By Jugjet Singh
THE International Hockey Federation (FIH) does not give a hoot about the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF), and likewise the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) harbours the same feeling for award winning goalkeeper S. Kumar.
There seems to be a total lack of communication between Asia and the parent body, as even the election of AHF office bearers on Jan 15 has failed to surface on www.fihockey.org to date.
In fact, even on the AHF website, www.asiahockey.org, there is only a passing mention of the elections, while a check of the ‘Office Bearers’ icon on the website still has the names of the old council.
So much for trying to promote hockey among the masses.
Kumar’s story is another bungle which can only be described as “shameful”.
The keeper was named he Best Player in Asia during the AHF Congress and received his award with much pomp and pageantry, but he is a little confused about the lack of information, and the silence of MHF and his home state Negri Sembilan.
Firstly, he did not know he had won the award but when informed by journalists a day earlier, he was completely bewildered and thanked the journalists because he was about to head home to Tampin as there was a break for his team in the Malaysia Hockey League.
And after collecting his award, Kumarnever so much as received an SMS or a call from anybody in MHF. Even Negri Sembilan hockey officials did not bother to congratulate him.
Kumar, a product of Tunku Besar Secondary School in Tampin, Negri Sembilan, is among the best goalkeepers in the world and his uncompromising work between the posts has many a time saved Malaysia the blushes.
He has also been named as an Asian All-Star Player, together with teammates Razie Rahim and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, which is another feather in his cap.
The official information highway on the worldwide web is also silent on the tournaments being played in Malaysia and Asia as, even the recent Asian Games results could not be found on the AHF site.
MHF also does not have a vehicle to publish results on the ongoing Malaysia Hockey League and those who are hungry for information have to rely on an unofficial site (www.tnbmhl.com.my), and a blog.
Asia were robbed blind when FIH gave Oceania, who only have Australia and New Zealand as serious hockey nations, two spots in the Olympics, while Asia was only given one in the Asian Games even though South Korea, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan and China are die-hard supporters of the sport and are credibly ranked in the world.
So, it is plain for even the blind to see that AHF and its members’ contribution is second class in the eyes of the FIH, and Kumar is also a non-entity for his parent-body.