Ismail faces life ban over takraw dispute
MALAYSIA’S sepak tak-raw president could be permanently kicked out of the sport following a row over the use of a new kind of ball at the SEA Games in Korat.
Ahmad Ismail, who withdrew his team from the SEA Games in protest over the use of new ball, is facing a permanent ban and a US$3,000 fine for misconduct after he sent unsolicited e-mails to dozens of Olympic committees and sports ministers across Asia.
“We do not wash our dirty linen in public,” Chalerm Chaiwatcharaporn, deputy president of the Asian sepaktakraw federation (ISTAF) said yesterday.
“This is an attempt to smear and defame us. This is the most serious issue we have faced since this sport began.”
Sepaktakraw, a dazzling display of acrobatic overhead kicks which both Thailand and Malaysia claim to have invented, is best described as volleyball with the feet, and normally uses a small rattan ball.
Ahmad, a member of ISTAF, claimed the new “Marathon Gen II” ball used at the Games was dangerous and against the sport’s regulations, although several member countries gave the new ball rave reviews.
He was banned from attending the Games and retaliated by sending e-mails to high-level sports officials criticising the ISTAF, which Chalerm said was “totally unacceptable”. – Reuters