KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have confirmed that six pieces of indoor hockey mat, ripped by unskilled foreign workers after last year’s Kuala Lumpur Sea Games, have been damaged.
This was disclosed by MHC deputy president Datuk Dr S. Shamala today.
However, MHC's hands are tied in this matter as they are still discussing with the KL Sea Games organisers (MASOC) regarding the indoor pitch handover.
Because of ongoing auditing and uncompleted accounts, the artificial pitch is still locked up in a store in Balakong, Selangor.
"Yes, six pieces of the indoor pitch are damaged but the rest of the surface is still playable,” said Shamala.
"We have been in communication with MASOC regarding the issue but they informed MHC that several auditing measures have yet to be resolved and they can't hand it over to us," said Shamala.
When asked if the nearly one-year delay in handover could further damage the mat (due to heat and rats), Shamala said: ‘We hope nothing happens to it during storage, but when we get it, we will probably lay it at a university hall or somewhere to promote the indoor sport.
After the pitch was laid as a temporary measure to host the 2017 KL Sea Games at the Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre, it was thoughtlessly ripped off the floor.
Contractor Kuckreja & Co spokesperson Allan Netto had said the RM250,000 pitch was damaged, and is no longer in playable condition, as chairs and tables were also placed on it during a chess tournament.
Allan said MASOC still owe them more than RM40,000 for additional work done leading up to the Sea Games.
The contractors spokesperson also had said: “Initially we were told to rush the job because a VIP wanted to visit MITEC, and we had to cut corners to get it ready. And after the visit, the pitch did not meet specifications because it was bumpy.
MASOC Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong did not respond to calls and messages earlier today.
Sports Journalist with the New Straits Times since 1994.
My main beat is field hockey, so this blog will have stories that I have written for the NST, as well as hockey news from around the globe. There will be regular updates. I was also the Secretary General of the National Press Club, Malaysia for three terms (six years).