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No Grounds To Drop Sepak Takraw From Core Sport, Sukma

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KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Sepak Takraw Association (PSM) has insisted that the National Sports Council (MSN) puts sepak takraw back as a national core sport and retain the event in Malaysia Games (SUKMA) next year.

Its president, Datuk Seri Ahmad Ismail said the association did not intend to make any appeal as there was no reason to drop the sport from a list of 19 national core sports.

He said PSM possessed comprehensive materials and reports to show sepak takraw is still relevant and is eligible as a national core sport.

“Up till now, there was no concrete explanation from MSN director-general (Datuk Ahmad Shapawi) on dropping sepak takraw to PSM,” he told a media conference after chairing a PSM emergency exco meeting at its headquarters yesterday.

Elaborating further, Ahmad Ismail said PSM would be arranging for a meeting with Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to discuss and reach a consensus to overcome the crisis.

“We will not be discussing with MSN. We will only talk to the minister (Khairy Jamaluddin). We will table all the facts on the performance of sepak takraw to allow the minister evaluate and make a decision for himself,” he said.

In this regard, he said on the initiative of PSM, the Sepak Takraw League was held and it garnered a rating of more than five million viewers when the tournament was aired live via a paid television channel this year.

“We have so many fans yet suddenly sepak takraw appears to be marginalised…we will garner the support of all quarters to defend the sport,” he said.

Ahmad Ismail said PSM took over sepak takraw in 2003 from MSN and in two years, the sport had delivered a gold medal to the country in the inter-regu event at the 2005 SEA Games in Manila.

“After this, in 2008 sepak takraw began to be listed as a core sport…of course there were ups and downs in its performance until today.

“MSN should at the very least think of one thing…give us an opportunity until the Asian Games next year. If we fail at the Asian Games, then we could sit down to think of the next move.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Ismail also questioned if there was politicking in MSN so much so sepak takraw and two other sports were dropped.

“If they want to play politics, they should get out of MSN and enter the real political arena but if they want to remain in MSN, please work towards promoting sports,” he added.

The media reported that Khairy announced weightlifting, sepak takraw and taekwondo were dropped from 19 different types of national core sports under the MSN programme starting with SUKMA Perak 2018.

The matter was decided at an MSN Management Board Meeting chaired by Khairy following the deteriorating performance of three sports apart from being involved in doping as well as leadership struggle in the associations concerned. – BERNAMA

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