CMO urges ASTAF to immediately resolve sepak takraw crisis in the country

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) has called on the Asian Sepaktakraw Federation (ASTAF) to immediately end the sepak takraw crisis in the country involving two parent bodies of the traditional sport.

Currently, the Malaysian Sepaktakraw Association (PSM) and the Malaysian Sepaktakraw Confederation (MSC) are both entities approved by the Office of the Sports Commissioner (PJS), but the ASTAF has not yet decided which of the two will be its affiliate member.

CMO President Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said if the crisis continues, it could disrupt the development of sports in Malaysia.

“I call on ASTAF to take the best decision by looking at the development scenario of sepak takraw in the country, and also more towards creating a friendly rather than a divisive situation.

“Whatever the international associations decide, whether in Asia or globally, they (the local association) will be affiliated with the CMO, because our criteria are very clear, that anyone who wants to be affiliated with the CMO must get recognition from the global or Asian body,” he said.

He said this during the sponsorship agreement signing ceremony between the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and Petronas at the Badminton Academy of Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara here today.

Mohamad Norza said that so far, the OCM has not received a request from the MSC to become one of its affiliates, as the association first needs the approval of ASTAF.

“Currently, OCM still recognizes PSM until it no longer remains as an affiliate, and we will make the new decision based on its latest position as informed by ASTAF. For us, until present, PSM is still an affiliate member of the CMO,” he said.

Yesterday, PSM reportedly settled the cost of the ASTAF Disciplinary Panel hearing session in the amount of US$15,000 (RM63,886.25), a condition set by ASTAF to consider PSM’s reinstatement as than one of its affiliate members.

However, on the same day, ASTAF President Abdul Halim Kader, in a statement from the Asian parent body, said: “It would not be an exaggeration for me to say that MSC already appears to have one foot in the house of the ASTAF.

The statement was released by Abdul Halim after confirming that PJS and the Ministry of Youth and Sports support MSC’s bid to become a member of ASTAF.

Malaysian sepak takraw plunged into crisis after ASTAF withdrew PSM in May 2021, following the action of its president Datuk Seri Ahmad Ismail, in his capacity as vice president of ASTAF, in sending a letter to the Olympic Council of Asia and the International Olympic Committee on February 2, 24 last year.

Ahmad, better known as ‘Tok Mat’, then quit his post in the PSM in June last year, followed by various efforts by the PSM to regain his membership in ASTAF.

However, ASTAF pointed out earlier this month that it would not accept PSM as an affiliate member.

Following this, the Sports Commissioner enabled MSC to gain the trust of ASTAF and ISTAF to be the representative of Malaysia in sepak takraw internationally.-Bernama

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