Thursday, June 4, 2009

Opposition to Hockey India

''Headed by A.K. Mattoo, Treasurer, IOA, the new body, named Hockey India, was registered on May 20, within the 15-day deadline given by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the formation of a unified Indian federation. The FIH wrote on May 5 to the IOA threatening India’s debarment from international hockey.

“We reiterate that in case no positive concrete action is taken, the participation of the Indian teams in all international hockey events, under the aegis of FIH, will not be permitted,” a letter from the FIH President stated. ''

THE hastily formed Hockey India hit troubled waters even before it could learn to swim, and is expected to sink after a heavy load of litigation is placed on its back.

NEW DELHI (AP) — An attempt to form a new national field hockey organization in India was opposed Thursday by state officials, who termed the move illegal.
The Indian Olympic Association announced the formation of a unified body — Hockey India — on Wednesday after the International Hockey Federation threatened to take the World Cup away from New Delhi if the country did not have a single national association governing both the men’s and women’s game.
The IOA said it had given provisional affiliation to Hockey India, while disaffiliating the two associations separately running men’s and women’s hockey.
J.B. Roy, president of the Bengal Hockey Association, a state unit affiliated to the men’s Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), said the IOA’s act was “illegal” and did not have the backing of existing bodies.
“How can the IOA unilaterally decide to form a body without any representation from the stake holders?” Roy said.
He said only the men’s and women’s national associations had the right to form a unified body, not an outside agency, even if it happened to be the national Olympic committee.
“The new association is completely unconstitutional. We have already sent a legal representation to the country’s Sports Minister,” Roy said.

By Dan Guen Chin

JOHOR BAHARU, June 4 (Bernama)-- Though Malaysia co-host the Junior World Cup hockey tournament, the junior squad''s quest to book a place in the last eight, may not be an easy journey but coach K. Rajan remains optimistic.
He added that though the squad was familiar with the Taman Daya Hockey stadium here and can expect a strong support from home fans, the players have to be at their very best and cannot expect any favours.
"We have worked very hard and for the past eight months since I took over, we have played many warm-up matches, mostly in Europe and elsewhere. Results achieved thus far certainly gives me confidence.
"We are not inferior to some of the strong Europeans team we have played on our tour. But we face a different test now. A test of playing in front of our own fans and I believe with the familiarity of the weather and home ground advantage we can rise to the occasion," said Rajan.
The Malaysian team will be captained by Bukit Mertajam born Ahmad Kazamirul Naasruddin, a defender, and ably supported by midfielder Harvinder Singh and hard running forward Faizal Saari.
"It''s a team with a bit of everything. We have some talented midfielders and solid defenders. And we have teamwork and great spirit. That''s is most important," added Rajan.
Malaysia open their campaign against England in their opening Pool C match on Sunday knowing that the outcome of the match could go a long way in deciding their fate in the 20-team tournament, which is co-hosted by Malaysia and Singapore.
England like Malaysia also need a win to boost their morale for the tough journey ahead which includes matches against Spain, the European champion, South Korea, the rising Asian power and the United States of America.
"We are very much like Malaysia. To be drawn against each other in the opening match means there is so much to play for. We are chasing the same target and it could end up breaking each others hearts," said England team manager Dan Halliday.
The English team, coached by David Ralph, is built around a core of eight players drawn from their National Training Centre based in Nottinghamshire.
"The training centre is something like the Australian Institute of Sports where talented sportsmen and women are being housed and kept in training with an eye towards excellence. And the eight I am talking about will form the backbone of the squad.
"We are optimistic that we can match the best in our group but I must admit that Spain and the South Koreans are the favourites. Malaysia by virtue of being host cannot be ruled out either," added Halliday.

Belgium husband and wife team

JOHOR BAHRU( Thursday 4th June 2009): Belgium have a husband and wife team as manager and assistant manager -probably a first in the world of hockey
The Belgium team manager is Phil Rooseleer while his wife Leona is the assistant manager. The presence of the fatherly and motherly figures in the Belgium team to this year's Junior World Cup is a boost to the young players.
"All the players are like our children. We give them all the attention they need, especially when they are far from their family," said Rooseleer.
"But we don't have much problem with them (the players). We keep a close eye on them...after all they are young and need guidance, both on and off the field."
Yesterday morning, the husband and wife team was seen going about doing the chores at Belgium's two-hour training session under scorching heat, which was dedicated to penalty corner set pieces.
Rooseleer said the heat is really a big bother for his team and the other European teams. One way of checking the heat and humidity at the venue is to let the players cool in an "ice tub" after every training session.
Yesterday, the Belgium players, who trained at the Johor Bahru Hockey Stadium in Taman Daya were seen enjoying one of their "cooling sessions" after training with Rooseleer and Leona adding extra fun with some splashes of water here and there.
"The effect of the heat is still there but the players are getting used to it slowly. We should be able to handle this heaty problem by the time the tournament gets underway," said Rosseleer.
Belgium are drawn in Group A together with defending champions Argentina, Egypt, Pakistan and Russia. Their first match is against Egypt this Sunday which will be followed by a match against Argentina on Tuesday.
Their other matches are against Russia (June 11) and Pakistan on June 12.


MALAYSIA'S National Juniors in a happy mood. They will play England on Sunday in Group C of the Junior World Cup.

Group A: Argentina, Belgium, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia.
Group B: Australia, Chile, Germany, Japan, South Africa.
Group C: Malaysia, South Korea, USA, Spain, England.
Group D: India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Sin gapore.

FIXTURES: Sunday -- Group A: Belgium v Egypt (5pm, Johor), Pakistan v Russia (5.30pm, Johor); Group B: Japan v South Africa (5pm, Singapore), Germany v Chile (7.30pm, Singapore); Group C: South Korea v USA (7pm, Johor), England v Malaysia (7.30pm, Johor); Group D: Netherlands v Singapore (5.30pm, Singapore), New Zealand v Poland (7pm, Singapore).
MONDAY: Group A: Russia v Argentina (7pm, Johor); Group B: Chile v Australia (5.30pm, Singapore), Poland v Netherlands (5pm, Singapore); Group C: Egypt v Pakistan (5.30pm, Johor), Malaysia v South Korea (7.30pm, Johor); Group D: South Africa v Germany (7pm, Singapore), Singapore v India (7.30pm, Singapore).
JOHOR BAHRU (Thursday – 5th June 2009): Malaysia are ready for the challenges ahead even though deep inside they know the odds are stacked against them in the Standard Chartered Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup which starts on Sunday.
The Malaysians take on England in their opening Pool C match at the Johor Bahru Hockey Stadium, one of the two venues for the 20-team tournament together with Singapore's Sengkang Stadium.
It's a match whose outcome could decide the fate the team in their search for glory and naturally both teams are looking for a positive start.
England like Malaysia also needs a win to boost their morale for the tough journey ahead which includes matches against Spain, the European champion; South Korea, the rising Asian power, and the United States of America.
"We are very much caught in the same situation as Malaysia because we have been pitted against each other in the opening match. It's a match which could break hearts. A win for either one of us would make it much easier. The three points could come in very useful, not to mention doing our morale a world of good," said England's team manager Dan Halliday.
As Malaysia named their final squad of 18 today, coach K. Rajan (PIC) is optimistic that things will fall in place for his team.
"We have worked very hard and for the past eight months since I took over we have played so many warm-up matches, mostly in Europe and elsewhere. What we have achieved gave me confidence.
“We are not inferior to some of the strong Europeans team we have played on our tour. But we face a different test now - the test of playing in front of our own fans. I believe with the familiarity of the weather and the home ground advantage, we can rise to the occasion," said Rajan.
The Malaysian team will be captained by Bukit Mertajam-born Ahmad Kazamirul Naasruddin, a defender with the support of midfielder Harvinder Singh and hard running forward Faizal Saari.
"It's a team with a bit of everything. We have some talented midfielders and solid defenders. And we have teamwork. That is most important," added Rajan.

Pakistan and India on a mission

Malaysia’s Mohd Marhan (right) battles for the ball with a Belgian player in their friendly match on Tuesday. Belgium won 3-2. — Pic: HAIRUL ANUAR

PAKISTAN and India are desperate to regain their glory in hockey and have vowed to play an attacking game in the Junior World Cup which starts on Sunday in Johor Baru.

Pakistan have brought a formidable squad, which include six players who helped the seniors finish second in last month's Asia Cup in Kuantan.
The six are captain Shafqat Rasool, Haseem Khan, Abbas Haider, Waqas Sharif (forwards), Muhammad Irfan and Fareed Ahmad (midfielders).
Haseem, 19, after having scored three goals for the seniors in the Asia Cup, is Pakistan's hope for getting the goals again.
Pakistan coach Khawaja Muhd Junaid said he is confident that his team will put up a good show.
"I am not making empty claims but the way we have performed in previous international tournaments, we are confident that our team are capable of surprising many top-ranked teams," said Khawaja, a former Olympian, when contacted in Johor Baru yesterday.
Pakistan are in Group A and will open their campaign against Russia on Sunday at the Taman Daya Stadium. Defending champions Argentina, Belgium and Egypt make up the group.
For the record, Pakistan won the Junior World Cup in 1979.
Meanwhile, drag-flicker Diwakar Ram will captain Pakistan's arch rivals India in the tournament.
India, silver medallist in the 2005 Rotterdam edition, are drawn in Group D with Netherlands, New Zealand , Poland and hosts Singapore. They will open their campaign against hosts at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium on Monday.
India coach A.K. Bansal said his players will also play an attacking game. "We are also concentrating on penalty corners as we have Diwakar to score goals," said Bansal.
India won the tournament in 2001 (Hobart, Australia) when they thrashed Argentina 6-1 in the final.
Pakistan squad -- Goalkeepers: Imran Shah, Imran Butt. Defenders: Muhammad Ateeq, Kashif Ali, Amir Shahzad. Midfielders: Muhammad Irfan, Fareed Ahmad, Muhammad Rashid, Mohsin Bilal, Sibtain Raza. Forwards: Waqas Sharif, Shafqat Rasool (capt), Haseem Khan, Abbas Haider, Muhammad Zubair, Inayat Ullah, Muhammad Rizwan, Muhammad Taufeeq, Hassan Akhtar and Azlan Khan.
India squad: Goalkeepers: Mrinal Choubey, Harjit Singh. Defenders: Diwakar Ram (capt), Innocent Kullu, Manjeet Kullu. Midfielders: Birendra Lakra, Amardeep Ekka, Vikas Sharma, Vivek, Belsajar Horo, Vikas Pillay. Forwards: Mandeep Antil, Jay Karan, Danish Mujtaba, Pramod Kumar, Mohd. Amir Khan, Victo Singh, Dharamvir Singh.

Kuantan to host Sikh games

PAHANG will host the 58th Gurdwara Cup and Sikh Festival of Sports 2009
which will kick off in Kuantan today.
Pahang Sikh Sports and Cultural Association (PSSCA) honourable
secretary, Manmohan Singh said the event is held in various states on
rotation, and Pahang will once again play hosts after a lapse of 36
years. The last time Kuantan hosted the tournament was in 1973.
Manmohan said some 1,000 competitors from all the states and Singapore
are expected to compete in various events including netball, football
(juniors and seniors), hockey (juniors and seniors), badminton and golf.
Manmohan said Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob will
officiate the opening ceremony at 4pm today.
This year a total of 38 teams have confirmed their entries.

Australia well prepared for humidity

THE humidity in Malaysia and Singapore will likely affect the performance
of some teams competing in the Men's Junior World Cup which starts on
But Australia are coming well prepared as a specially designed training
camp in Darwin has allowed their players to acclimatise with the expected
humid conditions.
A total of 18 players were named for the Junior World Cup after the
intense training camp in Darwin, where trainees were put through a
variety of programmes.
Australia, who were runners-up in the 2005 Rotterdam edition, are in
Group B with Chile, Germany, Japan and South Africa. The team arrived in
Singapore on June 1.
Coach Jason Duff said the training camp in Darwin was invaluable in
making the final decision on the squad make up.
"We have obviously kept an eye on this squad of players for some time,
but to have them all in the one place at the one time allowed us to gain
an ever further insight into each player," Duff told
"My players have been exposed accordingly in top class tournaments
including last year's Junior World Cup Qualifier and the Australian
Olympic Youth Festival in January."
Duff said his team have the experience to do well in the World Cup.
Australia won the Junior World Cup in 1997 in Milton Keynes, England
and were second in 1982 (Kuala Lumpur), 1989 (Ipoh), 2005 (Rotterdam).
The squad: Leon Hayward, Adrian Lockley, Malcolm Kemp, Aaron
Kleinschmidt, Josh Pollard, Chris Bausor, Matthew Boyce, Michael Bates,
Tim Bates, Matthew Swann, Kris Glass, Matt Gohdes, Jacob Whetton, Josh
White, Tristan White, David Collins, Kieran Govers, Scott Garner.
Meanwhile, Malaysia were beaten 3-2 by Belgium in their second
international friendly at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
Malaysia coach K. Rajan said his charges did well to match the Belgians
in every department.
"I tested several of my stronger players and they gave a good account
of themselves. Performance wise, my players have passed their test.
Asked about the performances of R.Nadesh and Sybrie Shamsuddin, who
both have just returned from injuries, he said the duo are fully fit for
the Junior World Cup.
"They played very well against Belgium and showed no signs of injuries.
I will test them again in the final friendly against Pakistan on Thursday
(tomorrow)," he added.

Spain a pain to Malaysia in friendly

THE Spanish team arrived on May 27 to acclimatise and signal their
intention of converting their 2005 Junior World Cup bronze medal to a
higher level in the Malaysia-Singapore Junior World Cup which begins on
The Spaniards come with a big reputation of winning the European
Under-21 championship. However, 12 players from that group are over-aged,
and will not be playing against Malaysia in Group C.
The other teams in Group C are the United States, South Korea and
In 2005, Spain beat 2001 Junior World Cup winners India on penalties in
the bronze play-off after the match ended 1-1 in extra-time.
Spain have come with four players who are Under-18. They are goalkeeper
Borja Zumalacarreguim. midfielders Vicens Ruiz and Salva Piera and
defender Alex de Fruros.
In a recent four-nation meet in Germany, Spain could only edge Malaysia
And yesterday, the juniors played a friendly against Spain at the Taman
Daya Stadium, the venue for the Junior World Cup, and lost 7-2.
"We matched them in every department and the score was 2-2 at one time,
and being satisfied with how my first choice players played, I started
changing players and also positions.
"This was to give everybody in the line-up a chance to prove themselves
before I name the final squad," said Juniors coach K. Rajan.
Malaysia scored through a penalty corner and a field goal: "Physically,
Spanish players are taller, but we kept pace with speed.
"It was a good sizing-up experience, as Spain are in our group."
Malaysia open accounts against England on June 7, South Korea the next
day, United States on June 10, and play Spain in their final group match
on June 12.
Today, Rajan will deploy his players against Belgium in a friendly.
The Belgians are in Group A with defending champions Argentina, Egypt,
Pakistan and Russia.