News for 27 January 2010

All the news for Wednesday 27 January 2010



Spain reign in Cadiz

Despite enjoying the better of highly competitive first half England were undone by a combination of fatigue and a couple of controversial umpiring decisions during their second and final test against Spain in Cadiz on Tuesday.

Having gone behind to an early Ed Tubau penalty stroke England responded with two goals before the half hour to take the lead.  However, a Xavi Ribas goal before the break levelled things for Spain and Tubau’s second early in the second half restored the hosts’ advantage.  Despite England’s efforts, Spain held on and scored a breakaway fourth late on to win 4-2.

Goalkeeper Nick Brothers, who made a number of good saves in the match, had to be alert early on as Spain won a third minute penalty corner.  The Reading ‘keeper was up to the task and the score sheet remained blank.  Two minutes later Ashley Jackson pounced on indecision deep in Spanish territory but could only watch as his rasping drive rebounded back out off the inside of the post.

Spain took the lead in controversial circumstances in the 13th minute when Richard Mantell was penalised for a clash of sticks inside the English circle as the Spanish forward shaped to shoot.  The decision appeared to surprise both sets of players but Ed Tubau stepped up to flick the ball into the net to make it 1-0.

England were level from their first penalty corner of the match soon after; Ali Wilson of Beeston following up a goal mouth scramble to knock the ball home.

Since going behind England had enjoyed plenty of possession in the driving rain of Cadiz and when Jonty Clarke scored his 20th England goal on the half hour mark the 2-1 lead was no less than England deserved, however, it was to last just three minutes as Ribas flicked a penalty corner effort high beyond the outstretched glove of Brothers.  2-2 at the break.

Into the second half and after an intensive few days training in Spain, England began to tire.  Spain took the lead four minutes into the half with a clever goal from Tubau.  After robbing an English defender out in the corner he did well to come inside and score his second of the game to give the hosts the lead again.

England threw men forward in search of an equaliser as the match wore on but Spain sealed victory after a quick counter attached in the last minute of the game won them their fourth penalty corner.  Gaby Dabanch finished off a fine routine at the top of the circle.

Afterwards, Head Coach Jason Lee said: “This has been a physically hard training camp for the group and I’m pleased with what we’ve achieved here.  After a good first half today fatigue began to show in the closing stages.  Overall, I’m happy with the first steps we’ve taken towards the World Cup at the end of February.”

SPAIN 4 (2)

Ed Tubau 13, 39 (PS, F)              
Xavi Ribas 33 (PC)                    
Gaby Dabanch 70 (PC)              

ENGLAND 2 (2)

Alistair Wilson 19 (PC)              
Jonty Clarke 30 (F)   

England Hockey Board Media release



England hockey team suffer more pain in Spain

By Patrick Rowley


Spain, who are in England’s pool at the forthcoming World Cup in Delhi, continue to be their bogey side. They followed the 2-2 draw on Sunday by winning 4-2 in the second friendly at Cadiz.

It is now eight matches since England, the European champions, have beaten the Spaniards.

Ashley Jackson, who was named UK Player of the Year on Tuesday, should have given England an early lead but his shot rebounded off the inside of a post.

Eduard Tubau then converted a stroke for Spain but England came back with goals by Alistair Wilson and Jonty Clarke before Spain levelled just before half-time through Xavier Ribas.

Tubau restored Spain’s lead and Gaby Dabanch added a late fourth with England pressing.

Jason Lee, the England coach, said: “I’m pleased with what we’ve achieved here. But, after a good first half, fatigue did begin to take its toll.”

The Telegraph



Helen Richardson and Ashley Jackson UK Hockey Players of 2009

ASHLEY JACKSON, the 22-year-old England and HGC (Netherlands) midfield player was this afternoon named UK Player of the Year for 2009 following the annual poll conducted amongst British members of the Hockey Writers’ Club. HELEN RICHARDSON the 28-year-old England and Reading central midfield player who spent the first part of a highly successful year with Dutch European Champions Den Bosch was the winner of the women’s award.

England’s captain Kate Walsh, currently a colleague of Richardson at Reading and twice a previous winner was runner up with Tina Cullen who first won the prestigious award in 1999 and at 39 is still the National League leading goalscorer took third place.

Jackson’s club-mate in the Netherlands and the England captain Barry Middleton was second in the men’s poll followed by Reading’s Richard Mantell.

The winners both gave a string of impressive performances for country and clubs during the year and look likely to be prominent contributors to Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic challenge.

Helen received the traditional Rose Bowl and cheque at today’s presentational Lunch at the Royal Thames Yacht Club from Leandro Negre, President of the International Hockey Federation, who was the principal guest at the lunch. Helen donated her cheque to the Youth Section of her first club – West Bridgford Monarchs HC.

Unfortunately, owing to a rearranged tour to Spain the England men were unable to receive their trophies this afternoon. Wesley Jackson was present to receive Ashley’s trophy and it is hoped to re-present to Ashley at the Indoor Hockey Finals at Trent FM Arena, Nottingham on Sunday 31st January. Ashley donated his cheque to the Junior Section of East Grinstead HC.

Plaques and cheques were also presented to Sarah Haycroft (University of Birmingham) and Rachel Condon on behalf of David Condon (Loughborough Students) winners of the Higgins Group UK Youth Hockey Awards by Richard Higgins, Chairman of the Higgins Group.

The Times Sydney Friskin Memorial Goblet for outstanding services to hockey was presented to Andy Tapley by the newspaper’s Managing Editor, David Chappell, accompanied by Neil Friskin, Sydney’s son.

Helen Richardson made the first of her 173 (England 114, GB 59) senior international appearances at the age of 17 at Milton Keynes for England in a 3-0 victory against Japan on 21st July 1999. Her first GB cap followed, also at Milton Keynes on 25th November the same year in a 4-0 win against the USA. She has scored 14 goals (England 12, GB 2). Helen was voted UK Player at the European Cup in Amstelveen last summer.

Ashley Jackson was first capped by England in Hilversum against the Netherlands on 28th November 2006 a year following his winning the Higgins Youth Award. A year later in Eindhoven Ashley played his first GB game also against the Dutch being on the losing side on both occasions. He has in just over three years already collected 74 outdoor caps (GB 35, England 39) scoring 36 goals. Following on from his Player of the European Cup Award in August he was subsequently named World Youth Player of the Year becoming the first British player to receive a World Award. Just a few days ago he was voted Player of the Tournament in the European Nations Indoor in Poznan. Currently he is leading goalscorer in the Dutch National League.

PREVIOUS UK PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNERS

1983 Margaret Gleghorne, Paul Barber
1984 Karen Brown, Richard Leman
1985 Linda Carr, Sean Kerly, MBE
1986 Moira McLeod, Ian Taylor
1987 Violet McBride, Imran Sherwani
1988 Barbara Hambly, OBE, Jon Potter
1989 Vickey Dixon, David Faulkner
1990 Maggie Souyave, Andy Halliday
1991 Joanne Thompson, Jason Laslett
1992 Jane Sixsmith, MBE, Rob Hill
1993 Sandie Lister, Julian Halls
1994 Karen Brown, Simon Mason
1995 Tammy Miller, Ian Jennings, MBE
1996 Kathryn Johnson, Bobby Crutchley
1997 Karen Brown, Jon Wyatt
1998 Carolyn Reid, David Hacker
1999 Christina Cullen, Chris Ashcroft
2000 Jane Sixsmith, MBE, Mark Pearn
2001 Jane Smith, Danny Hall
2002 Leisa King, Robert Todd
2003 Kate Walsh, Simon Mason
2004 Christina Cullen, Barry Middleton
2005 Crista Cullen, Jonathan Ebsworth
2006 Crista Cullen, James Tindall
2007 Kate Walsh, Barry Middleton
2008 Beth Storry, Ali McGregor
2009 Helen Richardson, Ashley Jackson

THE HOCKEY WRITERS’ CLUB



Chile defeats Canada in Game 2 of Series

The women's national team were unable to tie up the Chile series after battling through 70 minutes of hockey and giving up two late goals in the second half to concede a 2-0 loss.  The first half saw some good possession throughout the back four and midfield line though difficulties lied in generating attacking chances going forward.

Head coach Louis Mendonca commented that "again we made two crucial errors in our defending third of the field and we had opportunities and were unable to finish."

Though the team goes down 2-0 in the series, the team regroups tomorrow for a dual training day and is back at the pitch for two more games on Thursday and Friday.

Starting Line-up: Amanda Stone, Diana Roemer, Abigail Raye, Stephanie Jameson, Ali Lee, Anna Kozniuk, Tyla Flexman, Katie Baker, Thea Culley, Stephanie Nesbitt, Robyn Pendleton

Substitutions: Katie Collison, Michelle Weber, Krissy Wishart, Kate Gillis, Sam Smith

DNP: Azelia Liu

5 min Chile PC - Save Amanda
13 min Chile PC - No shot
18 min Chile FP shot - save Amanda
44 min Can PC - no shot
50 min Can FP chance - near miss by Robyn Pendleton
58 min Chile FP goal (1-0)
62 min Chile PC - save Amanda
64 min Can PC - Chile foul
65 min Can PC - save
66 min Chile FP shot - Amanda Save
66 min Chile PC
68 min Chile PC - low sweep at net goal (2-0)

Field Hockey Canada media release



USA fall to Netherlands

Netherlands 4, USA 1


Michelle KasoldCHULA VISTA, CA - The USA Field Hockey Women's National Team fell to the Netherlands, 4-1, today at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Carrie Lingo scored for the USA.

The 2008 Olympic gold medal winners, the Netherlands are the number one field hockey team in the world and a good opportunity to gauge the growth of the U.S. team as they prepare for the 2010 AtaHolding Women's World Cup Qualifier in March.

"I'm pleased with the step we made from the first game to today," said Bodimeade. "Especially in the first half, we were able to control the game for longer time and exert more pressure."

"It went well," said team captain Carrie Lingo. "We took a step forward as a group today. I think the group collectively really stepped up and put pressure on the Dutch."

As Olympic champions, the Dutch displayed their skill early - Naomi Van As scored the first goal within the first 40 seconds and looked to dominate play. But the Americans were not discouraged.

"Actually, I think that helped fuel our fire," said Lingo with a laugh.

The USA scored a goal of their own in the 17th minute to level the game. A penalty corner blast from Rachel Dawson was stopped by the Dutch goalkeeper, but Carrie Lingo was able to swat the ball out of the air into the goal.

"Rachel had a beautiful strike on goal, and the deflection came right to me," said Lingo.

"Against the world number one, it's difficult to find yourself behind early," said Bodimeade. "But I was pleased with how we settled and how we got on without game after that. If you're going to allow a goal, it's better to allow it in the first minute and not in the 69th minute."

The American offense provided more scoring chances and challenged the Dutch defense through the second half. Sarah Dawson, Michelle Kasold and Katie O'Donnell created opportunities late in the game for the USA.

"The attacking line stepped up and they set the tone for the entire defensive structure," said Lingo.

The Dutch style of play is methodically structured and notoriously relentless. Rough and tumble play was present throughout, including an incident where a diving Kayla Bashore took a defender's stick to face, chipping one of her front teeth.

"I went to shoot, and the defender came through me with her stick," Bashore said. She shook off any ill effects. "It didn't really hurt."

Kim Lammers and Maartje Paumen also scored for the Dutch. Eva de Goede added a fourth goal on a penalty corner as time expired for a 4-1 final score.

"We paid for a couple opportunities at the end that took the shine off a much better performance," said Bodimeade.

"I thought it was an improvement," said USA Field Hockey Technical Director of High Performance Terry Walsh. "There was much better tactical awareness. We put the Dutch under pressure a fair amount. But we gave up a couple of careless goals. There was a much better build to the front line. What was going on in the midfield was better. We were able to apply much more consistent pressure."

In the end, the match serves as preparation for the AtaHolding Women's World Cup Qualifier in March.

"We have clear objectives set for the Qualifier," said Bodimeade.

Scoring:
NED - Naomi Van As - 1' (FG)
USA - Carrie Lingo - 17' (PC)
NED - Lammers - 21' (FG)
NED - Paumen - 54' (PC)
NED - De Goede - 70' (PC)

USFHA media release



Pakistan seek security clearance for India World Cup

KARACHI: Pakistani hockey authorities have sought government security clearance to take part in next month's World Cup in India, amid strained sporting relations between the neighbours.

Pakistan's government has said the team will not boycott the event despite a spat last week after an auction in Mumbai for the Indian Premier League (IPL) ended without any of the 11 Pakistani cricketers snapped up for the teams.

Players and officials have alleged that the snub of world-class cricketers such as Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul was politically motivated and a number of former hockey players have said the team should boycott the hockey World Cup.

Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Asif Bajwa said he has sought clearance from the foreign office and interior ministry for the February 28 to March 13 tournament in New Delhi.

"The latest situation demands full security assurances for our players and that's why I have sought clearance from the government," Bajwa told AFP. "We fear security problems in India."

Pakistan's sports minister Ijaz Jakhrani has rejected calls for a World Cup boycott, saying it was a global event and the national team will compete.

Bajwa said the International Hockey Federation has assured them of full security for the event but government guarantees were also needed.

"I have heard that Australia and England are bringing their own security personnel, so it would be better if we too take some security staff with us because we want a peaceful event," said Bajwa, a former Olympian.

Pakistan are in Group B of the 12-team competition along with Australia, England, India, South Africa and Spain.

The four-time world and three-time Olympic champions have not won a major title since their World Cup win in Australia in 1994. They finished eighth - the worst result in their history - at the Beijing Olympics.

The Times of India



MHF to hire European coach to replace Beng Hai

M. Hamzah Jamaludin


THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) has decided to engage a coach from Europe to replace Tan Beng Hai.

However, MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said the coach's name would only be revealed after the federation has secured a sponsorship that can support his salary.

He admitted that the coach's payment was high and MHF would try its best not to use the allocation provided under the National Sports Council.

"I'm waiting for the sponsor to confirm its willingness to pay for the new coach who has already agreed to handle our national squad," he said after handing out cash incentives to Pahang athletes who won medals during the recent SEA Games in Laos.

Tengku Abdullah hoped that the new coach could help revive the national team and bring back their glory days.

"If we want to excel, we have to get the best coach as local coaches could also learn," he said when asked why a foreigner was chosen to coach the national team .

On whether Malaysia was interested to host the Hockey World Cup after India was reported to having a technical problem, Tengku Abdullah said it was quite difficult for Malaysia to do so as the meet is in March.

New Straits Times



Nur Insafi say it again: Home match for us or we are out

By S. RAMAGURU


KUALA LUMPUR: Penang’s Nur Insafi have reiterated their intention to boycott their two-leg Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) quarter-final tie against Sapura if they do not get to play a match at home.

They made the intention known in a letter to the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) on Monday night after the fixtures for the knockout stage were released.

One of the four quarter-final matches in both legs scheduled for Friday and Sunday will be played at the KL Hockey Stadium and the rest will be held at the Tun Razak Stadium.

Nur Insafi coach S. Tatchana Murthy said yesterday: “There is simply no point playing our tie if both matches are held in KL. We are the only team outside KL and it’s only fair that we get a match at home (at the USM Stadium).

“KLHC (Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club) and Tenaga Nasional are KL-based teams with the KL Hockey Stadium as their home ground. And they were given the opportunity to play there. So why is our request so difficult to accommodate.

“We are firm in our resolve not to play unless we get our home match. It is up to the MHF to decide.”

The MHF secretary, Hashim Mohamed Yusof, said that they would not bow to threats.

“Teams were consulted prior to the start of competition in the Premier Division and all agreed to play matches in the knockout stage in KL. That is that. Nur Insafi can do as they wish. We will stick by our decision,” he said.

Tatchana added that they were prepared to face the consequence for not playing the quarter-final tie.

Nur Insafi are the only team in the MHL with foreign players. Although they had 15 of them in their ranks, Nur Insafi finished a disappointing fifth in the six-team Premier Division.

In the knockout stages, the other quarter-final ties will see league champions KLHC up against Division One runners-up Armed Forces-Airod; Maybank against UniKL-IBIL; and Tenaga Nasional against UiTM.

The two-leg semi-finals ties will be played on Feb 5 and 6 and the final is scheduled for Feb 12 at the Tun Razak Stadium.

The Star of Malaysia



Clown act

The MHL circus delivered the coup de grace on the only non Klang Valley team when the hastily assembled Technical Committee of MHL decided to accept the withdrawal of Nur Insafi from the knockout stages.

The bone of contention was Nur Insafi requesting to play one leg of their last eight clash at home in Penang, but the jester in the kings court refused to budge and insisted that three meetings were held and no objections was raised.

But what the jester failed to reveal was Nur Insafi was not represented at the meetings and that the fixtures sent out never stated the venue but merely the dates of the quarterfinals, and mind you the second leg was to be played on Thaipusam day, ie Jan 30.

The biggest lie was the refusal of the Sapura team manager who used Thaipusam as an excuse to justify his teams decision not to consider playing a leg in Penang.

Suddenly the Sapura manager wants to. champion the cause of the Hindu players in his team, using Thaipusam as an excuse when he was in the meetings that initially agreed to play matches on Thaipusam day.

So it's best not to avoid the issue and cover the incompetence of the jester in order to be in the good books. Winning a place in the semis by default does not augur well the very essence of sporting spirit was thrown out of the window by the Sapura manager.

The Technical Committee this blog is informed also decided to refer S. Tatchana to the Disciplinary Board for his indiscretion in the match between UniKL and Nur Insafi in Johor Baru two weeks ago.

Ironically the incident was milder then what happened in Penang but no action was taken.

The decision to refer him to the DB must be an after thought since the matches in JB took place on Jan 15 and 16, so Tatchana is probably paying the price for taking on some people in MHF.

Two wrongs do not make a right and MHF have shot themselves in the foot by making a decision based on emotions rather then common sense.

And why was the Competitions Committee decision to utilize local officials in matches in JB and Malacca not carried out ? Should the jester also have his day infront of the DB?

After all the jester is upset with this blog calling the MHL a circus. Would you call it any different with your clowning glory in refusing to allow Nur Insafi a fair chance?

The joke is on you.

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



Women Hockey players still awaiting their dues

By Tushar Bhaduri in New Delhi


WITH the World Cup approaching, authorities went into overdrive to resolve the pay dispute with the men’s hockey probables, but things seem to take more time in the women’s case.

When the girls, training for the three major events coming up later this year, demanded better treatment, several offers of financial assistance came in, but most of them are yet to reach the players.

“The men’s World Cup is very close which prompted the urgency in their case. We were not so high among their priorities,” senior player Mamta Kharab told MAIL TODAY . The women’s World Cup in Argentina, the Commonwealth Games at home and the Guangzhou Asian Games are scheduled for the latter half of the year.

“The men stopped training so close to a big event which brought the issue to fore. We, on the other hand, do not want to pressurise anyone.” The players are continuing with their black arm- band protest but are hopeful of a settlement very soon. “ We have got a lot of support from the public and the media, who have kept the issue alive and given us hope of a solution. We will keep the black arm- bands on till our demands are met.” Some of their dues could be paid very soon. “ We have been assured by Hockey India that our dues for 2009 will be cleared in the next five days,” the star player said.

“Our other demands, such as match fees and a grade system will be considered together with the men’s players after the elections take place.” The sports ministry has set up a fund to which the Madhya Pradesh and Haryana governments have contributed.

“We have asked the government to distribute the money equally among all the players.

The sports minister has also assured us that he will look into our demands,” Mamta said.

Though the girls have not seen any money yet, they have heard that Yash Raj Films have deposited Rs two lakh in the account opened to help the players in need.

“We have heard it. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is scheduled to give every player Rs 1 lakh at a function on Thursday,” she said.

Mail Today



Where hockey equals hope

For a 15-year-old, Harry Peter’s growth is stunted: he looks like an eight-year-old as he darts around the dusty new hockey field at the St Mary’s Orphanage in east Bangalore, and it’s clear that his hockey skills have grown faster than him. “When he plays hockey he forgets his size. His heart is bigger than he is,” says one of the most accomplished players the country has produced — former India captain Jude Felix.

Peter is among 80 children — orphaned, from broken homes and children of convicts — who have received training from an array of former Indian hockey stars at the Jude Felix Hockey Academy over the last one year.

Started in January 2009 by Felix, with nothing but the goodwill of many of his former colleagues, the academy at the orphanage has emerged as a hockey school to be reckoned with, especially with the training being provided by nearly a dozen former hockey internationals.

“It was completely unplanned,” Felix tells The Indian Express. “I was on a visit to the orphanage for Christmas in 2008 and the director Fr John Antony suggested I teach the boys to play hockey. Academy was too big a word then. Things have happened so fast, it’s quite big now,” says Felix, who hails from a modest background in Bangalore and is a professional sports manager in Singapore.

Compared to similar sports-education projects for the under-privileged such as the FC Barcelona Academy in Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh and the Johan Cruyff Education Center at Thalli in Tamil Nadu, the Jude Felix Hockey Academy can be considered a poor cousin. The hockey field at the orphanage is a far cry from the turfs the game is now played on, there are no physical trainers and their diets are not the most nutritious; still the academy has made substantial progress.

One of the older boys from the first batch at the orphanage-academy made it to the open trials for selections to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), six others from the senior batch tested out for positions in an army team — the Madras Engineering Group (MEG) boys’ team. More recently, they organised a tournament featuring an academy team, an MEG team, a visiting Singapore team and a SAI team to mark the first anniversary of the academy.

‘Everyone’s academy’

“A lot of friends have contributed to this project. Somebody who manufactures shoes donated the shoes, former hockey players came voluntarily and went about doing things. It’s like everyone’s academy,” says Felix.

Jude first announced the launch of the academy and roped in the likes of India cricketer Rahul Dravid and hockey icon Dhanraj Pillay to promote it. The Indian army chipped in through the MEG, turning a dry patch of land beside the orphanage into a decent enough, albeit mud hockey pitch overnight.

The coaching panel is headed by P Shanmugham, and former India stars such as Sabu Varkey and Len Aiyappa often drop in to share their experiences.

“It was the passion for the game that brought us together. Jude was a mentor and role model so when the idea of the academy came from him we didn’t want to look back and say this game doesn’t have money or the system is bad or anything like that. We thought let us make a start and set the standards,” says Shanmugham, a former India striker who also coaches the Karnataka side.

Olympian Sabu Varkey says: “When I first came to coach the kids it was about three months after the academy started and I was surprised by the skills they displayed. The challenge now is taking it to the next level with our limited resources.”

‘Aim is to revive the game’


The Jude Felix Hockey Academy takes kids from the orphanage in three age groups 9-10, 11-12 and 13-15, and trains them four days a week. The idea, Shanmugham says, is to have them in the academy for about five years — until they leave the orphanage after class 10. The aim is to revive hockey but simultaneously it is also to give under-privileged kids an opportunity to participate in a sport and learn life-skills through it.

And like the kids, who can be seen enjoying every moment they spend on the field, the academy itself is far removed from the controversies surrounding the sport.

“Why should you blame the game for any mismanagement? The game has done us no harm. It is the way we have managed things that is to be blamed. The game still gives players employment,” he says.

With no certified hockey coaching system in India, much of the coaching at the Jude Felix Hockey Academy is dependent on manuals and materials sourced by Felix and the other players.

“We teach hockey from experience. None of us are certified coaches. Jude sends us manuals and we learn about some of the latest stuff. Recently, Len Aiyappa went abroad so we asked him to go take a look at the youth development structure in that country,” says Shanmugham.

“In India if you want to train an eight year old there is no database to fall back on. How much can you load him? How much stress can I give him as a coach? What goals do I set for him? What tournaments does he play? There is no information,” he adds.

Over the coming year Felix is looking to organise an international school hockey tournament in Bangalore bringing in teams from Singapore and Malaysia to compete with local teams including the academy teams.

“We are not going to look back now. We have big plans for the future. Hockey is the national game of India and it’s time to give the game the prestige it deserves,” says Felix.

Indian Express



Former Olympian Ashok blames Kalmadi for hockey mess

BHOPAL: Former Olympian Ashok Kumar has held IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi responsible for all the mess in Indian hockey and also for the postponement of the February 7 Hockey India election.

Ashok said that because Kalmadi was lobbying to get the HI top post, elections for the hockey body were being deferred repeatedly.

He also added that the ad-hoc committee should also be equally blamed for the postponement of the elections and also for the present condition of hockey in the country.

Few days back, former hockey captain and Olympian Pargat Singh had launched a scathing attack on Kalmadi, calling him a "sports mafia" who is trying to become the Hockey India chief by hook or crook.

Ashok, talking to reporters on Monday, praised Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for extending financial help to women hockey players and said the chief ministers of other states should also come forward to help hockey players.

The Times of India