News for 21 March 2010

All the news for Sunday 21 March 2010


Argentina defeats Canada in Pan Am Youth final

The Canadian women's national under-17 field hockey team were defeated by Argentina 6-1 Saturday afternoon in the final of the women's Pan Am Youth Championship. Sara McManus scored the lone goal for Canada.

Field Hockey Canada media release



Us Women Take Bronze at Pan Am Championship

USA 7, Chile 1


The USA Field Hockey Women's Under-17 National Team defeated Chile, 7-1, to claim the bronze medal at the 2010 Youth Pan American Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay. Maxine Fluharty scored two goals to lead the USA.

The USA avenged their 2-0 loss to Chile in round-robin play with a dominant performance that saw the USA take a 4-0 lead into halftime. Jordan Page started the scoring in the 8th minute, followed by Aileen Johnson, Abby Beltrani and Allison Evans. Chile's Raffaela Molinairi notched a goal in the 54th minute, but Fluharty's two second half goals and one more from Katerine Gerzabek gave the USA an impressive victory.

Argentina defeated Canada 6-1 to take the gold.

Congratulations to the Baby States!

USFHA media release



Beeston make play-offs

By Patrick Rowley


Nottingham club Beeston made sure of joining Reading, East Grinstead and Surbiton, in the top five English League play-offs with a 3-1 home win over Bowdon.

They are now certain to finish fourth in the premier  and will have the chance to play for the title and a place in Europe next winter.

Jamie Parker, Stephen Lawrence and England international Martin Jones scored after former Durham student Chris Borrett had given Bowdon an early lead.

It was not a good day for Cheshire clubs. Brooklands who visit Beeston in an English Cup semi-final today, lost 1-0 to a late goal by Hampstead’s David Eakins.

Brooklands are now condemned to a play-off to stay in the premier division. Hampstead not only avoided that but kept alive a chance of a top five place.

In the only women’s premier match, Bowdon Ladies also lost, going down 4-2 at home to Olton. The West Warwickshire club moved up three places and are now sure of a top five standing. Triple title holders Bowdon cannot shake off the relegation threat. They will need a draw against also threatened Clifton next Saturday to avoid going to a play-off.

Sunday Express



Prabhjot apologises for inappropriate behaviour

Special Correspondent


NEW DELHI: Prabhjot Singh has apologised for his behaviour at the end of India's classification match against Argentina in the recent World Cup hockey tournament when he made a provocative gesture towards a section of the crowd.

While tendering his apology in a letter to Hockey India (HI) which had issued a show cause notice to him a day after the match (held on March 12), Prabhjot has also defended his action stating that the section of the crowd had been provoking him and the team earlier also and that day it happened to have passed “lewd comments” on his family.

“In the heat of the moment, I revolted to protect me and my family's integrity and unfortunately this was picked up by the media. I apologise for the incident. Please be assured that I am committed towards hockey and have given my entire life and devotion for this game and do not intend to bring the game or the National hockey team in (sic) disrespect”, he wrote in his letter.

The Hindu

 



Prabhjot Singh sorry for showing finger to crowd

NEW DELHI: Senior Indian forward Prabhjot Singh has apologised for his improper behaviour during the hockey World Cup when he was caught showing his middle finger to a section of crowd.

Prabhjot, after India's defeat against Argentina on March 12, was heckled by some fans near the eastern stand, and in the heat of the moment he showed to them his finger.

Prabhjot in his reply to the show cause notice, served on him by Hockey India, said he lost his cool when some fans started abusing his family members.

"Firstly, I would like to apologize that an inappropriate picture of mine was published in the Times of India on March 13, 2010. The incident that happened was a result of a series of events.

"A particular group of people supporting the opposition team had been regularly staying back after every match and passing lewd comments about me and the team during our cool down sessions.

"I had ignored their provocative behavior during the previous matches. However during our last match, they starting passing lewd comments on my family, me and the team during our cool down session. In addition to this they started showing provocative gestures and became derogatory.

"In the heat of the moment, I revolted to protect me and my family's integrity and unfortunately this was picked up by the media. I apologize for the incident," he said in his reply, according to Hockey India.

The seasoned player though said he would refrain from doing anything in future which would bring shame to him and the team.

"Please be assured that I am committed towards Hockey and have given my entire life and devotion for this game and do not intend to bring the game or the National Hockey Team in disrespect," Prabhjot said in his reply to the showcause notice.

The Times of India



Prabhjot apologises for provocative gesture

India’s ace striker Prabhjot Singh has apologised for his provocative gesture towards a section of the spectators after India’s match against Argentina in the Hero Honda FIH World Cup Hockey Championship at the National Stadium on March 12.

Hockey India, taking a serious view of the incident, had issued a show cause notice to Prabhjot through national coach Harendra Singh for his “unseeming conduct” and the player has expressed his regret for his behaviour, which, he said, he did in the “heat of the moment”.

“Firstly, I would like to apologise that an inappropriate picture of mine was published on 13th March, 2010. The incident that happened was a result of a series of events that took place”, Prabhjot wrote in his reply to Hockey India. He said the incident happened due to provocation from a section of the spectators.

“A particular group of people, supporting the opposition team, had been regularly staying back after every match and passing lewd comments about me and the team during our cool-down sessions. I had ignored their provocative behaviour during the previous matches. However, during our last match, they came down to the protective grills and started passing comments on my family. In addition, they started showing provocative gestures and became derogatory.”

The Tribune



Another ‘Chak De’ effort to revive hockey

Mohit Khanna

After the drubbing in the recently-concluded Hockey World Cup with finishing eighth in the tourney, the former hockey players have made another “Chak De” effort to revive the game. In an attempt to make a new beginning, Shiv Jagday, former hockey coach of US and Canada along with other stalwarts of the game organised a seminar with the hockey coaches of Punjab Sports Department in PAU to discuss what led to the debacle of Indian Hockey.

The two days seminar started at encouraging note as all the hockey coaches from across the state marked their presence to learn new techniques from the best in the business. For this purpose video clippings were shown to coaches to acquaint them about the movement and strategies of European teams dominating the world of hockey.

“It is time to return to the basics. When the foundation would be strong only then we could make a strong building over it. Europeans were no different, they stuck to basics and thus dominated the game,” said Jagday.

The Tribune



The team that never was (II)

By Zakir Hussain Syed


Pakistan’s next match was against Spain which has always provided tough opposition to the green shirts. Pakistan won this match in a scrappy game because Spain missed a number of easy sitters. This win should have restored Pakistan’s confidence and the team management should have used this victory to motivate and inspire the boys but this did not happen. England had earlier beaten much fancied Australia to emerge as the dark horses of the tournament. They were a vastly improved side and had little problem in brushing aside Pakistan who by now seemed to have given up.

Instead of improving, their performance had become progressively lethargic and they were not playing as a team but as a group of players who seemed to have been brought together just before the commencement of the World Cup. However, even Pakistan’s worst detractors did not expect them to lose to South Africa, the weakest team in Pakistan’s group. The defeat at the hands of a lowly ranked team like South Africa showed the level to which Pakistan had sunk to. As expected, Australia easily defeated Pakistan even though they took this match lightly as they had already qualified for the semi-final slot. The last position in the pool meant that Pakistan would finally play for the eleventh or twelfth position which was a matter of great shame for a world hockey power like Pakistan.

From the tables, it will be seen that the top three teams in each group had scored an average of fifteen goals or more with ultimate champions Australia in the lead with a tally of 23. Even India had scored 13 while Pakistan could just manage 9 goals, a poor reflection on their forward line, penalty corner specialists etc. They conceded 16 goals, which indicated the poor quality of their defense. Pakistan finally completed theirs journey of shame in the World cup by losing to Canada and finishing 12th and last in the event. Without pretending to be an expert, one can easily pinpoint the reasons and factors behind Pakistan’s disgraceful performance.

PHF president Qasim Zia is a good intentioned person and is genuinely interested in the development of national sport. He secured much needed financial support for Pakistan hockey but then left everything to his lower officials who were not doing their job properly. Qasim’s political career is of more importance to him at this stage in his life especially during the time he was angling to be the Chief Minister of the province. National hockey suffered as a consequence. These lower office bearers made too much of ordinary achievements like winning the World Cup qualifier from a lot of teams whose known worth was very ordinary. This happened courtesy FIH who desperately wanted Pakistan to return to big league. Any anti Pakistan lobby in the FIH would have put Pakistan in a tougher group and that would have been it.

In fact Pakistan should have qualified during the Asia Cup where they lost to an experimental South Korean team which was one of the weakest I ever saw. The win in the three test friendly series against England and the drawn series against Holland were similarly given far greater importance than they deserved because even a layman knew that these two teams were going through an experimentation stage as most elite teams do before a major tournament. Pakistan, during this period had lost to New Zealand twice which should have been taken as a wake up call. Instead every time the team returned home after minor successes, they were given rousing receptions as if the world had been conquered. Such successes are taken in normal stride because their over projection can create a false feeling of superiority which is not good for a team. In the next article, I will try to pinpoint main causes behind this debacle.

To be concluded

(Zakir Hussain Syed is Pakistan’s internationally renowned sports administrator, sports broadcaster and sports analyst)

The Daily Times



Senate Committee shows confidence in PHF

By Imran Ali Teepu


ISLAMABAD: Downplaying the criticism over the performance of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) management, the Senate Standing Committee on Sports on Friday directed it to explore new avenues for the development of the national game.

“The PHF should continue with its current pace of securing a better future for Pakistan hockey,” said chairman of the Senate body, Senator Ghaffar Quraishi.

The committee was also briefed by the PHF President Qasim Zia over the previous performance of the hockey squad and the steps taken by the management to arrest the decline of the game.

“The Pakistan hockey management is facing immense pressure to step down as several former Olympians have started criticizing the current PHF management for the FIH World Cup 2010 debacle.”

The green shirts completed their stint at the 12-nation mega event by finishing at the bottom.“The PHF will hire the best available foreign coach for the national squad which may cost the federation Rs2 million. The step will help us to contain the decline of hockey besides improving the standard of the national squad,” Qasim Zia assured the Senate body.

Over the issue of secretary PHF, Qasim said: “Bajwa is an elected PHF secretary and only the congress of the hockey federation can remove him.”

Secretary PHF Asif Bajwa’s report also came under discussion in which he has revealed that except for one all the other Pakistan players were not 100 per cent fit, which turned out to be one of the reasons for the poor show.

Meanwhile, former Olympian Hasan Sardar informed the committee that he had resigned from the post of chief selector on his own.

Former Senator Enver Baig, who attended the meeting on a special invitation, said: “We all trust Qasim Zia’s capabilities. The PHF has already generated a good amount of money because of him.”

Meanwhile, Asif Bajwa told Dawn after the meeting that the team would soon be getting a foreign coach.”

He said that the PHF would make short and long-term policies to arrest the decline of hockey in the country.

“I never opted for the assignment of team manager during the recent tour of the national squad to India. I was only forced to do the job after few former Olympians refused to accept the position,” said Bajwa.

The Senate body, he said, had given them a green signal to continue working for the development of hockey which would go a long way in lifting the morale of the federation as well as the players.

Dawn



Perak, KL to clash for title

KUALA Lumpur and Perak will square off in a repeat of the National Under-16 hockey tournament 2009 final in Sandakan today.

However, the signs favour defending champions KL who beat Negri Sembilan 4-0 in their semi-final, while Perak needed extra-time before scoring a golden goal against Selangor.

The KL toast was hat-trick hero Shahril Saabah who scored off penalty corners in the eighth, 25th and 39th minutes to douse the Negri fire early. The other scorer was Ahmed Iqwan in the 51st minute.

The Perak winner was scored by Haziq Samsul in the 71st minute.

KL coach Lokman Yahaya said his team have the edge as penalty corner specialist Shahril has peaked at the right moment.

"I am confident my boys will not disappoint in the final, as all they have to do is win penalty corners and our flicker will do the rest.

"Shahril has been steadily improving in the tournament, and I dare say that he is the best flicker in the country in his age-group," said Lokman.

Perak team manager M. Kulasingam, however, feels the trophy will travel to Ipoh this year.

"We did struggle in the semi-finals, but that is now history. My boys are looking forward to avenging last year's final defeat," said Kulasingam.

KL beat Perak 3-1 in last year's final.

RESULTS
Semi-finals: Kuala Lumpur 4 Negri Sembilan 0; Perak 1 Selangor 0.

TODAY
Final: Perak v Kuala Lumpur (4.30pm); Third-Fourth: Negri Sembilan v Selangor (2.30pm).

New Straits Times