Sunday, November 30, 2008

Azmi seconds Koshy suggestion

MALAYSIAN Hockey Federation (MHF) deputy president Nur Azmi Ahmad welcomes Ernst & Young team manager George Koshy’s stand on helping new clubs, instead of established ones, to widen the base in Malaysia.
MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah had said that at least five Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) teams will be in for a windfall, as plans are afoot to give them money, clubhouses complete with artificial pitches, and in return they are supposed to start grassroots development.
But Ernst & Young, a strong supporter of hockey, and recently crowned as the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) League champions, feel that clubs with strong backing should be left out of the proposal.
Koshy had said that it would be too time consuming, and costly to build clubhouses and lay artificial pitches, so instead, the MHF should help clubs like Kelab Aman, Royal Selangor Club and other clubs who already have the fa cilities.
“I am also of the same opinion, as some clubs in the Klang Valley and also in other states, not only have existing facilities, but also many ex-internationals as their mem bers.
“So, I will bring it up with the council, as I also strongly feel that it will be easier to start with clubs that already have a home-ground, than start from scratch,” said Azmi.
Azmi, who had played in the MHL in the mid-80s, would like to see the tournament regain its glory days.
“Back when I was playing in the MHL, there were at least 10 quality teams who could challenge for the title, including the Royal Malay Regiment (RMR).
“But sadly, today, RMR are playing in Division Two, while Ernst & Young were hardly challenged to the League title.
“And I believe, if we start helping new clubs, the MHL can be saved and turned into a thriving league again,” said Azmi.

Spaniard Negre topples Els

SPANIARD Leandro Negre (pic) was elected as the new President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) after he beat incumbent Els van Breda Vriesman of the Netherlands during the FIH Congress in Los Angeles, USA on Saturday.
Negre will helm the world body for four years, after he received the mandate from a total 89 National Associations who were present at the FIH Congress.
Negre, who is also the President of the European Hockey Federation, was delighted with the result: “I am very happy to be elected and I would like to thank the National Associations for voting for me. And I would also like to appoint Els as the Honorary President of the FIH, as she has been actively promoting the sport since 2001.”
During the Congress, FIH also welcomed five new National Associations: Mongolia, Qatar, Togo, Vanuatu and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Now, the number of FIH Member Countries stands at 127.