Saturday, July 30, 2011

Malaysia will welcome Qualifier...

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) might just get their wish to host a leg of the Olympic Qualifier next year, as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) handed India an ultimatum on Friday.
The FIH said in a statement that it would withdraw the rights for India to host the Champions Trophy and the Olympic Qualifier if an ongoing row between two hockey bodies is not resolved.
“The FIH recognises Hockey India (HI) as the governing body for hockey in India, responsible as a member of the FIH for running Indian hockey in accordance with the objects of and subject to the rules and regulations set out in the FIH Statutes. The FIH does not recognise the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and has not done so since 2000.
“The FIH Executive Board is obliged to uphold the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes. The FIH President has there fore written to the Indian Sports Minister, calling for an urgent meeting, involving the Presidents of HI and the IOA, to discuss the FIH’s concerns and the ramifications of the current proposal for India’s role in world hockey.
“In the meantime, the FIH Executive Board has decided that it is neither possible nor appropriate to continue with the discussions with HI to host tournaments in India over the next 4 year cycle, particularly the FIH Men’s Champions Trophy (December 2011), and the FIH Men’s & Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (February 2012),” read the state ment from FIH.
MHF secretary Maninderjit Singh said if the FIH ap proaches Malaysia, the Qualifier will be welcomed with open arms.
“It has always been our aspiration to host a leg of the Qualifier and we did put in a bid for it. But we lost, because FIH had wanted a host country which can accommodate both the men’s and women’s tournaments but we had only bid for one.
“And if the FIH approach us to host a leg, and India can’t resolve their issues, we are ready to grab it, and also host the women’s leg if that if what FIH wants,” said Maninderjit.
The National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil is also ready to host the tournament, as refurbishment work has been completed.
“The national stadium is ready and will host a series of matches between Malaysia and Japan (on Aug 7-15),” said Maninderjit.
The only problem to iron out now is the merger between the men’s and women’s hockey bodies in Malaysia into the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHF).
“We have received a letter from the FIH to merge by the end of this year, and we are confident to achieve the given deadline.”

Terengganu, Pahang the surprise packages

THE Razak Cup, which is the country's second oldest hockey tournament, saw some exciting results in its 49th edition with champions Kuala Lumpur tested to the limit before claiming their 19th title with a golden goal on Thursday.
Division One runners-up Pahang and third-placed Terengganu were the revelations of the tournament, as they came close to creating history.
Pahang were spearheaded by former national player Ismail Abu, who was aptly named the Division One Player of the Tournament, and he is now looking forward to receiving a national call-up.
"The feeling is mixed as I was named Player of the Tournament, but I failed to help Pahang win their first Razak Cup title.
"We were close, very close, and now I hope to don national colours again. It has been a while since I was in the national team and I hope to get my place back. The national coaches and selectors were here, so hopefully my performance will help my cause," said Ismail.
He was dropped from the national team in October 2009 before the World Cup qualifiers in Invercargil, New Zealand, after playing truant during centralised training.
Ismail also scored 17 goals for Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club in the Malaysia League.
Pahang, void of national players, will host the Malaysia Games next year and have nine Razak Cup players eligible to spearhead their challenge.
Terengganu also paraded youngsters, and will have 12 players from the Malacca tournament eligible for the Malaysia Games.
In Division Two, Negri Sembilan's title effort came with promotion to Division One next year, and their coach S. Chandran hopes the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) will do away with qualifiers next year.
"First of all, national players always have a tight calendar and this year they were unable to help some teams during the second leg of the qualifier. This resulted in some of them dropping to Division Two.
"I hope MHF will do away with the qualifier which was not only a waste of time but also made the Razak Cup more expensive to compete in," said Chandran.
Negri spent RM35,000 and received RM5,000 for the gold medal.
The tournament saw teams play five matches in six days and it did look like KL and Pahang players could have done much better if they had been given a rest day after the semi-finals, and not forced to play another highly charged match the next day.

FIH threatenens India..

NEW DELHI (AP) — The International Hockey Federation threatened Friday to strip India of the right to host this year’s Champions Trophy and February’s Olympic qualifiers following a row between two Indian hockey bodies.
The FIH, hockey’s international body, said it did not recognize the settlement brokered on Monday of a turf war between Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation. The two groups agreed to form a joint executive board until the end of 2012 following mediation by India’s sports ministry.
However, the FIH said a country could only have one ruling body for the sport, and that it only recognized Hockey India.
“It is a fundamental and non-negotiable requirement of the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes that there can only be one governing body for a sport in each country with exclusive authority and responsibility to govern, organize national competitions and to enter national teams in international competitions,” it said in a statement.
As a result, the FIH announced it was halting all discussions about tournaments in India, including the men’s Champions Trophy (Dec. 1-12) and both the men’s and women’s Olympic qualifiers (Feb. 15-26).
“The FIH Executive Board has decided that it is neither possible nor appropriate to continue with the discussions with HI to host tournaments in India over the next four-year cycle, particularly the FIH Men’s Champions Trophy and the FIH Men’s & Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.”
The FIH also said it has written to Indian Sports Minister Ajay Maken, calling on him to have an urgent meeting with Hockey India and the Indian Olympic Association on the issue.
Eight-time Olympic gold medallist India failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is yet to ensure a place for London 2012.