News for 22 March 2010

All the news for Monday 22 March 2010

Indian eves lose 2nd Test against Japan, trail series 0-2

NEW DELHI: Indian women's hockey team succumbed to their second successive defeat against Japan to go 0-2 down in the four-match series after their 1-4 loss at the Gifu Green Stadium in Kakamigahara on Sunday.

Having lost the first match of the series 0-3 on Friday, the Indians dished out yet another scrappy performance on a chilly and rainy afternoon and suffer yet another defeat.

For Japan, Kama Nagayama (44th and 62nd minutes) sounded the board twice while Kaya Tameto (2nd) and Mie Nakashima (57th) chipped in with one goal each.

Rani Rampal scored India's lone goal in the 48th minute, according to information received here.

Japan was the dominant side from the onset as they opened their account as early as in the second minute when Tameto converted their first penalty corner.

The hosts doubled their lead in the 44th minute from another penalty corner strike through Nagayama.

The Indians, however, reduced the margin soon through Rani's field goal.

But Japan pumped in two field goals within a span of six minutes through Nakashima and Nagayama to seal the tie in their favour.

The Japanese earned as many as eight penalty corners as against India's two.

The third match of the series will be played at the same venue on Monday.

The Times of India

India loses to Japan again

s2h Team

India loses the second test to Japan 1-4 at Gifu, Japan today. On Friday, Japan defeated the visitors 3-0 in the tour opener.

Today in the second test, Japan lead India 1-0 at half time, before striking three goals in the second half. India replied with a goal from Rani Ramphal.

Japan got eight penalty corners and converted one in each half

Tameto Kaya scored in the very second minute itself off a penalty corner to put her side take the lead, which was again added by Nagayama Kama in the 44th minute. She also converged a penalty corner. In the 48th minute, India made a match of it with Rani Ramphal scoring a field goal. However, due to questionable umpiring -- there is no neutral umpires, nor India send her own umpires -- Indians have been kept conceding goals.

Nakashima Mie in the 57 th minute and Nagayama Kama five minutes later added to Japan's tally.

The third test will be played on Tuesday

Leicester beat Trojans to move step closer to unbeaten season

By Emily Benammar

Having secured the Premier Division title with an 8-1 win over Olton & West Warwicks last weekend, Leicester are now just one game away from finishing the season unbeaten after a 6-0 victory at home to Trojans on Sunday.

Chloe Rogers opened the scoring at London Road by converting a third-minute penalty corner. Minutes later Lauren Turner doubled Leicester's lead and Rogers struck again a minute before the break to give her side a 3-0 half-time advantage.

Maintaining her title as the club's top scorer this season, Rebecca Herbert scored twice in a second half which also saw Lucy Brown add her name to the scoresheet to cap off a miserable day for Trojans.

The result leaves the Hampshire-based club the bottom having picked up just one point from a possible 48 this season.

Second-placed Reading secured a 2-0 win over Clifton at Coombe Dingle while close rivals Slough recorded the same scoreline at home to Brooklands Poynton.

In the men's division, Reading were crowned champions after recovering from a one-goal deficit against Surbiton to win 3-2.

Goals from Richard Springham, Tom Bertram and Andy Watts saw the Berkshire side maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the table while Surbiton slipped to third.

East Grinstead moved second thanks to Ben Payne's 66th-minute strike in a seven-goal thriller against Loughborough Students which ended 4-3.

At the other end of the table, bottom-placed Exeter University recorded an impressive 2-0 victory over Cannock while a 68th-minute strike from Hampstead and Westminster's David Eakins saw Brooklands lose 1-0, meaning they will face a play-off match if they want to retain their premier division status next season.

The Telegraph

Arthur McKay Scottish Cup

Glynhill Kelburne swept into the semi-finals of the Arthur McKay Scottish Cup with a merciless nine goal demolition of Greaves Clydesdale at Bellahouston yesterday.

Alan Forsyth opened for the Buddies when the Clydesdale defence failed to clear the danger and minutes later Josh Cairns made it two following a penalty corner switch.  Jonny Christie effectively killed the game off as a contest when he hammered the ball home after a goalmouth scramble.  Cairns added a fourth from another set piece just before the interval.

The goals continued to flow in the second half as Gareth Hall picked up a hat-trick and Kenny Bain added the other two, but it could have been more but for some good saves by Clydesdale keeper Stuart Brown.

Western Wildcats gave Aberdeen Asset Management six of the best in the North East, but they only led by a single Scott McCartney goal at the interval while the Northerners had five clear scoring chances. The avalanche started in the second half, McCartney grabbed his hat-trick while the other goals came from Douglas and Joe Simpson along with David Mansouri.

Inverleith also progressed at the expense of third division Granite City Wanderers with goals from John Harris (2), Andrew Dane and Lewis Gibson.

In the women`s cup quarter finals Milne Craig Western saw off Giffnock 4-2, but made heavy weather of the task. Ali Howie and Sam Judge gave Western an early lead but Lynn Davidson reduced the deficit, and all in the first seven minutes.  It looked all over when Judge added a third for Western before the interval, but back came Giffnock with a strike from Kareena Marshall.  However, it was finally all over when Clare Scott scored Western`s fourth from the top of the circle.

But pride of place must go to Western Orange Sox from the reserve league who saw off first division Edinburgh University in a dramatic penalty shoot-out after the sides drew 1-1 in normal time.  The sides were locked at 4-4 in penalties, Western`s keeper Kirsten Stobo saved from the students, then former internationalist Kath Gray slotted home the winner from the spot.

Dundee Wanderers made short work of Hillhead, there were two goals each for Becky Ward, Nikki Martin and Vikki Bunce in an 8-0 trouncing.  Holders Grove also romped into the next round by whipping Grange 11-0, Aimee Clark got a hat-trick and there were doubles for Ailsa Robertson, Louise Baxter and Nikki Kidd.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Christie on Target

A double from international striker Jonny Christie was the catalyst in Glynhill Kelburne`s 4-2 victory over Inverleith at Meadowmill in the Subway national league.

The champions were not at their best in the opening half, the combination of poor passing and a bumpy pitch.  Inverleith had the chance to sneak ahead from the spot after a stick chop on Stephen Dick by Iain Scholefield, but Chris Reid`s effort hit the bar.  Retribution was swift, the Inverleith defence dithered, Michael Bremner stole the ball, passed it on to Christie whose low shot was deflected past the keeper.

It was the turn of the Kelburne defence to dither and Dick`s cross was squeezed past Mark Fulton in the Kelburne goal by John Harris for the equaliser.

The Paisley outfit turned the screw on Inverleith after the interval and the pressure paid off when Michael Christie fired home a rebound after the initial shot from Chris Nelson was saved by the keeper.  But Inverleith were far from finished, Euan Milne`s volley was blocked by Fulton and Andrew Dane was on hand to convert the rebound.

The result was sealed for the Buddies with two goals in as many minutes, a great run by Gordon McIntyre opened up the Inverleith defence, leaving Jonny Christie to score his second from close range, then teenager Kenny Bain fired home after good build-up work from Christie and Alan Forsyth.

In the closing minutes Inverleith`s Chris Reid and the Kelburne pair of Bain and Josh Cairns were sent to the sin bin, Adam MacKenzie had his spot effort saved by Mark Fulton, but Kelburne emerged 4-2 winners and maintained their nine point lead at the top of the division.

Western Wildcats maintained their second spot with a 5-1 mauling of Menzieshill on Tayside.  Scott McCartney opened from a set piece, only for Paul Martin to equalise for the Dundonians when he salvaged a goal from a poorly worked penalty corner.

After the interval the Wildcats started to devour Menzieshill with a double from Douglas Simpson, Steven Percy scored with a reverse stick volley and youngster Rhury Smith scored his first goal for the club when he touched in at the back post.

In the lower pool leaders Edinburgh University faltered a little when they were held to a 1-1 draw by WebEnergy Hillhead.  Stuart Lang gave the students the lead but Alan Meikle equalised for the Glasgow side.  Dundee Wanderers moved into second spot after a 3-2 victory over Aberdeen Asset Management, their goals coming from Paul Dailly from the spot, Ross Glaschen and Francis Mulgrew.  Aberdeen`s replies came from Owen Goodman and Ian Coffey.

Watsonians gave themselves a slender lifeline at the foot of the relegation group with a 4-2 victory over pointless Stepps.

In the women`s lower pool Hillhead eased their relegation concerns with a 2-0 away victory over GHK.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Women's Indoor Squad - Canada tour

Hockey Australia is pleased to announce the Australian Women’s Indoor Hockey players selected to tour Canada in May 2010.

The tour will see Lauren Richards, Olivia Chiu and Tegan Boucher make their international debut as well as the return of Lisa Herbertson, Lyndal Ogilvie and Bronwyn Poulton.

Herbertson, a veteran of the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, is once again pressing for selection in her bid to play in three consecutive World Cups.

Boucher (18) has been rewarded for her strong showing at the Australian Indoor Hockey Championships in Adelaide during December 2009.

“Tegan is already a very strong performer and deserves the opportunity to compete at international level whilst Olivia has been rewarded for strong performances over the last two years.” said Coach Mark Sandhu.

After returning from the 2010 EuroNations Indoor Championships in Duisburg Germany, Coach Sandhu knows that there is still work to be done to prepare for the 2011 World Cup in Poland.

“The tour to Malaysia allowed us to implement new strategies and tactics based on observations of the top European teams.  The tour to Canada will allow us to continue to refine those strategies and also implement further changes.” said Sandhu.

The tour to Canada will see the 20th player to make their international debut in the past 17 months.

“Having international experience before competing in a World Cup is clearly a bonus for the individual and also for the team.  We have been able to develop the current squad to a point where 75% have played at international level.” added Sandhu.

Australian Women’s Indoor Hockey Tour of Canada (May 2010)
• Lauren Austin WA
• Lyndal Ogilvie NSW
• Lisa Herbertson NSW
• Tegan Boucher Vic
• Olivia Chiu WA
• Melissa Eastwood NSW (Capt)
• Lauren Richards Qld
• Lou Maraun NSW
• Steph Riordan Vic
• Jen Rowe ACT
• Kylie Smith NSW
• Bronwyn Poulton NSW

• Natalie Pastro ACT
• Anastasia Tomeo SA

Hockey Australia media release

KL complete hat-trick

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA Lumpur showed their supremacy for the third consecutive year when they beat Perak 4-3 for the National Under-16 hockey title in Sandakan, Sabah, yesterday.

In the bronze play-off, Negri Sembilan beat Selangor 2-1.

KL were the champions in Alor Star in 2008, then champions in Seremban in 2009, and won it again in Sabah.

The KL goals were scored by Shahril Saabah (23rd), Mohamed Nor (32nd, 59th) and Zizi Azwan (36th).

Shahrusahadan Basri (30th), Ashran Hamsani (46th), Fitri Ismail (36th) scored for Perak.

In the third-fourth playoff, Negri got their goals off Rusdi Roslan (41st) and Shahir Arif (69th), while Amir Zulkarnain (15th) scored for Selangor.

"The boys played their hearts out to defend KL's title for the third consecutive year, and I am very proud of their understanding and determination.

"Perak players piled on the pressure and had many attempts at goal, but my defenders stood their ground and we won the title with a bit of luck in attack," said KL coach Lokman Yahaya.

According to Lokman, the overall quality of the teams in Sabah was much better than the previous edition.

"The MHF (Malaysian Hockey Federation) selectors had a tough time picking the best, because there were many to choose from.

"Also, I notice that the average height of the players has also improved and this augurs well for the future of hockey in Malaysia," said Lokman.

The selected players will undergo training for an Under-16 tournament in Germany in the middle of the year.

RESULTS-- Final: Kuala Lumpur 4 Perak 3; 3d-4th: Negri Sembilan 2 Selangor 1.

Roll-of-Honour -- Best Goalkeeper: Fitri Razali (Sel); Player-of-the-Tournament: Shahiram Zali (KL); Player-of-the-Final: Shahril Saabah (KL); Top-Scorer: Shahrusahadan Basri (Pk, 10 goals); Fair-play: Singapore.

New Straits Times

The team that never was (III)

By Zakir Hussain Syed

One of the major reasons for Pakistan’s poor performance in the World Cup 2010 was their fitness level. Out of the 12 competing teams, Pakistan were the poorest in physical fitness which plays a key role in modern hockey. We were told by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) that it had hired a Dutch specialist to improve the physical fitness of Pakistan. If the fitness displayed by Pakistan was his contribution, the PHF should ask him to reimburse the huge salary paid to him. Who selected him and what was his specialist qualification was never announced. From the very first match, Pakistan looked tired and lethargic. Which raised questions about their fitness level or possibly the fact that they had been over trained, which lead to their exhaustion in the major event. I have pleaded before and would like to repeat that long training camps are not the answer to take players to peak physical conditions because an element of boredom invariably creeps during such regimentation. I have seen Pakistan’s leading players requesting the team management to give them rest after one or two matches. Due to this fatigue even South Africa and Canada were far superior to Pakistan in physical fitness and won against us.

The green shirts lacked spirit and motivation as was so obvious during the tournament. Motivating players is one of the key responsibilities of the team management and one has to admit that both of them completely failed in this vital responsibility. I am privy to other information leading to this failure in responsibility but I don’t consider it appropriate to make it public. Lack of hockey sense in the green shirts was quite obvious during the tournament. This was perhaps due to the fact that most of Pakistan squad members had barely elementary education and thus they were unable to take correct decisions during critical junctures, especially when our forwards were in the striking circle. Similarly, the defenders made mistakes because they went through a drilled routine without analyzing the ground reality before them. Sometimes, such mistakes in our own striking area were the difference between Pakistan and their opponents. Even goalkeeper Salman Akbar was guilty of such errors.

Over reliance on penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas was one of the major factors on our listless performance. World’s leading teams now have not only a minimum of two penalty corner specialists but their drill variation is a great treat to watch. All of them consider penalty corners an opportunity to score goals. But in Pakistan’s case we kept on trying Sohail despite repeated failures. It is common knowledge that once Sohail begins to falter he comes under pressure. However, the team management either had no credible alternative or kept on hoping that Sohail would produce a miracle, which he never did. He is also now becoming an obvious liability in defense. Manager Mohammad Asif Bajwa also take some share of the blame for this failure because every time Pakistan awarded penalty corner, Sohail would go up to Asif Bajwa on the side lines to take instructions. Surprisingly, Sohail repeated kept flicking high into the left hand corner of the goal hitting out or striking the cross bar. It seemed that Pakistan had no alternate penalty corner specialist. Had we converted half of the penalty corners awarded to us we would not have finished so poorly.

Pakistan didn’t seem to have any strategy or game plan and even if Asif Bajwa and coach Shahid Ali Khan may have given them a plan, the players seemed incapable of implementing it and they looked more like disjointed lot on the field. India, on the other hand, were a much fitter team and they knew how to attack. Though they had a Spanish coach, they never let go the classic Asian style of attack through wingers and that’s how they generally made their penetrations. Pakistan’s attack strategy remained very ordinary through out.

Pakistan are now at the lowest ebb in our hockey history despite tremendous financial support by the government. There is a need to have critical analysis of how and why things went wrong for us and devise a modern pathway for future improvement. We need to develop urgently a scientific coaching base with at least ten educated individuals trained in modern hockey coaching by specialists from abroad. After receiving this training, these coaches should then be able to decide what is the best way of combining the best in Asian hockey with the finest in modern hockey. This is not an impossible job. However, all the selected coaches must be paid handsome salaries. PHF president Qasim Zia needs to understand that coaching is not a domain of just former Pakistan players but a science that requires education coupled with intelligence. Under no circumstances should coaching be left to influential lobbies of former players. Qasim should learn from this failure and should not repeat some of the obvious mistakes that he has made so far.

To be concluded

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

The Daily Times

Former Olympians responsible for hockey crisis: Manzoor Jr

Staff Report

LAHORE: Manzoor Junior, captain of the Los Angeles Olympics victorious Pakistan hockey team, has blamed former Olympians associated with the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and the game for the past 26 years for the overall decline of hockey in the country. “It is unfortunate that these Olympians, who served the PHF and team management in different capacities for such a long time, are now coming up with all these negative statements after Pakistan’s dismal 12th place in the World Cup. It is a fact that they are the ones responsible for the present hockey crisis,” he said while addressing a press conference here the other day. Manzoor was of the view that the Olympians during their 26-year rule did not contribute to the development of hockey at the grassroots level while their short-term measures resulted in the overall destruction of the game.

“The present hockey crisis is the outcome of the over two-decade absence of hockey activities at the early level, which was badly ignored for the youth to lose interest in hockey, our national sport,” he maintained. “I don’t believe in criticism for the sake of criticism. They (former Olympians) should rather come forward with useful suggestions to lend support to the PHF in this time of crisis,” he said.

The former player termed Pakistan’s defeat in the World Cup as the darkest chapter of Pakistan hockey, saying that the bad performance had shocked everyone. “But instead of keeping the PHF under fire through this negative propaganda campaign, they should concentrate of making collective efforts for the revival of the game.” Manzoor proposed several changes in the PHF set up, saying that it was unfair to demand the sacking of secretary Mohammad Asif Bajwa as any such action will not really be serving the cause of hockey. “Can someone guarantee that the national team will start winning after removing Asif Bajwa,” he questioned.

On the subject of the PHF now looking to hire a foreign coach he said: “We have a number of talented former players with the abilities to deliver in the coaching department. If offered, I will gladly accept the position of team coach. I am even ready to work as an academy coach as I am not greedy for important positions within the PHF setup,” said the former Olympian.

He said that Shahbaz Senior and Islahuddin Siddiqui and other Olympians, who have kept the PHF under pressure through their persistent criticism, had failed to deliver whenever they were assigned a role in the PHF or the team management. “It is in the larger interest of hockey to keep the negative elements away from the federation and the team management,” he said. He also urged the PHF to expand the span of hockey activities at the grassroots level and the setting up of more hockey academies across the country for the grooming of talent at the early level. “We have to concentrate on grooming junior Under-12 and Under-14 players if we want to bail ourselves out from the present hockey crisis,” he concluded.

The Daily Times

PHF presidency has become a joke: Ayaz Mahmood

By Shazad Ali

KARACHI: Former Pakistan hockey coach Ayaz Mahmood has vowed that he would never be a part of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) till Qasim Zia is its president, suggesting it is time to bring in a non-controversial personality as the game's chief.

The 1984 Los Angeles Olympic gold medallist said Qasim should leave as he had failed to deliver by continuing his support for his inept secretary Asif Bajwa who he believed had ruined the sport through his one-man show.

“One thing is very clear now that I will not accept any position in PHF whether Asif Bajwa is removed or not. I will never join PHF as long as Qasim Zia is the president of the federation. I feel the PHF chief should be either PIA managing director like we used to have in the past or from any other department. He should choose his own secretary,” said Ayaz in an interview with on Sunday.

The former Pakistan centre-half, who was believed to be in the run for the post of secretary, said as he firmly believed that Qasim would never let any secretary work for the cause of the game, it would be better to stay away from the set up being run under him.

Ayaz said the sport had been spoiled since it was being run by politicians. He strongly believed Qasim's support for Asif was purely because of politics within the PHF ranks because of which Pakistan finished at 12th spot in the recently-concluded World Cup in New Delhi.

Ayaz said Qasim, a PPP leader in Punjab, had abdicated in not only allowing Asif to run the hockey affairs single-handedly, but also supporting him despite knowing that Pakistan hockey had been ruthlessly ruined by the secretary.

Ayaz threw his weight behind legendary former Pakistan hockey chief Air Marshall Nur Khan, saying his advice should be sought to lift the sagging hockey fortunes.

“I can say this with full conviction that Air Marshall Nur Khan was the most successful hockey administrator. We won every laurel which was up for grabs. Nur Khan knew how to administer and he never let his secretary run the affairs in a dictatorial manner. He always kept checks on his secretary. Nur Khan is now 90 plus and may not take over as PHF president, but he must be requested to act as an advisor,” said Ayaz.

Pakistan hockey saw its golden era during the tenure of Nur Khan under whom the green shirts won every title including Olympic gold, World Cups, and Champions Trophy. The retired air marshall also has the distinction of instituting the World Cup and the Champions Trophy and is undoubtedly the most successful hockey administrator in the history.

“The rot actually started when Akhtar Rasool took over as the PHF president. Politics started when Akhtar came as PHF president. Just imagine, Akhtar occupied the seat where once a personality like Nur Khan used to sit. Being a PHF president should be a coveted job as it needs a personality of a great stature. But now it has become a joke. The sanctity of the position should be restored,” he said.

Ayaz said another reason why he would not join PHF in any capacity now was he did not want to be labelled as Qasim's crony.

“As we (Ayaz and Qasim) have been good friends since 1977, I don't want to join PHF in any capacity. If I do that people will always consider me as his friend and not his secretary no matter how good I perform. So once he (Qasim) leaves, only then I can think of joining the PHF. But apart from this, I also feel that Qasim will never let anybody except Bajwa work because of dirty politics,” he said.

Ayaz had initially accepted to join as team manager when Qasim took over in 2008, but later regretted apparently because his department PIA did not release him.

“The fact is Qasim had offered me the job when I was posted in Russia and I had indeed accepted on the condition that I would remain with the department where I was working. But when I heard that I would be posted to sports division, I changed my mind. But then I thought that how can I work under Bajwa. It would be like an Army major saluting a havaldar. So I decided against joining the PHF,” he revealed.


FIH leadership satisfied with Hero Honda FIH World Cup

The Executive Board of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Board met in New Delh, Indiai on 14 and 15 March 2010 at the end of a very good Hero Honda FIH World Cup. The Board was very pleased with the World Cup tournament.

The main agenda item of these fruitful meetings was on a new structure of the Executive Board to be presented at the next FIH Congress to be held in November 2010 in Montreux, Switzerland. The agreed structure calls for a reduction in the size of the Executive Board in order to focus on the strategy policy and direction of the FIH.

The Board also adopted the FIH Strategic Plan 2010 – 2016 and the five strategic priorities, i.e.

* To triple FIH gross revenues in the period 2010 – 2016
* To raise the profile of the FIH and of hockey worldwide
* To enhance and rationalise the international competition schedule
* To close the performance gap between top level playing nations and the rest by raising the world-wide level of play
* To strengthen governance and coordination structures for the FIH and for hockey

The discussion on establishing a World Series competition as of 2012 progressed and proposals from committees of the FIH will be presented to the Executive Board at the next meeting in July 2010.

The Board also agreed in principle to allocate one tournament for men or women per year to India for the next four years and the FIH hopes to attract commercial and Television interest in these events.

The Board received reports from all FIH committees and Continental groups on the ongoing work within the FIH and as it relates to the new strategic plan.


My last world - Part I

Commercial hockey’s first major success

K. Arumugam

In the 80s, the likes of Phil Appleyards talked eloquently about one mysterious ‘World Hockey Series’ a proposal that was on paper for almost a decade, which never took off beyond a few radio bytes.

And, Phili Appeyard – a former FIH bigwig, who with his stone age approach to problems kept hockey away from public – was not alone.

There have been many attempts in the past to improve the image of hockey, make it a popular sport, enjoyable by a wide and vast section of public.

Asia-Australia Test Series proposed by an Australian firm in the 80s, Asia-Europe Intercontinental Series partly executed by the Asian Hockey Federation, and all such efforts fell for want of proper packaging, marketing and sustainability.

Only exception is Former FIH President Bredea Els van Vriesman’s vision. Around the Monchengladbach World Cup, she came out with a brain wave. She allotted the World Cup to India, and hoped to reap commercial benefits. Her vision worked.

Her model of World Cup – organizing by the FIH and on its own terms – turned out to be rewarding.

Normally the leading global sports organizations make the sponsorship deals public, like BCCI or IPL do in India, but the FIH in its wisdom chose to keep all the money matters under the wrap. We have to therefore do the speculative job, no other way to go. So, here is my observation on these.

Hero Hondo chipped in about Rs. 12 crores as main sponsor.

SAIL came out with Rs. 6 crore as Presenting Partner fee.

There were other four partners (like ING Insurance, Karbonn Mobiles etc), to the Hero Honda World Cup each parting a huge Rs. 1.5 to 2 Crores.

Gate collection exceeded at any case Rs.2.5 Crores

In all, the turn over for the World Cup is about Rs. 26 crores out of which the profit margin is expected to be in the order of 70 to 80 percent. It seems the host country got about 15 percent, rest going to the coffers of the FIH.

Hero Honda not only sponsored the event, but spent USD 5 million on popularizing the event, and about one fifth of that amount by presenting partner SAIL.

Daily awards to players, their momentos, cash and kind rewards from knock out stage onwards are all borne either by Hero Honda or SAIL.

The stadium use came at free of cost, transport buses, another main cost factor, came at subsidized rates. The coaching course, if that comes under world cup ambit, is a reasonable spend.

Main expenses for the organizers is flying, boarding and lodging of officials including umpires and local transport of teams.

Its pity the organizers spent not even single penny on popularizing the event like publicity; even opening and closing ceremonies were not organized on one pretext or other.

There was a sponsor for refreshments and drinks, no expenses on that count as well.

Even full stands for the final even as the host team was not there, total branding on the turfs, Delhi marked the first commercial success of hockey.

Whatever you call, this is another contribution of Indian hockey to the cause of world hockey.

Delhi showed the way how hockey can also generate private money, and how stands can be full all the time.

Future hockey won’t be same after Delhi has set high standards.

It will be Herculean effort for any other country to scale the height Delhi had set in.

After the Indian hook, this kind of booty is the another Indian contribution.

FIH often on record that the profits of the world cup will be ploughed back to the development of Indian hockey.

Let us wait and watch what happens from now on.

Stadium that hosted hockey World Cup was not fire safe

Aditya Kaul

New Delhi: A startling revelation has exposed India’s disaster management preparation. The recently concluded International Hockey Federation World Cup, held at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in the national capital, did not have a fire clearance.

Fortunately, the event was accident-free. Otherwise, it would have been a big embarrassment for the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

The fire department had reportedly expressed displeasure and alerted SAI about the situation at the stadium, but it chose to ignore the warning.

While accepting that the sports event did not have a clearance, fire department chief RC Sharma said, “Last-minute changes were made at the venue. The staircases inside were not of appropriate width that could have borne the rush of spectators in case of a fire emergency. There were other things as well. We have informed the concerned authorities about these lapses.”

Instead of providing staircases that meet fire safety norms, they had created two ramps.

The mega event was held in India after 28 years. The stadium at India Gate was turned into a fortress. A crowd of 10,000 was guarded by over 6,000 paramilitary and police personnel, including special commandos, a bomb disposal and dog squads.

Keeping in view a much bigger event — the Commonwealth Games that’s coming up later this year — the fire chief has written a letter to both SAI and the Commonwealth Organising Committee, asking them to ensure that the venues are made fire safety compliant.

“Indoor stadiums are a big worry. Most of the venues are under construction and we hope the authorities are taking the necessary steps to make them fire safety compliant,” Sharma said.


Hockey India conflicts ruining hockey: Aslam

Kusum Arora

AslamJalandhar - Conflicts in Hockey India ruined hockey and brought a gradual downfall of the game leading to the poor performance of Indian hockey team at the recently-concluded World Cup in Delhi.

“It is not the players who lack the sporting spirit, rather the enemy within Hockey India, which has paralysed the entire system. The murky conflicts and politics among senior officials have led to this situation. Even players should think twice before supporting such corrupt officials”, said former Olympian Aslam Sher Khan who was here to attend a local function.

Talking to the media about the upcoming Hockey India elections he said that the system is ailing due to the lack of any senior hockey player in the federation. He also said the elections should be held in a free and a fair manner to avoid further downfall of the sport.

Also hitting out at Union Minister for Sports M.S. Gill, he said, “The minister should ensure that a rule or a law be constituted, which prohibits the entry of corrupt officials in Hockey India and senior players get a chance to have their say for the actual revival of the game”.

At the same time there was no dearth of money as well, he maintained. “Infact during the World Cup, Hero Honda gave Rs 20 crore, SAIL gave Rs 8 crore, while an equal amount was raised through advertisements”, he added.

Further talking about the protest raised by the hockey players ahead of the World Cup he said, “It was a good sign that the players raised their voice against the officials. The boys went public only when they felt that the situation went out of their control”, he added.

Aslam also added that he would support Director Sports, Punjab, Pargat Singh if he contests for the post of president of Hockey India.

The Tribune

Conflicts within HI ruined Indian hockey: Sher Khan

JALANDHAR: Olympian and former chairman of the ad-hoc selection committee Aslam Sher Khan on Sunday said differences within Hockey India has destroyed the national game and was also a reason behind the team's unimpressive performance during the World Cup.

He also asked the Sports Ministry to intervene and enact a law to fix the accountability of HI office-bearers.

"Prevailing conflicts in Hockey India has virtually ruined the game and was one of the main reason for the team's debacle in the World Cup," Sher Khan said.

"The Sports Ministry should ensure that experts of the game must have a significant say in the selection of players and other policy decisions regarding the game," he said.

"Earlier, it was said that there was not much money with the Hockey India and only politicians and bureaucrats could fetch sponsors for the game. But now the situation has changed and sponsors have also shown tremendous support to the game," he added.

Fearing that the forthcoming Hockey India elections would not be "free and fair", Sher Khan demanded adequate representation of former players in the respective state associations.

The Times of India

SAI (Chennai) claims title

Chennai: Sports Authority of India (Chennai) beat Indian Bank (Chennai) by two goals to one in the final of the Tamilnadu Electricity Board state level hockey tournament at Anna Stadium, Palayamkottai on Saturday.

Suresh Kumar scored the match winner, a minute before the final whistle for SAI.

Earlier, Sathyaraj gave the team the lead but it was neutralised by Philip Martin. All the three goals came in the second half.

Mr.R.Mathivanan, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, gave away the prizes in the presence of S.Sundararaman, Chief Engineer (Distribution) and S.Muthuramalingam, Superintending Engineer, Tirunelveli. B.Ramaswamy, Organising Secretary, proposed a vote of thanks.

Other results: semifinals: Indian Bank 8 ( V.Rajan 4,including a hat-trick, Natarajan 2, Nishanth 2) beat TNEB, Chennai 2 ( Dhilip Martin, Ashwin); SAI (Chennai) 4 ( Gnanavel, Manoj, Maria Stalin, Vinodh Kumar) beat Southern Railway 2 (Ganesh, Lakshman Karan)

The Hindu

National level not good enough for sports quota?

Sandeep Rana

Mayank Rautela

Dehradun - Definitions in India, especially in the government departments, have a dynamic nature. They can change at the whim of a babu, or influential folk. So when the Uttarakhand police deny a Indian Hockey Federation national camp, School Nationals and Junior Nationals as eligible parameters for a constable’s post under the sports quota, the surprise is overtaken by disdain for such a system.

Mayank Rautela, a national level goalkeeper, and a native of Uttarakhand was denied recruitment by the police, even after having participated in several nationals recently, under the hockey sports quota. Much to the horror of Mayank, an unknown player was selected in the recruitment of constables for Haridwar police held in January 2010. Information sought by Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, a New Delhi-based RTI activist brought out interesting replies given by the police.

When Bhattachraya wanted to know whether any of the participants in the trails conducted by the Uttarakhand police had played in any national tournament or attended a IHF camp, the police replied in the negative, despite the fact that Mayank was a part of the trials.

BL Tamta, assistant superintendent of police (personnel) told The Tribune that they only gave importance to trials and not to prior performance and achievement as they wanted to see “how much can a player perform on the spot”.

“My son was not selected because they wanted to recruit a boy who had recommendation. How can a national level gold medallist be judged on the basis of a single trial?” questions BS Rautela, Mayank’s father. Going by the bizzare answers the police have already offered, their reply to this plea could well be another ‘quote of the day’ candidate.

The Tribune

NDK takes on Greater Accra Hockey

Accra - NDK Financial Services, one of the leading non banking institutions in the country has announced a GHc20,000 sponsorship deal for the Greater Accra Hockey League.

The package which will cover a two year period will see to the organisation of the Greater Accra Hockey League, after which a renewal will be considered between the two institutions. The deal comes in the wake of the abrupt end of a sponsorship deal between the Greater Accra Hockey Association (GAHA) and IPMC due to financial constraints.

The two organisations appended their signature to the two year sponsorship deal at a brief ceremony in Accra on Thursday. Frank Awuku, Chairman of the Greater Accra Hockey Association (GAHA) said the package will see to the further development and promotion of the sport in the country since a bulk of the national team players come from the Region.

He said the expected funds will go into the organisation of the League, payment of allowances for umpires and other match officials as well as other organisational expenses.

Mr Awuku, however, appealed to the National Sports Council (NSC) to provide more assistance to the Association to enable them strengthen the performance of the League.

According to Mr Awuku, most of the security services which participate in the League are subvented organisations hence their inability to raise funds for registration, adding that there was therefore the need for the NSC to come to their assistance.

Emmanuel Kyeremeh, Deputy Chief Executive of NDK Financial Services said the package was in fulfilment of earlier promise made to the Association.

This, he said, was to ensure that hockey which has the capability of lifting high the flag of Ghana is given the needed financial support to achieve that target.

Mr Worlanyo K. Agrah, Chief Executive Officer of NSC expressed the company's appreciation to the company for their support. He said the nation has in recent times witnessed some successes on the sporting front and this could be attributed to the support of organisations such as the NDK. Mr Agrah appealed to other corporate bodies to follow the steps of NDK to ensure the growth of sports in the country.