July 23, 2011

Weiss vouches for Azkals’ PH status: They’re Filipinos

By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippine Azkals’ coach Michael Weiss is upset over insinuations in Kuwait that seven players on the Philippine team were granted Philippine citizenship so they could play for the national team.
When asked about it by an Arab reporter, a peeved Weiss answered: “Every single player in the Philippine team is either pure Filipino or their father or mother came from the Philippines, so there are no imported players.”

“Whether they grew up in Europe or the Philippines doesn’t matter; they are Filipinos. If I compared the players of Qatar for example, I see many black players and I don’t know whether they are all pure Qataris. One thing is sure; all of our players can play legally in the Philippine national team,” he added.

Kuwait Times staff writer Ben Garcia reported that the Azkals coach was “clearly irked about the raising of the players nationality issue.”

He quoted Weiss as saying: “I think we have to deal with the players with respect and in fact I don’t want to deal with the subject because it hurts me personally, since my wife is from Japan and we have two kids. I don’t want them to be called half-half; they are human beings and they deserve respect as we have. For me, what is important is that they have an absolute right to play with their country’s national team.”

Emilio “Chieffy” Caligdong, a known left-winger for the Philippine team, said that the team is no longer worried about the Kuwaiti weather.

“We already adjusted to the weather as far as we’re concerned,” he said, adding, “it was really hot, but we had two practice sessions already and we hope to give our best tomorrow.”

Asked whether the Philippines team had studied the playing strategies and techniques of the Kuwaiti teams, Caligong responded: “Yes we did, we watched their games carefully many times.”

FIFA bans bin Hammam, one-time presidential challenger, for life

(CNN) -- Soccer's global governing body on Saturday banned for life a man for what they called his actions, months earlier, to use bribes to be elected as its top executive.

The ethics committee for FIFA announced it was banning Mohamed bin Hammam from "taking part in any kind of football-related activity" nationally or internationally for life, the organization stated on its website. It was one of a number of such suspensions handed down this weekend by the committee, which is chaired by Petrus Damaseb of Namibia.

The ex-head of the Asian Football Confederation had been suspended pending an investigation on May 29, having been accused of trying to buy votes in his bid to win the July 1 election against incumbent Sepp Blatter.

He has maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal, writing on website Friday that "the evidence presented against me are weak and unsubstantiated."

"They are flimsy and will not stand up to scrutiny in any court of law; that has been clear throughout this process and it remains to be so," wrote bin Hammam, who had been a member of FIFA's executive committee.

Bin Hammam withdrew from the presidential election in the wake of the accusations, leaving no challengers for the 75-year-old Blatter as he cruised to his election for a fourth term.

The Qatari, 62, had been a major influence in his home nation's surprising victory in winning the right to host the 2022 World Cup finals.

He had been accused of illicitly plotting with Jack Warner, a former head of the soccer organization in North and Central America and the Caribbean. The investigation against Warner, who faced similar charges to bin Hammam, were dropped -- under the presumption of innocence -- after the Trinidian resigned in June.

In addition to bin Hammam, FIFA's ethics committee formally warned the man who had raised the bribery allegations against the Qatari.

Chuck Blazer, also an executive committee member, was warned for comments that he'd made on May 30 during a meeting in Zurich in which he suggested some Caribbean Football Union members were "under investigation." FIFA, on its website, noted that this claim was not true.

FIFA's ethics committee on Saturday did ban two members of of that same Caribbean organization -- Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester -- from taking part in any soccer-related activity for one year.

The Philippine Azkals Defeated by Kuwait, 3-0, in Their First Match

Truly, the Philippine Azkals are the underdogs. Kuwait is just too tough for them, especially in the second half. The defense was awesome that the Azkals had a hard time controlling the ball. Their passes were mostly deflected by the Al-Azraq defenders.

Three goals against none is just an enough reason the Azkals really had a hard time against Kuwait in front of 5000 Filipino fans. However, they still have another chance in their second match on July 28 here in the Philippines.

Yousef Naser scored Kuwait’s lone goal in the 17th of the first half after 2 missed chances by the Azkals.

The second half became tougher. The game went more physical. The Philippine Azkals could not just contend with Al-Azraq’s solid defense, awesome attacks and good ball positioning. Kuwait again scored in the second half courtesy of Mesad Nasa and Fahed El-Ibrahim.

But things are not over yet for the Philippine Azkals. They only needed to on top by four or more in the second leg to qualify for the third round.

This is so far the furthest and highest achievement of the country in the field of football.

Hacker group strikes again, wishes Aquino good luck at SONA

After attacking the website of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) Friday, a hacker group hit another government website early Saturday, and left a message for President Benigno Aquino III.

The group, calling itself PrivateX, attacked the site of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), then wished Aquino good luck in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) this coming Monday.
A screenshot of the FDA website after it was attacked by a group that hacked the OVP website.
GMA News

PrivateX, the hacker group that attacked the OVP website Friday, hit the FDA website the next day and left a "good luck" message to President Aquino for his State of the Nation Address on Monday.GMA News

“GoodLuck to SONA PNOY," the group said in a popup message that greeted visitors to the FDA website before dawn Saturday. PNOY (short for President Noy) is Aquino’s nickname.

It was not immediately clear if the message was a taunt to Aquino as the hack came a month after MalacaƱang hinted it will make a security review of government websites.

The idea to review security stemmed from attacks on government websites by the hacker group Philker.

Last June 14, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the National Security Adviser “is studying the creation of a task force to undertake a security review of government websites."

In Saturday’s attack on the FDA website, visitors were greeted with a series of popup messages similar to those in Friday’s attack on the OVP website.

The messages in the FDA attack included “Sorry, not intended hacked... i swear.PrivateX," “guess who?rhodzx labzx" and “I will be always here..~MJM~."

But in some cases, the popup messages triggered “VBS malware-gen" alerts from antivirus software, indicating the possibility that malware may have been planted on the hacked site.

After clicking on the popup messages, visitors to the FDA site were then redirected to a web page where the hackers expressed support for the AntiSec movement.

The AntiSec movement, started by hacktivist group Anonymous and joined by Lulz Security, seeks to attack government and corporate sites and leak their information online.

“We do support Antisec movement that originated with the hackers Anonymous and Lulzsec," PrivateX said in the redirected site on Pastehtml.com.

It “assured" the FDA site administrator that no data was taken during the hack, but added government “needed" the attack.

“We are not trying to destroy government websites but you need this," it said.
The group even wished nursing board examinees “good luck."

Visitors trying to leave the site were also greeted with a popup message saying “see you again." — LBG, GMA News