UMPIRE LINGAM (right)
THE Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) suffered a new chaotic low, when Tournament Director V. Rajamanickam agreed that umpiring is at its lowest standard and he was forced to replace one on Sunday when Maybank stood their ground.
And Umpires Committee chairman Lt Kol. B. Muthukumar made matters more confusing by saying that he can’t comment when asked if he is standing by his beleaguered umpires.
Teams are said to be so peeved with the standard of umpiring in the MHL, that Maybank refused to enter the pitch against Sapura on Sunday because umpire K. Lingam was blowing.
It was a chaotic five minutes, as Maybank refused to enter the pitch, and Rajamanickam bowed to the pressure and replaced Lingam with reserve umpire Ahmad Fitri Lias to get the match underway.
“Maybank officials told me then that they had written to the MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) saying they do not want Lingam to umpire their match against Sapura because he is not up to standard and also that it would be his fourth time umpiring a Maybank match this season.
“I then agreed to heir request and the reserve umpire blew their match, but later found out that Maybank had not written in officially about the matter to MHC,” said Rajamanickam.
Umpires guardian Muthukumar, when asked if a prece dent has been set where teams can now dictate terms on umpires, said he does not have the mandate to speak to the Press.
“As far as I am concerned, I do not have the mandate to speak to the press and you can ask the MHC secretary or tournament director to comment,” said Muthukumar.
When pressed if teams are now free to pick their umpires, and dictate who they want for their matches, Muthukumar again refused to comment officially.
However, Rajamanickam shed some light on the current state of umpiring in Malaysia: “There are 20 umpires for the MHL and only five are International while 15 are Class 1 and lower. So, there are not enough quality umpires to go around blowing in the Premier Division and that is why the same umpires are used.
“The other 15 are still learning and are doing a good job in the Division One matches,” said Rajamanickam.
When asked how to solve the problem?
“I personally believe we need to bring in foreign umpires for the next MHL if we do not want more chaos,” said Rajamanickam.
Nur Insafi are the other team which has written in to the Technical Committee stating that the standard of umpiring is very low.
The MHL has already been invaded by foreign players because Malaysia does not have a big pool of quality players, and it could now see foreign umpires in the future.