Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nur Insafi to play after all

By Ajitpal Singh

PENANG’S Nur Insafi have decided not to withdraw from the Malaysia Hockey League (TNB Cup) two-leg quarter-final tie against Sapura in Kuala Lumpur despite threatening to do so over the past week.
According to Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary Hashim Mohamed Yusof, the association received a letter from Nur Insafi coach Tatchana Murthy yesterday stating that they have agreed to play both matches away at the Tun Razak Stadium tomorrow and on Sunday.
Nur Insafi had wanted to withdraw from the knockout stage competition after MHF had rejected their appeal to play one leg at the USM Stadium in Penang.
Hashim said the MHF technical committee agreed to accept their withdrawal on Tuesday with Sapura getting an automatic spot into the semi-finals.
“We also prepared new fixtures, involving only three quarter-final matches. But we are happy that Nur Insafi had changed their mind by opting to remain in the competition,” he said.
"They spent a lot of money hiring foreign players and it will be waste if they withdrew from the competition for the overall title.
Nur Insafi are the only team featuring foreign players. But despite having 15 players from India and Pakistan, the club side finished disappointing fifth in the six-team Premier Division.

Q-Finals (1st leg)— Friday: KLHC v ATM-Airod (4.30pm; KLHA Stadium).
Nur Insafi v Sapura (4.30pm);
Maybank v UniKL-IBIL (6.30pm);
UiTM v Tenaga (8.30pm).
*Matches at Tun Razak Stadium

2nd leg — Sunday: Tenaga v UiTM (4.30pm, KLHA Sta dium).
UniKL-IBIL vs Maybank (4.30pm)
Sapura vs Nur Insafi (6.30pm)
ATM-Airod vs KLHC (8.30pm)
*Matches at Tun Razak Stadium

India, Pakistan for Azlan Shah Cup

By Ajitpal Singh

FOUR teams have confirmed their entries for this year’s Azlan Shah Cup but the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) is optimistic another three teams will accept their invitation by this Sunday’s closing date.
Defending champions India, Pakistan, Australia and Malaysia are the confirmed teams.
MHF has also invited the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, South Korea, Japan and Egypt for the tournament, scheduled at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium on May 8-16.
“We are targeting seven teams for the competition. I am confident other teams will reply by Sunday,” said MHF secretary Hashim Yusoff.
In last year’s edition, India defeated Malaysia 3-1 in the final while Pakistan finished fourth.
Meanwhile, the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy will be held at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh on April 3- 18.
Korea, Pakistan, China and Malaysia, the top four finishers in last year’s Asia Cup will compete for the title.