KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee decided to stick with their Razak Cup rules, and accepted the withdrawal of three teams at the 11th hour.
The Razak Cup begins today (Friday) with a change in format as well as fixtures after Division One saw Negri Sembilan and Perlis pulling out, while Kedah withdrew from Division Two.
The three men's teams withdrew because they felt that even though many of their players had other states' Identity Card numbers, but the players were developed by them over the years and so they had a right to field them.
The MHC competitions committee stuck by the Razak Cup rules which state that each team can only register four guest players.
"The three teams wrote to MHC about their decision to withdraw and the MHC competitions committee has accepted, and so I re-drew the fixtures and now the men's Division One and Two will be run on a round robin format where the top-two teams will play in the final," said Razak Cup tournament director P. Kuganesan.
According to Kuganesan, none of the other states raised any issues at the managers meeting yesterday (Thursday).
Division one men's defending champions Perak will lead the charge while the other states are Terengganu, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor.
In the men's Division Two are Selangor, Armed Forces, Pahang, Singapore, Kelantan and Police.
The women's Group A has Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca Police ans Singapore while in Group B are Pahang, Armed Forces, Terengganu and Penang.
Friday: Women's Group B: Pahang v Terengganu (7.30am, Pitch II), Armed Forces v Penang (7.30am, Pitch I).
Group A: Malacca v Singapore (9.30am, Pitch II), Selangor v Kuala Lumpur (9.30am, Pitch I).
Men's Division Two -- Selangor v Armed Forces (4pm, Pitch I), Pahang v Singapore (4pm, Pitch II), Kelantan v Police (6pm, Pitch I).
Note: All matches at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
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).