Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sanction saga: All is well say AHF

THE ASIAN Hockey Federation (AHF) are in negotiations with the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) regarding the stiff sanction fee to host the Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) at the end of the year.
  Initially, the AHF had asked for a whopping RM155,000 (US40,000) sanction fee from the MHF, but the figure is still under discussion.
  AHF CEO Tayyab Ikram said yesterday that since the matter is still under discussion he can't divulge much information.
  "Suffice to say that the matter is being discussed and we are in a good discussion. I must say very positive discussions, so its not wise for me to comment on any statements made by others," said Ikram.
  An official of the MHC had said that AHF wanted higher hosting fees than the previous editions because of broadcasting rights as well as video-umpiring coming into the picture.
  The AHF event made its debut in 2011 in Ordos, China, followed by Doha, Oatar, in 2012 and Kakamigahara, Japan, in 2013. 
  India won the inaugural title in Ordos, while Pakistan were champions in Doha and Kakamigahara. Malaysia finished third in all three editions.
  The tournament is not a qualifier and neither does it provide any International Hockey Federation (FIH) ranking points.
  The late AHF president Sultan Azlan Shah and secretary Tan Sri P. Alagendra were among those who strongly proposed to hold an Asian tournament in 2007.
  Alagandra was quoted at the sidelines of the 2007 Asia Cup in Chennai: "The idea mooted by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) chief K.P.S Gill has been accepted by AHF. It will fill the void of quality tourneys in the Asian continent."
  India were supposed to host the first three editions but they failed to organise the event. Ordos, Inner Mongolia, started the ball rolling with a minimal sanction fee.
  "Initially, we never had full broadcasting and there was no video umpiring (in the last three editions), but for the next ACT, we have made full arrangements for both (which doubled the cost)," said Ikram.
  If the sanction issue is resolved, Kuantan is expected to host the Fourth Edition which will involve the top-six Asian Games teams.