Saturday, July 19, 2008

Act Now, Or Forever Regret

India players celebrate after beating South Korea 3-2 in the Junior Asia Cup final in Hyderabad, India.
IF the alarms bells in the corridors of the Malaysian Hockey Federation were not ringing before, they should after the Junior Asia Cup in Hyderabad, India.
Forget the 3-1 defeat to Japan or the failure to qualify for the semi-finals for such is the state of the Malaysian game now is that we can’t even beat Singapore.
What makes the 2-2 draw even worse is that Singapore were subsequently whipped 5-1 by Oman to finish last in the eight-team tournament.
Yes, Malaysia were represented by an Under-20 squad but we shouldn’t forget that previously, this wasn’t a problem as the juniors were good enough to whip Singapore’s senior squad.
MHF coaching and development committee chairman C. Paramalingam has a reason for Singapore’s rise, if it can be called that. “Singapore have progressed well after competing in our Under-14, Under-16 and Razak Cup tournaments, while we are stuck in a quagmire,” said Paramalingam.
A meeting, said Paramalingam, will be held with chief coach V. Muraleedharan and his assistant K. Rajan upon their return to formulate strategies for next year’s Junior World Cup, which is being co-hosted by Malaysia and Singapore.
Muraleedharan has already attributed the poor showing in Hyderabad to “misfiring forwards, silly mistakes by defenders and players being physically not up to the mark.”
But these seem rather simplistic reasons and the question here is have the right players been selected? If yes, what is the future of hockey, especially when the likes of Singapore are now holding their own against Malaysian teams.
MHF has to address the issues sooner rather than later, especially as at the senior level, Malaysia are unlikely to rise in the near future.

Spanish Women Cleared of Doping Scandal

SPANISH players after winning against Australia 1-0 in the Women's World Cup semi-final field hockey match in Madrid, 06 October 2006. AFP PHOTO

LAUSANNE, Switzerland: The Spanish women's field hockey team was assured of its place in the Beijing Olympics on Friday when the International Hockey Federation cleared two players of alleged doping violations.
Gloria Comerma and another player, who was not identified, tested positive for banned substances after Spain won its qualifying match in April against Azerbaijan.
The FIH said Friday that Comerma committed a violation, but decided not to impose any sanction because it found "there was no fault or negligence on her part." The Spanish federation had claimed the team's food was tampered with in Baku, Azerbaijan's capital.
The federation's judicial commission said the second player did not commit a doping violation.
The sport's rules state that a country must be disqualified from a tournament if more than one member of a team tests positive.

FIH Official Communication18 Jul 2008 08:26
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) advises as follows the outcome of the hearing of the FIH Judicial Commission regarding the anti-doping tests of two Spanish players which took place during the Women’s World Hockey Olympic Qualifier in Baku, Azerbaijan, in April 2008:
Player Gloria Comerma - tested on 18 April 2008The FIH Judicial Commission found that there was an anti-doping rule violation but that she established that there was no fault or negligence on her part so there is no requirement to impose a sanction.
Second Spanish player - tested on 20 April 2008The FIH Judicial Commission found that no anti-doping rule violation has been committed.
Following the decision of the FIH Judicial Commission, the FIH considers the cases as closed and no other communication will be made.