News for 31 March 2010

All the news for Wednesday 31 March 2010


India goes down to China 4-6 in the first test

s2h team


Despite scoring three goals in the second half, India went down to superior Chinese girls 4-6 inteh first test played at Shanghai in China on Tuesday.

China set the pace and quicky bang on target scoring three goals coming in 3rd 5th and 23rd minutes before Rani Ramphal scored a consolation goal in the 25th minute.

Undaunted, the hosts converted a penalty stroke to change sides with a 4-1 goal advantage.

In the second half goal too goals rained. Though it is China which scored a goal within a minute from the resumption, Rani Ramphal, Soundarya and Chanchandevi scored a goal apeice.

China struck once in the 51st minute and was contended to win the match at 6-4.

India and China who played the last years's Asia Cup final at Bangkok will play two more tests in this week.

Stick2Hockey.com



India to play China in Azlan Shah opener

NEW DELHI: Defending champions India will take on China in their campaign-opener at the 19th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup International Hockey Tournament to be held at Ipoh, Malaysia from May 6-16.

Besides India and China, other countries taking part in the seven-nation annual tournament are world champions Australia, Asia number one South Korea, Pakistan, Egypt and hosts Malaysia.

The tournament will be played on a round-robin format with the top two teams clashing for the title, while the third and fourth teams will play for the bronze medal, a Hockey India release said on Tuesday.

Australia have won the event a record five times, while India won on four occasions -- 1985, 1991, 1995, 2009 -- and were runner-up two years ago.

The Times of India



Zeller brothers target Euro Hockey League success


This Friday, the Euro Hockey League blasts back into action with KO16 Rotterdam, the unique knock-out event that sees sixteen of Europe’s finest club teams reduced to the four semi finalists over four days of intense hockey action. The EHL has gained a reputation as the most exciting and talked about club competition in the world thanks to spectacular performances from some of the finest and most recognisable players in the global game, including WorldHockey Player of the Year winners Jamie Dwyer (HC Bloemendaal - NED), Teun de Nooijer (HC Bloemendaal – NED) and Pol Amat (Club Egara – ESP).

This season’s tournament has witnessed an influx of even more world class talent, thanks mainly to the arrival of EHL debutantes Rot-Weiss Köln, a team of great quality and big ambition. The side contains no less than eight players who were part of Germany’s Olympic Gold Medal-winning squad from Beijing 2008, with iconic figures such as Timo and Benjamin Wess, Tibor Weissenborn, Tobias Hauke, Jan-Marco Montag, and goalkeeper Max Weinhold all representing the current club champions of Germany. However, it is the presence of brilliant brothers Philipp and Christopher Zeller that has really got everyone talking.

Arguably the most famous siblings in hockey, the Zeller brothers have done it all. At international level, they were key members of the Germany team that claimed the 2006 World Cup in Mönchengladbach. Philipp played a pivotal defensive role in that tournament, while younger brother Christopher made headlines with a series of sensational performances which included scoring twice against Australia in the final to seal a glorious victory.

The brothers also left their mark on the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Philipp scored a crucial equalizer in the semi final victory over The Netherlands, while Christopher again showed his big game qualities when he netted the Gold Medal-winning goal in the final against Spain.

This year, the Zellers have taken a break from international hockey to focus on their studies, but this did not stop them from setting the Euro Hockey League alight with Rot-Weiss Köln at Round 1.2 St Germain. Philipp’s defence conceded just three goals in two matches, while Christopher demonstrated why he is considered by many to be the most complete striker in world hockey by netting ten of his team’s 14 goals against HC Bra (ITA) and Pol Amat’s Club Egara.

In an interview with EHLHOCKEY.TV, Philipp & Christopher discuss the Euro Hockey League and also their hopes of a return to action with Germany.

EURO HOCKEY LEAGUE: Philipp & Christopher, thank you for talking to us! Everyone is looking forward to seeing you both in action at KO16 Rotterdam. Will you both be playing and are you looking forward to the event?
CHRISTOPHER ZELLER: “Yes, we are definitely going to be there and we are of course looking forward to it. The EHL is one of the major tournaments in club hockey and it is a lot of fun competing with other great European club teams.” 

EHL: You were both in excellent form for Rot-Weiss Köln during Round 1. Did you enjoy your experience in Paris for Round 1.2?
PHILIPP ZELLER: “St. Germain were great hosts. They really made Round 1.2 a very special event. It was our team’s first taste of the EHL and I think we made the best out of it by qualifying for Rotterdam.”

EHL: Your team will play Pembroke Wanderers of Ireland in the 2nd round, with victory setting up a clash with either RC de Polo de Barcelona (ESP) or Reading HC (ENG). What are your thoughts about these opponents?
PHILIPP: “The Wanderers are surely a big challenge for us, because we have never played against them before and don't know too much about their style of play. However, they did a good job in the first Rounds so we know that we have to bring our A-Game to win against them.”
CHRISTOPHER: “I agree. The Wanderers are the team that matters in the first place. Whether we play Polo or Reading in the next round is not in our heads at the moment.” 

EHL: Both of you missed the recent World Cup due to study reasons. Was it difficult for you to watch Germany playing in such a big tournament, and were you pleased with their excellent performances with such a young team?
PHILIPP: “It was a delight to watch them play. They performed fantastically during the tournament. Losing the final is always sad, but I'm proud and I think the team can be really proud of themselves as well.”
CHRISTOPHER: “That's right. It is good to see that the young players are doing such a great job already. With a young team like this, Germany stays a team you always have to deal with in the future.”  

EHL: Do you have any plans to rejoin the national set-up once you have both finished studying?
CHRISTOPHER: “We are planning on coming back as soon as possible. Actually, we want to be at the Champions Trophy in August.”

EHL: Finally, you have both had an incredible amount of success as players. Although there is still a long way to go in this year’s tournament, what would it mean to yourselves and Rot-Weiss Köln to win the Euro Hockey League?
CHRISTOPHER: “Becoming number one in European club hockey is a great goal to achieve for Rot-Weiss Köln and for every player. It would definitely be the highlight of our season.”
PHILIPP: “The national competition is our daily business and really important for us, but the EHL is the frosting on the cake. You surely need to win it once in your life.”  

Rot-Weiss Köln are aiming to add the EHL title to the European Indoor Club Champions Cup that they won in February. With these two fantastic players amongst their ranks they have every chance of making that dream come true.

This year’s KO16 event takes place over Easter between Friday 2nd and Monday 5th April, hosted by two-times semi finalists H.C. Rotterdam.  The Euro Hockey League website will be broadcasting every single match from KO16 Rotterdam free of charge via its live streaming service, ensuring that this outstanding event will be seen by as many people as possible.

The extensive coverage of tournament does not stop there, with match highlight videos action photos, written match reports, official match sheets and live scoreboard all being available to site visitors and global press. For more information about the tournament, please visit www.ehlhockey.tv – the official website of the Euro Hockey League.  

Euro Hockey League media release



South Africa's hockey umpires are something extra-special in world hockey circles

Leading FIH official, South African Steve Jaspan's One-Two Hockey Viewpoint.


South African hockey has absorbed a certain amount of criticism over the past few months but there have been some major success stories.

John Wright, SA’s top men’s umpire and rated by many as the best on the planet was selected to Umpire the World Cup Final in New Delhi just over a week ago.  He thus adds to his growing list of achievements having now umpired one Olympic Final, 2 World Cup Finals, a handful of Champions Trophy Finals, and a fistful of European Cup finals.

Phenomenal stuff!  If this were a major sport in South Africa it would be headlines in the media!

To add to this magnificent umpiring success, Gary Simmonds was selected, at his first outdoor World Cup to umpire the bronze medal match – a superb achievement.  Gary umpired in the Beijing Olympics and Indoor World Cup in Vienna in 2007.

Clive McMurray has revolutionized Umpire Management in World Hockey and remains the FIH’s number one choice for this position in all major World Level Events.  He was recently awarded the Guus Lathouwers Award by the FIH for his services to umpiring and was once again Umpires Manager at the World Cup.

We now await with interest the progress of our top women’s umpires at the Women’s World Cup (later this year in Rosario) especially Marelize de Klerk, who has a glittering umpiring CV to match John Wright’s.  Much is also expected of Michelle Joubert who will be umpiring at the Women’s Champions Trophy in Nottingham from 10 – 18 July 2010.

Add to this the fact that SAHA Vice-President, Sheila Brown has the singular achievement of being the first SAHA person to be appointed Tournament Director (TD) at the Champions Trophy and World Cup, in Rosario in August/September of this year.

SAHA President, Dave Carr highly respected by SASCOC, has been appointed as SA’s Chef de Mission for the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore from 14 – 26 August 2010.

All of this on the back of a really heartening performance by the SA Men’s National Team at the World Cup in New Delhi where they improved their World Ranking by finishing 10th (of 120 hockey nations worldwide) and came within a whisker of playing for 7th place!

SA Hockey World



Johor on the rise

By T.N. Alagesh


AFTER tasting defeat against Penang on Monday, Johor put up an energetic display to defeat Malacca 3-0 in Division One of the Razak Cup in Kuantan yesterday.

Johor, who emerged champions in 2007, started in impressive style when they took the lead through a well-worked field goal by Azammi Adabi in the 17th minute before Hang Edzharsyah Hang Tuah made it 2-0 in the 19th minute.

A well-executed penalty corner by Baljit Singh in the 32nd minute saw Johor increasing the lead to 3-0.

Johor coach Gurmit Singh was happy to see his boys put up an impressive show yesterday especially after their shocking 4-2 defeat against Penang on Monday.

"The boys played according to the game plan and I am glad that we managed to secure three vital points against an unpredictable Malacca side.

"I have reminded my players not to underestimate their opponents as all the teams playing here have an equal chance to impress and also cause upsets," he said.

He said getting three points against Negri Sembilan today will ensure they stay in the hunt for a third place play-off.

In an earlier match, former national skipper S. Kuhan sounded the board twice to help Negri beat Penang 3-2.

The former penalty corner specialist gave Negri the lead in the 23rd minute before converting another penalty corner a minute before the breather.

G. Kavin Kartik scored the third goal from a penalty corner in the 64th minute.

Penang replied through Jamil Saidin in the 28th and captain, M. Jivan in the 53rd minute via a penalty corner.

Despite the defeat, Penang coach Bob Rajendran felt that his players had put up a strong show and were unlucky not to walk away as winners.

"The scoreline does not matter. It was important that I get to look at the players' performance especially the 15 players who will be featuring at the Sukma in Malacca in June."

RESULTS

Division One: Penang 2 Negri 3; Johor 3 Malacca 0; Perak 4 Armed Forces 1.

Division Two

Group B: Perlis 4 Brunei 0; Terengganu 6 Selangor 2 .

TODAY

Division One: Perak v Penang (4pm), Kuala Lumpur v Armed Forces (6pm), Johor v Negri (8pm)

Division Two: Kelantan v Singapore (3.30pm), Police v Sabah (5.30pm).

All matches at Pitch I and II of the Kuantan Stadium.

New Straits Times



Perak set to check in with a match to spare

By AFTAR SINGH


KUANTAN: Perak were without three key players but they still outplayed Armed Forces 4-1 to stretch their 100% win record to four matches in Division One of the Razak Cup hockey tournament at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium here yesterday.

And they just need a point against Penang in their penultimate round-robin fixture today to seal a place in the final. Perak’s last preliminary round match is against Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

Perak were without former national goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin, national midfielder Mohd Shukri Abdul Mutalib and former national forward Mohd Riduan Nasir for the match against Forces.

Roslan and Riduan went back to Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh respectively to attend to family matters while Shukri was nursing a tendon injury.

Perak led 2-0 in the first half with penalty corner goals by Mohd Razali Zulkifli (6th, 28th).

But winless Forces managed to pull a goal back in the 47th minute through Mohd Syafiq Yaacob. But Perak made some fine moves in the last 12 minutes of the match to score two more goals through Mohd Hafifihafiz Hanafi (58th) and Mohd Noor Khairul Azrain (62nd).

Perak coach Manjit Singh said: “We were without three key players but this did not affect the team’s performance. In fact, the team played exceptionally well. Although we need a draw against Penang tomorrow to confirm our place in the final, we will go for full points.”

Penang’s hopes of reaching the final were dealt a severe blow. They needed full points against Negri Sembilan to stay in contention but gave a pathetic display and were beaten 2-3.

Negri took the lead with a penalty corner goal by veteran S. Kuhan in the 23rd minute but five minutes later Penang equalised through Mohd Jamil Saidin.

Kuhan regained the lead for Negri with an­­other penalty corner goal in the 34th and Pe­­nang drew level again with a penalty corner goal by national player Jivan Mohan in the 53rd minute.

Former national junior G. Kavin Kartik was the toast for Negri, scoring a brilliant reverse stick goal from the top D in the 64th minute.

Penang coach Bob Rajendran conceded that their chances of reaching were slim.

“We can expect it to be difficult against favourites Perak. I have 15 Sukma (Malaysia Games) players in my squad and I am satisfied with their performance,” said Bob.

The Star of Malaysia



National players not playing to their true ability, says Tengku Abdullah

KUANTAN: Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is concerned over the performances of the national hockey players in the ongoing Razak Cup tournament here.

He didn’t like what he saw in the match between Kuala Lumpur and Negri Sembilan at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium on Monday.

KL had six national players in their side in defenders Mohd Amin Rahim, Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim and Baljit Singh Charun, midfielder Mohd Shahrun Nabil and forwards Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor and Harvinder Singh.

But they struggled to beat a Negri side comprising a number of veterans, among them S. Kuhan, Chairil Anwar, Suhaimi Ibrahim and Nishel Kumar.

“The national players are not playing to their true ability. It is an indication that they lacked playing in international matches,” said Tengku Abdullah.

The national team have not played any international matches since the World Cup qualifier in Invercargill, New Zealand, last November. Malaysia were beaten to a place in the Finals, which were held in New Delhi last month, by the Kiwis.

The national team were supposed to feature in the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy in Ipoh next month but the tournament had to be postponed following the withdrawal of Pakistan and South Korea. Besides Malaysia, China were the other team down to play in the tournament.

The national team’s first tournament for the year will be the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from May 6-16. The other teams in the fray are world champions Australia, Pakistan, South Korea, India, China and Egypt.

Tengku Abdullah also admitted that looking at the performances of the national players in the Razak Cup it would be tough for Malaysia to win the Asian Games gold medal in Guangzhou in November to qualify automa­tically for the 2012 London Olympics.

“I will discuss the matter (the players’ performance in the Razak Cup) at the council meeting on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur. I will announce plans after the meeting,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia



My doors are open

Rather then being upset by the statement made by former national skipper and assistant coach Nor Saiful Zaini, MHF President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was more disappointed that he had not made use of the proper channels to voice his opinion.

While respecting that Saiful was entitled to his opinion on matters with regards to how he perceived hockey in the country, Tengku Abdullah reminded Saiful that he too was part of the national team set-up for a whole year and could have used that period to correct any shortcomings within the national team.

"Yes I have read the statement made by Saiful and he is entitled to his opinion, which is personal and not reflective of any organisation," said Tengku Abdullah when met after witnessing the Negeri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur match in Kuantan.

"He was part of the national team and should have corrected things if he felt so strongly about it but what has he done when he had the opportunity.

"Though they are his personal views, I have advocated an open door policy in MHF and be it Saiful or anyone else can bring proposals on how to improve our hockey standards to me directly. I am all ears if the ideas generated can help us boost our hockey standards.

"On the question of development, or rather the lack of it raised by Saiful, let me assure him that we have the plans in place and I shall reveal everything after our Council meeting this Saturday.

"We may not have achieved our desired improvement levels but who is there to deny that we have done well in some areas. I had made it clear that we need time to correct and improve things and we are on the right track."

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



Air India beat BPCL to win Gold Cup

BHOPAL: India striker Shivendra Singh struck twice to help Air India thrash BPCL 5-0 and clinch All-India Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup hockey title at the Aishbagh Stadium.

Besides Shivendra (51st and 66th minute), Olympian veteran Dhanraj Pillay (46th), skipper Sameer Dad (36th) and Lalit Upadhyay (14th) were the other scorers yesterday.

During the breather, Air India led 1-0, after Lalit in the 14th minute capitalised on a pass off Pillay, who defied his age to produce some fine passes during the match.

In the second half, Air India continued with their aggressive strategy and swelled the tally further.

Local lad Sameer scored in the 36th minute connecting to a brilliant pass off Shivendra, before Dhanraj rounded of the tally in 46th minute redirecting a fine pass off Sameer.

Air India got four penalty corners while BPCL two but both failed to capitalise on them. Air India goalkeeper Adrian D'souza thwarted three attempts.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan awarded cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs and a golden trophy to the winner of the tournament, while BPCL got Rs 3 lakhs and the runner-up trophy.

Chouhan also presented a cheque of Rs 18 lakhs to the Indian players who played at the Hockey World Cup in New Delhi.

"Hockey is the national game and we will make all the efforts to ensure that India become number one in the game," Chouhan said.

Earlier, Indian Oil Corporation clinched the third place in the tournament defeating Punjab and Sindh Bank 2-0.

The Times of India



Ramesh stars with a brace

VISAKHAPATNAM: S. Ramesh struck twice in succession to help host and holder Visakhapatnam District XI prevail over Bihar Regimental Centre (Hyderabad) 2-1 on the opening day of the second Vizag Steel Cup hockey tournament at the Port stadium here on Tuesday. Visakhapatnam made it to last eight.

Ramesh, who switched over from the right-in position to centre-forward, earned the lead in the first half. Ramesh latched on to a cross from left out P. Ramesh just outside the D to sound the boards.

He increased the lead in the 43rd minute connecting a cross from right-out V. Krishna Kishore almost from the same spot. Rameshwar Kujur converted a penalty corner for BRC in the 57th minute.

The next match and the day's last engagement also saw a tough battle, between Visakhapatnam Port Trust and SAI STC, Eluru. VPT won 3-1.

A brace by the experienced G. Nelson Peter, in the 48th and 50th minutes, dampened the spirits of the Eluru boys.

But they recouped quickly and in the 55th minute I. Appala Raju put one past the port goalkeeper. Four minutes later K.V. Anjaneya Rao scored for VPT.

Vijayawada Hockey XI beat RDT Hockey Academy, Anantapur 3-1. It led first half 2-0 through goals by B. Jagadeesh Babu (20th) and C.P.N. Swamy (21st). After Babu John (38th) scored for RDT, Md. Abid Basha (40th) increased the margin for Vijayawada.

The Hindu



Hockey revival in Bhopal

Nostalgia was in the air as Bhopal relived its famed fascination with hockey over the last week bringing back memories of the times when the sport evoked strong reactions. The old and the young as also burqa-clad women thronged the Aishbagh Stadium in the old city, which hosted the 64th All India Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup Hockey tournament, revived after a gap of eight years.

Getting to the stadium is not easy anyway but finding a seat was almost difficult on Monday night when the final was played between Air India and BPCL which the former won by a margin of 5-0.

The audience turnout in the stadium made one wonder whether the IPL tournament was already over. But the audience, most of them well versed with the nuance of the game, made it clear they preferred live action.

Once considered the nursery of hockey, the sport appeared to have slipped into oblivion in Bhopal in part due to politics and lack of glamour and money.

The prestigious tournament was last held eight years and since then little was heard of the sport in the state that produced the legendary player Dhyan Chand.

Ironically, it took a revolt by the national hockey players, both male and female, for the game to stage its revival in Bhopal.

When he offered to run the affairs of men’s hockey three months ago, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s gesture was seen by many as political opportunism. However, since then the soft-spoken politician has done enough to dispel any such doubts.

From repeatedly honoring hockey players to announcing cash rewards to even symbolically joining the female players in their protest, Chouhan has won the hearts of even his political opponents.

Congress MLA Arif Aqueel, among the most vocal critics of the BJP government, was so overwhelmed when the national tournament was revived amid all its glory that he weighed Chouhan in `laddoos.’

Famous commentator Jasdev Singh said Chouhan’s efforts have reminded him of former President Zail Singh who tried to take hockey in Punjab forward.

"You are the real hero because you have breathed life into a game that was dying,’’ said star player Dhanraj Pillai and advised the visible uncomfortable Chouhan to simultaneously hold the union sport’s minister portfolio.

Not done yet, the Olympian touched Chouhan’s feet as the choc-o-block stadium watched. The star player said Hockey India was prodded into action only after Chouhan offered to bear the national team’s expenditure.

The chief minister took his well-meaning interventions forward by announcing that the tournament will be given an international touch by getting four foreign teams to participate in the next edition.

Chouhan has already announced that the next trophy will be made of real gold. He said a similar tournament would be organized for women’s hockey too.

The chief minister made a series of announcements to promote the sport at the state and national levels.

Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Dhyan Chand will be tasked with supervising a summer camp for hockey players and talents found after a nationwide search. The state government will provide kits.

Also, a Chief Minister’s fund for current and former players with the initial corpus of one crore will be set up. Chouhan handed over a cheque for Rs 18 lakh by honoring his announcement made before the recent world cup that every goal scored by India will be rewarded with Rs one lakh each.

Indian Express



Sports Ministry urged to focus on national game


MADURAI: An Indian Hockey player on Tuesday urged the Sports Ministry to focus on national game and fund the players, lamenting that there was none to promote the sport.

"While cricket is being promoted through IPL, spending several thousand crores (of rupeees), there is no one to promote the national game of Hockey. The corporate sector also is not doing anything to promote the game. They should support the game and bring it to its original glory in the country," Indian Hockey team player and Hockey Development Captain V Raja said.

He also stressed the need for more hockey grounds for developing the game.

Talking to newsmen after participating at a local College function at Tiruparankunram near here, he said "compared to other countries we don't have enough number of hockey grounds. The state governments also should play a major role in promoting hockey. Every district should have a hockey ground and an academy and frequent competitions should be held to promote the game."

Rural schools should have hockey grounds and also train students in the game. Only then the country's traditional game could be saved from perishing, he said.

The Times of India



Olympians raise fresh demand of ousting PHF president

LAHORE: The Olympians, on Tuesday, stuck to their demands of having Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Asif Bajwa removed from his position while offering no suggestion on how to resurrect Pakistan hockey.

A good number of speakers including Khalid Mahmood, Khawaja Zakauddin, Shahnaz Sheikh, Islahuddin Siddiqui, Naveed Alam, Ayaz Mahmood, Tahir Zaman, Qamar Ibrahim, Moinuddin, Naeem Ahmad, Mohammad Saqlain, Saeed Khan and Col Mudassar Asghar delivered angry speeches on the occasion while claiming to be doing this in national interest.

Some speakers also raised a new demand for PHF President Qasim Zia to quit as well because he is not ready to take action against his secretary.

Asif Bajwa’s predecessor Khalid Mahmood said that the government changed PHF’s entire set up when the national team took eighth position in the last Olympics but it is doing nothing after the team came 12th in the World Cup.

Khalid said Qasim Zia followed different principles for himself and others. He also urged Rana Farooq, a federal minister, who investigated the Olympics debacle and grilled the then PHF officials, to send the same kind of advice for the ouster of the incumbent officials.

Khwaja Zakauddin advised the Olympians that it would be better to meet the prime minister and get another ‘chit’ like the one Qasim Zia got from him to become the PHF president.

“The prime minister’s ‘chit’ enables you to get elected automatically,” he announced.

He also pointed out that the PHF had sent a team of aging players to the mega event that could not win anything.

He criticized the PHF for establishing a good number of academies though they just need four reputable and high-level provincial academies.

Shahnaz Sheikh said that he had been sending his proposals and opinions for the betterment of hockey to the PHF president for the last two years but to no avail.

“The PHF president should first act on those and he will send him more suggestions after that only,” he said.

Shahnaz reminded that former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had warned the national team that a gold medal was a must-win in the 1972 Munich Olympics. Otherwise he would send them to jail. But now Pakistan has finished at the bottom in the World Cup and no one in that office seems to care.

The PHF president dissolved the entire selection committee and team management soon after the poor result, while all the players of the team also tendered their resignation. Though Qasim dismissed Asif Bajwa as manager of the team, he put his weight behind him as PHF secretary, saying that since he is an elected secretary, he can only be removed by the Congress. He had also mentioned that no one from outside can take the decision and the Congress alone is the best forum to remove any elected person.

Qasim had also advised the Olympians to send him their suggestions within 15 days so that he could arrange a meeting with them in order to discuss the issues at hand.

Shahnaz alleged that he wanted to contest the elections of the Islamabad Hockey Association but he was not allowed to do so on PHF’s instructions. He also criticized the PHF for taking a decision of hiring a foreign coach.

Meanwhile, Islah said that the Olympians were not running this campaign against the PHF secretary for their own vested interests but in national interest. He said timely action was required to save the game of hockey from total disaster. Otherwise, there would be more such debacles.He urged the media to support the Olympians as they were struggling for a national cause. Islah said Asif Bajwa should be held accountable for he has had a say in all matters as secretary, manager and head coach.

He also hit at the PHF academies, saying he had visited such institutions in Germany, Holland and Australia. But the PHF academies looked more like clinics to him.

He said as an Executive Board member he could not attend the meeting in which various important decision were taken. “I was in USA at the time but the PHF did not bother to even take me into confidence over the telephone,” he said.

Former PHF secretary Col Mudassar alleged that the PHF had forgotten how to respect old Olympians and the poor positions at events was the result of that, too.

He said he had decided not to visit the PHF offices when he witnessed the late Brig Manzoor Hussain Atif, a highly-reputed hockey figure in Pakistan, being asked to vacate his seat at a PHF function as it was reserved for the federation secretary.

He said when the intentions were good, a slight push from Shahbaz Ahmed Senior could get you a match-winner in the final of the 1994 World Cup but when ill will prevailed, the ball rebounded from the pole. He was obviously hinting at Sohail Abbas’s failed tries at scoring in the World Cup.

Tahir Zaman said that he would not ask anyone to quit but would advice the government to at least hold an inquiry to look into the matter as this was not a small debacle. The PHF got huge funds of Rs400 million from this government and it should also be questioned about its expenditures.

Meanwhile, other speakers, namely, Ayaz Mahmood, Naveed Alam, Moeenuddin, Naeem, Saeed Khan, Qamar Ibrahim, etc., also singled out Asif Bajwa for the team’s poor show at the World Cup.

Naveed also alleged that Akhtar Rasool, another Olympian, after being ousted from PHF’s Executive Board, due to a contempt of court case against him, is still dealing with the PHF and has even got his son in the under-18 team besides getting his younger brother, Khalid Rasool, appointed as the PHF treasurer along with a cousin, Arshad Chaudhary, as member of the newly-formed selection committee.

He said that this was all possible as the Pakistan Hockey Federation has become “Pakistan Political Federation”!

Dawn



Former greats push for changes in hockey set-up

By our correspondent


KARACHI: Several former Olympians gathered in Lahore on Tuesday to attend a seminar aimed at finding ways and means “to save Pakistan hockey from a complete disaster”.

The former stalwarts came out with a number of suggestions ranging from sweeping changes within the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) to a full-fledged inquiry into the reasons behind the national team’s disastrous last-place finish in the World Cup in New Delhi earlier this month.

Khawaja Zakauddin, a former Olympian and Pakistan manager, urged that the prime minister, who is also the chief patron of PHF, should install an ad-hoc body to run the sport. Khalid Mehmood, a former PHF secretary, called for the need of an urgent inquiry into the World Cup debacle. “What we need is to carry out proper investigation into the causes that led to our team’s humiliating 12th position in the World Cup,” he said. “And once the people responsible for it are singled out, they should be punished accordingly,” he added.

Khalid, a former Olympian who was toppled as PHF secretary by Asif Bajwa back in 2008, said that his successor used illegal means to become the secretary. “He (Bajwa) came through the back door and is misusing his powers as PHF secretary. He should be removed to save Pakistan hockey.”

Islahuddin Siddiqui, a former Pakistan captain, said that the PHF is itself to be blamed for the World Cup disaster. “The PHF officials say that 17 out of 18 players were unfit which is why our team finished last in the event. I think that means that the PHF which was responsible for the World Cup preparations was at itself at fault. Why is that they didn’t ensure that a strong and well-prepared team represented Pakistan in the World Cup. They are responsible for the shameful performance by Pakistan in New Delhi,” said Islah.

Islah also took a swipe at the PHF for initially hiring an expensive Dutch trainer to run its academies only to use him as an assistant coach for the national team. “The PHF told us that it is bringing a Dutch consultant to help set up academies but it turned him into an assistant coach. It said that he will help the players attain peak fitness but in the end we fielded an unfit team in the World Cup.”

Islah also blamed the PHF chiefs for wasting precious funds at their own whims and fancies. “The PHF officials are acting as if they are a royal family. They are rewarding people who are loyal to the PHF. They are sending them abroad, giving them jobs. They are just buying loyalties.”

Mudassar Asghar, a former Olympian and ex-PHF secretary, made it clear that unless sweeping changes are made in the national hockey set-up there will be no improvement in the future. Ayaz Mehmood, former Olympian and ex-national coach, called for a comprehensive and neutral inquiry into the World Cup debacle. He also demanded a probe into the PHF’s bank accounts.

The News International



Easter youth hockey flicks off today

A joint Hikers Hockey Club/Old Fort youth team, along with two squads from Barbados, will line up to do battle against the best of Trinidad and Tobago in the T&T Hockey Board’s (TTHB) Easter Youth Hockey Festival, starting today (Wednesday) from 9 a.m.

The combined Guyanese teams, as well as one boys team and one girls team from Barbados, have been confirmed for the three-day tournament at the National Hockey Centre in Tacarigua. Youth teams from local clubs will also compete in the three divisions-Under-13, Under-16 and Under-21 male and female teams.

Today’s action marks the ten-year anniversary of the Easter tournament, which also featured a Primary Schools Division.

Lower Morvant Primary and Arima Centenary won the Boys and Girls titles, respectively, in that competition, while Atwell’s Primary School won the Mixed Division.

Last year more than 1,200 youngsters competed in the Festival, which is unique in that it is run by the National Youth Committee of the TTHB, which boasts of officials between the ages of 12-25.

This year, the Festival’s directors are Danielle Thompson and Ariel Wallace, who at 17 is the youngest international judge in the Pan American Hockey Federation. Wallace recently returned to T&T after officiating from duties at the Pan American Youth Championships in Mexico.

The Trinidad & Tobago Express



21 hockey players off to Trinidad

TWENTY-ONE of Barbados' best junior hockey players left the island yesterday for a tri-nation tournament in Trinidad with a view of honing their competitive skills for the 2012 Junior Pan American Games.

While in Trinidad, the Colin Elcock coached team will battle against the hosts and Guyana.

Barbados will also take part in an Easter club tournament and compete against various club teams outside of the tournament.

Team manager Roger Broome said every attempt would be used to sharpen the skills of the players who would also take part in the upcoming Banks Hockey Festival as a team.

However, the tour was almost scuttled after Barbados received the invitation from Trinidad giving the locals less than ten days to source $20 000 to accept the opportunity.

Broome paid tribute to the players who hit the streets to raise the funds and he also acknowledged the part Super Centre and Tri Mart played in permitting them to use their compounds to solicit funds for the tour.

"It was remarkable how the players set about to help themselves and I must commend the Barbadian public who was wonderful in responding to our cause," Broome said.

The parents of the players also utilised their various contacts to make the tour a reality while the Barbados Football Association chipped in by providing competitive gear on loan to the team.

Captain Shonkeel Wharton, who took part in the last junior Pan Am and who is also contending for a spot on the Barbados senior team for the upcoming CAC Games, acknowledged that the money situation was a challenge for his team, but said the obstacle saw his players working even harder to raise the money and training harder to maximise the opportunity.

Wharton pointed to some of the talented players in the team like standout secondary school player Akeem Rudder, and Kenan Knight while signalling that he intended to use his experience to help his teammates to do well in Trinidad.

"My immediate goal is to help my team to have a successful outing in Trinidad and for my teammates to improve significantly so that we can improve on our sixth placing at the last Pan Am Juniors," he said.

"I am also optimistic that Knight and I can make the CAC Seniors as well."

The Nation



Alberta wins Indoor Tournament in Southport, Manitoba

The Alberta men’s provincial team won the 1st Invitational Indoor Field Hockey Tournament hosted by Field Hockey Manitoba in Southport on Sunday.  The Albertans defeated Saskatchewan in the championship game.

Also over the weekend the women’s provincial team from Manitoba defeated Saskatchewan in a three-match series with two victories and one draw.

Final Standings – Men’s Tournament:

1st place    Alberta Men                                                          
2nd place   Saskatchewan                                                         
3rd place   Manitoba Men M2
4th place   Alberta U18
5th place   Manitoba Men M1

The Men's Tournament VI selected were:

* Jordan Tse (Alberta Men)
* Manvir Grewal (Alberta Men)
* Balmeet Kullar (Alberta U18)
* Jaspreet Dhillon (Manitoba Men M1)
* Gurbrinder Sohal (Manitoba Men M2)
* Audric George (Saskatchewan)

The Women's Test Series MVP for each team were:

* Allison Moore (Manitoba)
* Ilane Therrien (Saskatchewan)

Field Hockey Canada media release



FIH appoints Martyn Gallivan as Competitions Manager

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has appointed Martyn Gallivan as its Competitions Manager. Gallivan, a 55-years old British citizen, takes over from Dennis Meredith who retires at the end of March. Gallivan will commence his work at the FIH on 6 April 2010.

The Welsh Gallivan is well known in the hockey world. Not only as player of the Cardiff Hockey Club, but also as Grade 1 International Umpire, both Outdoor and Indoor. He is currently member of the FIH Umpiring Committee, Secretary of the EHF Outdoor Competitions Committee and member of the EHF Appointments Committee.

‘I am very pleased that a hockey person like Martyn has joined the FIH in this key position for competitions’, FIH President Leandro Negre said. ‘I know him for many years and I wish him all the best in his new position.’

‘It is a great honor for me to be the new FIH Competitions Manager’, Gallivan stated. ‘I am looking forward to the challenges it will present at this pivotal moment for our sport.’

WorldHockey



Hockey New Zealand announce Team appointments

Hockey New Zealand is delighted to announce the following appointments:

Team Services Manager – Dana Bisset

After an extended recruitment process, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Dana Bisset to this position. Dana has been working at Hockey New Zealand for six years, and most recently as Tournaments Manager, until she went on parental leave in September 2009.

Dana studied for a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation from AUT, and though not a Hockey player has developed a passion for it along with her involvement in other sports such as rugby, netball and touch rugby.

Dana returns after Easter on a part-time basis, sharing the role with Iain Stewart who has continued to relieve 2 days per week, since December. From 5th July Dana will be full time in this role.

She is really looking forward to providing support to the National Squads in her new role, and working with the High Performance team.

Tournaments and Events Manager – Nicola Connell

We are very pleased that Nicola has accepted the role of Tournaments and Events Manager, a position she has been relieving in since September last year when Dana Bisset went on parental leave.

Nicola has a Bachelor of Sports Management from Unitec New Zealand and first began at Hockey New Zealand as a volunteer as part of her practicum work for her degree in 2005. A highlight during that time was her attendance at the World Youth Hockey Promoters Festival in Santiago Chile in November 2005.

Nicola became a full time employee in July 2007 in the role of Administration Assistant and in January 2008 she was appointed into the role of Development Assistant.

Nicola first started playing Hockey when she was 11 years old. She is currently the goalkeeper for the Mt Eden Hockey Club Premier 1 Women’s Team, and has represented Auckland at U18, U21 and Senior Level, and made a brief cameo in the 2007 NHL as a guest goalkeeper for Central Mysticks. In her spare time she is developing her Video and Data analysis skills.

Farewell – Gemma Flynn

Last week we said farewell to Gemma Flynn who has been relieving in the role of Development Assistant since November last year. Gemma has worked very hard and made a really positive contribution to the Development programme, and we wish her well with her big year of Hockey with the Black Sticks Women.

We thank Gemma, and congratulate both Dana and Nicola on their appointments. I am sure that the Hockey Community will be extremely well served by both of them in their new roles.

Hilary Poole
Chief Executive – Hockey New Zealand


Hockey New Zealand Media release