Friday, February 19, 2010

Media uproar over stadium entry

File pictures show work in progress one week before the Dhyan Chand Stadium was opened.

Sports Reporter

“Security angle” would continue to be used to prevent the media from snooping around the stadium and reporting on the incomplete, dug-up, dusty conditions inside the complex".

NEW DELHI: Hockey India (HI) President Vidya Stokes had a tough time on Thursday dealing with mediapersons, who demanded a satisfactory explanation from the federation as to why the media was being barred from entering the National Stadium and witnessing the practice of the Indian team in the build-up to the Hero Honda World Cup tournament.
The media has not been allowed to watch the practice at the World Cup venue ever since the Indian team shifted its training base from Pune to Delhi more than a fortnight ago.
When asked what had led to the situation that the media was unable to report on the Indian team with such an important tournament just 10 days away, Mrs. Stokes, present at a press conference for the announcement of ING Life's partnership with the World Cup, said, “It is a question of security. The guidelines have been given by the Government and we have to follow them.”

Loss for words

However, when mediapersons vociferously demanded to know who set such unprecedented and preposterous guidelines, Mrs. Stokes was at a loss for words to explain. “How can I say who decided? I cannot name anybody,” she said before hurriedly leaving the venue.
A photographer was detained by the police on the first day of practice of the Indian team and journalists have been demanding access to the stadium ever since without getting a response from the authorities. HI has so far pleaded its helplessness by stating that the stadium authorities (Sports Authority of India) had brought in such restrictions.

Growing feeling

The SAI, in turn has tried to pass the buck, stating that it was a restriction imposed by the international federation (FIH).
With no one to co-ordinate media access to the stadium and with security becoming the most important issue in recent weeks, there is a growing feeling here that the “security angle” would continue to be used to prevent the media from snooping around the stadium and reporting on the incomplete, dug-up, dusty conditions inside the complex.
Sources in the organising committee said that the police had only on Wednesday night suggested unprecedented restrictions for entry through the main gate during the tournament for only accreditation card holders, posing a question mark over the arrangements for ticket-holders and invitees, from India and abroad, who would be seated on the pavilion side.

The Hindu

An infusion of youth

C. Baljit Singh (left) was voted as the Best Overall player in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division.

SIXTEEN players from the Invercargill World Cup Qualifier received a call-up to attend national training on Feb 22, which will also see an infusion of Junior World Cup players who did exceptionally well in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
Stephen van Huizen, who will handle the team together with Tai Beng Hai, said they selected the best in the country, and the Asia Cup in April will be their first assignment.
“Beng Hai and I had a discussion after the MHL, and we decided to name 16 players from the Qualifier and nine others who did well in the MHL. These 25 are the best in the country, and we will work with them to form a side for the Asian Champions Trophy,” said van Huizen yesterday.
From the Qualifiers squad, Jiwa Mohan was not named because he is working in Perth, while S. Selvaraju did not play much of the MHL because he is injured.
“We could not name Jiwa in the training list because he is based in Perth, but he has not been dropped. If we need him for any tournament, we will liaise with the Malaysian Hockey Federation to secure his services.”
The training squad has four goalkeepers: “Kumar, even at 31, is still the best in the country but we need to have a back- up as this is a highly specialised area.”
Khairulnizam Ibrahim was the reserve in Invercargill, while the other two who received a call-up are Abdul Hakim Adnan who played for Maybank in the MHL, and Fairus Wanazir of Tenaga Nasional.
The Junior World Cup players who caught the eyes of the selectors are Abdul Hakim, Sybrie Shamsudin, Ahmad Kaza mirul, Harvinder Singh, Azammi Adabi and Izwan Firdaus.
The youngest player on the list is 19-year-old Faizal Saari, but he has the experience of playing in the Champions Challenge II and the World Cup Qualifier.
TRAINING SQUAD: Goalkeepers -- S. Kumar (31, Tenaga), Abdul Hakim Adnan (24, Maybank), Fairus Wanazir (23, Tenaga), Khairulnizam Ibrahim (26, KLHC).
Defenders: Razie Rahim (23, KLHC), Madzli Ikmar (31, Tenaga), C. Baljit Singh (24, Tenaga), Ahmad Kazamirul (22, Sapura), Amin Rahim (30, Tenaga), Sybrie Shamsudin (21, Maybank).
Midfield: Shahrun Nabil (25, KLHC), Marhan Jalil (20, Sapura), Nabil Fiqri (23, KLHC), Shukri Mutalib (24, KLHC), Kelvinder Singh (25, KLHC), Azreen Rizal (21, Sapura), Jivan Mohan (27, Sapura), Harvinder Singh (21, KLHC).
Forwards: Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (24, KLHC), Faizal Saari (19, Tenaga), Hafifihafiz Hanafi (24, Maybank), Azlan Misron (27, KLHC), Izwan Firdaus (21, Tenaga), Azammi Adabi (20, Maybank), B. Namasivayam (24, Maybank).