Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The National Under 23 Tournament is currently under way in Malacca. Only 10 teams, of which 9 are affiliates of the Malaysian Hockey Federation are participating, namely Penang, Perak, Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur, Armed Forces, Pahang, Johor, Negri Sembilan and hosts Malacca. The 10th team is the National Under 18 team, or as some have branded it the Project 2013 squad.

The worrying part is that 7 affiliates of MHF, Perlis, Kedah, Selangor, PDRM,Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak failed to participate in the tournament. This should be a cause of concern for the MHF office bearers as it is their responsibility to ensure maximum participation especially since the U23 was catered for Sukma 2010 which will be held in Malacca as well.

MHF announced a RM5,000 subsidy for teams after the Council Meeting last Saturday, the day the tournament got underway in Malacca. Why the announcement was made on that day is baffling but if one takes a look at the circumstances, then the truth will emerge. For some personalities within MHF had wanted to appease the affiliates, so as to qwell a rumour about a motion of no confidence as reported in the main stream media.

Why was there no announcement of the subsidy, or even a discussion held on the matter, when the MHF Management Committee met after the Junior World Cup last month? If the announcement or approval was made at that material time, teams like Kedah and Selangor could have participated.

So was it more of a political mileage or genuine concern on the affairs of the affiliates that led to such a subsidy being approved on the very day the tournament was to commence?

Next we have the issue of the National Under 18 Team using apparel of another brand despite being provided with attire from the MHF Official sponsors.

It seems that the MHF Deputy President had provided all teams with a set of jersey from the other sponsor with MHF providing a set of jersey from their official sponsor. If the intention was noble to start with, then the Deputy President ought to have secured the second set from the MHF sponsors as well.

Putting that aside, to compel the National Under 18 Team to wear apparel from another sponsor is breach of terms of contract, if a contract exists that is. Over to you Chairman of the Special Projects Committee to sort this out.