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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sexualizing women badminton leaves a bad taste in the mouth

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

NEWPORT BEACH, California — A throwback to the Puritanical era.
The Badminton World Federation shot itself in the foot when it conceived a silly idea of requiring women badminton players at the elite level to wear skirts or dresses.
Hello! Are we in the 21st century or in the Puritan and English Victorian age where nobody would raise a whimper even if a swimmer — male or female — were required to wear long sleeves and jogging pants?
The dress code is not only sexist but smacks of hypocrisy of some proponents who bragged about creating a more “attractive presentation” and making female players “appear more feminine and appealing to fans and corporate sponsors.”

DECREE

Unless it will be decreed that badminton will soon be played only by nuns and Buddhist monks, the dress code will be viewed as a hindrance to performance as it would limit a player’s lattitude to pursue the shuttlecock when the clothing sticks.
The last time we heard, the sport has gained worldwide acclaim due to the shuttlecock’s unique motion that purportedly kowtows to the Law of Gravity while hurdling the net, not because corporate sponsors and fans were offended and impeached a woman player for wearing provocative outfit.
Greeted with derision and doubts, the dress code still allows women to wear shorts or long pants for cultural and religious reasons. “But these garments must be worn beneath a dress or skirt, which could be cumbersome,” reported The New York Times’s Jere Longman on May 27.

OUTFITS

Women wear more revealing outfits than men in a number of Olympic sports like gymnastics, track and field, volleyball and beach volleyball, observed Longman. “Even the bikinis in beach volleyball can be somewhat justified on grounds of functionality (it is easier to clear sand from a two-piece outfit than a one-piece).
“Yet the badminston rule seems to have been devised strictly for reasons of appearance. It was formulated in consultation with Octagon, an international marketing firm,” he added.
It was reported that BWF now finds itself on the defensive, accused of trying to sell a sport by showing more leg and skin. Male players are only required to dress in “proper attire,” Logman quoted officials as saying.

NORMS

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s badminton federation said in April that its female players would not adhere to the new rule because “our religious beliefs and norms do not allow our lady players to wear skirts.” Presumably, Longman wrote, Pakistani women would be permitted to wear skirts over long pants.
Since Muslim women are now playing the sport in large numbers in Arab and Asian countries, it would be a big embrassment if the BWF would implement the dress code despite these complicated issues.
The dress code may be an attempt to revive flagging interest in women’s badminton as the 2012 London Olympics approach.

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Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

WHAT HAS FIFA DONE TO DESERVE ‘CORRUPT’ LEADERS?

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

NEWPORT BEACH, California — If they are not accused as sexual predators, some leaders of world economic and sports governing bodies are tormented by corruption charges and other transgressions related to abuse of power.

If they are not caught with their pants down like IMF playboy Dominique Strauss-Khan, they are exposed in flagrante delicto with their hands in the cookie jar like the eight FIFA (International Football Federation) sycophants who accepted bribes to manipulate the awarding of 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

If Strauss-Khan is the wallet of the world, both FIFA reelectionist president Sepp Blatter and his rival Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar are the pockets of the most popular and biggest outdoor sports event in the universe — soccer World Cup!

ELECTION

And both Blatter and bin Hammam are at each other’s throats for the FIFA top portfolio in the June 1 election. Each wants to bring down another swapping ghastly corruption charges and exposing the richest sports federation in the world as a snake pit and haven of thieves!

We have made a categorical pronouncement earlier that Blatter must go owing to command responsibility for his failure to avert the bribery fiasco that rocked the 24-member FIFA executive committee.

While we take potshots at the Belgian soccer boss, we stumbled into reports of scandaous infractions allegedly committed by the man who wants to topple him from the FIFA presidency.

Bin Hammam himself is accused of having engaged in another bribery scam. He who comes to court must have clean hands, as the legal dictum says.

INVESTIGATION

FIFA has initiated the investigation on bin Hamman after organization insider, Chuck Blazer, an American on its executive committee and secretary general of the North American, Central American and Caribbean region, or Concacaf, in which the United States plays, had blown the whistle.

The bribery charges centered on a meeting held on May 10 and 11 in Trinidadand Tobago attended by bin Hammam and about two dozen soccer delegates from the Caribbean region. Each of the FIFA’s 208 member federations votes in the presidential poll.

According to a report by Jere Longman, Blazer had accused Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago, a FIFA vice president and also president of Concacaf, of making cash offers of $40,000 apiece to the Caribbean soccer officials in bin Hammam’s behalf.

“In turn, the officials were to vote for bin Hammam as FIFA president,” says Longman’s report published in The New York Times May 26 citing a May 25 report by The Telegraph of London.

“Under FIFA’s code of ethics, people have an affirmative obligation to turn over evidence they have,” said lawyer John Collins, a member of FIFA’s legal committee. “Chuck complied.”

REPORT

Here’s Longman’s report: “Two weeks ago, Warner came under scrutiny in a British parliamentary inquiry when he was accused of requesting $4 million for an education center and $800,000 to buy Haiti’s television rights fees in exchange for voting for England to host the 2018 World Cup.

“In a statement Wednesday (May 25), Warner said he was ‘not aware of any wrongdoing’ regarding the latest bribery charge. He, Blazer and bin Hamman, the president of the Asian soccer federation, are to appear before a FIFA ethics panel Sunday (May28), three days before the president vote.”

Longman quoted Warner: “It is interesting to note the timing of these allegations and the hearing scheduled days before the FIFA presidential election.”

Longman asked: “Is Warner suggesting that Blazer and Blatter were in cahoots? Whatever his motivation in accusing bin Hammam and Warner, Blazer must feel he has strong evidence to challenge a powerful and longtime associate.

“Whether for altruistic or self-serving reasons, Blazer may have taken an important first step.”

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

PINOYS WOULD MOCK AND SCOFF AT PROPOSAL TO BAN CIRCUMCISION

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

NEWPORT BEACH, California — Whether it is a doctor or albularyo (quack doctor) toting the scissors, Filipino boys consider it as birthright or duty to undergo circumcision at early age as part of tradition that started way back in the pre-Spanish colonization.
In fact, male circumcision, the surgical removal of some or all of the foreskin (prepuce) from the penis, is the source of pride for most Filipino boys entering adolescence. The ritual is more of a badge of glory than implied passport to the men’s club.
Far cry from the standpoint of some residents of San Francisco, California who will vote in an election in November whether to ban circumcision.
California’s Department of Elections certified just over 7,700 signatures gathered by proponents of the ban who aim to outlaw the practice of circumcising males 18 years or younger even despite religious or cultural traditions.

JAIL TERM


Anyone, including medical practitioners, could face a $1,000 fine and one year in jail if they violate the ban in accordance with the proposal.
If the referendum was applied in the Philippines, Filipinos would mock and scoff at the idea and would never take it seriously; they would view it as invasion of the provinces of religion and culture.
The word “circumcision” or “tuli” in Tagalog comes from Latin circum (meaning “around”) and caedere (meaning “to cut”). Uncircumcised boys passed puberty age usually face taunts and ridicule from playmates who call them as “putyong” in Hiligaynon, “pisot” in Cebuano, or “supot” in Tagalog.
To be branded with such unsavory tag is totally unacceptable for most Filipino boys thus circumcision has been considered a requisite like high school diploma.

GENITAL CUTTING


Supporters of the ban, meanwhile, argued that the practice of circumcision would “protect all infants and children in San Francisco from the pain and harm caused by forced genital cutting,” according to campaign literature posted on their web site.
Former Senator Juan Flavier was a staunch advocate of circumcision for health reason. He subscribed to the World Health Organization (WHO; 2007), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS; 2007), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; 2008) which stated that “there were evidence indicating that male circumcision significantly reduces the risk of HIV acquisition by men during penile-vaginal sex, but also state that circumcision only provides partial protection and should be considered only in conjunction with other proven prevention measures.”
Early depictions of circumcision are found in cave paintings and Ancient Egyptian tombs, though some pictures are open to interpretation. Religious male circumcision is considered a commandment from God in Judaism.

WIDELY PRACTICED 


In Islam, though not discussed in the Qur’an, male circumcision is widely practised and most often considered to be a sunnah. It is also customary in some Christian churches in Africa, including some Orient Orthodox Churches.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), global estimates suggest that 30% of males are circumcised, of whom 68% are Muslim.The prevalence of circumcision varies mostly with religious affiliation, and sometimes culture.
Most circumcisions are performed during adolescence for cultural or religious reasons; in some countries they are more commonly performed during infancy.
In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood, or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practised in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

ET TU, P-NOY?

-Lucio Tan could suffer Khodorkovsky’s fate if P-noy thinks and acts like Putin.

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

NEWPORT BEACH, California — Let us admit that there are two kinds of justice in the Philippines: one for the rich and one for the poor.

Because they are –or were — affluent and influential, the brains behind the assassination of President Benigno “P-noy” Aquino III’s father, Senator Benigno Sr., were not even rapped in the knuckles.

So were the murderers of Visconde mother and daughter, of Dacer and Corbito, to name only a few celebrated cases.

Because he was rich, thrill killer Claudio Teehankee Jr. managed to wiggle himself out from a life sentence via presidential pardon. Rolito Go nearly completed the travesty of justice but was quickly exposed and neutralized.

Illegal loggers in Mindanao, irresponsible miners that wrought havoc on our environment for profits. Millionaire child rapist Romeo Jalosjos, living out inmate Tony Leviste, and so on and so forth.

Because he was poor, Leo Echegaray became the poster boy of Erap’s much-abhorred and atrocious lethal injection. Interestingly, since Marcos fell in 1986, no big fish or rapacious public officials have been locked behind bars. Show must go on?

BARACUDA

Lucio Tan would have been the first baracuda to root in jail for alleged tax evasion. But, again, because he is super rich (in fact, the richest and most influential man in the Philippines), he was able to whale himself away from fish nets — thanks to the negligence or collusion of his political acolytes, the three former presidents — FVR, Erap, and Gloria. Et tu, P-noy?

It was common knowledge that Tan supported the presidential bid of Erap in the most recent elections (the reason why he nearly bundled out P-noy) — probably as act of gratitude for allowing him to strut away from his alleged billions of tax laibilities when Erap was still calling the shots in Malacanang.

Tan is the replica of Moscow’s Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, hitherto the richest man in Russia before Vladimir V. Putin stopped him in his tracks and caged him for tax fraud.

DISASTER

Like Tan who frolicked with Erap amid P-noy’s skyrocketting pre-election popularity, Khodorkovsky, a billionaire who owned Yukos Oil, Russia’s largest energy company, flirted with disaster when he used his wealth and influence to oppose then president and now prime minister Putin.

After Khodorkovsky’s arrest in 2003, Yukos (we can’t imagine if this will happen to Tan’s companies) was bankrupted and its assets absorbed by government-owned companies whose executives were cronies and allies of Putin.

By the way, Khodorkovsky and his business partner, Platon Lebedev, lost in their appeal on May 24 to overturn their second conviction this time for large-scale embezzlement which many Russians and world leaders, including President Obama, viewed as harassment. Both business partners have come to symbolize as “prisoners of conscience” and are racking up support from all over the world, including the Amnesty International.

Instead of being released this year after spending time in jail since 2003 for tax fraud, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev will remain in prison until 2016 and will have spent 13 years in jail if released as scheduled currently.

PERSECUTION

Khodorkovsky’s supporters have accused Putin and his allies — including probably the frosty President Dmitri A. Medvedev — of orchestrating the second trial to keep a potential political rival out of the way. His continued persecution has been seen as a sign that Putin continues to operate as Russia’s paramount leader ahead of presidential elections in March next year.

Khodorkovsky’s fate also underscored the abuse of justice system in Russia for political arm-twisting and maneuvering, something that would raise a furor in the Philippines.

Tan could suffer Khodorkovsky’s predicament if P-noy thinks and acts like merciless Putin. All Tan has to do is shift political alliance and discard the umbilical cord that binds him with P-noy’s political rivals.

It is still President Benigno “P-noy” Aquino III’s call, however, if he will run after Tan for alleged tax evasion and prove to all and sundry that he is not FVR, Erap and Gloria.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

IGNORE UNCLE BOB; RETIRE NOW, MANNY!

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — If Manny Pacquiao wants to fight poverty in the Philippines, now is the right time. Silencing Sugar Shane Mosley last May 7 should have been his farewell performance.
Pacquiao must ignore the saber-rattling of Bob Arum and his ilk who want him to fight again in November until next year.
It’s his face that is being riddled with punches; it’s his brains that are being rocked violently with blows.
Arum, et al are pushing Pacquiao to the limits. After 10 years of a successful campaign in the U.S. market, it’s time for Pacquiao to wrap up his career while he is ahead — while his main faculties are still intact!
Definitely he is tired and weary. We don’t see it but he can feel it. The 14-fight winning streak is a manifestation that a human body has underwent catatonic punishment.
He has been a beakbuster since 14 and has accumulated more than 100 actual bouts (including his stint as amateur boxer in General Santos City).
In his March 2010 fight with Joshua Clotty in Arlington, Texas alone, Pacquiao received a total of about 1,300 punches after 12 rounds. Meaning, he absorbed more than 100 punches per round!
“How did he survive that? How can he withstand that? He is only human,” observed my roommate Eddie Alinea, dean of Philippine sportswriters.
He is only human, yes. Must he allow his body to be further peppered with more punishment when he has been assured now of a bright future and can rest on his laurels with comfort?

MORE FIGHTS

Arum has hinted Pacquiao would next fight either Timothy Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez in November this year before duking it out with the perennial evader Floyd May weather Jr. next year. What for? How many more millions of dollars must Pacquiao pocket before he realizes that money, after all, is not everything in this world?
The guy has nothing to prove anymore as a fighter and acknowledged No. 1 boxer in the world pound-for-pound. He has breached the earnings of a paid athlete in fight business with his swashbuckling talent.
A crusader can only demolish poverty if he is mentally and physically fit. If Pacquiao will quit as prizefighter and focus his attention on his new-found hobby, his mission is already half accomplished!
Never mind his rock star-like mop-top that has contributed in his fame and glory. With his playful exuberance and charismatic appeal, Pacquiao can reach out with any sector in society and can be an effective ambassador of anti-poverty campaign for the United Nations non-pareil.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Age issue continues to bedevil Mosley

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Oddsmakers who installed WBO 147-lb king Manny Pacquiao a solid pick to send Sugar Shane Mosley “packing into a retirement center” on May 7, have continued to invoke Mosley’s “old” age as main reason why many of them don’t see the American customer in the radar of victory.
“No matter how good you are, your body can not withstand the wear and tear factor if you are past your prime and over the hill,” commented boxing analyst Freddie Dawson, 62, who predicted a brutal ending for the 39-year-old Mosley before 12th round.
“I admire Mosley. He really is a powerful welterweight champion during his time, but his era is over. He hasn’t met an aggressive fighter in his career like Pacquiao who attacks relentlessly without let up.”
America’s No. 1 boxing writer Michael Marley, meanwhile, told this writer in the Media Center that “Mosley will start to deteriorate in the 7th and 8th rounds and fall in the 9th round.”
Marley wrote in the examiner.com: “This fight is going to be a mini-war for the first three rounds. By round two, both fighters will be throwing hammer blows. One or both may even briefly visit the canvas.”

MORE SHOTS

Marley added: “After nine minutes, the pace will slow markedly but Pacquiao will work at his usual frenetic pace and Mosley will be taking more shots than he ever has before. Mosley will see openings but his reflexes will now allow to capitalize on them.
“By the seventh round, the tide will be all Pacquiao and both referee Kenny Bayless and Mosley’s avuncular trainer, Naazim Richardson, will be mentally calculating the punishment Shane has taken and considering how much more he should be subjected to.
“Bayless will hesitate to stop the match even after a clean knockdown or maybe two. The ref will giving Mosley the respect due him for his career accomplishments.
“Fans will be wondering how much more pain Mosley can withstand through round eight. But it will be the respected trainer from Philadelphia who rides to Mosley’s rescue.
After nine full rounds, Mosley will return to the corner a beaten but unbowed man.”

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Mayol lone Pinoy entry in Pacquiao-Mosley tiff

By ALEX P. VIDAL

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Cebuano Rodel Mayol (27-5-2, 21 KOs) will be the only Filipino prizefighter who will see action in the eight-fight undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley 12-round WBO welterweight main event on May 7 at the MGM Grand.

The 29-year-old former WBC lightflyweight champion now based in Los Angeles, California, will face Javier Gallo (17-3-1, 9 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico for 8 rounds in a non-title scrapper.

Mayol, a former protege of Cebu boxing patron Antonio L. Aldeguer, is fresh from a 7th round TKO win over Pompetch Twins Gym at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Philippines on Nov. 5, 2010.

He won the WBC tiara with a second round disposal of Edgar Sosa on Nov. 21, 2009 in Palenque de la Feria, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico.

Mayol successfully kept his title with a 3rd round technical draw against Omar Nino Romero on Feb. 27, 2010 at the Coliseo Olimpico de la UG, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

In a rematch on June 19, 2010, Mayol yielded the throne to the same Romero via 12-round unanimous decision at the Plaza de Toros, San Juan del Rio, Queretaro, Mexico.

The Mayol-Gallo fracas won’t be shown “live” on HBO which will feature only on a “pay-per-view” the three main undercards — Ray Narh vs Mike Alvarado for 10-round WBC Continental Americas super lightweight championship; Alfonso Lopez vs Kelly Pavlik for 10-round super middleweight none-title duel; and Jorge Arce vs Wildredo Vazquez 12-round WBO super bantamweight title fight.
Hawaii’s Leon Panoncillo will supervise the Pacquiao-Mosley WBO welterweight championship.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Uncategorized