Domicile of Da' KRUsader's Mind Crafts…

Charity Football Fiesta 2009…


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Photograph courtesy of Amanah Nusa Indah’s (ANI) official website…

Last Friday night, I was at Woodlands Stadium to witness the inaugural Charity Football Fiesta 2009. This event was organised by Amanah Nusa Indah (ANI) in collaboration with Aide’s Soccer Buddies and was the brainchild of Ezreen Taib Zohri, a.k.a. Mrs Aide Iskandar, her husband as well as our Asian Idol, Hady Mirza. It is a noble effort aimed at benefitting our local Muslim charity organisations, through entertainment and football, two industry professions that are quite synonymous to our local Malay community and where we usually excel in. At the same time, it aimed to create a culture of giving and sharing amongst the community, especially the young.

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Huda Ali and Luqman Nurhakim introducing the two teams…

The following Muslim charity organisations are the proud beneficiaries of the proceeds to the event and this I quote courtesy of ANI‘s official website:

  • Jamiyah Nursing Home – Darul Takrim
  • Jamiyah Children Home/Orphanage – Darul Ma’wa
  • Jamiyah Halfway House – Darul Isla
  • Muhammadiyah Health and Day Care Centre for Senior Citizens,
  • Muhammadiyah Welfare Home,
  • Muslim Kidney Action Association
  • Taman Bacaan Female Halfway House
  • Taman Bacaan – Malay Youth Library Association
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    Fandi’s team lining up before the match started…

    When the promotional posters first came about, I thought that it was quite a decent programme to organise since it has been awhile since we had such an event, the last I think was done when our Channel 8 stars played a similar kind of match against their Hong Kong counterparts at the National Stadium more than a decade ago. Seeing one name on the list of players to grace the occasion made me confirmed my attendance there and then, my uncle, the legendary “Gelek King” – Dollah Kassim. The last I saw him in action was when our ex-internationals played against their Malaysian counterparts back in 2007 during the carnival that was supposed to mark the end of our National Stadium. We all know what happened to those plans, unless you have been living on a different planet.

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    This indirect free-kick in the penalty box came about because Haikel handled a backpass from his own defender…

    I tried to gather a few friends to join me but perhaps the day and the time was a turn-off, since it was still technically on a week day. In the end, I decided to join up with the rest of my family members who were there to support my uncle and the event. The location (Woodlands Stadium) too could have been another factor as to why they might not have been keen on going as it was all the way up north of the island. This was quite evident when we stepped into the stadium to find that those with gallery tickets being shunted to the opposite ends of the grandstand. Obviously the grandstand tickets were not that popular judging by the almost empty tiers in the middle, resulting in them being opened up for those who were sitting at the opposite ends to come in and fill the empty spaces.

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    Tepak Sireh dancers performing during the half-time break…

    Which brings me to the factor of the pricing of tickets. While $12 (gallery) and $20 (grandstand) were set as the prices of the tickets, I honestly believe psychologically it is kinda steep for most of those in attendance, especially the latter. Personally I thought it was a fair price to pay to see good entertainment on and off the pitch with proceeds of course going to charity. I think this mindset of watching free / cheap shows should end and I strongly believe this is the result of having too many quarterly exhibitions at Singapore Expo whereby you go there to watch free entertainment that comes together with it, because you either enter for free or pay an entrance fee of not more than $2. Either way the prices of the tickets could have been slightly lower say $10 and $15 for the gallery and grandstand respectively. In this hard economic times, a little prudence would go a long way in attracting more people to come and support such an event.

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    Team Malek Awab enjoying their breather…

    We reached the stadium slightly close to 7pm and waited for Uncle Dollah to appear from the dressing room to pass our tickets to us. No, we did not get complimentary tickets / passes, we still paid for them. If we had complimentary tickets / passes, we would have sat somewhere in the middle, along with the other invited guests. No one can say we did not do our part to support the event, even if we paid for gallery tickets. I managed to exchange pleasantries with Kak Fatimah Mohsin who was standing nearby. She was responsible for doing the make up for female artistes like Huda Ali that night. Then on, we made our way to the left side of the stadium. However, I think that particular section of the stadium was almost full, so the rest decided to go to the other side instead.

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    Fuad Rahman performing his hit song “Bayu“…

    As there was a tent set up for people to do their evening responsibilities at that section of the stadium, I told the rest to move on whilst I join them after I had observed mine. I managed to say “Hi” to people I know sitting there, albeit fleetingly and some with just a mere wave. Many apologies for not going over to you to have small talk as I did not want to have to clamour for a space in that small tent. The availability and erection of this tent is very much applaudable to the organisers. Even better was the decision to extend the kick-off time from 7:30pm to 7:45pm bearing in mind that Maghrib that day was 7:21pm. Even though a tent had been set up, there were still those that turned a blind eye to it. It’s ok if you were PMS-ing, but the guys out there, what excuse do you have???

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    A distinguished guest who came all the way from Kuala Lumpur, Mr Afdlin Shauki

    I made my way to the other side of the stadium to join up with the rest of the family members, in time for the middle tier sections to open up and allowing us to fill in the empty spaces. We sat close to the middle but our view was quite hampered by the lighting system and props that were supposed to illuminate the stage in the middle of the track. Not long after, the emcees of the night, Luqman Nurhakim and Huda Ali, introduced the two teams, Team Malek Awab in yellow and Team Fandi Ahmad in red. Once the customary introductions were made, the game kicked off in earnest.

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    Hyrul Anuar performing “Tanda Kasih“, his latest single…

    I don’t really have to relate the whole game minute-by-minute, but it is sufficed to say that those of you who did not turn up missed a a great game, full of controversial moments if it was a FIFA-sanctioned match and comedy, orchaestrated by none other than Sheikh Haikel who was playing for Fandi‘s team. Initially we thought that the celebrities would be playing against the ex-internationals but somehow they mixed around so that we would get a level playing field on the pitch. Such a move was laudable given the fact that if the earlier expectations had been materialised, there was a possibility of a cricket scoreline in favour of the ex-internationals, with all due respect to the celebrities on the pitch.

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    Silat performance by Persatuan Silat Singapura (Persisi) exponents…

    Fandi‘s team started well and it was a surprise that Sheikh Haikel got himself on the scoresheet, even if it has to be said that the opposing goalkeeper David Lee dived half-heartedly to save the former’s shot. As someone who plays in goal and has been playing in that position since secondary 1, I know when a save is made instinctively or when you try to make your opponent look good. But it was all in the name of fun of course and I’m sure it was never an issue but David could have acted a bit better given the experience he has. Not long after, Uncle Dollah equalised for his team, a goal reminiscent of his playing days. Twisting and turning as only he knows best against two defenders and opposing goalkeeper Rezal Hassan, all he needed to do was tap into the empty net once the deed was done. Naturally my family members and me erupted with joy.

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    I did not pay much attention to the remainder of the first half henceforth even though Shahrin Azhar (did I get the scorer right???) and Hady Mirza scored for Fandi‘s team to make it 3-1 in their favour, before Uncle Dollah was brought down in the penalty box which Syed Azmir gleefully took the penalty to score and made it 3-2. Syed Azmir impressed me with his direct running and his tendency to shoot on sight. He treated the game very seriously as was evident when he gave the assistant referee a dressing down for catching him offside, which from where I sat, I could see that he was definitely so as he was at least a metre away from the last defender. The half also saw Sheikh Haikel taking over goalkeeping duties from Rezal Hassan as their team did not have a replacement goalkeeper and again even in goal, he showed that the comedian in him would not let up. It was apparent that due to the tight programme, they only played half an hour each half.

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    One of the comedic moments in the match, Sheikh Haikel going down “injured”. Just look at the grins on the faces of the paramedics…

    After the excitement of the first half, the half time was a bit of an anti-climax with performances by Tepak Sireh Dancers, Fuad Rahman (Bayu), Hyrul Anuar (Tanda Kasih) and silat exponents from Persatuan Silat Singapura (Persisi). Why I said it was an anti-climax was because the performances were a bit draggy especially the dance and silat items. I was quite ok with the singing performances though. Once your adrenaline had been pumped up, it kinda crashed down just waiting for the second half to start. I remembered telling my cousin Ezaad during half-time, that at the rate the game was going, I would not be surprised that the full time would end up 6-6. Since my view was blocked from where we sat to appreciate the game, I decided to make my way to the other side of the stadium where the open gallery seats were.

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    The one minute silence in memory of Allahyarham Borhan Abu Samah

    As I was making my way there, they held a one minute silence to remember one of their stalwarts and comrades, a loyal servant to the nation in his prime with his uncompromising tackles, the late Borhan Abu Samah, who passed away on 29 Oct 1999. Goodness, it’s been almost a decade since he left us. Out of respect, I stood on the track and said my prayers for his departed soul. The only thing I was not too happy about was the crowd was not made to stand and observed the silence as well like those you normally watch on television and for the fact that this should have been done before the match started instead of before the start of the second half. Another thing that the organisers would do well to improve on for future events is to get a FIFA-sanctioned referee for the game cos according to my uncle, this guy knew nuts about how such a thing like observing a one minute’s silence should be done. How can you call yourself a referee when you don’t even know a basic thing like blowing the whistle to signal the start of the silence and when the one minute is up on your watch, you just need to blow again to signal its end??? It was no wonder Roslan Kemat gave him a red card for allowing Fandi‘s team a goal even though they were playing with 12 men on the pitch in the second half. Diabolical to say the least…

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    This photograph I took became a source of controversy when two officials came over to me to say I was not allowed to take photographs by the pitchside or behind the goalpost. But kudos to Aaron for gamely posing for the cameras…

    Anyway I didn’t know that this event was very exclusive. A case in point was when I was making my way to the other side of the stadium. Aaron Aziz who had replaced David Lee ambled up to the goalpost where I was walking behind. I did not want to let the opportunity pass me by so I asked him to pose for me and he gamely did. Not long after I was trailed by two officials, one of them in a spiffy suit and they asked me whether I was an ANI photographer. I said no, I was just making my way to the other side of the stadium and they told me off about taking photographs just behind the pitch. I could have debated and kicked up a fuss but I thought it would only worsened matters knowing the acid tongue that I have. It’s a charity event for Heaven’s sake, why was there a need to have sanctions imposed on taking photographs??? It’s not that I’m gonna sell the photos I took for a fortune. Sheesh. I did not expect those officials to be so anal about it.

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    The players waiting for the second half to begin…

    The second half began from where it left off, with the humour elements intensifying as the minutes ticked by. Sheikh Haikel scored again and made it 4-2 to his team before Aaron himself stepped up to score from the spot when his team got themselves another penalty. Fandi was doing his best to entertain the crowd with his trademark acrobatics and diving headers but he could not find the target with them. I was too mesmerised by them till I did not get the chance to capture those shots of him doing those flamboyant moves. He got himself on the scoresheet and made it 5-3 before Taufik Salleh and Roslan Kemat (did I get the scorer right???) made it all square again. R. Sasikumar put Fandi‘s team ahead again with a header but the match ended 6-6 as I had predicted during half-time, when Saswadimata Dasuki scored from long range. In between, Fandi even took the time to play rugby by hiding the ball under his jersey and running towards goal before “scoring”. Naturally the “goal” was invalid.

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    Fandi Ahmad celebrating scoring his team’s fifth goal with a cartwheel…

    We then went to a mandatory penalty shootout to get the outright winners. If I’m not wrong, Malek‘s team won the shootout or did it end all-square??? I was unsure as I was not paying attention to it since I was trying to figure out how to take photographs of what was happening on the pitch. Anyway, who won did not matter much. What was most important was everyone came away a winner that night, either by contributing in cash to the charitable causes or by contributing to the success of the event, on the pitch or on stage. And best of all it was heartening to see players of yesteryears coming together like the good old Malaysia Cup days. Seeing them all on the pitch brought me back in time and I felt as though I was back in secondary school again.

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    Aaron relaxing while the action was at the opposite end of the pitch…

    The night did not end there. Imran Ajmain came on to sing his current hit across the CausewaySelamat Ulang Tahun Sayang” and this was followed by Syed Azmir singing Letto‘s “Permintaan Hati” and then paying a tribute to Fandi Ahmad by singing the latter’s old hit “Anugerah” from the album of the same title that he recorded years ago. They were joined on stage by the other players who danced and sang along. Something “possessed” our legendary number 17 and he broke into a silat routine on stage during the song’s bridge. He even dragged my uncle who was standing behind to come forward and danced with him. The night ended with a punchy performance, as usual, by Ahli Fiqir, who welcomed back Mawar Berduri into the fold fresh from her maternity leave. They sang “Dol & Minah” and “2 X 5“.

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    Sheikh Haikel stepping up to take one of the penalty kicks during the shootout…

    We left the stadium close to 10:30pm and waited for Uncle Dollah to appear from the dressing room. There was a sizeable crowd waiting to take photographs with the celebrities and ex-internationals. I managed to grab hold of Afdlin and take a photograph with him and wished him all the best with his future projects. Once Uncle Dollah appeared, we left the stadium for Jalan Kayu to have dinner. He did not join the rest for their satay session at Lau Pa Sat. As I was about to move off, Malek Awab came over and waved us goodbye. He had parked his car next to mine. He’s always been affable and friendly and always had that toothy grin on him. One of the nicest guys to have played for the national team.

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    Imran Ajmain serenaded the crowd while the players had a group photo in the background…

    It was a laudable effort to organise such an event. I take my hats off to the organisers for doing up this event which I feel should be done on an annual basis. Granted this was their first time doing this and not all things were expected to have gone smooth sailing. Perhaps they could use this experience to improve on future events. Where certain things could be cut down and lessened or added for that matter, we could then perhaps enjoy it a little more and expect more bums on the seats. Oh and a central location like Bishan or Toa Payoh would be very nice as well.

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    Uncle Dollah receiving his memento from R. Vengadasalam, former manager of Woodlands Wellington Football Club

    For the record the players who played for Malek Awab‘s team were (according to jersey numbers):

    0 – Aaron Aziz, 1- David Lee, 2 – Syarif (Sleeq), 3 – Taufik Salleh, 5 – Aide Iskandar, 6 – Razali Saad, 7 – Tokijan Darimosuvito, 8 – Roslan Kemat, 9 – Nahar Daud, 10 – Dollah Kassim, 11 – Othman Abdullah (D’ Episodes). 12 – Malek Awab, 14 – Azhar Nor Lesta, 15 – Nazri Nasir, 17 – Mohd Rafi Ali, 18 – Khairudin Samsudin, 19 – Saswadimata Dasuki, 21 – Fuzzley (B8), 23 – Syed Azmir.

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    Syed Azmir and Fandi singing “Anugerah“, Fandi‘s hit song in the 90s…

    As for Fandi‘s team, this was their squad:

    1 – Rezal Hassan, 2 – Hasli Ibrahim, 3 – Daly (Ahli Fiqir), 4 – Elfee R. Ismail, 5 – Samad Allapitchay, 6 – Shahrin Azhar Mohd, 7 – Samawira Basri, 8 – Yahya Madon, 9 – Ishamuddin Baroocha, 10 – Sheikh Haikel, 11 – Azhar Baksin, 12 – J. A. Halim, 13 – R. Sasikumar, 15 – Rudy Khairon Daiman, 16 – Hady Mirza, 17 – Fandi Ahmad, 18 – Hasnim Haron.

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    Fandi breaking into a silat routine, much to the amusement of the players on stage…

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    He followed that up by dragging Uncle Dollah to dance with him…

    Apologies if I had missed out on anyone or if I had their jersey numbers labelled wrongly or even spelt their names wrongly. And also for the record, this Charity Football Fiesta 2009 was organised by Amanah Nusa Indah and Aide’s Soccer Buddies. They were ably supported by the following organisations: Response Ambulance & Services, The Cage, O’ lando Jamming Studio, Bukit Batok MAEC, Le Standard, NILAM – Strategic Land Investments, Chateau – Sip of Fortune and Red Carpet Productions Pte Ltd.

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    Mawar Berduri & Daly singing “Dol & Minah“, the soundtrack of the series from the same title…

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    Samsol a.k.a. Tukang Kata then joined them on stage for “2 X 5“…

    MORE OF THE SAME PLEASE NEXT YEAR!!!

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    One response

    1. Pingback: Piala Dollah Kassim 2011 Final Review… « Da’ KRUsader’s Manor™

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