Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Malaysia shortlisted for 2018 World Cup..

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is pleased to announce that in its meeting on Saturday, the FIH Executive Board confirmed the shortlist of applicants for the Hockey World Cups 2018 to include Australia, Belgium, England, India, Malaysia and New Zealand.
The expressions of interest received for the World Cups were part of the larger Event Assignment Process launched by FIH at the FIH Congress in November 2012 to assign the unallocated events for the period of 2014 to 2018 before the end of this year. Aside from excellent interest in the World Cups, there was also an enthusiastic response for a number of other events, like the Hockey Junior World Cups 2017 and a new type of “Champions Event”, but particularly for the Hockey World League Semi-Final events which will serve as the main Olympic qualifying event in 2015 and the main World Cup qualifying event in 2017.
Of the applicants shortlisted for the World Cup, Australia, England, India and Malaysia have previous experience hosting hockey's pinnacle event, with India having hosted the latest men's edition only three years ago. Belgium and New Zealand are new to bidding for the World Cup but have both successfully hosted international events in recent years, such as last year's Women's Olympic Qualifier and the Men's Champions Trophy 2011 respectively.
Both the Men's and Women's Hockey World Cups 2018 will feature an increased 16-nation field of participants confirming the growing interest and development of the sport. Next year's highly anticipated Rabobank Hockey World Cup, taking place in The Hague, Netherlands, during the first two weeks of June, will see twelve men's and twelve women's teams compete in a joint tournament.
FIH President Leandro Negre commented, "The high interest to host by our Member Associations, especially for the World Cup, is extremely encouraging and we are very happy with the positive reaction to the FIH's new event assignment process. This successful first phase reaffirms our efforts to develop and strengthen our event brands and confirms the FIH's choice to select hosts much further in advance than previously."
In the next step of the process, all Hockey World Cup applicants will receive detailed event and bidding documentation and participate in a one day workshop on 7 May in Lausanne to allow them to prepare their bids in advance of the 31 August 2013 submission deadline.
On 8 November 2013, the FIH will announce the hosts, venues and dates of the Hockey World Cups 2018.
The shortlist of applicants for the Hockey World Cups 2018 consists of the following National Associations:
Australia (Men and/or Women)
Belgium (Men and/or Women)
England (Women)
India (Men)
Malaysia (Men)
New Zealand (Men and/or Women)

Primed for World Cup qualifiers..

IF THE Azlan Shah Cup was a prelude of the future, the Malaysian hockey team will not disappoint their fans again in the World League Semifinals and also the Asia Cup.
  Both the tournaments offer tickets to the 2014 World Cup in the Netherlands, and Malaysia look poised to snatch one of the tickets in either the World League Semifinals in Johor Baru on June 29-July 7, or the Asia Cup in Ipoh, on Aug 24 to Sept 1.
  The fourth Azlan Shah Cup silver medal was special, as Malaysia first held 2010 World Cup champions Australia to a 1-1 draw in the pool stages and then lost narrowly 2-3 in the  final.
  For the record, Malaysia only lost one out of the six matches in Ipoh, but that was enough to deny the hosts the title which they have been waiting for 30 years, and 22 Editions.
  Not only was the stadium filled to the brim in all six Malaysian matches, but social media, Twitter and FaceBook were also on fire with fans clamoring for news and urging their men to keep marching forward.
  And nobody bashed them when they fell, because it was Australia, and not the Asian teams which Malaysia will battle again in the World League and Asia Cup.
  Malaysia beat South Korea 3-2, New Zealand 2-1, held Pakistan 2-2 and then drew 2-2 with India.
  That was the turning point in the life of Malaysian hockey, as these were the teams which had denied them the spot to the World Cup when we lost to New Zealand in the Invercargill Qualifier, and Olympics when we lost to South Korea in the Dublin Qualifier.
  Some might argue that the other teams were blooding many new players, and would be more dangerous when they re-group.
  To a certain degree, it the truth, but the rejuvenated Malaysia look capable of taking on the best with this bunch of players.
  After the final whistle against Australia, the most disappointed person was coach Paul Revington.
  Looking dejected, the coach laid down the law for his men.
  "The tournament was wonderful, but the defeat hard to swallow. I had expected a golden finish, but looking back, we will carry some valuable lessons from here into the next two important assignments this year," said the South African.
  For now, he will release his charges to Malaysia Hockey League clubs, as the senior league starts this Friday.
  However, the players that gave their all must now give their best in the MHL to be in Revington's plans for the future.
  "I will be scouting for more players from the MHL, and that means even the present players need to produce their best for their clubs if they want to continue representing the country," warned Revington.
  This is a major move from previous coaches, who selected players based on their history, and not their current form.
  As for the Azlan Shah Cup, there is always another edition to look forward to...