January 10, 2014

Revamp for national sepak takraw squad

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Sports Council (NSC) and the Sepak Takraw Association of Malaysia (STAM) have agreed to revamp the national sepak takraw squad.

The sepak takraw squad's failure to return with the gold medal from 2013 Myanmar SEA Games was deemed disastrous by various parties including Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

NSC director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong said the working committee meeting today agreed to call for a new selection of the national sepak takraw squad.

He hopes all the state sepak takraw associations would send players to the STAM President's Cup tournament at NSC Sports Complex, Taman Keramat from Jan 17-19.

"Via this tournament, we hope to pick the best players to represent the country. The National Sports Institute (NSI) has agreed to lend its expertise in sports science to help the player selection committee comprising STAM, NSC and NSI."

Meanwhile, STAM president Datuk Ahmad Ismail welcomed the decision and described it as a new chapter in ties between STAM and NSC.

"STAM is incapable of developing sepak takraw without the help of NSC and NSI," he added.

Ahmad said the player selection committee panel would comprise coaches, former players and representatives from MSN and NSI.

"All the current players will be given the opportunity to prove their worth. Those who failed to make the cut will be replaced with new players."

Asked about calls for his resignation as STAM president, Ahmad said it was better for all parties to forget their difference of opinion and join forces to help improve sepak takraw.--BERNAMA