Thursday, April 16, 2009

1.3 Million Questions?

Somehow the figure 1.3 seems to be a favourite number when equated to Malaysian hockey. When we played hosts, or rather salvaged the honour of FIH, we suffered a 1.3 million loss in hosting the Champions Trophy. And if you care to read the Bernama story below, we need 1.3 million to upgrade the facilities at the Kuantan Hockey stadium for the Asia Cup. I bet we do not need to spend 1.3 million to prepare the national team for this tournament, nor do we have 1.3 million in MHF coffers to use to develop hockey in the country, something that should be on the top of the priority list.

I have every respect and admiration for Tengku Abdullah, the man means well, but it is those who are ill advising him that is a cause for concern. When the TM first came into hockey, he had the vision, but somehow without the haze hazard this year, TM has lost focus.

Kuantan, host venue for the Asia Cup hockey competition, are racing against time to upgrade facilities at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Indera Mahkota since the tournament starts in less than a month.

Malaysian Hockey Federation president (MHF) Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said RM1.3 million had been allocated to upgrade facilities at the stadium, especially the electronic scoreboard, flood lights and sections of the turf.

"These facilities must be ready before the tournament starts from May 9-16. I am however, confident that everything will be in place by then," Tengku Abdullah told reporters after visiting the stadium here today.

Tengku Abdullah added that apart from the Wisma Belia stadium, the SUKPA hockey pitch, also in Indera Mahkota, would be used during the competition.

Eight teams, divided into two groups - Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Oman (Group A), Pakistan, India, China, Bangladesh (Group B), are participating in the tournament that was initially supposed to be hosted by Dubai.

Since Dubai had decided to give up the host job citing financial constraints as a result of the current economic crisis, Malaysia offered to take up the host job.

Tengku Abdullah also said that Bangladesh would be the first team to arrive here for the tournament since the dark horses of Asian hockey are expected to fly into Kuantan on May 1, a day before the national team's arrival.

"I hope the local fans will fill up the stadium to provide support for the national team because entrance is free," said Tengku Abdullah.