Sunday, September 19, 2010

Great Wall of silence

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) are perplexed with the total shut-out of information from China regarding the fixtures and type of artificial pitch that will be used during the Asian Games in Guangzhou from Nov 12-27.
MHF have written to the Tournament Director as well as the China Hockey Federation, but there has been no reply to date.
“I just checked my e-mail and there is still no reply from the Asian Games Tournament Director or the China Hockey Federation. I am a little perplexed as such information is normally given many months before a tournament,” said MHF secretary Hashim Yusoff.
According to Hashim, the information, especially regard ing the kind of artificial surface teams will be playing on, are crucial to coaches to plan their strategy.
“When we organise the Azlan Shah Cup, or for that matter, any other tournament, the fixtures and type of surface is given out months in advance so that coaches can have a clearer picture and plan early.
“China is keeping the information to themselves, and this is certainly puzzling.
“I am left with no choice but to write to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) tomorrow for an explanation,” said Hashim.
Hashim said he smells something fishy in the silence: “Malaysia are in a good group and with a good chance to a advance to the semi-finals as India and Pakistan will not come into play before the knock-out.
“That is why we need to know who we will be playing first, and how much rest is given before we play the hosts. All this is vital to any coaches’ planning.”
The groupings were released a month ago, and Malaysia are in the same page as the hosts.
Malaysia, 15th ranked in the world, are in Group A with defending champions South Korea (sixth), China (14th), Oman (43rd) and Singapore (39th).
In Group B are Pakistan (eighth), India (ninth), Japan (16th), Hong Kong (54th) and Bangladesh (34th).
A gold in the Asian Games offers a direct entry into the 2012 London Olympics.