News for 26 January 2010

All the news for Tuesday 26 January 2010

Ukraine wins Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship

Ukraine surprisingly claimed the title at the Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship in Duisburg, Germany defeating Spain (6-5) in the final. Germany took the bronze medal after a victory over Netherlands.

For Ukraine, the team that defeated World Champion Netherlands in the semifinal, the European Championship was the first ever major international hockey title for Ukraine

Ukraine captain Maryna Vynohradova, voted as the best player of the tournament, guided her team to the greatest success in the history of the Ukrainian federation.

Spanish goalkeeper Maria Jesus Rosa has been voted as the best keeper of the tournament. The price for the best scorer was tied between Anneke Böhmert (GER) and Raquel Huertas (ESP). The fair play trophy was awarded to the Belarus team.

As a result of the Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship and the Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Nations Trophy, the following European teams are qualified for the FIH Indoor World Cup 2011: Ukraine, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Belarus, Poland (as host) and Czech Republic.

Results Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship

Ukraine- Spain 6-5 (4-2)  

Bronze medal match
Netherlands-Germany 2-4 (2-3)  

Ukraine- Netherlands 3-2  (2-1)   
Germany- Spain 2-4 (0-2)   

Classification Pool
Lithuania- Poland 1-7  (1-1)  
Scotland- Belarus 2-4  (2-2)   
Lithuania- Belarus  4-5 (2-3)   
Scotland - Poland  3-3 (1-2)  

Preliminary round

Pool A
Scotland -Lithuania  5-2  (3-1)  
Germany - Ukraine  8-7 (4-5)
Ukraine - Lithuania  4-0 (1-0)  
Scotland - Germany  2-5 (1-3) 
Germany - Lithuania  6-2 (5-2)  
Ukraine - Scotland  6-4 (1-2)  

Pool B
Belarus-Spain 3-5  (0-1)   
Netherlands- Poland  6-2 (3-0)  
Spain - Poland  7-3  (2-1)
Netherlands - Belarus  9-2 (3-0)
Belarus - Poland 7-5 (3-1)   
Spain - Netherlands 2-3 (1-2) 


Chile defeats Canada in opening match of tour

Canada 0 - Chile 3

The women's national team was hit with a devastating blow before their South American tour even started, when Jess Walkey went down in Sunday's training session with a suspected ACL tear.  She will be returning home shortly in order to undergo treatment.

"It was a tough loss for us today.  I thought we played quite well, however, we made a lot of mistakes in our 25, which cost us the game,"  said head coach Louis Mendonca.

Todays game was also a highlight for five girls who achieved their first caps including forwards Robyn Pendleton (BC) and Michelle Weber (ON), Midfielders Katie Collison (BC) and Krissy Wishart (ON), and defender Samantha Smith (BC).  A small ceremony was held post-game to congratulate them as well as first time staff Neetu Rishiraj and Cregan Joseph.

Canada had a good game against Chile, unfortunately the game score does not reflect the competitiveness of our game.  There was a 5 minute period in the second half when the Chileans were successful at pressuring our backfield and were able to capitalize, scoring on back to back penalty corners.

Starting Line Up:

Azelia Liu, Abi Raye, Steph Jameson, Diana Roemer, Anna Kozniuk, Katie Baker, Ali Lee, Tyla Flexman, Stephanie Nesbitt, Thea Culley, Robyn Pendleton.

DNP:  Amanda Stone

12 min Chile PC - no shot
19 min Chile FP shot - Zee save
25 min Can PC - save
28 min Chile PC - Zee save

38 min Chile PC - shot wide
43 min Chile FP shot - Zee save
43 min Chile PC - Goal - 1-0
44 min Chile PC - Goal - 2-0
47 min Chile PC - Canada foul -
47 min Chile PC - no shot
70 min Can PC - shot wide
70 min Chile PC - Goal - 3-0

65 min Canada Yellow card
68 min Chile Green card

Field Hockey Canada media release

"No risk to India as host in WC"

India's hosting and participating rights in next month's WC will not be affected despite the indefinite postponement of Hockey India elections.

The FIH lamented the further delay in the much-awaited Hockey India elections, which has been pushed back thrice but assured it would have no bearing on India's chance both as host and as participant in the mega-event.

"The FIH regrets that there is another delay in the election process for Hockey India. The Hero Honda FIH World Cup will take place in New Delhi, India from 28 February-13 March 2010 with the twelve participants as qualified," FIH Communications Manager Arjen Meijer told PTI.

While granting the World Cup, the FIH had made it clear that a democratically elected Hockey India with both the men's and women's wing under one roof must be in place before the megaevent or else it would be shifted out of the country.

However, the FIH later softened its stand and said that the World Cup would be held in India but the hosts would be restricted from participating in it if an elected federation was not put in place on time.

Incidentally, the Hockey India election has been postponed thrice, the latest from its February 7 date after the Rajasthan High Court had put a stay order on its entire electoral college.

The election of HI was first scheduled for November 18 last year but was later pushed back to January 29 after the sports ministry had asked it to be deferred as some state units have raised doubts over the process of affiliation.

But the polls have to be deferred again from its January 29 schedule after the HI failed to give a 21-day mandatory notice to all the stakeholders of the election process.

World Cup Tickets Rates

s2h Team

A day after the majestic Major Dhyan Chand hockey stadium has been declared open by the Government of India, the global body FIH has released the rates for the World Cup tickets through one of its World Cup Special Publications.

Though the ticket rates are available, the online purchase details are provided for, the intended site however doesn't show the provision for actual purchase at the time the story was put on online.

The tickets are classified into five types (General Admission, General Admission, Premiuim, VIP, VVIP) with the price tag of Rs.100 (Approx £1.28/US$2.06) , Rs.100, Rs.500 (£6.40/US$19.33), Rs.1000 (£12.79/US$20.65), Rs.5000 (£63.93/US$103.27), respectively.

The above rates for the classification and pool matches.

The rate will go up by 50 percent for the 13 Feb World Cup Final (Rs.150 (approx £1.90/US$2.10), Rs.750 (£9.60/US$15.49), Rs.1500 (£19.20/US$30.98), Rs. 7500 (£95.90/US$154.91), respectively.)

The rates quoted above are for all matches played on that day.

Number of seats available against each category is not available, right now.

Tickets are likely to be available online at and at select branches of Café Coffee Day, Twenty Four Seven Convenience Store and UCO Bank in New Delhi.

The organizers are yet to announce date of commencement of ticket sales from these outlets.

It could not also be ascertained the rates are for India and also same for outsiders. Clarification has been sought, will come out with details once we get the reply.

World Cup hockey training camp

LAHORE: A training camp of the Pakistan hockey team to prepare for the FIH Hockey World Cup will commence here Tuesday at National Stadium.

All the 24 players invited for the camp reported to the chief coach, Shahid Ali Khan on Monday.

“Two training sessions will be held on the opening day and we will be starting training seriously keeping in view the importance of the event “,Shahid told APP.The Cup will be held form February 28 to March 13 at New Delhi, India.

He said efforts will be made to weed out weaknesses identified during the two-test series against Holland in Doha recently.

“Our main aim is to prepare the team in way to produce good results in the Cup and we have ample time for the preparations,we are confident that we will be able to raise a balanced combination “,he asserted.

Following will attend the camp Nasir Ahmad , Zeeshan Ashraf , Sohail Abbas , Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Irfan , Waseem Ahmad , Sajjad Anwar , Fareed Ahmad , Muhammad Rashid , Rehan butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Abdul Haseem khan , Muhammad Zubair , Akhtar Ali , Muhammad Rizwan (army) , Waqas Sharif , Umar Bhutta , Imran shah, Kashif shah , muhammad Tauseeq , muhammad Rizwan (Faisalabad), Shafqat Rasool , Abbas Haider and Salman Akbar.

Muhammad Asif Bajwa will be manager, While Shahid Ali Khan (Coach), Muhammad Shafqat (Assistant Coach), Faiz-ur-rehman ( Physio) , and Nadeem Khan  Lodhi will be the video analyst.

Associated Press of Pakistan

Doha series beneficial: Shahid

By Shazia Hasan

KARACHI: Pakistan hockey team’s chief coach Shahid Ali Khan says he is very happy with the team’s performance in the recently held two-Test series against the Netherlands.

Pakistan held the Netherlands to a draw in both the matches played at the neutral venue of Doha, Qatar last week.

“The Dutch were playing full strength, and it wasn’t even as if they were out of practice or anything. They had just played a series with South Africa,” informed the elated coach. “I’m very happy with the way our boys performed there and it was rather unfortunate that the matches ended in draws as we were leading in both encounters until the final minutes.”

“Even in the second match, which we played with junior boys mostly while resting the seniors, including Rehan Butt, we were leading by 2-1 until they restored parity in the last 10 minutes. And even then the goal was scored from outside the ‘D,’ which the umpire allowed by mistake. But I’m not complaining about that. Such things are all part of the game. I’m just glad to see the boys keeping an upper hand during it all,” he added.

“We were playing against the Netherlands after three years. The series saw us scoring six goals of which five were field goals while one was scored on a short-corner. We also got a chance to try various combinations and analyzing our weaknesses which will work on during the World Cup training camp that begins at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore from Tuesday morning,” said Shahid.

“The boys, too, have gained much confidence from the experience which will be good for their morale in the World Cup.”

Twenty-four players reported to the camp on Monday with the chief coach joining them on Monday evening.

Probables: Nasir Ahmad, Zeeshan Ashraf , Sohail Abbas, Mohammad Imran, Muhammad Irfan, Waseem Ahmad, Sajjad Anwar, Fareed Ahmad, Mohammad Rashid, Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Abdul Haseem Khan, Mohammad Zubair, Akhtar Ali, Mohammad Rizwan (Army), Waqas Sharif, Umar Bhutta, Imran Shah, Kashif Shah, Mohammad Tauseeq, Mohammad Rizwan (Faisalabad), Shafqat Rasool, Abbas Haider and Salman Akbar.


All Set for National Indoor Hockey Championships Finals

24 qualifiers hoping for national glory in Nottingham this weekend

The 24 teams set to compete for their respective National Indoor Hockey Championships titles at the Trent FM Arena Nottingham this weekend have now been determined following the conclusion of the women’s Indoor England Hockey League (EHL) and the national junior indoor qualifying tournaments.

After topping the women’s Indoor EHL premier division table, Slough will be determined to wrestle back the National title they surrendered to Bowdon Hightown in 2009.  The Cheshire side will be back to defend their crown having scraped through to this year’s finals weekend on goal difference, after finishing in fourth.  Joining 13 times winners Slough and nine times champions Bowdon Hightown are Canterbury, who finished second to Slough in the league on goal difference, and Leicester, whose outdoor revival this season is being matched indoors.

In the men’s National Indoor Hockey Championships, Indoor EHL winners East Grinstead will have the opportunity to begin their title defence against the Reading side they beat 8-5 in stunning circumstances in last year’s final.  Both sides will welcome back the England players that recently won the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Trophy in Poznan, Poland.  Contesting the other men’s semi final are 2008 Champions Loughborough Students and Indoor EHL premier division newcomers Surbiton, who finished the league in third place after their promotion last season.

2010 is the first year in which the junior event has split into separate competitions for clubs and schools.  Nottingham based club Beeston has three reasons to celebrate after its youngsters progressed to three of Sunday’s four junior club finals; the U16 and U18 Girls Club finals and the U18 Boys Club final.  With the tournament taking place in Nottingham for the first time they are sure to enjoy strong home support.

Beeston’s first opponents are Trojans from Hampshire in the U16 Girls Clubs final on Sunday morning.  Prior to that match Bromley & Beckenham of London face the south coast’s Havant in the U16 Boys Clubs final.  Beeston’s second opportunity for national glory comes in the U18 Boys Clubs final as they take on Old Loughtonians from Essex, the first time that either side has played in a National Indoor Hockey Championships Final.  Rounding off the junior clubs action on Sunday is the U18 Girls Clubs final between Beeston and last year’s winners Belper, who hail from Derbyshire.  Belper’s history in the competition is strong having also won the 2008 and 2007 U16 girls’ titles.

In the boys’ schools competitions, taking place a day earlier on Saturday 30 January, Whitgift School from Surrey will be keen to add the 2010 U16 Boys Schools title to their 2009 crown when they take on Royal Grammar School High Wycombe.  The U18 Boys Schools final is a rematch of 2009 when The Perse School from Cambridge beat Ipswich School.  In an interesting crossover between the junior and senior events, East Grinstead’s England international Glenn Kirkham coaches at The Perse School.  The U16 Girls Schools final pitches Millais from West Sussex against Wakefield Girls High while the U18 Girls Schools final will be contested by 2008 winners Kingston Grammar School, from Kingston upon Thames and Repton from Derbyshire.

With a new home and an expanded two day format the National Indoor Hockey Championships 2010 is set to be a spectacular event, not only for fans of the clubs and schools involved but also those less familiar with hockey.

Special ticketing deals aimed at families and groups have been designed to tempt fans of other Nottingham-based sports teams into coming along to see the lightning quick, high scoring indoor version of the premier Olympic team sport.

Tickets are still on sale from the Trent FM Arena Nottingham ticket hotline on 08444 124 624 and online via

Ticketing deals include:

Family deal - “children go FREE”

2 adults plus 2 children

Saturday 30th January: £20
Sunday 31st January: £30

Adults Only

Buy 4 tickets get 1 FREE, on any one day for the same day

Club / School Groups

Buy 8 junior tickets get 2 adult tickets FREE, on any day for the same day

Individual Day Tickets


Saturday 30th January £10                      
Sunday 31st January £15            


Saturday 30th January £5
Sunday 31st January £7

Students (NUS)

Saturday 30th January £7
Sunday 31st January £10

National Indoor Hockey Championships Schedule

Saturday 30 January 2010

15:00 Boys U16 Schools Final: Royal Grammar School High Wycombe v Whitgift School
15:50 Girls U16 Schools Final: Millais School v Wakefield Girls High School
16:40 Boys U18 Schools Final: Ipswich School v The Perse School
17:30 Girls U18 Schools Final: Kingston Grammar School v Repton School
18:50 Women's Semi Final 1: Canterbury v Leicester
20:00 Women's Semi Final 2: Slough v Bowdon Hightown

Sunday 31 January 2010

10:00 Boys U16 Clubs Final: Bromley & Beckenham v Havant
10:50 Girls U16 Clubs Final: Trojans v Beeston
11:40 Boys U18 Clubs Final: Beeston v Old Loughtonians
12:30 Girls U18 Clubs Final: Beeston v Belper
13:50 Men's Semi Final 1: Loughborough Students v Surbiton
15:00 Men's Semi Final 2: East Grinstead v Reading
16:10 Women's Final
17:30 Men's Final

England Hockey Board Media release

Ashley Jackson is star of show

By Graham Wilson

ASHLEY Jackson will be out to make his mark for England in the World Cup but, first things first, he is looking to add to his burgeoning reputation in the national indoor finals.

Jackson scored the second goal in the 2-2 draw against Spain as England’s build-up to New Delhi at the end of next month started in earnest in Cadiz. England captain Barry Middleton hit the opener in the 21st minute, his 32nd goal in 125 appearances.

But the focus now turns to the national indoor finals at the Trent FM Arena in Nottingham , where world young player of the year Jackson and England’s other stars will be on show.

Jackson, an outstanding indoor player, will be out to retain the title with East Grinstead, who play last year’s finalists Reading on Sunday .

Daily Express

Chris Bowen: Why I left SA to play international hockey for another country

talks to Southern Gauteng hockey captain and Wales international CHRIS BOWEN

THE 2009 Southern Gauteng hockey captain and Wales international Chris Bowen's life is manic, to put it mildly. He's an international player, coaches for hours every week, studies full-time and also holds down a full-time job, but somehow he makes time for it all. When he felt his ambitions to play for South Africa would not be realised, he went further afield. Here is why, and what it's like as a player over there. (JC)

Southerns' Chris Bowen says he can't really comment on the highly impressive growth and success of the England senior team in recent times, as he doesn't have much knowledge regarding their national side, although he can shed light on the main differences between the league structures in SA and in England, where he plays and is based. (JC)

"The league structure in England is divided into two divisions," Bowen says. "The top tier is the National Premier League, which includes teams from all over the country. The leagues below are divided into National West, National North and National East Leagues.

"The winners of these leagues and the team who finish in second-to-last position in the Premier League go into a 4-team Play-off tournament from which the top 2 teams gain promotion into the National Premier League. Even though the travelling does get a bit much, teams are guaranteed tough, hard competition on a weekly basis. There are also a few foreign players in the league, which adds a new dimension.

"The funding comes from England Hockey and the clubs who are represented in the leagues. Hockey SA could definitely benefit from a National league, as I don’t believe the regional [SA provincial premier] leagues are of a good enough standard. If SA focused on a Provincial National League system, thus maintaining the standard of IPT over a longer period, individuals and teams would benefit greatly.

Obviously on the financial side of things, this requires funding and the travel would be quite demanding. However, if it did materialise, I believe South Africa would experience an even greater improvement in their hockey, both tactically and skilfully, which would improve performances at an international level.

"The English players, as well as the Welsh, are constantly being exposed to competition where they are pushed mentally and physically on a weekly basis against a variety of opposition. Players who are identified as possible internationals are given the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities every week. In comparison, SA players face the best the country has to offer only one week of the year, making SA selection seem too brief a process.

Many players seem to slip through the system unnoticed due to these policies and players are selected based on past performances rather then current form.

"However, the England junior set-up was severely criticised after last year's U21 World Cup hockey competition. They had unlimited financial resources and could not have been more prepared.

'I was accepted to study MSc Sport Psychology degree at Roehampton University in London.'

Yet, after countless hours' training, competitive matches against other international powerhouses, like Australia, and attending the Junior Olympic Competition, they only managed to finish in 16th position, losing to SA in the playoff. The raw talent that South Africa have, especially in the junior hockey ranks, is testament to how successful they can be on the international stage.

"After completing my university studies in 2006, I wanted to travel and I also wanted to play. I had a British Passport so the UK was the obvious choice. England was calling - the hockey was more professional and the lure of the pound was strong.

"My ambition was to make the South African side and so spending seasons overseas would ensure I was playing all year round and exposing myself to different styles, tactics and environmental elements, which could only improve my hockey. I wanted to play the highest level possible and so approached clubs in the top flight.

"The longer I spent in England, the more comfortable I became. It has allowed me to live as a professional hockey player and coach, a lifestyle that just was not possible in SA. I could not find a job in South Africa and I seemed to be creating a career for myself in Europe.

"I was coaching at Barnes HC with Brian Hibbert [a top coach at just about every level from schools to senior in SA] who was involved with the Wales set-up. He asked me to get in touch with the Wales Hockey Union as I had Welsh eligibility. I was returning to SA to play IPT and try and gain selection for the SA side, so I didn’t think much about Wales. I sent the WHU my details and didn’t hear back from them.

After IPT, I was not chosen for the SA side, and ironically after the team was announced I received a reply from the WHU asking me to attend camp in a few weeks. I spoke to various personnel within SA hockey to get their perspective on the situation, as SA selection was all I had ever wanted and worked towards. I knew that if I got selected for Wales, the SA dream was finished but I had done everything I could for selection and it was not going to happen."

The 2009 Southerns side, beaten by KZN Coastal Raiders in the final, arguably played the most exciting hockey at IPT at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf hockey stadium in Pietermaritzburg, and Bowen was a key player in that side. He is modest about his ability, but clearly he has impressed those in the UK who matter on the international front. (JC)

"Wales had offered me an opportunity and I didn’t want to let it pass by. I attended camp, played well and was selected. A month later, I debuted against Scotland at the Celtic Cup in Cork, Ireland. Due to the Welsh international schedule, I was required to be in the UK more and more and was forced to map out a life for myself in Europe, which I have achieved and I now love it over here.

Life is busy. I was accepted to study my MSc Sport Psychology degree at Roehampton University in London, which again, was not something I had planned. I was rejected by a few institutions in South Africa due to various reasons that don't apply in the UK. It is a very challenging course and it keeps me busy, but it’s only one year and then I’m qualified- finally! And life doesn’t stop there, we (Wales) went to the World Cup Qualifying tournament in New Zealand which will hopefully allow us to gain enough ranking points to be invited to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Opportunities arise from the strangest places and at different times. Even though they may not be what you are striving towards, you have to recognise them and be realistic within yourself. I never wanted to leave SA and I definitely did not want to play for anyone but South Africa. Yet, certain things are just out of your control.

Whether it is due to politics or just not being good enough, the South African selectors never gave me an opportunity and deciding to leave was the most difficult decision I have had to make. However, I have no regrets with my choice and I am thoroughly proud to be involved with Wales, yet SA will always be my home and I will always support them!

SA Hockey World

Magnolias, Defence Force win openers

Nigel Simon

Arielle Du Quesnay, right, of Carib Magnolias heads for goal under pressure from Notre Dame’s Curlynne Wynn in their T&T Hockey Board Women’s Championship Division match at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Saturday. Magnolias won 4-2. Photo: Anthony Harris.

Carib Magnolias (women) and Defence Force (men) began with comfortable wins in defence of their respective titles in the T&T Hockey Board Championship Division Outdoor League on Saturday at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua. The Stacey Siu Butt-led Magnolias, coming off a disappointing fourth place showing in the season opening seven-a-side competition, outclassed newly-promoted Notre Dame 4-2 with Siu Butt scoring a hattrick in the fourth, 11th and 61st minutes and Gayle-Anne Nieves rounding off the scoring in the 56th minute. Keishelle Griffith (24th) and Blair Wynn (29th) gave the Dames a glimmer of hope, tying up the score 2-2 before the interval. In the other Women’s Championship Division match, Ventures battled to a 2-1 win over Harvard Maritime Checkers with Kelly Young scoring a second-half brace.

Young netted in the 47th and 58th minutes for a 2-0 lead before Patrice Padmore got a 67th consolation for Checkers. Defence Force made light work of Corona Fatima in its opener with Shane Legerton and Nicholas Wren scoring two goals each in a 6-3 win. Legerton fired in his goals in the eight and 51st minute while Wren netted in the 20th and 37th for the “Teteron Boys” who led 3-1 at the half. Marcus James (12th) and Sheldon Froix (25th) chipped in with one each while Quinn Clarke scored two and Andrew Vieira one for Fatima. On Friday in the Veterans Division, Defence Force edged Notre Dame 3-2 while Fatima clobbered Shape 7-0.

Hockey results:

Veterans Division
Defence Force 3 (Neil Lashley 12th, Sherbert Mc Kie 41st, Kurt Davis 68th) vs Notre Dame 2 (Garth Baptiste 48th, Sean Olton 62nd)
Fatima 7 (Wayne Nieves 27th, 52nd, 54th, Roger Gomes 57th, 63rd, Colin Young 15th, Richard Downie 60th) vs Shape 0.

Championship Women
Carib Magnolias 4 (Stacey Siu Butt 4th, 11th, 61st, Gayle-Ann Nieves 56th) vs Notre Dame 2 (Keishelle Griffith 24th, Blair Wynn 29th).
Ventures 2 (Kelly Young 47th, 58th) vs Checkers 1 (Patrice Padmore 67th).

Championship Men
Defence Force 6 (Shane Legerton 8th, 51st, Neil Lashely 20th, 37th, Marcus James 12th, Sheldon Froix 25th) vs Corona Fatima 3 (Quinn Clarke 54th, 67th, Andrew Vieira 6th).

The Trinidad Guardian

Sapura say 'no' to Nur Insafi's request

Jugjet Singh

SAPURA have flatly rejected Nur Insafi's request for one leg of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division quarter-finals to be played in Penang.

Nur Insafi club president S. Thaitchana, who is also their coach, had said that if MHF deny their request to play one leg in Penang, they will concede a walkover.

"I have been following this new development in the press, and on Sunday, I received a call from the MHF asking me if Sapura are wiling to play one leg in Penang, and I replied in writing today (yesterday)," said Sapura team manager Abdulah Yunus.

"First of all, the Nur Insafi manager attended the team managers meeting where it was decided that all the knockout matches will be held in Kuala Lumpur.

"None of the team managers, including Nur Insafi's, protested then, and Sapura's view is that the MHF should stick to that decision."

Abdulah also said it will be too taxing for his players to travel to Penang immediately after the first leg, and this will be a disadvantage for them.

New Straits Times

MHF stick by decision — no change in venue

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) will stick by their decision to have all the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) knockout stage matches played in Kuala Lumpur.

For the two-leg quarter-finals, one match will be held at the KL Hockey Stadium in Jalan Pantai and three will be played at the Tun Razak Stadium in Jalan Duta. The semi-final ties and final will be played at the Tun Razak Stadium.

Penang-based Nur Insafi have threatened to withdraw from the quarter-finals if they do not get to play one of the match at their home USM Stadium.

But MHF secretary Hashim Mohamed Yusof said yesterday that no changes would be made as all the teams had agreed to the fixtures prior to the start of the MHL Premier Division competition.

“It is for Nur Insafi to make a decision on their participation. They attended the team managers’ meeting prior to the start of the league competition and no objection was raised on the venues for the competitions on a carnival format,” he said.

The quarter-final ties will be played on Friday and Sunday. The semi-finals are scheduled for Feb 5 and 6 and the final is set for Feb 12.

Newcomers Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) go into the knockout stage as the Premier Division champions. They will be up against Division One runners-up Armed Forces-Airod in the quarter-finals. Premier Division runners-up Tenaga Nasional will play against Division One winners UiTM.

The Star of Malaysia

Empty stadia highlight expensive and futile exercise

Jugjet Singh

THE idea was novel, but expensive to execute, so the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) deserves a pat for pulling it through.

The Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division enters the knock-out stages this weekend but many feel the idea should be knocked out next season as it has failed in many areas.

First of all, the stadia in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Baru and Malacca were empty of fans, and those who did bother to attend were mostly family and friends of the players.

The Tun Razak Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, a venue which used to be filled to the brim when MHL matches were played there a decade ago, only saw a handful of fans while the rest were players, officials and ball-boys.

Penang failed to pull in the crowd even though it had a home side in Nur Insafi, and the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru as well as the Bukit Serindit Stadium in Malacca experienced the same.

So next season, MHF might as well scrap the expensive idea which involves travelling and staying in hotels, as five out of the six teams are based in the Klang Valley and it is highly unlikely that another state-based club can afford to join in.

The reason is not that Malaysians do not like to watch hockey anymore, but because the gap separating teams is so huge that League champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club should have been given the trophy and the RM30,000 winners' cheque right after they submitted their team list.

The fact that five million viewers tuned in to watch Malaysia play New Zealand in the World Cup Qualifier in Invercargill, says that the fan base is still there, but they want quality matches and not run-of-the-mill lop-sided tournaments.

There are not enough good hockey players to go around, and former stars are still very much in demand even though their production level has dropped with the increase of their waist-lines.

Only UniKl-Ibil took a chance with a young side, but it looks like many of their players might be pinched by the richer clubs and next season they will again be doing development work.

Sponsors Tenaga Nasional made it possible with a huge contribution but it is time more money be used for development, than staging tournaments.

A discussion was held recently between the big guns of the National Sports Council and the MHF, and the grapevine has it that there is still hope if the proposals become a reality.

The NSC is looking at a primary sports school in Pahang where Standard One pupils will be exposed to training in multiple sports, and a scientific evaluation will be made as they grow up and only then will they be made to specialise in sports which suit their physique.

Then there are plans to send an entire age-group hockey team to Europe to play and train, and this will be made possible by cementing affiliation with clubs in Netherlands and Germany who will house and train the boys at minimal cost.

In the words of one NSC official: "There will be more quality training time, and less time to be tourists as is the norm right now."

New Straits Times

Yash Raj Films contributes Rs 2 lakh for women's hockey team

BANGALORE: The women's hockey team received Rs 2 lakh from Yash Raj Films which produced the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Chak De India.

The cheque, sent in the name of captain Surinder Kaur.

The girls had opened a joint account in a bank in Bhopal last week, seeking contributions to help needy hockey players. The girls also continued their black armband protest against Hockey India.

The Times of India

Kaushik happy as Physio Dr. Vikas gets an award

K. Arumugam

Women's national chief coach MK Kaushik is happy that his tried and trusted physio has got some recognition at last. Vikas has been conferred with 'Young Achievement Award 2010' by Indian Association of Physiotherapists yesterday.

"I am very much happy about it", Kaushik said speaking to from Bhopal.

Dr. Vikas Dhawan has been associated with the women's team since 2004, and was part of the team that posted stupenduous semifinal victory over South Korea in the Bangkok Asia Cup that ensured India a berth in the 2010 World Cup.

Kaushik, an Arjuna and Dronachrya awardee himself, explained: "This award has been given to him for his significant contribution to the profession of Physiotherapy at this young age. He is a hit among the girls, as he takes care of their professional needs in his area of specilization".

The award was presented to Dr. Vikas during the National Physiotherapy Conference held at Mangalore yesterday.

"Vikas has been instrumental in keeping reliable levels of fitness of the team. We appreciate his involvement and dedication to treat the injuries of players" Kaushik added.

"I strongly feel support staff are very essential for the team's success on the turf. I wish his achivements gets highlighted. This recognition assures me that we have the best professionals in building up of the team for upcoming World Cup, CWG 2010 and Asian Games", Kaushik said.

Vikas is presently in Bhopal with the women's team, received the award at Mangalore Conference yesterday. He will be joining the team today or tomorrow. wishes the young physio many more laurels in the year to come.

Stop all these PR Exercises and Press Conferences

s2h team

It has become a fashion nowadays among the new faces who descend on the scene from nowhere, designate themselves into various posts and then try to get the publicity mileage.

Every six months we have been hearing somebody is Secretary General of Hockey India, and somebody else is President.

They all hell bent on making a name for themselves, making use of large media space available to hockey.

On the other hand, IOA president hogged limelight last fortnight for almost three days non-stop, first brokering a peace deal with players, then joining them for training next day in the morning practive, and the third day distributing the cheque to players, all in front of national media.

The cheque that someone else has given to some other organization – read Sahara to Hockey India – but this gentleman used the occasion to improve his popularity TRPs.

This is misuse of hockey, and also media.

Now, at the short notice, one Narinder Batra, who calls himself Secretary General of Hockey India –it is not known how he got the designation, in which Annual General Meeting it was done – has called a press conference today in New Delhi.

It is beyond comprehension how Narinder Batra, Rajeev Mehta and others who have a vote in the Hockey India election and are also ambitious stake holders for various posts, sit on the seat of judgment right from affiliation to day today affairs.

Everybody knows they all have been handpicked by IOA, and if I put it on Pargat Singh’s famous words, ‘rubber-stamps’, and are in a hurry to garner whatever publicity.

None of these people called any press conference to address players concern or announcing a test tournament, the point is about the sport they are supposed to govern.

Now that, thanks to Rajasthan High Court’s stay, the election has been postponed; they can leave the election and other controversies at rest, and allow the nation to feel about World Cup.

Dear publicity mongers, please leave hockey to be talked about, written about.

Even we haven’t seen any of these Hockey India office bearers when the grand stadium was inaugurated the other day.

Certainly, it’s a rebuff for the way these handpicks are running away with publicity.

I think in this era of emails and easy communications, there was no necessary all the times to call press conference. This money can be given to silently protesting girls.

Except once at Pune, where the Hockey India questioned the commitment of players, in the presence of Ondorzo, no press conference haven’t been called to deal hockey or its players!!!

Last week, Suresh Kalmadi invited a press conference in Delhi, those who attended it wondered why for it was called, and it is recorded in many newspapers. They absolutely had nothing to convey, except showing three FIH officials on the dais.

Why to waste money on Five Star Hotels for all these?

Court asks HI to explain its functioning

By Praveen Kumar in New Delhi

HOCKEY India ( HI) failed to get relief from the Delhi High court on Monday after the court asked the national body to explain its functioning and file a detailed reply on the election process and affiliation given to the state bodies by it.

A division bench of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul asked the ministry of youth affairs and sports to file an affidavit, stating as to what is its role in the entire election process of HI and also in the functioning of HI in general. The bench after hearing the submissions asked both the ministry and HI to file their replies by Wednesday.

Sushil Dutt Salwan, representing HI, argued that since the Rajasthan High court has restrained GS Mander, a vice- president of the Indian Olympic Association ( IOA), from acting as a returning officer for the election, the application filed by the Sports Ministry becomes infructous. He also submitted that the elections have been postponed now, so the matter cannot be argued further.

But the bench rejected the argument, saying that the court would look into the entire gamut of HI and its origination. “Hockey was India’s pride and you have made it a shame. In modern India, we will not allow you to have any monopoly in sports,” observed the bench. On the other hand, Rahul Mehra, who recently filed a PIL to question the management of all the sports bodies, argued that the HI governing body is illegal as per its own constitution.

Lawyer Mehra argued the matter on the Clause 2 ( A) ( ii) of the rules of HI pertaining to the eligibility conditions for membership.

He said the present governing body of HI, which includes seven members, is illegal. “As per the clause, once this body affiliates at least 10 or more state associations, then from that day onwards the governing body shall cease to exist. They will have no role in the federation,” said Mehra.

He also submitted minutes of the meeting dated November 30, 2009, when the governing body had affiliated 20 state associations.

The bench immediately posed a question to the HI, which then said that everything has been done according to the constitution and the guidelines laid down by the ministry.

Mail Today

Take over Hockey India: Gurbax, Aslam, Shetty appeal to govt

CHENNAI: Demanding the resignation of the officials of crisis-hit Hockey India, Olympian Gurbax Singh Grewal and two senior administrators appealed to the government to take over the body to successfully host the World Cup next month in New Delhi.

In an appeal to Union Sports Minister M S Gill, Grewal, former HI Secretary Aslam Khan and Karnataka Hockey President R S Shetty said successful conduct of the world cup was important in the context of the Commonwealth Games to be hosted by India later this year.

"Commonwealth Games is a most prestigious event and the country's prestige is involved," they said adding that a series of mistakes had been commited in the past resulting in the resignation of experienced persons, including A K Mattoo as HI President besides consultant Ric Charlesworth.

Criticising the present set up in the HI, they said the officials, including Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi, would bring "bad repute" to the country.

Lapses in the conduct of the World Cup would only put India in bad light world over, they added.

"In the last two years, they had committed blunders. We cannot spell out certain shameful acts committed by them under the stewardship of Kalmadi," Grewal and Shetty said.

"It is high time that the Union Government and the sports ministry step in to uphold the prestige of the country with the World Cup round the corner," they said.

Gurbax and Shetty suggested that the "Government should head the committee and induct experienced people like former star Pargat Singh."

Though Aslam did not talk about de-recognised IHF, both Gurbax and Shetty said, "HI did not get World Cup to India. If Kalmadi continues to seek advises from IHF President KPS Gill even to resolve the players issue on payment besides seeking his assistance in deciding Delhi's recognition, the government has him (Gill) in the committee."

Shetty said the country should get out of the FIH control in national affairs of hockey. "We can sort out our own problems. Elections to HI should be held without any bias after the World Cup."

Aslam said, "Going by the series of blunders witnessed in the running of HI and the disgraceful manner of functioning of persons including Suresh Kalmadi, I am of the opinion that Government of India should set in motion a committee of experienced persons including Olympians like Pargat Singh and run the World Cup, which belong to the FIH."

"This Committee should run the affairs of Hockey in India till a fair election is held after taking decisions on extension of affiliations to state bodies in a transparent manner," he said.

Aslam also added that he appeals to Kalmadi to advise the present set of inexperienced people to show magnanimity and resign en-mass accepting responsibility for the blunders committed in HI.

Explaining the reasons for his resignation, Aslam said: "Hockey India is not the right place for any honest person. I had to come out as I could not sustain insults for more than 19 months as HI Secretary."

Members of HI starting from Aslam Sher Khan, Randhir Singh, Ric (Charlesworth) besides many others had to quit from their respective posts as they were finding it difficult to perform their function in a more transparent manner.

"I too had to resign since players were not paid and sponsor Sahara paid nothing for 19 months and also did not allow us to sign with others like Addidas, Hero Honda and Steel Authority for a total sum of Rs 12 crores," Aslam said.

"Kalmadi has been ruining Indian sport for years but he should remember that autonomy work two-ways. He never gave any autonomy to sports federations because of whom the IOA and the state bodies are in place. He gave scant regard to this and held on to his sinister moves," Aslam charged.

The Times of India

HI accuses Ministry of bias

Sports Reporter

NEW DELHI: Even as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Monday clarified that the World Cup would be held here as scheduled, Hockey India (HI) took on the Union Sports Ministry accusing it of bias towards the Punjab lobby.

“The FIH regrets that there is another delay in the election process for Hockey India. The Hero Honda FIH World Cup will take place in New Delhi…from February 28-March 13, 2010 with the 12 participants as qualified,” stated an official release of the FIH on Monday, scotching speculations of a possible postponement of the event.

That must have come as some consolation for HI, battling as it had been on various fronts for the past few weeks.

No longer prepared to take allegations lying down, HI Secretary-General Narinder Batra confronted the media on Monday, with a voluminous bunch of documents, including correspondence and minutes of meetings held with Sports Ministry officials to point out, what he alleged, was the ministry’s bias.

In response to Hockey Punjab Secretary Pargat Singh’s allegations, Batra said that HI had given affiliation to Punjab “under pressure from the Sports Ministry.”

He said the State women’s association had objected, as late as January 7, to the process of merger of men and women bodies as carried out by the body headed by Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal.


“The Ministry of Sports is acting as the Punjab Government,” Batra said at a press conference and produced documents to assert that the ministry had intervened at every stage as though it was in favour of a particular group.

“As for Pargat’s allegations, let me state that HP’s affiliation was given within 24 hours after due process with immense pressure coming from Sports Ministry despite there being disputes in the state unit.

In fact, in no other case has the Ministry been so keen (to grant affiliation). This goes on to show a systematic calumny against HI and its office-bearers,” Batra said.

Batra said Kalmadi never put pressure as far as HI elections were concerned and it was only “an assumption.” The HI Secretary denied that he had made any negotiations on behalf of Kalmadi with Punjab officials.

The HI official said a group that proclaimed its allegiance to Hockey Bengal President J.B. Roy was roped in, at the behest of the ministry, in the affiliation process.

That group comprised Pargat Singh, Amrit Bose, Gurbux Singh and Rajkumar Jaipal.

He pointed out it was Jaipal of the Rajasthan association who had now gone to court, which had granted stay, thus stopping the procedures for the scheduled elections on February 7.

Batra said HI intended to move court and seek to get the Jaipur High Court stay vacated. “Because of the holidays, we cannot move court before January 27,” he said.

Hinting at the link between Sports Ministry and the J.B. Roy group, Batra cited an example where three States — Delhi, Punjab and West Bengal — objected to the appointment of G.S. Mander as the Returning Officer for the polls.

“Identical letters reached the Ministry from three different States on the same day and the next day the Ministry wrote to HI regarding the concerns raised by the units,” Batra said, adding that, in contrast, the Sports Ministry refused to accept letters from HI through courier and insisted on those being delivered through speed post.

Producing documents as proof, the HI Secretary expressed surprise over Government observer S.K. Mendiratta’s adverse comments in the media on Mander’s appointment even though he had signed the document relating to the qualification of the Returning Officer as explained by FIH observer Antonio von Ondarza.

Batra wondered why the Sports Ministry was backing some State associations. “And I do not know what problem the Government has with us,” he said.

Pargat criticised

He said J.B. Roy and Pargat wanted power in HI and when they could not muster enough support in their favour, they tried to put pressure and negotiate.

Referring to Sports Minister M.S. Gill’s suggestion that old associations should not be denied affiliations, Batra said HI intended to accommodate several units as associate members after the first general body meeting. He said HI was only following Government’s own stipulations on the issue.

The Hindu

HI hits back, says election won’t affect World Cup

M.S. Unnikrishnan

New Delhi: Hockey India secretary-general Narinder Batra said here today that the World Cup Hockey Championship will be held as schedueld at the National Stadium in Delhi from February 28 to March 13, as it will have no bearing on the elections to Hockey India (HI).

He said the “outbursts” of Hockey Punjab secretary-general Pargat Singh “were not only unwarranted, but absolutely out of context” and could only vitiate matters. Batra also accused the Sports Ministry of putting “pressure” in giving affiliation to Hockey Punjab.

He said the World Cup would be conducted by a society, which is already in existence, and not by Hockey India. The World Cup Society Governing Body consists of members from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the International Hockey Federation (FIH), including IOA president Suresh Kalmadi and FIH president Leandro Negre, both joint-chairmen, IOA secretary-general Randhir Singh, Batra himself, IOA vice-president Lalit Bhanot and Hockey India adviser Anupam Gulati.

Batra, who was the treasurer of HI, said he was appointed the secretary-general and Vidya Stokes the president by the HI board following the resignation of HI president A.K.Mattoo. (The HI board consists of Mattoo, Aslam Khan, Batra, Vidya Stokes, Harish Sharma, Rajeev Mehta and Mohd. Mustaq Ahmed).

Batra said Hockey India had no hidden agenda to postone the HI elections, as it was necessitated following the Rajasthan High Court’s directions.

“Unfortunately, Pargat Singh sees a design in that. Under no circumstances, the office-bearers of HI were interested in continuing in the posts they are currently holding”, stated Batra. The HI secretary-general also refuted Pargat Singh’s charge that Hockey Punjab was given affiliation to HI after he was made to run around for 10 days.

“Hockey Punjab’s affiliation was given within 24 hours after due process with immense pressure coming from the Sports Ministry, despite there being disputes in the State unit. In fact, in no other case has the Ministry been so keen. This goes on to show a systematic calumny against Hockey India and its office-bearers”, Batra stated.

He said the Ministry of Sports acted more like the “Ministry of Sports, Governmnet of Punjab than the Ministry of Sports, Government of India”. He said Punjab’s application for affilication was received by HI on November 30 after elections to HI were announced.

Batra said he wanted to put it on “record” that it was Pargat Singh's “ambition” to become the secretary-general that had forced him to make wild allegations against Kalmadi and HI officials. Batra said there were complaints from the women’s hockey association of Punjab that it was not involved in the affiliation process and that proper meetings for the merger of the different hockey bodies in Punjab were not held as they were all “forced meetings”.

He said the sole aim of HI since its inception under the direction of the FIH was to bring all State unites (men and women) together under one umbrella called Hockey India and conduct elections to the apex body as early as possiblle.

“Hence proper notices were sent to all legally approved affiliates in the States and the date announced (February, 7, 2010) for elections until the Rajasthan High Court stay”, Batra elaborated.

Batra said it was Pargat Singh’s “figment of imagination” that Kalmadi wanted to become the HI president. “I have nothing more to add after Kalmadi himself has refuted Singh’s charges yesterday, except that Hockey Maharashtra was affiliated in August 2009 and from day one, Kalmadi was not a party to HM’s poll processs. If at all there is a role for Kalmadi in HI’s elections, he is doing so as president of the national Olympic body (IOA) whose responsibility it is to be a watchdog and conduct smooth elections to Hockey India”, Batra explained.

(HI recognised nine State units in August, viz Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttrakhand, Assam, Bihar, Mizoram and Kerala while Arunachal Prdesh, Chandigarh, Manipur, Orissa, Nagaland, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar, Haryana, Meghalaya and Uttar Pradesh, and four institutional units, Services Railways, Universities and Air India, were recognised on October 22).

Batra said Paragat’s desire to get into HI had forced him to join hands with J.B.Roy of West Bengal, but “now finding that Roy will not be able to get him enough support, Pargat Singh is trying to play a different tune and game. In his game of evil designs, he has chosen to accuse each and every one in Hockey India”.

Batra said the HI had called for elections on November 18 after due notices were given in October, “but a systematic tirade by J.B.Roy and party against Hockey India made both the Sports Ministry and the FIH write to us to re-look at all affiliations before announcing the next date for the elections”. He said subsequently, a four-member panel, consisting of Pargat , Amrit Bose, Gurbax Singh and Raj Kumar Jaipal (who obtained the stay order on the HI elections from the Rajasthan High Court), attended the meetings and were part of the process of sorting the affiliations.

“They were also signatory to the affiliation process (to 34 units)”, he added. (Batra supported his argument with a clutch of documents).

The Tribune

Blame game takes new twist

HT Correspondent

The blame game in hockey gathered steam on Monday when Hockey India (HI) secretary general, Narendra Batra, accused the Sports Ministry of being biased.

Terming the Ministry as the ‘Sports Ministry of Punjab’, Batra alleged that it had put pressure on HI to affiliate Hockey Punjab (HP), represented by former India captain Pargat Singh, despite several internal disputes. Pargat had accused the HI on Sunday for blackmailing him to favour Indian Olympic Association president, Suresh Kalmadi, as HI president in return for the state unit’s affiliation.

Rubbishing the charges, Batra accused the Sports Ministry of favouritism. “There was no unanimity within HP, and, the women’s unit had complained of forced alliance. HI with Ashok Mattoo as the president then, had to disregard it and give the affiliation to HP solely under the Ministry’s pressure,” Batra said.

When HT contacted, Mattoo said: “I will not comment on the Ministry’s role in HP’s affiliation. But it has always highlighted the need to affiliate state units at the earliest.”

Pargat denied Batra’s allegations against the Ministry. “We want Punjab to contribute positively to the sport. There is no dispute in HP and I have no personal ambitions other than the welfare of the game. But I am not surprised that the Ministry is being accused as well. What has the Ministry to gain by favouring any state?”

Earlier, Pargat had also accused HI of deliberately postponing the elections, which were scheduled for Feb 7. Batra termed the accusation as imaginative and said the HI will contest the stay in the Supreme Court if necessary. “Our lawyers have told us that we could not contest the decision before 27th (Wednesday), because of the weekend and the national holiday.”

World Cup on schedule

The international hockey federation (FIH) on Monday allayed fears that postponement of HI elections would jeopardise the World Cup.

“The FIH regrets that there is another delay in the election process for Hockey India,” said FIH communications manager, Arjen Meijer, adding that it would not have any effect on the World Cup. “The World Cup will take place in New Delhi from 28 Feb-13 March with the twelve participants as qualified,” he said.

MHA confident

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Hockey Association is confident of its fight to get HI affiliation following support from Sports Minister MS Gill.

The MHA, which is completing 75 years this year, has moved the Bombay High Court and the matter is set to come up for hearing on Wednesday.

“The court has given a direction to HI to be present for the hearing and give an explanation why no reply was given to MHA’s letters regarding affiliation,” MHA advocate Rakesh Kumar said on Monday.

Hindustan Times

HI secy targets govt, blasts Pargat

NEW DELHI: Hockey India's secretary general Narinder Batra rushed to the defence of Suresh Kalmadi a day after former captain Pargat Singh accused the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president of being a 'sports mafia'.

Batra said that the former Olympian's comments smacked of frustration as his dream of being the secretary general of HI was fading due to lack of support. Batra also took a potshot at the sports ministry, saying: "They are acting like sports ministry, govt of Punjab and not govt of India."

Even as Batra batted for Kalmadi, Olympian Gurbux Singh Grewal and two senior administrators appealed to the govt to take over HI to successfully host the World Cup. They blamed Kalmadi for letting HI get away with "shameful acts". "In the last two years, they (HI) have committed blunders. We cannot spell out certain shameful acts committed by them under the stewardship of Suresh Kalmadi," Grewal and Shetty said.

Meanwhile, Batra told media persons: "I really appreciate Pargat but whatever he said on Sunday was in really bad taste."

Batra accused Pargat of accusing Kalmadi without valid reasons. "It was Pargat's ambition to be the secretary general of HI, a post which was assured to him once he joined forces with JB Roy (president of Hockey Bengal), who himself was in running for the post of the president. But now seeing that they were not able to garner enough support, Pargat decided to accuse Kalmadi without any basis." Batra added: "Kalmadi was never a candidate for the HI elections, not then, not now. Pargat, Amrit Bose, Gurbux Singh and Raj Kumar Jaipal were part of the process of sorting put affiliations."

Handing out copies of communication between different state units and the sports ministry to the media, Batra blamed the sports ministry for showing targetting HI.

"The mails received by us from some state units seem to have emanated from the ministry because the language used is generally written by the officials of the ministry. We were being pressurised to grant affiliation to the Punjab body without proper documents? I wonder why are they acting like this?"

The Times of India

Hockey India hits back at Sports Ministry

NEW DELHI: Hockey India general secretary Narinder Batra accused Sports Ministry of encouraging groupism and creating pressure on them to affiliate Punjab Association for the elections.

"We were pressurised by the sports ministry to grant affiliation to Punjab. They didn't deserve it but under pressure we had to oblige despite there were disputes in the state unit," Batra told reporters.

"Sports Ministry of Government of India is behaving like sports ministry of Government of Punjab. In no other state unit, they have shown such interest. This goes on to show a systematic calumny against HI and its office bearers. I don't know what agenda they have but it is certainly unfair on us," he added.

Batra also went on to say that former HI president A K Matto resigned because he could not put up with the constant harassment by the sports ministry.

"Sports Ministry have always dictated terms to Hockey India and A K Mattoo also was under a lot of pressure. It was then when he was accused of financial mismanagement, he could not take it anymore. One of the reasons of his resignation was the harassment caused by the ministry," he said.

Batra also informed that the Hockey India was not even invited to the inauguration ceremony of Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Sunday.

"Hockey India was not even invited to the National Stadium inauguration. Anupam Gulati was there because he was invited by the Sports Authority of India and Jagbir Singh attended it as an Olympian. We didn't get any invitation," he said.

Batra circulated a booklet detailing the minutes of the various meetings that have taken place so far in the run up to the Hockey India elections.

Batra also rubbished former player Pargat Singh's allegation that Hockey India was trying to negotiate a deal with Hockey Punjab to get Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi at the helm.

"Pargat's outbursts were not only unwarranted but absolutely out of context. Kalmadi is not party to the HM's (Hockey Maharashtra) poll processes. There is no negotiation. Also it is untrue that Pargat had to run around for 10 days. Hockey Punjab was given affiliation within 24 hours after due process," he said.

"And their affiliation was delayed because they did not include the women's team of officials and regarding this anomaly a clarification was asked from them," he added.

The Times of India

Hockey body fires salvo at ministry

HI secretary general Batra says pressure was exerted for Punjab affiliation

By Tushar Bhaduri in New Delhi

THE war of words in Indian hockey took another unsavoury turn with the national body on Monday alleging that the sports ministry had exerted pressure for the affiliation of the Punjab unit.

Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra said they had to recognise the state unit, even though there were significant objections from various factions.

“It seems that the sports ministry of the government of India was functioning as the sports ministry of the government of Punjab,” Batra said.

Hockey Punjab secretary and former India captain Pargat Singh had on Sunday charged Indian Olympic Association ( IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi of being responsible for the “mess in Indian hockey” and alleged that his “coterie” tried to garner support for his bid to become Hockey India president in return for affiliation.

Batra said the Punjab hockey women’s wing had raised several objections alleging that they were not invited to the meeting in which the unification took place. “Even though they do not deserve affiliation, we had to grant it under ministry pressure. They wrote in their letters that affiliation has to be granted.” Batra even alleged that it was the ministry’s attitude which prompted AK Mattoo to resign from the post of Hockey India president. “He said he was humiliated by much younger officials of the ministry.

Mattoo felt that he has never before been accused of financial irregularities in his long stint in sports administration and it forced him to go.” Regarding Pargat’s allegations that Kalmadi wanted to become president, Batra countered that it was the former captain himself who sought the post of Hockey India secretary- general with JB Roy of the Bengal unit at the helm.

“When he realised that their group did not have more than six- seven supporters, he changed his tune. If Pargat can prove that I was involved in any negotiations, I will leave sports administration.” In response to charges that Kalmadi hogged the limelight by intervening in the pay dispute, Batra said: “I myself called up sponsors Sahara several times asking for money, but they refused to give any. Kalmadi’s role should be appreciated.” Batra also alleged that the objections from various state units against the affiliation process were also raised at the ministry’s behest. “The letters from Delhi, Punjab and Bengal have identical language which raises some questions. The sports ministry also insisted that Pargat, Amrit Bose ( Delhi), Gurbax Singh ( Bengal) and Rajkumar Jaipal ( Rajasthan) be included in the electoral list.” Batra even trained guns at sports minister MS Gill. “He is only after TRPs. He may be aware that his Rajya Sabha term ends in April and wants the support of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab for another term.” He also took on government observer SK Mendiratta for objecting to GS Mander as returning officer for the polls.

“The election guidelines were framed by him and we appointed Mander accordingly,” Batra said.


THE postponement of Hockey India elections will have no effect on the World Cup or the host nation’s participation in it, the International Hockey Federation ( FIH) clarified on Monday. “The FIH regrets that there is another delay in the election process for Hockey India. The Hero Honda FIH World Cup will take place in New Delhi with the 12 participants who have qualified,” the world body’s communications manager Arjen Meijer said.

Ticket rates for the general stand have been fixed at Rs 100 for all days except that of the final when they will be priced at Rs 150. The general admission premium tickets will cost Rs 500 and Rs 750. The VIP tickets for the hospitality stand will cost Rs 1,000 ( Rs 1,500 for final), while the price of the VVIP tickets, with a provision for light snacks, will set one back by Rs 5,000 ( Rs 7,500 for final). Tickets will be available at www. msnindia. com/ worldcuphockey and at select branches of Café Coffee Day, Twenty Four Seven and UCO Bank.

Mail Today

HI following Govt. guideline on lone State units

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: There has been much confusion about who actually advised Hockey India to stick to the one-State-one-unit policy while granting affiliations to the State bodies.

The stipulation has been part of the Union Government guidelines for National Sports Federations (NSFs) for decades but it has been flouted by several federations, notably by the now-disaffiliated federations controlling men and women’s hockey, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India, over the years.

With elections to Hockey India having been announced, an impression has been created somehow that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) had laid down this criterion. What the FIH did was to ask the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to ensure that a unified body, incorporating men and women’s hockey, to run the game was in place in the country.

The FIH rule says: “A National association of a country may be or remain affiliated to the FIH only if it governs hockey for both men and women in that country.”

Govt. guideline

The Government guidelines, however, stipulate that there can only be one State association from a State/Union Territory.

In the communication sent by the Government to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) granting recognition to HI, it had been made clear that the recognition was subject to the adherence of the new body to all conditions laid down in the Government guidelines issued on August 14, 2001.

(The guidelines, first issued in 1975, were amended from time to time, incorporating various new provisions.)

The stipulation about one State and one unit had been recorded in the minutes of several meetings HI had with the Sports Ministry officials in recent weeks, according to HI Secretary-General Narinder Batra.

Interestingly, the Government guidelines also stipulate that only State/Union Territory units shall have the right to vote in general body meetings.

The original HI rules adhered to this provision, but now a proposal has been made and included in the agenda for the now-postponed general body meeting to provide for one vote each to institutional boards.

Not just that, these units are also to be allowed to vote in the elections after the amendment to the constitution.

The guidelines stipulate that such boards could be admitted as associate members without voting rights in the general body meetings.


Mumbai HA petition hearing tomorrow

Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: The Mumbai Hockey Association writ petition will come up for hearing at the Mumbai High Court on Wednesday, January 27, 2010.

According to advoate Rakesh Kumar, the petition asks Hockey India for a decision on granting affiliation to Mumbai HA within a specific time frame.

“The prayer before the honourable High Court is specific. Wehave not sought injunction over any other issue,” he said during amedia briefing on Monday.

MHA had written to HI 10 months ago seeking affiliation as a separate entity, then took the legal route in the absence of any communication from the latter.

Mumbai, Vidharbha and Maharashtra were separate entities in the previous governing body, the Indian Hockey Federation. HI announced affiliation for only Maharashtra Hockey Association under the ‘one State, one unit’ directive.

Mumbai HA managing committee member, Joaquim Carvalho, said: “MHA is celebrating the 75th year of existence, it is a democratically-run body and wants to be part of Hockey India’s election process.”

The former Olympian and World Cupper expressed happiness at Union Sports Minister M S Gill’s statement about a transparent affiliation procedure which takes into consideration democratically-elected hockey bodies existing for many years.

Carvalho revealed getting a call from Indian Olympic Associationpresident, Suresh Kalmadi, the day after news of Mumbai filing a writ petition appeared in newspapers.

“Mr Kalmadi was in Pune then to meet the striking Indian players. He asked me about Mumbai Hockey Association’s legal move and informed me that a decision about Mumbai’s affiliation will be taken up at the AGM after a newly-elected body is in place.

“I told him about Mumbai’s desire to be part of the HI election process and assured him that the petition before Mumbai High Court will be withdrawn as soon as affiliation is granted.”

Mumbai hockey secretary Gurbux Singh Grewal, president Manga Singh Bakshi, vice-president P S Sujlana and advocate Jitendra Jabra were also present at the media briefing.

The Hindu

We want Hockey India affiliation before poll: MHA

MUMBAI: The Mumbai Hockey Association (MHA), which is celebrating 75th year of its existence, has moved the Bombay High Court as it wants to take part in Hockey India's electoral process by getting duly affiliated with the newly-formed body.

"The troubles being faced by Hockey India are its own making. We have moved the Bombay High Court seeking HI affiliation after our letters of application were being continually ignored by HI officials," MHA spokesperson Joaquim Carvalho told a press conference on Monday.

The former Olympian claimed HI officials had tried to coerce the MHA into withdrawing the court case by offering it affiliation at the AGM of the pan-India body whenever it is held in future.

"We had gone and met Suresh Kalmadi (Indian Olympic Association President) in Delhi and also met A K Mattoo (the ex-chief of HI who resigned recently) in Mumbai. We wrote several letters but they were not answered," Carvalho said.

"I got a call from Kalmadi the day after he met the (striking) Indian players in Pune and he promised we will be given affiliation after the elections. But I told him we were interested in taking part in the elections which he said was not possible. Then we moved the court," he said.

Carvalho said later an attempt was made by Hockey India Treasurer Narendra Batra too to persuade MHA to withdraw its court case and this also came with a rider that no affiliation would be granted to the Mumbai body before HI's elections.

"I told Batra too that we wanted to be part of the HI electoral process and would withdraw the case only if they grant us affiliation before the elections, which he said was not possible," he said.

Carvalho said that yesterday's statement of Union Sports Minister M S Gill in support of age-old institutions like MHA on the question of affiliation to HI has given a fillip to its aspirations.

MHA counsel Rakesh Kumar said they had prayed to the High Court to direct HI to give their application a fair and proper consideration after the latter had sat on the issue for several months.

"If it's illegally thrown out (by HI) we would go back to the court," he said, adding the next hearing of the case was due on January 27.

The Times of India

Karnataka downs Mumbai

Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: Karnataka won the third match of the M.P. Ganesh-Balbir Singh Grewal Trophy hockey series, defeating Mumbai 3-2 at the Mahindra stadium on Monday.

Three matches were played at Mumbai, now both teams travel to Coorg for remaining three matches as part of the home & away series for juniors. A squad of 18 players will be chosen for an exposure tour to Europe.

Mumbai had won the first two games, but found itself at the receiving end. Karnataka strikers Nitin Thimmiaiah’s crisp shot from the left went in off Mumbai goalkeeper Abhijit Kadam’s pad for the first goal (34th minute).

The visitors struck two more goals in the second half, Mudappa’s minus pass from left side of the goalline was guided home by Nikin Thimmaiah (39th minute).

Nikin combined with brother Nitin to sound the board with a reverse hit into the far corner (42nd minute).

The home team went all out in search of goals, reduced the margin via a penalty stroke conversion by Sandeep Singh (53rd) and Niyas Rahim squeezed a shot past Karnataka keeper Jagdeep for the second.

Jagdeep had a outstanding display under the bar and earned the ‘best player’ award. Mumbai lead 2-1 at half-way mark.

The Hindu