THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) has had enough of squatting at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, and is hunting for a new base to work and play.
MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said yesterday it was time they stopped paying rental for their office, and also booking fees for national players to train.
“Right now we have to book the artificial pitch even for national training and it costs a lot. It is time MHF looked for a new house where we can work, and the boys can train and play,” said Tengku Abdullah.
Part of MHF’s frustration stems from the inability of the Stadium Board to decide on the best available artificial pitch in the ongoing re-turfing process at both the pitches in Bukit Jalil.
“When the plan was mooted, the MHF advised the Stadium Board on several artificial pitches which were of international standard. But the company awarded the contract went ahead and bought another brand.
“What is the use of having a pitch which is not up to FIH’s (International Hockey Federation) specifications, and harder and costlier to maintain? That are some of the questions being raised,” said Tengku Abdullah.
Deputy Sports Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim said his ministry is aware of it.
“We know the problem, and since RM5 million has been budgeted for the project, we will make sure the money is put to good use and the problems rectified.”
Tenaga Nasional yesterday pumped in another RM1.5 million for domestic hockey tournaments, and as a bonus, threw in their Universiti Tenaga Nasional as a base for hockey development.
TNB has been a sponsor with the MHF since 2006, and to date, a total of RM5.6 million has been channeled to run tournaments like the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
And last year, the utility giant’s efforts paid off when its team won the MHL Charity Shield, were second in the league and champions in the TNB Cup.
“TNB and MHF have been partners for a long time, and on top of the RM1.5 million contribution, I would also like to announce that Uniten has been chosen by the Higher Education Ministry to become the development base for hockey at the university stage.
“This is a big boost for TNB as we have been recognised as a partner of hockey to develop the sport at university level,” said TNB chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie.
MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said: “The MHF is grateful for the contribution from TNB as without it, we would not be able to run our tournaments properly.”
TNB has also organised hockey development clinics around the country, and to date, 6,000 students have undergone basic training.