News for 11 September 2013

All the news for Wednesday 11 September 2013


Five nations in battle to host FIH World Cups 2018

FIH receives seven exceptional bids for showpiece men’s and women’s tournaments



Australia's Kookaburras were the winners of the 2010 men's Hockey World Cup in New Delhi, India. (Photo: FIH / Grant Treeby)

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is delighted to announce that it has received seven high quality bids from five nations who are all vying for the chance to host Hockey’s marquee events.

Four official proposals to host the men’s World Cup have been made, with a further three submissions being made for the women’s equivalent. The National Associations of Australia, England, India, Malaysia, and New Zealand have all put extremely strong cases forward in an attempt to lure the sport’s top properties to their territory.

As part of the bidding process, the FIH requested that official bid questionnaires were submitted before the 31 August deadline. The FIH received official submissions from five of the original six nations that initially expressed interest earlier in the year. The next phase of the process will feature the detailed evaluation of each bid which will be followed by further discussions and clarifications with NAs as well as site visits to each country.  The final decision will rest with the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland, with the winning bids being announced on 7 November 2013.

“The FIH is thrilled to have received such an excellent response from National Associations regarding the great opportunity to host Hockey World Cup events in 2018”, said Kelly Fairweather, FIH Chief Executive Officer. “The quality and competitiveness of every single bid is impressive, demonstrating that the decision to allocate events earlier and across the entire four-year cycle was absolutely the right move for Hockey. All of the bids show a determination and desire to deliver the most entertaining, exciting and inspiring hockey events in the world, which is in line with our strategy to take hockey to the next level. With such strong competition between the bidding nations, it is clear that the choice will not be an easy one to make.”

The official bids received for the World Cups are part of the new event assignment process which was launched and presented to the National Associations at the FIH Congress in November 2012. The re-structured bidding process will ensure that all unallocated events for the 2015-2018 period will be assigned before the end of this year. A total of 20 events between 2015 and 2018, as well as the men’s and women’s Indoor World Cups 2019, will be assigned from 54 bids submitted to the FIH for assessment.

Both the Men's and Women's Hockey World Cups 2018 will feature an increased 16-nation field of participants, confirming the growing interest and development of the sport. Next year's hugely anticipated Rabobank Hockey World Cup, taking place in The Hague, Netherlands, during the first two weeks of June, will see twelve men's and twelve women's teams compete in a joint tournament.

FIH Media release



Australia to bid for 2018 World Cup

Hockey Australia named as one of five national associations bidding for hockey's biggest event


Hockey Australia is one of five national associations to have submitted a potential bid for the right to host a World Cup in 2018. At this stage, our submission is for either the women's or men's World Cup but is not a joint bid. As part of Hockey Australia’s submission to the International Hockey Federation (FIH), we have also expressed an interest in hosting other major FIH events in the period between 2015 and 2018.

Attracting high quality international events has been a major pillar of Hockey Australia's overarching strategy for the sport in Australia in recent years with Sydney having hosted the 2009 women's Champions Trophy and Melbourne playing host to the 2009 and 2012 men's Champions Trophy tournaments. The last time a World Cup was held in Australia, the women's World Cup was hosted in Perth in 2002. The Kookaburras are the reigning World Champions going into next year's World Cup in The Hague, having won the 2010 tournament in Delhi.

At this stage, while discussions with potential event partners are ongoing, Hockey Australia cannot divulge any further details of the bids tabled, including potential host venues. An announcement of the winning bids will be made by the International Hockey Federation at its Congress on Thursday 7 November 2013.

Share your thoughts about the bids on the Hockey Australia Facebook page.

Hockey Australia media release



India in fray to host 2018 Hockey World Cup

LAUSANNE (Switzerland): India are among the five nations, who have placed their bids before the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to host the 2018 Hockey World Cup.

The FIH said that it had received seven high quality bids from five nations who are all vying for the chance to host men's and women's showpiece events to be held simultaneously.

According to a FIH statement, four official proposals to host the men's World Cup have been made, with a further three submissions being made for the women's tournament.

The National Associations of Australia, England, India, Malaysia, and New Zealand have all put extremely strong cases forward in an attempt to lure the sport's top properties to their territory, the statement added.

As part of the bidding process, the FIH requested that official bid questionnaires were submitted before the August 31 deadline.

The FIH received official submissions from five of the original six nations that initially expressed interest earlier in the year. The next phase of the process will feature the detailed evaluation of each bid which will be followed by further discussions and clarifications with NAs as well as site visits to each country.

The final decision will rest with the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland, with the winning bids being announced on November 7.

"The FIH is thrilled to have received such an excellent response from National Associations regarding the great opportunity to host Hockey World Cup events in 2018," said FIH chief executive officer, Kelly Fairweather.

"The quality and competitiveness of every single bid is impressive, demonstrating that the decision to allocate events earlier and across the entire four-year cycle was absolutely the right move for hockey. All of the bids show a determination and desire to deliver the most entertaining, exciting and inspiring hockey events in the world, which is in line with our strategy to take hockey to the next level. With such strong competition between the bidding nations, it is clear that the choice will not be an easy one to make."

India had last hosted the World Cup in 2010 before the New Delhi Commonwealth Games.

The official bids received for the World Cups are part of the new event assignment process which was launched and presented to the National Associations at the FIH Congress in November last year.

The re-structured bidding process will ensure that all unallocated events for the 2015-2018 period will be assigned before the end of this year.

A total of 20 events between 2015 and 2018, as well as the men's and women's Indoor World Cups 2019, will be assigned from 54 bids submitted to the FIH for assessment.

Both the men's and women's Hockey World Cups in 2018 will feature an increased 16-nation field of participants, confirming the growing interest and development of the sport.

Next year's hugely anticipated Rabobank Hockey World Cup, to be held in The Hague, Netherlands, during the first two weeks of June, will see 12 men's and an equal number of women's teams compete in a joint tournament.

The Times of India



India bids for FIH marquee events

New Delhi - The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced that it has received seven “high quality” bids from five nations, including India, for hosting hockey’s marquee events.

It said four official proposals to host the men’s World Cup have been made, with a further three submissions being made for the women’s equivalent. Australia, England, India, Malaysia and New Zealand have all put “extremely strong cases forward” in an attempt to lure the sport’s top properties to their territory.

The FIH had requested all countries that official bid questionnaires be submitted before the August 31. The FIH received official submissions from five of the original six nations that initially expressed interest . The next phase of the process will feature the detailed evaluation of each bid which will be followed by further discussions and clarifications with National Associations as well as site visits to each country. The final decision will rest with the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne (Switzerland), with the winning bids slated to be announced on November 7.

“The FIH is thrilled to receive excellent response to host World Cup events in 2018", said Kelly Fairweather, FIH Chief Executive Officer.

The Tribune



England Hockey bids to host Women’s World Cup 2018


England take a silver medal the 2013 EuroHockey Championships

England Hockey has formally submitted a bid to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to host the Women’s World Cup in London in 2018 as part of a long-term goal to host regular international hockey in England and further boost the profile of the sport.

The Women’s World Cup bid forms part of a portfolio of bids for major events in the forthcoming years which England Hockey is submitting to the FIH, and which also includes the Men’s Champions Event and the Men’s and Women’s World League Semi-Finals. The purpose built Lee Valley Hockey Centre, the 2012 Olympic Games legacy facility, will play host to the events.

England Hockey’s Chief Executive Sally Munday comments: “We have a clear goal to increase the visibility of hockey in England, which in turn will help drive participation and ultimately elite performance, and events such as the World Cup will be central to achieving these objectives.

“Recent international hockey events have shown the large and passionate following in England for our National teams, boosted by our women’s team winning a silver medal at last month’s EuroHockey Championships. In addition to London hosting the 2015 EuroHockey Championships, the World Cup 2018 is one of a series of bids we’ve submitted to host international events in the coming years, aiming to continue the momentum we’ve generated and keep hockey in the forefront of the public’s minds and mainstream media.”

The bid has the full backing of Sports Minister Hugh Robertson, who also is a former hockey player and a follower of the sport: “We have total support for England Hockey’s major events strategy, and in particular the bid for the 2018 Women’s World Cup. We can use this event to continue to deliver a tangible legacy following the London 2012 Olympics and it would be fantastic to have more major events of this importance in our country.”

The Women’s World Cup will form part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series, which is investing £27million of National Lottery funding to support the bidding and staging costs of major events, on home soil, as well as providing specialist support to organisers. Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport said: “UK Sport and its Gold Event Series are delighted to support England Hockey in its bid to host the 2018 Women’s World Cup in London. This is a unique bid in itself as this marks the start of an ambitious journey to play host to regular elite level hockey in England, helping to drive viewer and participation levels as well as further develop our own athletes on the road to Rio and beyond.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, added: “Since the spectacular success of last summer’s 2012 Games, London has continued to make its mark as a world class international sporting city. I wholeheartedly support England Hockey’s bid to host the Women’s World Cup in 2018 which, as part of wider portfolio of fixtures, will ensure we make the most of our fantastic Olympic and Paralympic venues and continue to deliver a lasting legacy for many years to come.”

The decision on which country will host the Women’s World Cup in 2018 will be announced by the FIH in Lausanne, Switzerland on 7 November.

England Hockey Board Media release



Men's League Begins NOW:


Adam Dixon, David Ames and Simon Egerton NOW: Pensions Men's Finals Weekend Awards

NOW: Pensions sponsorship means that prize money for league winners is up for grabs along with additional monies to teams finishing in second and third in the Premier Division who qualify for the Euro Hockey League. Each Division’s Player of the Season, as voted for by their peers, and Top Scorer also receive prize money.

Earlier this year NOW: Pensions announced its support of England Hockey, through a partnership which encompasses the England and GB men’s team, the men’s domestic league and grassroots initiative, Rush Hockey. NOW: Pensions entered the UK market to help employers comply with the new Auto-Enrolment legislation with a simple, cost efficient pension proposition and chose to partner with England Hockey as they saw the passion and spirit for the sport in the UK.

As well as the change of league name, another thing that spectators might immediately spot as different is the introduction of the rule from international level that allows the ball to be played above the shoulder.

Beeston are the defending league champions and have appointed Matt Taylor as coach to replace Martin Jones who has retired. Taylor coached the Beeston women into the premier last season. They will be without the services of Simon Egerton who has moved to HGC in Netherlands and Michael Hoare who has signed for Wimbledon. They have signed Sam Ward from Loughborough, Gareth Hall (Kelburne) and Jonny Ruiz (Surbiton). Apart from Ruiz, Surbiton, who were runners up to Beeston, have kept most of their young squad together.

Reading, who finished third and took England’s last EuroHockey League place, have added Dan Shingles from Southgate to their squad and welcome back Nick Catlin from a season in Belgium but Huw Jones has moved on to Oxted. Canterbury who just missed out on EHL qualification have brought in a new keeper, Canadian international Antoni Kindler who has Polish nationality.

East Grinstead finished just outside of the top four last season and they welcome England international David Condon from Loughborough as well as former teammate Simon Faulkner and Joe Sterlini (Southgate) to their squad to help them achieve that. Cannock who also narrowly missed out on a championship place see Alistair Edmonstone (Bowdon), Russell Anderson (Brooklands MU) moving to them but have lost Dan Coultas to Holcombe and Arjan Drayton Chana to Sheffield Hallam. Sheffield Hallam are in their first season in the top flight after winning the North Conference and then enjoying a successful play off tournament. They will be playing on the legacy pitch from London 2012 which has been laid at Abbeydale. On the playing side England international Phil Roper has moved to the other promoted team, Wimbledon but as well as Chana they have signed Scottish international Gavin Byers.

Wimbledon the second promoted team have recruited strongly with internationals Alisitair Brogdon returning from Belgium, Phil Roper joins from Sheffield Hallam and Henry Weir moving from Loughborough.

Hampstead see two Canadians join, Richard Hildreth (who also has a UK passport) and David Jameson. With Dan Fox moving to Holcombe they welcome another current England international, Richard Smith in his place. Smith joins after a season in Belgium. Loughborough Students have seen their perennial large turnover in personnel and welcome the ex-Oxted pair of Michael Gee and Jonty Griffiths.

In Men’s Conference East Holcombe were long time leaders last season but pipped at the post by Wimbledon. They will be looking to go one better in 2013-14 and have enlisted the services of internationals Dan Fox (Hampstead) and Barry Middleton (HGC Netherlands). Their former teammate Alistair Wilson joins Cambridge City after a season out of the game. Southgate, who were relegated back to the Conference after two seasons in the top flight, welcome back Rick Gay after four seasons at East Grinstead. St Albans return to the Division after two seasons out of the league and have a new venue at Oaklands College to replace their historic Clarence Park ground. Brighton & Hove, who won the South League last season play at this level for the first time.

In Conference North there is all to play for with last year’s champions Sheffield Hallam promoted. Bowdon who finished runners-up have a new overseas player, Australian Zachary Brazel and also welcome former England international Scott Cordon who was with Leek last season. Near neighbours Brooklands MU who were relegated last season also welcome a new Australian, James Riddell as they look to bounce back. Deeside Ramblers are a team who have bounced back, winning promotion back into the Conference after a season’s absence. West Bridgford, who won the Midlands League are newcomers to the elite level of hockey.

There is a new name on Conference West where Cardiff & UWIC have become Cardiff & Met. They won the league last year but narrowly failed in the play-off tournament and have retained most of that squad. Isca, who won the West & South Wales League return to this level after relegation in 2000. Indian Gymkhana move to the West Conference from the East.

To read the full newsletter, with fixtures and top goalscorers for last season, download it here. You can see all the player movements for this season in our player movements section of the website. For nothing but fixtures, try our fixtures section.

England Hockey Board Media release



Investec Women's Hockey League back this weekend


Reading women celebrate 2013 Investec title

This is the third year of sponsorship by Investec which means that prize money for all four Division’s winners is up for grabs along with additional monies to teams finishing in second and third in the Premier Division. Each Division’s Player of the Season, as voted for by their peers, and Top Scorer also receive prize money.

One thing that spectators on Saturday might immediately spot as different is the introduction of the rule from international level that allows the ball to be played above the shoulder.

Champions Reading take on Canterbury who they beat at Sonning Lane in the Championships semi final back in April. England international Susannah Townsend who lined up for Canterbury then faces her old team mates having made the switch to Reading. Canterbury have signed American Kimberley Young who arrives from University of Massachusetts and Scottish international Nikki Kidd.

Last year’s runners-up Leicester have a new coach in Duncan Woods who replaces the long-serving Chris Mayer. They have seen keeper Maddie Hinch depart with Maggs Rees coming in from Olton. They also have a new name on the teamsheet from an old player: Kerry Whitehead, née Williams, after her marriage during the summer. There is another new coach at promoted Beeston where Gareth Tyler takes up the helm with their successful squad from 2012-13 mainly intact save for the departure of Hollie Webb to Surbiton. Amongst new faces to join is England U21 player Suzy Petty from Loughborough and New Zealander Tenille Burnside.

Surbiton, who made an impressive breakthrough into the top four in their first season in the top flight are further strengthened by the arrival of England internationals Giselle Ansley from Loughborough and Rebecca Herbert who played in the Netherlands for Pinoke. Their international teammate Lily Owsley joins University of Birmingham who have also signed Hannah Martin (Ipswich) and Jenny Mashford (Olton). Emma McCabe who has transferred to Sutton Coldfield is another departure from Olton who stayed up via the play-offs for the second time in three season’s last time round. Clifton have lost Emily Atkinson to Surbiton but have signed young Dutch player Suzanne van Dijk.

In Conference East last season’s champions Harleston Magpies were unsuccessful in the play offs and will look to go one better this time round. One player returning for them is ex-GB international Kath Johnson. They will face a strong challenge from promoted Holcombe who have assembled a strong squad with internationals Maddie Hinch and Laura Unsworth joining and South African international Shelley Russell. The other new team in the division are South champions East Grinstead who unusually have two sets of twins in their squad – Amelia & Georgia Frett and Jessica & Charlotte Cremin.

In Conference North Durham University will be looking to improve on last year’s runners-up spot having pushed Beeston all season in the title race. As ever the students have seen a number of changes to their personnel with newcomers including Mollie Rawnsley from Wakefield and Anna Boorman who has a UK passport but has been playing in South Africa. Newcomers to the Division are Kendal, the first Cumbrian team to play at national league level. Stourport also join from Conference West.

Buckingham will be looking to make it four successive Conference West titles and convert this into a Premier Division place. They have retained their squad from last season. Slough, who were relegated after an unbroken run in the top flight since the league’s inception in 1989, will be looking to bounce back and they too have a similar squad to 2012-13. Runners up last season, Isca University will welcome the Premier Division experience of Rebecca Cadwallader (ex Reading) and Vicki Gill (ex Birmingham University). Exe return to the league after a season’s absence and Oxford Hawks move into the West from the East.

If you'd like to read the full letter, with all fixtures for the upcoming season and where the teams finished earlier this year, click here, and for information on all player movements you can visit the player movements section of our website. For nothing but fixtures, try our fixtures section.

England Hockey Board Media release



Pahang soldier on despite off-field issue

By T.N.Alagesh


LOSING a player for the rest of the Razak Cup tournament did not affect the morale of the Pahang players as they thrashed Penang 5-2 in a Division One Group B match while 19-time champions Kuala Lumpur beat Perak 4-3.

Last year's finalists Pahang will have to play their remaining matches with only 17 players after Mohd Aminuddin Abu, who is serving a two-year suspension, has been barred by Tournament Director Brian Fernandez.

Aminuddin, suspended in 2011 after failing a doping test, is to complete his suspension on Oct 12 but Pahang had fielded him for their opening match against Perak on Saturday.

Brian said he has suspended Aminuddin from the tournament and the player has been referred to the disciplinary board.

Not affected by the off-field issue, Pahang took the lead in the seventh minute at Kuantan Hockey Stadium when Ahmad Kazamirul Nasaruddin scored through a powerful drag-flick before Penang drew level in the 20th minute through Izwan Firdaus Tajuddin.

Hardworking Ahmad Kazamirul completed his hattrick through penalty corner efforts in the 45th and 49th minutes before Rahimi Iskandar Baharom reduced the deficit for Penang in the 61st minute.

Five minutes later, former national player Rodzhanizam Mat Radzi made it 4-2 for Pahang before Fahmi Abdullah wrapped up the score in the 69th minute.

Kuala Lumpur, who finished third last year, got their goals through Nor Hizzat Sumantri (13th), S. Selvaraju (19th and 42nd) and Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor (50th).

Perak, who upset Pahang on the opening day, scored through national player Azlan Misron (27th), Najib Abu Hassan (62nd) and Sabri Mohamad (64th).

In a Division Two match, Police failed to extend their winning run after going down 3-2 to Armed Forces, succumbing to a last gasp goal in the 69th minute off a penalty corner.

Armed Forces' Razali Mohd Hazemi got a hat-trick, firing two first half goals, before notching the last minute winner.

Police, who had earlier beaten Sabah and Perlis 3-2, replied through midfielder Jivan Mohan (39th) and Baljit Singh (56th).

RESULTS -- Division One, Group B: Pahang 5 Penang 2, Kuala Lumpur 4 Perak 3.

Division Two: Selangor 4 Perlis 2, Police 2 Armed Forces 3, Sabah 5 Kedah 4

TODAY -- Division One, Group A: Negri Sembilan vs Johor (6pm), Terengganu vs Malacca (6pm)

Group B: Pahang vs Kuala Lumpur(8pm, Pitch I), Perak vs Penang (8pm).

Division Two: Armed Forces vs Selangor (4pm). *Matches at Kuantan Hockey Stadium

New Straits Times



Pakistan junior team named for Sultan Johor Hockey

LAHORE - The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Tuesday named 18-member Pakistan junior team to participate in the 3rd Sultan of Johor Junior Invitational Hockey Tournament being played in Johor Bahru, Malaysia from September 22 to 29.

PHF spokesman said that the team was named after the trials here at the National Hockey Stadium which were witnessed by the national selectors. “The team was approved by PHF president Qasim Zia. Umar Bhutta will lead the national junior team while Kashif Shah will be his deputy,” he added.

The team members are Mazhar Abbas (gk), Amin Yousaf (gk), M Khalid, M Umar Bhutta (capt), Syed Kashif Shah (vcapt), M Faisal Qadir, M Rizwan Jr, M Tousiq, M Kashif Javed, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Zohaib Ashraf, M Umair, M Dilber, Ali Shan, M Suleman, Arslan Qadir, Ahmed Zubair and Ayub Ali.

The officials, who will accompany the team, are Rana Mujahid Ali (manager/head coach), M Danish Kaleem, Anjum Saeed (coaches), Mubasshir Mohsin (team doctor), Syed Abu Zar Umrao (video-analyst), M Farooq (judge) and Hafiz Atif Laitf (umpire).

The Nation



Olympians demand ad-hoc setup for PHF


Four-time champions Pakistan failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup after failing to perform at the Hockey World League and the recently-concluded Asia Cup. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KARACHI: Intensifying their campaign for the removal of the Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) current set-up, former Olympians have demanded to impose an ad-hoc setup on the body by removing its officials.

The Olympians, who were speaking at a press conference at Karachi Press Club yesterday, also sought time from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for a meeting to seek solutions for the deteriorating state of the country’s hockey.

Four-time champions Pakistan failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup – the first instance in the history of the sport – after failing to perform at the Hockey World League and the recently-concluded Asia Cup.

“It has been proved that this PHF is not capable of delivering,” said Shahnaz Sheikh. “The ad-hoc setup must be imposed to rescue our national game from further decline. We will accept any set-up the prime minister chooses.

“We don’t have any personal issues with the current PHF officials but we feel it’s our responsibility to work for the betterment of hockey as the current situation is painful. Everybody will have to work by keeping their personal interests aside.”

Another hockey legend Islahuddin Siddiqui requested the prime minister to give theOlympiansa hearing. “We know he is a busy man but we request him to take out some time for hockey,” he said.

On the impression given by PHF officials that they cannot be removed before their tenure expires, Siddiqui said: “They must not forget how they took over.”

The ex-players also expressed the resolve for a protest outside National Assembly if their demands were not heeded.

PHF’s executive board to meet today

Meanwhile, the PHF’s executive board will meet today in Lahore to discuss the fate of the national team members and officials.

According to an official close to the board, the future of Akhtar Rasool, who is serving as the manager and head coach of the national team, will be one of the main agendas in the meeting that will be headed by PHF president Qasim Zia.

The board will also discuss future strategies to bring improvement in the team. Individual performances will also be scrutinised while the exclusion of senior players remains a possibility.

The discussion of the next PHF’s election is also one of the main agendas of the meeting.

The Express Tribune



Ex-Olympians blast PHF, national team for hockey ruins

Shazia Hasan


KARACHI, Sept 10: Over twenty former hockey players including the Olympians and internationals who had gathered at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday to register their protest over the shambolic state of the national game, appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take prompt steps to salvage it after the Pakistan failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup for the first ever time in Malaysia recently.

“When Pakistan ended up 12th in the 2010 World Cup, we could see what direction the hockey team was heading and today we have gathered to protest the sorry state of our national game,” said Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh.

“Between all of us who have gathered here today, we have won so many medals for Pakistan and these medals stare us in the face today as if mourning the state of the game in the country,” said Shahnaz. “For the past five years we have continued to hear bad or disastrous news about the game almost every other month. And it kills us each time.”

Shahnaz, obviously incensed by incumbent PHF regime’s poor show, continued to add: “And today, we are here to appeal to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif to make the right decision for hockey. Like several other things in Pakistan, hockey too, is at a make or break point now. Qasim Zia and Bajwa are our juniors and we believe that in their five years in office, despite huge amount of resources at their disposal, they donot have anything good to show for Pakistan hockey.”

“Hockey departments are finished, the academies are not working, there are no tournaments. So how are we going to produce good players? The poor results speak for themselves. It is imperative that the current PHF regime steps down and let someone who truly cares about the game work for its betterment,” insisted Shahnaz.

When asked if the Olympians had worked out an alternate plan to boost hockey fortunes, Shahnaz said: “We have done a lot of homework on the restructuring of hockey. We will increase the pool of players while involving the 128 affiliated units of hockey.”“We already are running our own small clubs and academies in our areas to contribute something for this sport from our own meager resources. And we have done better than the PHF definitely.”

Former captain Islahuddin Siddiqui, while lashing out at the national team’s performance in the past five years, said it was a shame Pakistan could not qualify for the World Cup in The Netherlands in 2014.

“The World Cup tournament was launched by Pakistan and we of all people will be sitting out of the great tournament next year, what shame,” said Islah. “Winning and losing is all part of the game but losing to weaker sides or not measuring up to the nation’s expectations is something else. All the honours and laurels that we earned for Pakistan during our playing days have been lost by the current national hockey team,” he regretted. “What’s required now is immediate change. They only gave us one Asian Games gold medal in 2011 and the rest was only disgrace and shame.”

Islah went on to add: “The prime minister is dealing with so many problems in the country such as terrorism, bad economy, electricity crisis, floods, etc. He should look into the hockey crisis too because the game is dying here and must be saved at all cost.”

“This is the game that got Pakistan positive international recognition. Mian Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister when Pakistan won its last Olympic medal, a bronze, in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. It would be befitting for him to take steps to revive the game now, either constitutionally or by imposing an ad hoc on PHF. But please don’t let the people there play musical chairs anymore,” he said.

Another ex-Olympian goalkeeper Qamar Zia showed all the recent clippings of newspapers to the media which highlighted the various protests organised throughout the country against the PHF following Pakistan’s failure to win the Asia Cup in Malaysia.

“You can see here how women are offering bangles to the team for their poor faring in events, how people are taking out mock funerals of the national team and why Greenshirts have been put in a hall of shame,” he said. “But it is really the people at the top, those running the affairs of the PHF, who deserve the brickbats,” said Qamar.

Besides Islah, Shahnaz and Qamar, the meeting was also attended by ex-Olympians Wasim Feroze, Rashid-ul-Hassan, Ayaz Mahmood, Kamran Ashraf, Qamar Ibrahim, Irfan Sr and internationals Qamar Riaz, Masood-ur-Rehman (Pappa), Laeeq Lashari, Pervez Iqbal, Adnan Husain, Sameer Husain, Khalid Paracha and Arif Bhopali and Akhtar-ul-Islam. Stalwarts Samiullah and Shahbaz Sr backed the campaign through telephonic contact.

Dawn



Former stars threaten protest over hockey slump

KARACHI - Retired Pakistani stars on Tuesday threatened to burn their medals and protest publicly unless the government steps in to reverse a spectacular decline in the national game, field hockey.

Pakistan, four-times world champions with three Olympic golds, failed to win the Asia Cup earlier this month and so failed to qualify for next year's World Cup to be held in The Netherlands. The failure sparked a nation-wide protest by fans and a group of Olympians demanded that the prime minister remove incumbent officials at the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).

"Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is the patron of the PHF and he must take some time out of his busy schedule to address the serious and fatal slump in our national sport," former captain and coach Islahuddin Siddiqui told a news conference. "The current federation has failed to produce results in the last five years and we now have nothing left in our hockey, this federation must go or else we will protest," demanded Islah.

Another Olympian, Ayaz Mahmood, threatened to burn his medals. "For us hockey is our pride, life and everything and if nothing is done to improve our hockey, I will burn my Olympic gold medal," said Mahmood, a member of Pakistan's last Olympic gold winning team in 1984.

Pakistan's nose-dive slump saw them finish last in the 2010 World Cup in India. They finished seventh in the 2012 London Olympics and eighth in Beijing four years earlier -- their worst ever placing. The current PHF chairman is Qasim Zia, an Olympian and a member of the Pakistan People's Party tipped to be sacked after his party lost May elections to Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N. Hundreds of fans also staged protests in Karachi, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi last week, demanding a change of guard at the PHF.

The Nation



Former Olympians threaten protest over hockey slump

KARACHI: Former Pakistan hockey stars on Tuesday threatened to burn their medals and protest publicly unless the government steps in to reverse a spectacular decline in the national game – field hockey. Pakistan, four-times world champions with three Olympic golds, failed to win the Asia Cup earlier this month and so failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup to be held in The Netherlands. The failure sparked a nation-wide protest by fans and a group of Olympians demanded that the prime minister remove incumbent officials at the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).

“Prime minister Nawaz Sharif is the patron of the PHF and he must take some time out of his busy schedule to address the serious and fatal slump in our national sport,” former captain and coach Islahuddin Siddiqui told a news conference. “The current federation has failed to produce results in the last five years and we now have nothing left in our hockey, this federation must go or else we will protest,” demanded Islah. Another Olympian Ayaz Mahmood, threatened to burn his medals. “For us hockey is our pride, life and everything and if nothing is done to improve our hockey, I will burn my Olympic gold medal,” said Mahmood, a member of Pakistan’s last Olympic gold winning team in 1984.

Pakistan’s nose-dive slump saw them finish last in the 2010 World Cup in India. They finished seventh in the 2012 London Olympics and eighth in Beijing four years earlier – their worst ever placing. The current PHF chairman is Qasim Zia, an Olympian and a member of the Pakistan People’s Party tipped to be sacked after his party lost May elections to Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N. Hundreds of fans also staged protests in Karachi, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi last week, demanding a change of guard at the PHF.

The Daily Times



PHF Executive Board meets after Pak fails to qualify for WC

KARACHI: Changes are expected when the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Executive Board meets in Lahore today following the national team's failure to qualify for next year's World Cup in Holland, first time since the prestigious event began in 1971.

Well informed sources said that secretary, Asif Bajwa was likely to be asked to step down voluntarily while Akhtar Rasool, the head coach and manager of the national side, will also be asked to quit.

"Changes are in the offing and already Bajwa has used his political connections in the ruling government party to secure another big post in the Punjab or Pakistan sports board," one source said.

He said ironically Bajwa's old friend and vice president in the PHF since the last four years, Rana Mujahid, also an Olympian, was lobbying to take over as secretary of the federation.

"It should be an interesting meeting because clearly no one is willing to forgive the PHF for the team not qualifying for the World Cup while former Olympians have advised the sports minister to impose a ad-hoc body and hold fresh elections," the source said.

Pakistan under new coach, Tahir Zaman finished third in the recent Asia Cup in Malaysia thus failing to qualify for the World Cup.

In the run up to the Executive Board meeting, former Olympians and players have also stepped up their campaign to force the government to bring about changes in the federation since Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif is the chief patron of the sport.

A group of former Olympians yesterday held a press conference at the Karachi press club and demanded imposition of an ad-hoc committee on the federation.

They also sought time from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for a meeting to seek solutions for the deteriorating state of the country's hockey.

"It has been proved that this PHF is not capable of delivering," former Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh said.

"The ad-hoc setup must be imposed to rescue our national game from further decline. We will accept any set-up the prime minister chooses."

Former captain and Olympian, Islahuddin Siddiqui also urged the Prime Minister to hear out the Olympians and to give some time to the national sport despite his busy schedule.

The ex-players also expressed the resolve for a protest outside National Assembly if their demands were not heeded.

The Times of India



It's Anand for Union Bank amidst sadness

Sudheendra Tripathi


MUMBAI: Promoted outfit Union Bank, despite dishing out laudable performances, have been struggling to find favourable results. On Tuesday, they were at the receiving end again as they locked horns with Indian Navy.

They conceded as many as five goals and managed to net once late in the second half.

The scoreline may suggest a mauling. But some individual performances were worth a mention.

For example, Union Bank goalkeeper Sudhir Dixit effected some breathtaking saves. Had it not been for him, the score-line would have been more embarrassing.

But one performance which also impressed former India captain Viren Rasquinha was that of deep defender Anand Rai.

Rai, who represented Mumbai at the junior nationals, stood out for his exemplary skills and the composed manner in which he thwarted raids from the Western forwards. The strongly-built 19-year-old is a treasure worth preserving.

"What I like about Anand is the maturity with which he distributes the balls," Rasquinha, who has donned the role of a Mumbai selector, observed. "He is a deep defender who has the right attitude and has great vision. He also has amazing ball sense and he's a crafty reader of the game. We are grooming him for bigger things for Mumbai," Viren added.

So impressed was Rasquinha that he insisted that Anand be drafted into the senior Mumbai team. "He is ready to play with the big boys. We will be selecting a Mumbai team that will participate in reputed tournaments like Surjit and Nehru Cup. Exposure at the highest level will do him a lot of good," Rasquinha noted.

Anand's teammate, Sudhir Dixit, who mans the bar, felt that Anand is a clean tackler and that gives Sudhir a sense of security under the goalpost. "I know for sure that Anand will never allow a forward to take a clean strike at goal.

"He will do everything he can to deny him scoring opportunities. There have been times when I have been beaten, but he has bailed me out. It is so relieving to have him around,"

Not surprisingly, Anand is also from the stable of the great Marzaban 'Bawa' Patel. And if he continues in the same vein, he too will earn a call-up to national camp soon.

Results: Super League: Western Railway 6 (Gurshran Singh 21st min, Jay Karan 40th, 66th, Gurmeet Singh 41st, 67th, Mohd Irshad Mirza 58th) beat Sports Authority of India 1 (Manpreet Singh 46th). Indian Navy 5 (Heera Singh 9th, Naveen Kumar 10th, Ved Prakash 41st, 57th, 61st) beat Union Bank of India 1 (Ksh Wangamba 68th).

The Times of India



MCC-Murugappa from Thursday

Chennai: The 88th MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament will be held at the MRK stadium from September 12 to 22. Air India and IOC, the joint winners of the previous edition, will be defending their title. The tournament will be played on a league cum knock-out basis. A total of 10 teams will be pooled in two groups.

Pool A consists of Indian Oil Corporation, South Central Railways, Army XI, Comptroller and Auditor General of India and IOB while Pool B comprises Air India, BPCL, Punjab National Bank, Steel Authority of India and Indian Bank.

Arun Murugappan, of Murugappa Group, said “We take immense pleasure in organising this tournament once again. With so many top teams taking part we are sure the spectators will be treated to a grand spectacle.

Starting from 2012 we have undertaken this noble initiative of supporting and rewarding the current players and have also honoured those who have contributed to the sport of hockey.” The top two teams from each pool will qualify for semi-finals. The final will be played on September 22.

The opening match of the tournament pits SCR against Indian Bank followed by BPCL taking on Sail on Thursday. The winners will be awarded `2,50,000 while the runnersup will earn `1,50,000

The Asian Age



Paragon to host Hockey5s Youth

T&Ts Paragon Hockey Club will host its first Under-21 Hockey 5s Indoor Tournament from Friday to Sunday at the Woodbrook Youth Facility.

This year’s edition of the tournament will follow the new indoor rules which reduces the number of players on the field of play from six to five per team.

Paragon’s Youth Indoor Tournament begins on Friday from 3 pm to 7 pm and continues on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm. The tournament will feature male and female U-21 players (from local club teams and secondary schools), who will compete for trophies, medals and a variety of individual prizes.

“The three-day event aims to give young players a chance to showcase their talent while testing the new five-a-side hockey format,” said Danielle Thompson, tournament director. “It also seeks to reignite public interest, broaden exposure of hockey in Trinidad, while highlighting the skill and expertise of the multitude of junior national players.”

Tournament registration costs $300 and both clubs and schools will be allowed to register a maximum of 10 players and enter up to two teams.

Entry forms and team lists must be submitted by 4 pm on Thursday.

For more information contact Colin Thompson, tournament committee chairperson at 682-0545; Danielle Thompson, tournament director at 730-9526; Richard Roach, club secretary at 788-4136; and Avion Ashton, Club PRO at 773-0332 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The Trinidad Guardian



Coltart hails hockey star

Report by Fortune Mbele


PETRA High School student Estelle Stambolie was named the most promising Junior Player of the Year (Women) at the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (Haz) Annual Awards held at Old Miltonians Club at the weekend and immediately won plaudits from outgoing Education, Sport Arts and Culture minister David Coltart.

Stambolie, together with two other former Petra students, Melissa Sibanda and Chelsea Louw, were subsequently enlisted into the national women’s hockey squad after the Haz Cup tournament.

The national team will be representing the country in the World Series to be hosted by Zimbabwe next September on condition that Magamba Hockey Stadium in Harare is refurbished on time.

Coltart on Monday hailed Stambolie for winning the award.

“Hearty congratulations to BAC women’s team for winning the HAZ Cup (the top club competition in Zimbabwe) at the Khumalo Stadium on Saturday. I am particularly delighted by the performance of Petra High School student Estelle Stambolie and the fact that she won the most promising junior player in Zimbabwe,” Coltart said.

Hippo Valley, who won the men’s final after thrashing neighbours Rams 7-1, dominated the accolades after scooping the Sports Team of the Year award while Donald Mutupo, who grabbed a hat trick in the final, was named the Sportsman of the Year.

Arnold Mpofu, also of Hippo, walked away with the Juniors Sportsman of the Year and while teammate Luckson Sikisa won the Most Promising Junior Player of the Year.

Kristina Manolios of Scorpions grabbed the Sportswoman of the Year award while Stephanie Campbell of Harare was honoured with the Junior Sportswoman of the Year award.

Haz also honoured technical officials with Matabeleland Hockey Board’s Kalpesh Parshotam being named the Administrator of the Year, Ginny Ross, the Official of the Year and Cynthia Louw, the Volunteer of the Year.

Nicky Watson of Bulawayo won the President’s Award for 2012 with Harare’s Kevin Whatmann taking this year’s award.

News Day