Friday, August 29, 2008

Team and venue both in shambles

THE 2004 Rotterdam Junior World Cup venue. Malaysia, who finished 10th in Rotterdam, have yet to get their act together to host the 2009 edition.

WITH only 10 months to the Junior World Cup, hosts Malaysia are still groping in the dark, on and off the pitch.
Johor will co-host the tournament with Singapore on June 7-21 next year, but up till today, Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) affiliates are still in the dark about preparations to host it.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) had promised the International Hockey Federation (FIH) two new pitches, as Johor will host 10 teams, while Singapore another 10 for the World Cup.
But till today, MHF affiliates have yet to be briefed about the status of the stadiums, and efforts to raise at least RM2 million to cover organising costs.
The FIH awarded Malaysia as hosts on Nov 14 last year, with MHC deputy president Tunku Majid Sultan Iskandar and Singapore Hockey
Federation president Annabell Dhillon appointed as co-chairmen of the
Junior World Cup organising committee.
“Penang came seeking answers during the last Council meting (on Aug 16) but our deputy president Tunku Majid was absent again, and we left with more questions than answers.
“It was the third Council meeting in a row which Tunku Majid failed to attend, and so the Council has instructed Johor to make a full presentation on the Junior World Cup in our next meeting on Sept 20,” said Penang HA secretary Ranjit Singh.
Ranjit hopes Johor will come with answers: “Right now, it looks like Malaysia are heading to what could turn out to be an embarrassing situation.
“We only have 10 months to build new stadiums, and source for at least RM2 million to cover organising costs.
“The MHF, at present, are still paying the RM1 million debt we went into after organising the Champions Trophy, and are in no position to fall again,” said Ranjit.
Singapore, on the other hand, are all set to host the tournament and the co-hosts are said to be as jittery as MHF affiliates, as Malaysia have not even reached the planning stage yet.
On the team, the juniors drew 2-2 with Singapore in the Junior Asia Cup, and the MHF have entrusted Tenaga Nasional coach K. Rajan to whip-up a respectable outfit, after V. Muraleedharan resigned.
The players were blooded in the Razak Cup, and will now play as an outfit in Division One of the Malaysia Hockey League which starts on Oct 10.