Thursday, November 1, 2012
MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah will face a tough fight to become a member of the International Hokey Federation (FIH) Election Board on Saturday.
He will face Russia’s Sergey Chechenkov and incumbents Stephen Abel of Germany and Holland’s Jan Albers in the elections.
"All three candidates have good credentials, so it will be a challenge for me as only two out of the four will get elected to the EB. But it will be big honour and privilege if I am chosen by the delegates," said Tengku Abdullah.
Six women candidates will be vying for three EB seats and they are Uruguay’s Danae Andrada Barrios, Mary Cicinelli (Canada), Sandra Isola (Argentina), Assuncao Pinto (Portugal), Sue Catton (England), and incumbent Renita Garard (Australia).
Meanwhile, there was great news for hockey playing nations when FIH president Leandro Negre said yesterday in Kuala Lumpur that the 2018 World Cup, yet to have a host, will see a double in the number of teams competing.
"We will double the number of teams in the 2018 World Cup from 12 to 28 because we want to promote hockey throughout the world. By having more teams playing in the World Cup it will make the sport much more interesting," said Negre.
However, for the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands, the number of teams will remain at 12.
Tengku Abdullah was happy to note that the number of teams would be increased for 2018.
"It is good that the number of countries would be increased, and we will look into a few factors before deciding if Malaysia will enter a bid to host it," said Tengku Abdullah.
Malaysia has hosted the World Cup twice in 1975 and in 2002.
The FIH also plans to win more fans in South America, as right now, hockey is a more popular fan-sport in Europa and Asia.
"Mexico have a big TV audience for sports, and it will be a good place to promote hockey.
"It is also nice to see Brazil, who are not a traditional hockey playing nation, are trying hard to improve the standard of their men’s and women’s hockey teams to feature in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic.
"This is good start to win the South American fans."