SEPT 28: The national juniors wore masks while in Johor Baru to familiarise themselves with the Taman Daya artificial pitch.
THE Johor HA are keping thir fingers crossed, hoping the haze will not be around when the Fifth Edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup starts on Sunday.
This is the second time haze has caused sleepless nights for JHA officials, as they faced a similar situation when hosting the World League Semifinal in 2013.
But back then, the haze cleared in time and Malaysia went on to book a place in the 2014 World Cup.
SOJC will be held on Oct 11-18 at the Taman Daya Stadium and organising secretary Manjit Majid Abdullah said they will be liaising with the various agencies before making any decisions.
"We are aware of the haze issue and hope it will clear soon. The health of players, officials and fans is our utmost priority," said Manjit who is also the Malaysian Hockey Confederation vice president.
"We are closely monitoring the situation, as teams will start arriving from Tuesday and we are keeping our fingers crossed that wind and rain will help clear the air."
Manjit added that they are also looking at the possibility of playing matches late as it is normally clearer in the evenings.
"Rest assured we have the best interest of all involved before making a decision," he added.
There are concerns that the tournament may be postponed due to the worsening haze condition affecting the nation as four Malaysia Cup matches were called off on Saturday as the Air Pollution Index reached unhealthy levels.
A marathon, and the women's hockey final was also victim to haze on Saturday.
Six teams will compete in the SOJC with defending champions India leading the stellar cast which includes debutants Argentina, last years losing finalists Britain, Australia, Pakistan and Malaysia.