News: Haze puts stop to Olympic Day Run, Jelajah cycling, some top football matches

The Star, 20 Jun 2013

PETALING JAYA: The haze is going to see a few major sports events cancelled this weekend.

On Sunday, the Olympic Day Run’ scheduled at the Padang Merbok has been called off.

The run, organised by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), is expected to draw between 2,000 to 3,000 runners. OCM secretary-general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said “we decided to call off the run because of health concerns”.

Other events include the Jelajah Malaysia cycling race (June 26-30) and the M-League football matches (June 21-22), all spread across the country, including Singapore.

The more competitive five-stage Jelajah Malaysia, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, will venture south to haze-hit Malacca, Batu Pahat, Pontian and Johor Baru.

Jelajah’s chief executive officer Datuk Naim Mohamad said they they would have to “play by ear” and determine the level of danger at least 24 hours before each stage.

“We have Plan B for all the stages. We can divert the route if they are affected by haze but that will involve some serious work,” he said.

The FA of Malaysia (FAM) will convene an emergency meeting Friday to decide on postponing the M-League matches.

Competitions committee chairman Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said some of the matches, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, could be postponed due to the haze.

“We are aware of the conditions, especially in Johor and Singapore, which are the worst hit areas. We will make a decision by tomorrow (Friday),” said Hamidin.

Some top flight matches affected are the Super League top-of-the-table clash between Lions XII and Johor Darul Takzim at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore (Friday). There is also the Premier League match between Johor and Sarawak at the Pasir Gudang Stadium on Friday.