ISMAIL ABU in Action at the Asia Cup in Kuantan. He scored in the 1-1 equaliser against South Korea.
NATIONAL striker Ismail Abu was told to leave the World Cup Qualifier training camp yesterday after he was caught playing truant and enjoying himself at a gaming centre near the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex.
The 25-year-old, who has 120 caps, had excused himself from Monday morning’s weights training, saying he needed to repair his car. But he was later spotted by Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) officials enjoying himself at a gaming centre.
The striker was then asked to apologise for his antics, but refused, and instead wrote in a quit letter.
National coach Tai Beng Hai, when asked to confirm the story, said: ‘Where did you hear about this?”
“I can’t say much at this juncture, as it involves policy matters“ he added.
However, national team manager George Koshy confirmed the incident, and said that Ismail has been told to stay away from training, as the matter will be decided when coaches and the MHF management committee meet.
“I am strict when it comes to discipline, and after I met Ismail and spoke to him about the incident, Ismail wrote in a letter withdrawing himself from national training.
“Now, the matter is with the coaches and MHF. The coaches must assess their strategy and see if they need the player, or they can do without him for the Qualifier. It will be decided soon,” said George.
The national players are in camp for the New Zealand World Cup Qualifiers on Nov 7-15 where only the gold medallists advance to the New Delhi World Cup next year. The other teams who will be fighting for gold are Austria, Wales, China and Scotland.
The player concerned, has been scoring consistently since the Champions Challenge II in Dublin, and also the Australia and New Zealand Tours. His absence will surely be felt as Malaysia battle for the sole gold medal in November.