National Motocross qualifiers to be held in Chiang Mai
Event organizers and sponsors are seen at the press conference held
on November 13 at Nimseeseng Hotel in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai will play host to the final qualifying round for the
National Motocross Championship on December 11 and 12 at the Nimseeseng
Motocross Track in Saraphi District.
The 4th Nimseeseng Motocross/FMSCT Thailand Super Cross 2009 tournament
is being sponsored by Ricoh (Thailand) and organized by Thongchai
Wongsawan, President of Motorcycle Sports Association of Thailand and,
in addition to the qualifying races, will offer races for 85cc motocross
drivers between the ages of 7 and 9 years old and 12 and 14. Races for
seniors are also planned for the event.
Nimseeseng, the Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organization and
Top Gear Thailand are holding the tournament in an effort to promote
motocross to both professional and recreational riders as well as to
offer young people a safe environment in which to race. The profits from
the tournament will be donated to help HIV patients in the North.
F1 champ Button teams up with Hamilton at McLaren
London (AP) - Formula One
champion Jenson Button signed for McLaren last
week to partner Lewis Hamilton, giving the
English team a potent lineup for next season
featuring the two most recent title holders.
McLaren said Button joined on a “multiyear deal”
after leaving constructors champion Brawn GP in
the wake of its takeover by Mercedes-Benz
earlier last week.
Hamilton (left) and Jenson Button (right) will
team up at McLaren Mercedes next year after
Button signed a “multi-year deal” with the
British based racing outfit last week. (AP
Photo/Luca Bruno, File)
The 29-year-old Button, who is replacing Heikki
Kovalainen, was out of contract with Brawn GP
after capturing his first F1 drivers’ title last
month and talks about a new deal had stalled.
Button had taken a significant pay cut to ensure
he had a car for 2009 with Honda pulling out
from the sport and reforming under Ross Brawn’s
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said
Button’s departure was “in no way motivated by
money,” insisting that they were paying him “no
more than he could be getting elsewhere.”
“Although I won the world championship with
Brawn GP last year, and I’ll never forget that,
I was always adamant that I wanted to continue
to set myself fresh challenges,” Button said in
the statement. “You can’t help but be affected
by this team’s phenomenal history. McLaren is
one of the greats of world sport, and its
achievements and list of past champions read
like a Who’s Who of Formula One.”
Button, who began his career at Williams in
2000, only lived up to his early potential to
join the list of champions last month after
shaking off his partying image.
After fearing he wouldn’t have a team in 2009,
Button took advantage of his Brawn car’s early
dominance to win six of the first seven races
and then maintained a comfortable lead in the
Button’s move to McLaren ends his seven-year
association with the team, which he joined in
2003 when it was known as BAR before
establishing himself as the team’s No. 1 driver
prior to Honda’s takeover in 2006.
While Button will have No. 1 on his McLaren car,
Hamilton will not want to live in his fellow
Briton’s shadow after winning the 2008
championship following a decade at McLaren since
he drove karts.
Whitmarsh, who had to quell infighting between
Hamilton and Fernando Alonso during the 2007
season, has no concerns about the partnership
“I’m confident that we’ll be able to
successfully balance and harness Jenson’s and
Lewis’ complementary skill-sets,” he said. “Our
engineers are already looking forward to working
with Jenson, and I’m convinced that such a
strong and dynamic driver lineup will make us an
even more complete and competitive operation.
“Now we have to provide Jenson and Lewis with
The last time a team had a pairing of two
British world champions was in 1968 when Lotus
united Graham Hill and Jim Clark, who both won
Button described Hamilton as a “wonderfully
“I’m sure there’s plenty that we can learn from
each other,” Button said. “I’m really looking
forward to using our combined knowledge to push
the team forward.”
Hamilton had a difficult third season in Formula
One with McLaren but had a strong last half of
the year to finish fifth - 46 points behind
“The results from the second half of 2009 speak
for themselves, and I’m convinced we can carry
that momentum through the winter and into the
new season,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been closely
following the development of our 2010
challenger, the MP4-25, and I think it’s going
to be a state-of-the-art car that will enable
both of us to consistently fight for victories.”
However, three-time world champion Jackie
Stewart believes Button could regret not staying
with Ross Brawn to be part of Mercedes’ maiden
“I think it’s a mistake. If I had been Jenson, I
would have wanted to do a deal with Brawn,”
Stewart said. “There’s a totally different
culture in McLaren - something that he might not
have experienced before.
“They have a very clinical culture, which
doesn’t have the emotion or drive in the same
passionate way than Brawn would have had with
him as the reigning world champion.”
McLaren opted to sign the British driver instead
of 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen, leading the
Finn to announce he will take next year off
after being let go by Ferrari.
Hand of Shame sparks debate on cheating, replays
London (AP) - Irish football officials accused Thierry Henry
last week of damaging the integrity of the game when he blatantly handled
the ball to set up the goal that booked France’s place at next year’s World
Cup finals in South Africa.
Letters were dispatched to Paris and FIFA headquarters in Zurich, while
Ireland’s justice minister took to the airwaves and echoed the Irish
football association’s call for the contentious second-leg to be replayed.
Thierry Henry (second left) passes the ball to teammate William Gallas
(unseen) to score the decisive goal for France during their World Cup
qualifying playoff second leg soccer match against Republic of Ireland in
Paris, Wednesday Nov.18. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
But the response from FIFA and the French matched that of Swedish referee
Martin Hansson at the Stade de France on Wednesday night when Irish protests
against William Gallas’ winner, set up by Henry’s handball, fell on deaf
FIFA simply directed journalists to its rulebook which states that results
cannot be overturned after a match.
But the Irish did get the backing of the French sports teachers’ union,
which said it set a poor example to children to qualify as a result of
“indisputable cheating” and was “linked to a ‘very modern’ philosophy
stipulating that in all areas, including sports, the end justifies the
Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney demanded that
the game be replayed.
“I really believe the integrity of the game has been questioned last night,”
Delaney said. “The governing body of world football have to step up to the
plate and accede to our call for a replay.
“Every time I go to a FIFA congress I hear about fair play and integrity.
This was not a league game. This was a defining game with the whole world
It was a match heading toward a penalty shootout with the aggregate score
tied at 1-1 when Henry blatantly handled the ball - twice - to bring down
Florent Malouda’s free kick in the 13th minute of extra time.
As Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given and his defenders reacted with fury to the
blatant case of cheating, the Barcelona forward clipped the ball across for
Gallas to knock in the goal that gave France a 2-1 aggregate win and a spot
in South Africa.
“I will be honest, it was a handball. But I’m not the ref,” Henry said. “I
played it. The ref allowed it.”
As Henry wheeled away to celebrate, Given led the Irish charge toward
Hansson to protest. It took 97 seconds for order to be restored and the game
to be restarted. Enough time, proponents of video technology argued, for
replays to be quickly - and adequately - scrutinized.
Much like calls for the game to be replayed, however, video replays are off
FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s agenda.
The International Football Association Board, the custodians of the laws of
the game, halted all experiments with technology to assist referees in 2008
and now tests with two additional match officials behind the goals are under
The Irish, though, have an IFAB ally in Scottish FA chief executive Gordon
Smith, who continues to push for the use of cameras to rule on disputed
In the wake of last Wednesday’s match, Smith wants the issue back on the
agenda for the annual meeting in March.
FIFA has four votes on IFAB and four more are held by each of the
associations in the United Kingdom. Motions must be approved by at least six
Smith, who also sits on UEFA’s football committee, backs a tennis-style
review system whereby each team is given two challenges per match, which if
correct they retain.
“I keep on suggesting it, but no one is interested,” Smith told The
Associated Press. “Wednesday night showed what’s at stake at the highest
level of the game, but it could have been clarified and cleared up
immediately. The game stopped anyway and they could have reviewed the
Now, though, there should be no retrospective action, according to Smith.
“I have sympathy for the Irish, but I don’t think there is any chance of a
replay,” said Smith, who played for Manchester City and Rangers in the 1970s
and 80s. “It would create a dangerous precedent.”
One precedent in English football was set by a Frenchman - Arsenal manager
Arsene Wenger - who volunteered to replay a match in England’s FA Cup after
Arsenal beat Sheffield United courtesy of an unfair goal.
Arsenal scored from a throw-in after a United player had put the ball out
due to a teammate’s injury.
Steve Bruce, United’s manager at the time, recalled that incident last
Thursday as he expressed his dismay at football’s failure to embrace video
“Surely it is time now for technology to come into it - it took 15 seconds
on the TV (on Wednesday) to establish it was blatant handball,” said Bruce,
now in charge at Sunderland. “And he didn’t handball it once, but twice. It
might be human error but we can change that with the technology we have got.
That has got to be the way forward.”