The Back-Blocks of Asia

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blahblah
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Re: The Back-Blocks of Asia

Postby blahblah Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:51 am

Oman’s greatest ever player, Ali Al Habsi, has finally hung up the gloves and called an end to his international career. The Oman Captain has played for Bolton, Wigan, Reading, Brighton and is currently with West Brom. His international retirement will be a blow to the Omani national team, especially given they are almost assured a place in the third round of qualification for 2022.

Singapore’s most successful club, Warriors FC, have been booted from the 2020 Singapore Premier League due to their financial position. It seems the club tied with the Singapore Armed Forces, though privatized a few seasons ago, hasn’t exactly been running a tight ship and haven’t a plan that FAS is happy with for servicing their debt or turning things around. What this means for the club is unclear, however with a women’s team and an academy on the club’s books the Football Association of Singapore can ill afford a total collapse of the club.

Positive news from Yemen, where football is overcoming the war. A national tournament was held in January and teams crossed the front line from Houthi controlled areas to attend. In Taiz, a town on the front-line, the local league has restarted despite the stadium being only 2km from the front. It seems while Yemeni’s are killing each other they draw the line at football, a game which all sides in the conflict are deeply vested.
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blahblah
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Re: The Back-Blocks of Asia

Postby blahblah Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:09 am

India finally has a professional footballer playing in Scotland (or in Europe for that matter), however it isn’t from the men but the women leading the charge. National striker Bala Devi has signed for Rangers FC in Scotland’s WFC, making her Ranger’s first ever Asian player. Hopefully she tears the Scottish WFC apart and maintains the high esteem Asian female footballers are held in.

In Malaysia, the M-League is kicking off with three female referees, one of whom was voted best female referee in the AFC in 2014. It is good to see, though clearly there is still a long way to go. Still, the number of female officials in Asian men’s football is rising and it is a healthy trend. Given the state of the A-League referees one can’t help but think that we could be looking a little further than just Kate Jacewicz.

And Laos has had two players banned for life from all forms of football for attempting to fix a match between Hong Kong and Laos in 2017. Laos and football corruption appears to be a recurring theme and there needs to be a real rethink from the Lao FA as to how to handle the situation. The prevalence of corruption in the country no doubt does not help, however others have managed to make headway in this area.
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blahblah
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Re: The Back-Blocks of Asia

Postby blahblah Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:31 pm

The Nepalese FA chief, Ganesh Thapa, (an individual who served a ten year FIFA ban for bribery) has caused a ruckus by allegedly threatening a reporter who was following up on a reported incidence of abuse. The journalist’s association has sought protection for their member. Good thing Ganesh is also an AFC Vice President and upholding the dignity of the office.

Over in Singapore, Lion City Sailors FC, Singapore’s first fully private club, is investing in an academy. Having a fully private club generating its own players is a new concept for Singapore and one that may pique the interest of other super-wealthy Singaporeans. Certainly, there needs to be a vigorous shake-up of a system that has allowed Singapore football the slide from the relative heights of the 80’s & 90’s. Hopefully more clubs will follow suit and revival of Singaporean football follows.

In China, fans of Shanghai Shenhua have a conundrum as their new signing, Wen Jinabao, has the same Chinese characters as China’s sixth premier. As a result they can’t discuss the new signing without attracting the attention of government censors. As a result they are looking for euphemisms to avoid attention, either that or shower the player with accolades regardless of his performance on any given day. Sounds the safest option.
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blahblah
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Re: The Back-Blocks of Asia

Postby blahblah Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:59 am

The Philippines’ most powerful club, Ceres-Negros, has folded as the impact of COVID-19 undermined the business of owner Leo Rey Yanson. Ceres-Negros were leading their group in the AFC Cup and had a loud and passionate supporter base. The license has been picked up by another owner, rebadging the club “United City FC” and he hopes to continue playing in the AFC Cup under the new name. Reality is though, he’s moved the club from Bacalod to Cavite (on the outskirts of Manila) and hence apart from players and some management, it is an entirely new club. It is a huge blow to Philippines football as having their strongest club being based in the Visayas, well away from Manila, gave the competition a real national feel. Another big club, Global, has gone the same way.

In Cambodia, the deputy head of the Football Federation Cambodia, Mai Tola, has been banned for sports activity for life and facing criminal charges in relation to a corruption allegation involving Tiger Street Football. Given the high levels of corruption in Cambodia, anything is possible, however as politicking is also rife so we will have to see how this plays out. He was arrested by the Gendarmerie, the head of which is the FFC President.

North Korean star, Han Kwong Song has moved from Cagliari (via 6 days in Juventus) to Qatari outift Al-Duhail for a reportedly USD1million a year. It makes the 21 y.o. possibly North Korea’s highest ever paid athlete however also raises some issues due to sanctions on North Korea. Technically North Koreans cannot work outside of North Korea due to the sanctions and it is unclear however much of Song’s salary will end up in state coffers. Apparently, he is travelling on a special passport meant for ‘public affairs’ which gets him around the work visa issue. One concern is if the move to Al-Duhail is a result of pressure from Pyongyang to chase the dollars as I can’t help but feel he’d evolve more as a footballer (and as an earner) if he continued to ply his trade in Europe. Pure speculation on my part.

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