Argentina training at the Taman Daya Stadium Sunday morning.
THE English did not take any chances when they moved their camp to Kuala Lumpur, but the Argies did not seem to mind the haze in Johor Baru as they trained for the World League Semi-finals yesterday morning.
The World League starts on Saturday, and with the top- three teams assured tickets to the World Cup next year, the hazy conditions could turn the situation chaotic if it con tinues.
England, world no 4, arrived in Singapore on Thursday and were supposed to play a friendly with the Singapore national team there but with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hovering around 400, they stayed indoors instead.
However, the readings dropped to about 63 yesterday, and the Argentine team found no qualms about training at the tournament venue, the Taman Daya Stadium.
In fact, the Argentine side even played a friendly yesterday evening with Malaysia Junior World Cup side, coached by K. Dharmaraj.
But England moved to KL, and conducted their first training session at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday, and head coach Bobby Crutchley is happy the squad finally found some playing time.
“We lost two days of training as we were scheduled to play the Singapore national squad. The player’s health comes first and we could not carry on as the pollutant index was very high.
“This is a physically challenging sport, and to play five games in nine days under those conditions is certainly asking for trouble.
“But for now, we need to continue with training and that is why we opted to come to KL and hope the conditions improve in the next few days and the tournament will be able to run smoothly,” said Crutchley.
England are in Group B with Malaysia, Pakistan and South Africa while in Group A are Germany, Argentina, Japan and South Korea.
The situation is being monitored closely and according to the organising secretary Manjit Majid Abdullah: “The PSI index on Thursday went as high as 380. But the situation has improved tremendously over the last two days.
“We expect some thunderstorms over the next few days which will clear the haze to a much lower level.
The PSI reading at 5.40pm, yesterday at Taman Daya was 70.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is being up dated daily on the situation.