Sunday, November 14, 2010

Malaysia gutsy against Japan

Pic: Norfaraha Hashim (R).

THE Malaysian women’s hockey team put up a credible performance against Japan before bowing out 4-2 yesterday.

Malaysia, ranked 22nd in the world, were down 0-2 to the No 9 in the world, but drew level at 2-2 before losing out on experience in the last nine minutes of the match.
The Japan goals were scored by Kaori Chiba (third, 63rd), Ai Murakami (12th), Miyuki Nakagawa 68th. Noor Hasliza (55th) and Norfaraha Hashim (61st) scored for Malaysia.
Malaysia next play world No 8 South Korea on Tuesday.
In another match, South Korean captain Lee Seon-Ok slammed six goals as the former champions drubbed Kazakhstan 10-3.
The top two teams after the round-robin league in the seven-nation tournament will qualify for the final.

FIH not bothered about Asia

By Jugjet Singh

AUSTRALIA and New Zealand will both qualify auto matically for the Olympics and possibly World Cups after the International Hockey Federation (FIH) gave them a super boost, while Asia were avoided like a leprosy colony.
The FIH released the qualification quotas for the 2012 London Olympic Games, where it gave one ticket to the winners of the Oceania Cup, while: “Therefore, the next highest placed team at the 7th Men’s Oceania Cup qualifies directly for the 2012 Olympics Games, together with the Oceania Champion,” read the FIH website.
This is a mockery as the Oceania Cup men’s tournament since 1999 to 2009 has witnessed Australia winning it and New Zealand emerging second.
And the reason is that in 1999, 2001 and 2003, only both the teams played in the Oceania Cup, while in 2005 Fiji was the third team, in 2007 Papua New Guinea was the third team, and in 1999 Samoa were the third team.
Needless to say, Fiji, Papua and Samoa received the whipping of their lives. Australia are the No 1 ranked team in the World, New Zealand seventh, Samoa 71st, Fiji 72nd and Papua New Guinea 73rd.
The last three spots in the FIH World ranking belong to the three Oceania teams.
The same applies for the Women’s Oceania Cup, where Australia and New Zealand shared the honours, because their opponents had difficulty in even holding the hockey sticks properly.
The FIH snubbed Asia when it maintained that only the Asian Games gold medallist gets a direct ticket to the Olympics, while the second to sixth placed teams play in three other qualifiers which offers only three tickets to the Olympics.
Asia has South Korea, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, China and Japan in the top 20 of the world rankings, but were only given one direct entry.
THE qualification system for the 2012 Olympic Games Men’s Hockey Tournament:
Automatic qualifiers: Host nation – Great Britain; Africa - Champion at Africa Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament’; America - Champion at 16th Pan American Games; Asia - Champion at 16th Asian Games; Europe - Champion at 13th EuroHockey Nations Championship for Men; Oceania - Champion at 7th Men’s Oceania Cup.
Extra quota places: Europe: Two extra quotas; Oceania: One extra quota.

FIH leave Asian hockey out in cold

By S.S. Dhaliwal (pic).

IT’S high time countries from Asia tell FIH to go fly kites.
The money for hockey is in Asia with Pakistan and India the cash cows in terms of TV rights.
Yet the FIH pay scant respect to Asia as evident in the quota system released for the 2012 London Olympics.
Out of 12 places available, one goes to the host country, five to the continental champions and three to ranking of FIH.
So if Great Britain wins the Euro Championships, mind you they play as England there, then there will be another three places for Europe.
And here is where it gets more ridiculous , the champion of Oceania and the runner-up are given places in London. Just how many teams from Oceania are in the top 20 world rankings.
For the Asians, who have South Korea, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, China and Japan in the top 20 of the world rankings, we are given only one spot automatically and the next five have to play with another 13 countries to vie for three spots remaining.
Utter rubbish FIH and this is discrimination against Asia, period.
So AHF should just tell FIH where to go as far as the Olympics is concerned, and forget about the Premier Series.
For once stand up and be counted Asia as for far too long have you been taken to the cleaners by these so called wise men of FIH.
They want our money but not our teams.
Read the FIH Quota System at

At least eight against Singapore

By Ajitpal Singh

THE national hockey team, who are on redemption in Guangzhou after their failure in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, hope to start their Group A campaign with a convincing win over minnows Singapore at the Aoti Hockey Stadium today.
The match is an important one as Malaysia need to score goals to gain confidence before facing group favourites South Korea (Thursday), and followed by Oman (Friday) and China (Sunday).
Coach Stephen van Huizen knows that a huge victory against Singapore will boost the team’s chances of qualifying for the semi-finals.
“Everything is perfect here. The pitch and facilities are great. My boys gave a good account of themselves when we played Bangladesh (2-0) three days ago. They have adjusted with the pitch,” said van Huizen at the Aoti Hockey Stadium yesterday.
“We will not hold back against Singapore as winning big is our prime objective. It will help my boys gain confidence ahead of difficult matches.
“We do not have major injuries in the team. Everyone is eager to put up a good show. Of course our main goal is to qualify for the semi-finals before thinking ahead.
On whether the team have recovered from their disappointment in Delhi, van Huizen said all major weaknesses have been rectified prior to the Asian Games.
“We have managed to fix what was lacking in Kuala Lumpur. I think we have covered everything. It is now up to the boys to display their best performance in the Asian Games,” said van Huizen.
In Delhi, the national team only managed one win from five matches by scoring seven and conceding 17.
Van Huizen hopes his main goal-getters, among them, striker Tengku Tajuddin (pic), Azlan Misron, Faizal Shaari and penalty corner specialist Muhd Amin Rahim will be on form during the tournament.
“We need to score goals when chances come. And against Singapore and Oman, we need to pile up goals. Of course, we also need to do the same against favourites Korea and China,” he added.