple tap-in.
Malaysia's next qualifier is against Yemen in Shah Alam on March 22 but they will play Oman in a friendly five days earlier.


No Chelsea deal for Super Frank

FRANK LAMPARD has not been approached by Chelsea about a new deal.

Lampard’s representative denied fresh talks have been held — or that new negotiations have been scheduled.

Blues have given them no signal that their stance about him leaving this summer has changed. Lamps’ agent Steve Kutner said: “Nothing has changed regarding Frank’s situation at Chelsea.”

That news will come as a bitter blow to Blues fans who are desperate to keep the England superstar at Stamford Bridge after his current contract ends in the summer.

Lampard, 34, has been in scintillating form ever since SunSport broke the bombshell news on Boxing Day that Chelsea would not offer him a new deal.

His goal for England against Brazil on Wednesday night made it eight in his last 12 games for club and country.

Lampard, who is now free to start negotiations with foreign clubs, has made it clear that he would prefer to finish his career with Chelsea.

But with the club failing to hold any formal talks about an extension, he is resigned to having to leave in the summer after 12 years in the No 8 shirt.

Chelsea have refused to explain to fans why they are prepared to release the most consistent player in the club’s history.

Saturday’s strike at Newcastle was his 197th in 587 appearances — leaving him just five behind club record scorer Bobby Tambling.

Now it seems that only the personal intervention of Roman Abramovich can stop Lampard leaving.
The Russian owner is aware that angry supporters have bombarded the club protesting at the way their favourite player has been treated.

And he knows a new deal for Lampard could take the sting out of the full-scale fan protest over his appointment of interim manager Rafa Benitez.

With Lampard mulling over lucrative offers from LA Galaxy, China and the Middle East, England boss Roy Hodgson made it clear that leaving Europe would effectively end his international career.

Lampard said: “I’m very understanding of where I’m at in my career, but if I can continue playing for Chelsea then the next World Cup is certainly a target for me.”

The Sun