Saturday, February 4, 2017

Bye TnT, Dhaka here we come...

A street shot of Dhaka -- the venue for World League Round Two.

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are scrambling against time to accept an invitation to play their World League Round Two match in Dhaka, instead of the scheduled Trinidad and Tobago venue.
  This came about after Canada pulled out of the Dhaka WL on March 4-12 citing security concerns.
  Malaysia were supposed to play their WL in Trinidad and Tobago on March 25-April 2.
  Yesterday, Premier Division Malaysia Hockey League team managers received calls to attend a meeting on Monday evening to discuss this sudden move -- with an option to shorten the MHL which ends on Feb 26 -- just a week before Dhaka.
  In a news report, Bangladesh Hockey Federation secretary general Abdus Sadeque said: "It is very sad that Canada have withdrawn from the tournament on security grounds, which we learnt on Monday through the FIH (International Hockey Federation).” 
  “We are taking this matter to the FIH because we have already given our security plans to them which include security from airport to the hotel, from the hotel to the stadium and security inside the team hotel.
  "One of our vice presidents briefed the FIH on the detailed security plan,” Sadeque said.
  “The FIH report has mentioned that Bangladesh have efficiently organised the England cricket team's Tour. It would have been better had the 11th-ranked team in the world Canada would have come as well.”
  In Dhaka Canada were in Group A with Fiji, Oman and Bangladesh, while in Group B are China, Egypt, Ghana and Sri Lanka.
  While in Trinidad and Tobago Malaysia are in Group A with Barbados, US and Chile. In Group B are Japan, Switzerland, Russia and the hosts.
  Malaysian Hockey Confederation CEO K. Logan Raj said its still a wait-and-see situation.
  "We have yet to receive anything from the FIH on the matter, but it looks like if we have to play in Bangladesh there are many factors to considerate.
  "First, the dates are too close and we need to adjust many things. Secondly, looking at the teams in both venues, there is not much of a difference and in the end a decision will be made to make sure we qualify for the World League Semifinals," said Logan.
  While Logan was non-committed, it was understood that Malaysia will be playing in Dhaka instead of Trinidad and Tobago.
  For the record, in the last World League Round Two in Singapore, Malaysia thrashed Poland 8-0 in the final but still failed to advance to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics because they finished sixth in the World League Semifinals in Belgium.
  And Canada qualified for the Olympics by finishing fourth in the Argentina World League Semifinals.