News for 27 July 2010

All the news for Tuesday 27 July 2010

Kookaburras continue preparations for the Champions Trophy - 10-3 win over Belgium

The Kookaburras have again sent an ominous warning to their opposition at the upcoming 2010 Champions Trophy, demolishing Belgium 10-3 overnight in Belgium.

With the 2010 Champions Trophy beginning this Saturday in Germany, this match against Belgium was the perfect preparation for the Kookaburras who are looking to win their third Champions Trophy in a row.

Despite having a young team, with coach Ric Charlesworth opting to leave a number of veterans at home in order to develop his squad, the Kookaburras were simply dominant against Belgium.

Having five times as many circle penetrations and 22 more shots on goal, the Kookaburras were in control from the opening whistle and showed consistency to score five goals in each half.

Des Abbott showed why he is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, scoring four goals while Luke Doerner and Jason Wilson scored two each.

Chris Ciriello and Trent Mitton were the other goal scorers, while Eddie Ockenden, Fergus Kavanagh and Simon Orchard were amongst the Kookaburras best players.

The team now departs Belgium for Germany where they will play their first match of the Champions Trophy against New Zealand on Saturday 31 July.

Kookaburras 10 Belgium 3 (5-2 half time)

Australian Goals – Des Abbott 4, Luke Doerner 2, Jason Wilson 2, Chris Ciriello 1, Trent Mitton 1

Hockey Australia media release

‘Calypso Stickwomen’ reach semis

Stacey Siu Butt scored a pair of goals as the national women’s hockey squad whipped Guyana 5-1 to finish top of Pool A with maximum nine points ahead of tomorrow’s semifinal round. Siu Butt scored in the 25th minute and two minutes later Oire Trotman made it 2-0 before Krizia Layne slammed home from a penalty-corner for a 3-0 lead at the interval.

Kristin Thompson added a fourth item in the 44th minute before Guyana pulled a goal back through Cora Towler in the 61st minute but with a minute left in the match, Siu Butt completed her double for a 5-1 victory.

T&T, the 2002 CAC gold medallists, will play Dominican Republic in the semifinal after the latter defeated Jamaica 1-0 to finish second in Pool B with six points, behind Mexico (nine points).

On Sunday, the T&T men’s hockey won for the second straight match, 3-1 over Barbados in Pool A to improved to maximum six points and secured a place in the semifinals ahead of their final group match against winless Panama, today from 11am.

The Trinidad Guardian

Women make winning start

THE Malaysian women's hockey team started their quest to retain the Asian Indoor crown in Bangkok with a 4-0 win against Thailand B yesterday.

However, the win does not carry any weight for defending champions Malaysia as Thailand B were included as a sparring team when Iran pulled out at the 11th hour.

Malaysia meet Indonesia today, and a win is almost assured after Kazakhstan hammered Indonesia 18-0 yesterday.

A gold medal in Bangkok comes with a ticket to play in the World Indoor Tournament in Poland next year.

RESULTS: Malaysia 4 Thailand B 0, Kazakhstan 18 Indonesia 0, Uzbekistan 3 Thailand A 4.

TODAY: Malaysia v Indonesia; Kazakhstan v Thailand A; Thailand B v Uzbekistan.

TOMORROW: Thailand B v Kazakhstan; Thailand A v Indonesia; Malaysia v Uzbekistan.

New Straits Times

England coach Jason Lee announces Champions Trophy squad

By Emily Benammar and agencies

Experienced: Jason Lee has recalled four players that were absent from the Four Nations Photo: ADY KERRY

England coach Jason Lee has recalled four of his more experienced players to his 18-man squad for the forthcoming Champions Trophy in Germany.

Having been omitted front the side that finished as runners up in the Four Nations earlier this month, Surbiton duo Ben Hawes and Rob Moore and Hampstead and Westminster's Dan Fox return while Loughborough Students' Richard Smith, who should have competed with Great Britain in Nottingham, has recovered from injury and is also selected.

Bowdon defender Andy Bull retains his spot in the squad having made his senior international debut just a fortnight ago.

Impressive performances against Japan, New Zealand and Germany at the Four Nations ensured the 18-year-old of his place.

England get their Champions Trophy campaign under way against Germany on Saturday a side Lee's squad beat in the final of the euro Nations 11 months ago.

Recently the Germans have been the stronger of the two sides having beaten England in the semi-final of the World Cup earlier this year and the final of the Four Nations this month.

Following this, England will also come up against Spain, Australia, Holland and New Zealand.

England Champions Trphy squad:

* Richard Alexander (Surbiton) Def/Mid/Fwd
* Nick Brothers (Reading) GK
* Andy Bull (Brooklands MU) Def
* Nick Catlin (Loughborough Students) Mid/Fwd
* Jonty Clarke (Reading) Fwd
* Adam Dixon (Beeston) Def/Mid
* James Fair (Cannock) GK
* Dan Fox (Hampstead & Westminster) Def
* Ben Hawes (Surbiton) Def
* Ashley Jackson (HGC) Mid
* Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) Mid
* Iain Mackay (Reading) Mid
* Simon Mantell (Reading) Fwd
* Barry Middleton (c) (HGC) Mid/Fwd
* Rob Moore (Surbiton) Fwd
* Richard Smith (Loughborough Students) Def
* James Tindall (Surbiton) Fwd
* Alastair Wilson (Beeston) Def

The Telegraph

Teun de Nooijer set for another FIH Champions Trophy

Teun de Nooijer will set an all-time record of Champions Trophy participations when the Dutch star will play his 16th Champions Trophy starting on Saturday. Paul van Ass, the new coach of Netherlands, has selected De Nooijer in his team.

De Nooijer is now co-leader of Champions Trophy participation. He and his former teammate Jeroen Delmee have played 15th Champions Trophies in their career. De Nooijer didn’t miss an edition since 1995.

Team Netherlands for ABN AMRO FIH Champions Trophy: Sander Baart, Billy Bakker, Marcel Balkestein, Floris Evers, Jeroen Hertzberger, Rogier Hofman, Robert van der Horst, Roderik Huber, Mark Jenniskens, Tim Jenniskens, Wouter Jolie, Robbert Kemperman, Eby Kessing, Teun de Nooijer, Jaap Stockmann, Valentin Verga, Klaas Vermeulen, Mink van der Weerden.


Hope Munro puts family first and takes a break from the Hockeyroos

The Hockeyroos task of winning gold at the 2010 World Cup and Commonwealth Games later in the year has become even more of a challenge, with veteran Hope Munro today announcing she is taking a break from international hockey for the foreseeable future.

Munro, who debuted for Australia in 2004 and played 109 games and scored 33 goals for the Hockeyroos, made her decision in order to spend more time with her young daughters, Ella (7 years of age) and Olivia (4 years of age).

While admitting it was difficult to give up the opportunity to play for the Hockeyroos at the World Cup and Commonwealth Games later in the year, Munro said she was looking forward to spending more time with her family.

“It was an extremely difficult decision to make, but I know in my heart this is the right path for me at this point in time. I have been very fortunate in my hockey career to have the love and support of my family and close friends. In particular, my then husband Chris Munro, for without his unwavering support none of my international career would have been possible. I look back on my career with many fond memories of fun times, hard times, and sad times, but most of all I am lucky to be able to leave the program with some of the closest and dearest friendships."

“I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to be a part of the Hockeyroos program for the last ten years. It has been a great honour to represent Australia and fulfil a lifelong dream. In the end, the international travel was taking its toll and I found it increasingly difficult to be away from my children for weeks on end. I told the team I was ready to be a “normal mum” and spend as much time as I can with my family. That is what my decision is based on,” said Munro.

After debuting in 2004, Munro did not compete at the 2004 Athens Olympics due to having her first child. After having her second child she returned to the squad in 2006 and was an important member of the Hockeyroos 2006 World Cup squad which finished second.

She also participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was one of the Hockeyroos best players at the Games. Since then she has been a crucial member of the Hockeyroos team and in 2009 was named Hockeyroos player of the year.

Hockeyroos coach Frank Murray thanked Munro for her contribution to the team and says her skill and experience will be sorely missed from the team as they prepare for the World Cup and Commonwealth Games.

“At the end of it all she has worked very hard to date to balance everything in her life and we are losing a very good hockey player. It is disappointing that we won’t have her available but that means that others will need to step up. She has made an extremely valuable contribution and I certainly appreciate what she has done while playing for the Hockeyroos,” said Murray.

Despite having a young squad, Munro says that she is confident the Hockeyroos can succeed at both the World Cup and Commonwealth Games.

“The group is an extremely talented and well balanced unit. They are a young team, but they play with maturity and skill beyond their years. We have some amazing players coming up through the ranks and the program is extremely fortunate to be lead by Nic Arrold and Madonna Blyth, who are unquestionably two of the best players in world hockey. I think the future is so bright for this team and the kids and I will definitely be cheering them on from home as they face the challenges of the next few months,” said Munro.

Hockey Australia media release


Southerns triumph in final


CHAMPAGNE MOMENT: The Southern Gauteng women’s hockey team celebrate, after winning the A section final of the Women’s Interprovincial tournament against KZN Coastals 3-1, in East London at the weekend. Picture: NIGEL LOUW

SOUTHERN Gauteng were crowned the women’s interprovincial champions when they beat KwaZulu- Natal Coastals 3-1 in a highly entertaining final at Kat Leisure Park in East London at the weekend.

Southerns had to fight hard to earn the A section laurels as Coastals played with fiery determination.

With both these teams showing tenacious doggedness throughout the week, it was always going to be a cut and thrust encounter with the sides hardly giving an inch.

The first 10 minutes was played at a furious pace with play fluctuating end to end with both sides’ defences holding out.

Southerns’ back four of Jules Cass, Louise Coertzen, Lisa-Marie Deetlefs and Tanith Drake played courageously.

They had to as Coastals’ Cindy Botha, Wanri Venter and Terri-Lee Chelin proved a handful with their darting runs into enemy territory.

Southerns were awarded a short corner for an infringement in Coastals’ circle and Roxanne Turner cleaned up clinically in the 20th minute to make it 1-0.

Southerns hardly had time to savour their good fortune when Coastals were right back in the frame two minutes later. They swept into the opposition goal area and Botha smacked the ball past goalkeeper Leandri van Vuuren for the equaliser. Southerns tried hard to recover from the sudden change of fortune, but Faryn Halstead kept their attack in check, snuffing out a number of threatening moves. The game was edging to the break when Coastals Donne Oxenham was blown up for an obstruction and Pietie Coetzee converted the penalty to make it 2-1 in the 29th minute.

The second half saw Coastals attacking for all they were worth and despite long periods of sustained onslaught on the Southerns citadel brought nothing. Southerns did well on the counter-attack and at times had Coastals’ defence at sixes and sevens. The Gauteng side killed off any hopes Coastals had of winning the match when a fine move initiated by Tsoanelo Pholo went to Turner and Coetzee scored a great goal in the 64th minute. Southerns coach Ryan Milella was pleased with his team’s overall performance throughout the week and particularly in the final.

“It was an entertaining match as KwaZulu-Natal attacked for all they were worth, but they did not get the break. It was good goalkeeping and defence by Southerns which really won the day and kept them out,” said Milella.

“I was overwhelmed by my team’s performance. Marsha Marescia, Lisa- Marie Deetlefs and Louise Coertzen were outstanding.”

Border beat KwaZulu-Natal Mynahs 4-2 on penalties after the sides deadlocked 1-1 at fulltime in the third- fourth place play-off in the B section.

In other B section results, Southern Cape beat Mpumulanga 3-0, SA Country Districts B beat Namibia 5-4 on penalties after they drew 5-5 at fulltime, Northern Cape beat SACD A 1-0, Free State beat Western Province Peninsula 5-1 in the final; and in the A section, Western Province beat Northerns 4-0, Eastern Province beat KwaZulu-Natal Inland 4-2 and North West beat Witwatersrand 2-1.

The player of the B section was Marcelle Keet of Border, while Marsha Marescia of Southerns was the A section choice.

Daily Dispatch

Pakistan to undergo training in Holland in Games lead-up

LAHORE: Pakistan hockey team will undergo 20-day training camp in Holland from September for its build up to the Commonwealth and Asian Games.

“The team will undergo extensive training under the supervision of specialized foreign coaches to give final touches to its preparations for the two elite events,” said Secretary Pakistan Hockey Federation, Muhammad Asif Bajwa while talking to APP here on Monday.

The Commonwealth Games will be held in October in India followed by Asian Games in November in China.

Bajwa said it is not just a training camp as the team will be playing practice matches against Germany, Belgium and Poland.

“We will play two matches each against Germany and Belgium and similar number of games against two top Dutch clubs,” he added.

He said the prime objective of this camp is to prepare the team in all aspects of the game for these two events which are quite challenging and tough.

The squad will start its preparations for Commonwealth Games by attending a camp at Abbottabad from August 12 to 26 under the watchful eyes of Dutch coach Michel Van Den Heuvel. They will then proceed to Holland for the final phase of it preparations.

“The cooler atmosphere of hill station Abbottabad will help in avoiding the scorching heat and humid conditions in Lahore and Karachi and players can work out longer,” he said.

Bajwa expressed the optimism that such level of training will help the players to maintain a good level of fitness and form to achieve desired results in the Games.

“I dont want to make tall claims but I am confident of team’s fine show in Commonwealth Games,” he said.

The PHF official also revealed that all players in Pakistan’s national squad have been barred from taking part in any national level tournament till the Asian Games and the step has been taken to avoid the factor of fatigue.

He said after returning from India the team will have a week long rest before resuming its preparations for Asian Games at a camp to be organised in Lahore.

He also said the ongoing process of infusing fresh blood in the team aims at blending experience with youth so that junior players may learn from senior players to produce good results at the Asian Games.

“Junior players are showing their potential and the way they have performed in recent tour of Europe indicates a bright future for them,” he said.


MHF plan to abolish elections for secretary and treasurer


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) are planning to make a major amendment to their constitution within the next three months.

The proposal, which will be tabled at the council meeting on today, is to allow the president to appoint the secretary and treasurer, who are currently elected by the affiliates.

This idea was mooted by MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

It is similar to the amendment made by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to their constitution in the 1990s, when he was the deputy president.

The proposal will be tabled by vice-president M. Gopinathan, whose sub-committee that were asked to look into the changes in the constitution.

If the council members accept the proposal today, then the MHF will call for an extraordinary general meeting, where a two-third majority will be needed to implement the amendment.

The next step will be an endorsement from the Sports Commissioner, which usually is a mere formality.

The MHF will have to hold their annual general meeting by Oct 31.

MHF secretary Hashim Mohd Yusof said that since Oct 31 falls on a week day, the council might hold it on Nov 2.

This is an election year for the MHF and that is one of the reasons why Tengku Abdullah is anxious to have the constitution amended so that it could be implemented at the AGM.

This is not the first time that this particular amendment has come up for discussion in the MHF.

It had been proposed three times before but each time the council members preferred to have the secretary and treasurer elected by the affiliates.

The Star of Malaysia

MHF Council members clueless about amendments

Jugjet Singh

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) council members will sail into uncharted territory without a compass or map when they deliberate on changes to the constitution in Kuala Lumpur today.

The members know that MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is keen to amend the constitution and turn the post of secretary from elected to appointed, but as of yesterday, they had yet to receive a draft of the said amendment.

This has deprived them a chance to study and propose any changes, if necessary before the matter is brought up at today's council meeting.

A check with several council members yesterday revealed that they have not been given a draft on the said amendment to study, and so, will be sailing blindly, and the proposal could end up as a wreck.

The proposal is simple, but it might need a strong hand to see it from a draft, to being accepted by a two-third majority in an extraordinary general meeting. Only then can the MHF implement it by the end of the year, when elections are held.

Tengku Abdullah is expected to have his hands full answering questions from council members, if they find their voice in his presence. As it stands, five states that were called by this scribe have nothing nice to say about the proposal.

The general feeling is that a salaried secretary will feel that he is only answerable to the president, and states might lose their respective voices on many matters.

Several council members also felt that if the secretary is appointed, there would no longer be a need to have a general manager.

Right now, the elected secretary is Hashim Yusoff, while former international Maninderjit Singh is the general manager.

And even at present, there is a thin line of demarcation which separates their duties, and many feel having two salaried staff is one too many.

MHF council members have debated the pros and cons of this exercise energetically, when engaged in a conversation, and hopefully, they find their voice at today's meeting. There have been many precedents where all those with a strong corridor opinion keep quiet when presented with a chance to speak, and it could be the same today.

There is also another matter, involving misappropriation of money which has been making its rounds among the council members.

If there is proof, bring it up today, but if it is only empty talk, quash it with a statement from the Council. If not, this allegation will continue making its rounds, and eventually, ruin the reputation of innocent officials.

New Straits Times

Murugappa a big success

The MCC-Murugappa all-India hockey tournament, which concluded at the MRK Stadium on Sunday, was an unqualified success. Spectators thronged the venue all days and the quality of action in the middle wasn’t bad either. The semifinals and the final were riveting. The absence of Air India and players on national duty wasn’t felt at all as Indian Railways and Punjab National Bank stepped up to the plate admirably.

The Madras Cricket Club and the Murugappa Group must be commended for putting up yet another impressive show. Hockey has become synonymous with notoriety in the country in recent times and tournament like the MCC-Murugappa is critical to highlight the positive aspects of the sport. Chennai fans have once again proved that the national game is alive in these parts of the country with their overwhelming support for the event. There is delightful chemistry between the fans and the city’s only all-India hockey tournament.

Even though Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh ended up on the losing side in the final, they had plenty of time for their admirers. The star duo posed for endless photographs long after the presentation ceremony was over.

“I enjoy playing in Chennai,” Thakur, who was declared forward of the tournament, said. Harpal Singh, captain of the victorious ONGC, said players don’t want to miss the Murugappa tournament. “Fans here know what good hockey is. I love this stadium,” the MVP of the 86th edition of the Murugappa tournament added.

ONGC’s 2-1 win over IOC in the final was a landmark result for the young side because they had never claimed an all-India title before. It was a win for youthful exuberance over IOC’s experience. IOC had come to Chennai fresh after winning the CM’s Cup in Bengaluru. But ONGC played to their strength to upset their experienced oil department rivals.

The only blot on an otherwise impeccable tournament was Sunil Ekka’s attack on umpire R.S. Suriya Prakash in the league. The Army player’s violent reaction to the Chennai official’s decision has put his career in jeopardy. Hockey India elections are due on Wednesday and the new office bearers have to look at ways to curb growing indiscipline in domestic tournaments. The time is right to start a campaign to educate young players on the need to respect officials.

In the absence of the senior national championship and the PHL, private tournaments are critical to unearth new talent. But nobody knows whether any selector watched the Murugappa tournament with intent. HI officials are more interested in fighting for the chair than selecting the best team for the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.

Harpal said his “excellent performances” in domestic tournaments have not been taken note of. “I don’t know what the selection criterion is. I haven’t even been called for a national camp in recent times. You can ask coaches of various teams about my consistency. I have no doubt that I’m one of the best fullbacks in the country now. I feel I’m at the top of my game. But there has been no recognition for my hard work and talent. It is frustrating,” he rued.

The Deccan Chronicle

Hockey India election: Who we need, 45 or 83?

K. Arumugam

This country has to decide in two days time whom it needs to run hockey affairs: 45-year old hockey player or a 83-year small-time politician!

As each day a legitimate voter turns out be bogus, and a bogus organization muster up to vote, the Hockey India election is getting curiouser and curiouser.

The fight for the chair of Hockey India is between an 83 plus lady versus a player whom we all see on the turf.

He lived in dormitories, despite being there is no need for it, just because he wanted to play hockey.

He played top level hockey for, take your breadth, 14 years starting from 1983.

He scored for us, he played for our national team, and was joyous when we won, and was lost in emotion whenever the team lost. He was one of us.

He shared our emotions, feelings -- on the turf.

He fought against rascals who masqueraded as the administrators, sometimes he won that off-field battle, sometimes not.

He is Pargat Singh, a player who, for once, came out of age-old Indian players’ mindset that they have to take orders, maximum they can dream is manager or coach post, or selector or observer.

Here is a player who dreams beyond.

Tens of players before him had vote in their hands. Gurbux Singh, Roop Singh, Charanjit Singh, P Krishamurthy, all had won gold but were happily supporting someone other than player for the top IHF post.

This man got the vote only recently, and for that he had political support and came out and openly, fought against what many others would have never dared – calling the IOA president Suresh Kalmadi of being running a mafia.

This player had the moral conviction and courage to say that, and when he said what the world wanted to hear, the whole world believed him.

Pitted against him in the election is 83-old apple orchid owner.

She has been there in the top chair of Indian hockey for more than three decades, still she feels she has a lot to offer!

Those who want to enjoy the fruits of power want someone rubber stamp, so busy in other walks of life and won’t turn eyes towards hockey.

They have all these credentials in projecting someone so fits the needs.

July 28th may not be a historic day, will be passed as yet another a election day.

Yes it can turn out to be a historic day also, if the country needs a player to run one of its cherished sports.

Am basically a historian, I wait for history to be made.

Note: Pargat Sing was born on March 5, 1965

A few cups of tea, taking on the mighty powers

K. Arumugam

Yesterday Pargat Singh organized a press conference. It was in Punjab Bhawan, where after the press conference the journalists were served simple snack and a cup of coffee / tea.

In all practical purpose, the cost of the press conference could well be a few hundred rupees.

Despite too early in the day, and once advanced from the originally scheduled time, the Delhi media (print and electronic) was in full attendance, and whatever he said was on the prominent display of today's newspapers.

The coverage next day was complete and comprehensive.

What is news in this for me to explain what looks like a routine stuff?

Its not routine stuff. Those who contested election in the hockey history before never organized press conference before election, only after wining or losing -- winners to rejoice and the loser to complain something. Because they will all be busy in manipulation before the election.

Pargat Singh being a player, he thought of sharing his views with the public before the election, perhaps he need not indulge in manipulation.

Secondly, till now all the press conferences held by the rival of this triple-Olympian has been in a five-star hotel. If you know about five-star hotel costs, each press conference must have cost a few lakh rupees, and I sincerely feel all the monies the Hockey India spent on five-star hotels could have easily been used to conduct National championship which was not held in the last three years. But these bigwigs chose to showcase their status than doing even the bare minimum for the sport.

A mere ten cups of tea in those five-star hotels would have matched the entire cost of Pargat Singh’s press conference on Monday.

This one comparison strikes me because (a)Pargat is straight-forward, has time for sharing his thoughts with public which the politicians who contested elections so far have not done, (b) He has no money power.

Now, we have to see which one wins, the player who believes in transparency, connect with people, seemingly relay on sincerity of genuine voters unlike those on the rival camp who have nothing to give to hockey rather than benefit from it.

Pargat Singh may win or not, but has set an example for many things. Primarily, no use in shouting from outside the systems, its better to enter into it if one wants clean it up. Second, money or no money fight is important to prove the fact that Indian hockey players so far played for the country whether money was there or not.

Pargat, for once, did not target puppies and dummies who dance to the tune of some masters. As a true sportsman, he plays straight. He takes on the supremo of Indian Olympic Association Suresh Kalmadi on face to face. How correct? Who is Batra, who are those others who control hockey now, without the blessings of Kalmadi?

Kalmadi was supposed to be a judge for a disputed party (IHF and IWHF) but usurped the property of the litigants for himself! And there are many superb organizations in the world to say what they have done is right and legitimate!!

But for Pargat and his bold fighting spirit, the likes of Kalmadis would have run away with hockey without getting sullied.

So, a few cups of tea which you and I normally spend each day in small stalls, and a place that is government owned, Pargat Singh is rattling the whole corrupt sports system.

We salute Pargat Singh for daring to do all these, and willing to be different.

Pargat Singh noses ahead in Hockey India polls race

Joe Williams

Pune: Hectic campaigning is on at the venues of respective candidates for the Hockey India presidential post. Each party is trying to lure the voters, that made Sunday the busiest day ahead of the Hockey India elections on Wednesday.

Just when it seemed the wind was favourable for Vidya Stokes and Co, former India skipper Pargat Singh has roared back into contention.

“The equation has changed. Pargat and company seem to be having the upper hand,” said one of the observers at the venue. More than the majority, it is the hot seat, the president’s post, which is drawing attention.

“There is a change in trend but this is bound to happen as election days are nearing,” one of Vidya Stokes’s campaigners told DNA. “After all, it is an election.”

Meanwhile, Pargat said it’s not right to compare him to Stokes. “There is no way I can be compared to Stokes. She is a respected lady. But I am sure everyone wants good governance of the national sport,” said Pargat Singh.

Meanwhile, FIH’s deadline is drawing close (July 31) and if the elections are not held by then, many of the FIH members would not consider India for the future championships.


Pargat lambasts Kalmadi

MS Unnikrishnan

Former Olympian Pargat Singh, who is contesting for the post of president in the Hockey India (HI) elections on July 28, today accused Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi of remote controlling HI through his proxies.

“Kalmadi is running sports like an old filmi villian, surrounded by his henchmen. He is the ugly face of the Indian sports,” Pargat said. He said “spineless people” were running sports, and in the HI, out of the seven ad hoc committee members, five had quit and only two remained. He wondered how they could take a unilateral decision of rejecting the government aid, as they had no locus to take such an important decision.

He said he would not abide by the decision of the HI if elected as the president, as he would take the majority opinion along. “If the government does not recognise your body, how would you send your teams abroad,” Pargat asked. Pargat said it was surprising that the HI did not adhere to the recommendation of the five-member committee constituted by it to probe the sexual misconduct allegation levelled against former chief coach of the women's hockey team MK Kaushik by a player, Rajitha Devi. He said such controversies could be avoided if all-women staff were appointed with the women's team, who would stay with them 24 hours.

He said it was in fact the IOA's job to constitute an independent Redressal Cell, having legal professionals, to deal with such cases by following the law of land. “Personally, the Kaushik episode was mismanaged due to loose administration as the HI handled it in a childish way; they did not handle it professionally.”

Taking a clever swipe at HI candidate for the post of president, the 83-year-old Vidya Stokes, Pargat said she indeed had considerable experience and might have even watched Dhyan Chand play hockey, though his chances of victory was bright as he enjoyed the supports of 35 of the 60 voters in the electoral college. The only problem area Pargat finds in his panel was for the post of secretary as his candidate was rejected, and HI's Narinder Batra was expected to give a tough challenge.

Pargat said he was fighting the HI elections on his integrity. “I have no money or muscle power,” he stated. He said hockey was still a popular game in India as it had a standing of seventh-eighth in the world. He said sponsors would come to support the game if it was marketed properly, as cricket had become a costly game. He added that his priority would be to strengthen the domestic structure of hockey, to bring in more international tournaments, manage the technical, marketing and the media departments in a competent manner. “I have a definite plan for hockey,” he said.

The Tribune

Pargat goes on the offensive, targets Kalmadi

Punjab sports secretary Pargat Singh on Monday slammed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for ruining hockey in the country and tarnishing its image in an attempt to retain control of the sport. With less than 48 hours to go for Hockey India elections, Pargat, contesting for the post of president against 83-year-old Vidya Stokes, called IOA president Suresh Kalmadi the “dirty face of Indian sports” and accused him of interfering in the election process. The former India captain said people like Kalmadi should be thrown out of sports. “Kalmadi talks of the Olympic movement but he has destroyed the Olympic institution. The Kalmadi group is in the habit of poking its nose in every sports federation. Their modus operandi is to set up a parallel body in every federation and then take the matter to the court,” said Pargat.

He also questioned Hockey India’s decision to defy government guidelines. “I am convinced HI doesn’t want to run Indian hockey, it wants to capture Indian hockey,” he said, adding, “I wouldn’t be surprised if it is called Hockey Kalmadi after the elections.”

About the financial aid, Pargat said though there was no dearth of supporters for the game in the country, it would be highly difficult for the federation to function without government support. “How is it possible? And why should it be encouraged? Tomorrow the government can withdraw the recognition and not allow it to be called the Indian team.

“If there is an international event happening, how can it be held without government support? It is easy to take refuge under some technical detail and claim being a society, but this is not just a sports federation, it is about the national team,” Pargat said.

Pargat also said that the current office-bearers had no right to refuse grant. “Who are they? What is their authority? It is a group of a few hand-picked individuals in an ad-hoc body.”

Continuing his attack on Kalmadi, Pargat said the latter was manipulating electoral list to favour his candidates. “He has appointed a person from his personal staff (Manoj Bhore) to the Maharashtra Hockey Association and given him voting right. Kalmadi only wants rubber-stamps to work for him and make Indian sports his personal fiefdom. HI has made a mockery of the system but unfortunately we have some spineless men who are happy to be a part of it,” Pargat said.

He also wanted to know the moral standing of HI which has allowed a chargesheeted official to be elected despite the fact that the latter continues to face a CBI enquiry.

Kalmadi refuses to answer

Meanwhile, evading journalists seeking his reaction, Kalmadi had to make a hasty exit after handing over the RK Khanna tennis complex to the organising committee. “Nothing to say, please...please...” Kalmadi said before trying to leave the venue. But, with his official vehicle missing, Kalmadi had to seek Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s help. “These (mediamen) are asking questions on Pargat,” he was heard saying before leaving in her vehicle.

Indian Express

Pargat targets Kalmadi again

With just two days to go for the Hockey India (HI) elections, Pargat Singh (contesting for the post of President) renewed his battle cry against Indian Olympic Association President, Suresh Kalmadi. Calling Kalmadi the 'dirty face of sports in the country', the former India hockey captain accused him of attempting to influence the elections, which are scheduled for Wednesday (28th July). "The government has given large financial grants to HI for which there is no accountability. Now they have violated government guidelines by fielding an overage candidate. Hockey India may well be made Hockey Kalmadi," said Pargat.

He also said that Kalmadi was responsible for 'the mess that hockey is currently in.' Despite repeated attempts by HT, Kalmadi was not available for comment.

Last week, the nomination of Vidya Stokes for president, had been accepted, despite her being above the age limit of 70 set by government guidelines.

According to Pargat, this was a "clear sign that a rubber-stamp president is being enforced at the helm of the national sport.

He said he has big plans for the sport. "The game can still flourish and reclaim its past glory. Marketing hockey professionally is the need of the hour as is upgrading the umpiring and coaching systems."

"Our players cannot participate in international tournaments if government recognition is missing. How can an ad-hoc body like HI announce it does not want government support?" Pargat said, on the issue of government recognition for HI. According to a letter sent by the government observer SK Mendiratta during scrutiny of nomination papers on July 20, HI secretary general Narinder Batra had expressed reservations in following government guidelines, saying 'the body did not seek government aid and facility.'

Hindustan Times

Olympic chief running for cover amid widening woes

NEW DELHI - Allegations of sexual misconduct involving two national coaches exacerbated the problems engulfing Indian sport and had the head of the Olympic association running for cover this week at the launch of the Commonwealth Games tennis center.

IOA president Suresh Kalmadi literally had to plead with Delhi's chief minister for safe passage on Monday to avoid a hoard of reporters demanding answers to questions of impropriety in national sports, including the sexual misconduct allegations against national field hockey and weightlifting coaches.

The New Delhi Commonwealth Games have been plagued by delays in the construction of infrastructure and venues, which should have been finished months ago for test events but instead are just starting to come on line now, cutting it fine with competition set to commence on Oct. 3.

The problems within hockey and weightlifting ranks in the last week have only sharpened the focus on trouble in Indian sports. The Board of Control for Cricket in India, the financial powerhouse in the international game, was already under investigation from federal tax authorities over perceived irregularities in the running of the immensely popular, multibillion dollar Indian Premier League.

The head of the IPL is under suspension and investigation by the BCCI and the tax regulators, but denies any wrongdoing. As have the field hockey and weightlifting coaches at the center of controversies involving allegations relating to young, female athletes.

India's Sports Minister M.S. Gill said his ministry would investigate the allegations against the hockey and weightlifting coaches in a "professional and impartial way."

The ministry confirmed it was investigating allegations against M.K. Kaushik, who resigned as India's women's coach after player Ranjita Devi complained to Hockey India that he'd sexually harassed her during the recent Canada and China tours.

Hockey India had already referred the case to Delhi Police. Kaushik has threatened legal action against the national federation for holding the complaints against him as credible without verifying them.

The Sports Ministry also announced it was withdrawing weightlifting coach Ramesh Malhotra from a national training camp after Olympic bronze medalist Karnam Malleswari alleged that Malhotra had been sexually harassing athletes for a decade. The weightlifting federation suspended Malhotra on the weekend pending an investigation led by IWF vice president Kumbasi Subramanya.

Malhotra denied he'd ever "misbehaved" with women weightlifters, telling the Press Trust of India that Malleswari's allegations were "false" and aimed at tarnishing his reputation.

The problems involving the coaches haven't kept Kalmadi out of the spotlight. The leading figure in the fight against a recent government move to impose age and term limits on national sports administrators, Kalmadi has reportedly been described as the "dirty face of Indian sports" by a candidate running for the Hockey India presidency.

Former India captain Pargat Singh, who will be contesting the hockey vote on Wednesday, accused Kalmadi of meddling in the running of national sports federations by promoting candidates who would follow his instructions or getting administrators bogged down in court.

Kalmadi has spent the last year defending New Delhi's preparations for the Commonwealth Games - the first major multi-sport event to be staged in India since the Asian Games in 1982 - insisting that the event will be a major success. Some of the leading athletes, including Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, have already indicated they won't be competing in Delhi, taking some gloss off the event.

Kalmadi's image took another hit at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Complex on Monday, when he found himself alone and confronted by a media pack trying to get his reaction to the comments from Pargat and news that the sports ministry had announced it was opening investigations into the hockey and weightlifting cases.

After offering no comment - "Nothing to say, please ... please ..." PTI reported that Kalmadi had to approach Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and ask for an escort out of the venue, explaining that the media was hounding him over Pargat's comments.

She made space in the official vehicle, and Kalmadi reportedly smiled at journalists and photographers as he left the stadium.

Pargat's allegations that Kalmadi was trying to manipulate the administration of hockey by endorsing an 83-year-old candidate as president came 48 hours before the election.

"He is a destroyer," Pargat was quoted as saying by PTI. "He talks of the Olympic movement but he has destroyed the Olympic institution. Such dirty people should be thrown out of sports."

The Star of Malaysia

Kaushik accuses Batra of conspiracy

Special Correspondent

Former Indian women's hockey coach M K Kaushik with advocate Mandira Mitra at a press conference. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Former women's hockey coach M. K. Kaushik, facing alleged sexual harassment charges, on Monday singled out Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra for his “uncalled for observations” in his letter to the Union Sports Ministry.

Kaushik, assisted by advocate Mandira Mitra, claimed that he had received the letter from HI, released to the media on Friday, only on Monday morning. “I would like to protest at the gross abuse of power committed by the incumbent (Batra) in releasing the contents of the letter to the media prior to its receipt by me,” Kaushik stated in his reply to the letter.

Batra, alleged Kaushik in his reply, made available to the media, has been “conspiring for long to appoint a certain person as the coach of the women's national hockey team.”

Kaushik and Ms. Mitra highlighted the discrepancy in the HI letter and its statements to the media. HI had stated, “the written versions of Ranjitha Devi (the complainant) command high credibility since it has made specific charges and specific statements which relate to Kaushik about oral advances made by him, and since our committee did not have coercive powers to verify and test the versions of Ranjitha Devi which carries high credibility.”

Kaushik and Mitra pointed out the discrepancies in the statement and the report of the enquiry committee. They said that HI gave high importance to the complainant's statements and then admitted that the panel did not have the coercive powers to verify and test the versions of the player who made the allegations.

Kaushik raised objections to certain references in the letter by HI and observed, “the management (of HI) is acting in a vindictive manner and making recommendations to the higher authorities which are against the conclusions of the enquiry committee.”

In response to HI decision of not wanting to avail his services in the future, Kaushik said, “What has prompted HI to arrive at the conclusion that in future my services would not be required. The enquiry report only suggests that a further enquiry may be conducted by the government.”

The former women's coach also questioned the HI motive when it observed in its report that “the committee should have recommended action and not merely suggested for action to Ministry of Sports.”

Kaushik's contention is, “HI is trying to undermine the report submitted by the very committee that was constituted by it. It is clearly apparent that since the committee could find no substance or corroboration of the various allegations in the complaint.”

The reply by Kaushik also challenged HI's decision to refer the matter to the police since the enquiry committee had not made any such recommendation. Kaushik termed the entire controversy “pre-meditated” and an attempt to “intimidate me, my family and future coaches.”

Ms. Mitra also pointed out that the contention of HI to make Kaushik's alleged offence and its consequences as an “example” for future coaches in any sport amounted to a conclusion of guilt of the coach even before a proper enquiry was conducted.

“All these are baseless allegations and manipulations only because I have been a strict disciplinarian. Performance (to assess a player) is not judged by me alone, we have a system in place,” said Kaushik.

The Hindu

Batra wanted me out, alleges Kaushik

NEW DELHI: Taking a dig at Hockey India over its observations in the sexual harassment case against him, MK Kaushik on Monday accused the body of having malafide intention while dealing with the allegations.

In a letter to HI president Vidya Stokes, Kaushik claimed that the HI has undermined the findings of its own enquiry committee by giving certain suggestions and by doing so "HI is desperately trying to substantiate its agenda of replacing me as the national coach of the women’s team".

Kaushik, who held a press conference in the presence of his lawyer Mandira Mitra, alleged that HI secretary general Narender Batra had been conspiring for long to appoint "a certain person" as coach. "This is further substantiated by the fact that within two to three days of the lodging of the false complaint, a prominent ex-hockey player offered his services as the coach of the women’s hockey team."

The former Olympian also expressed displeasure in the manner in which Batra released HI’s letter and other documents to the media before giving it to him. Batra released the letter on Saturday while Kaushik said he received his copy on Monday at 11 pm.

Referring to HI’s letter in which it said that it would not avail Kaushik’s services in future, Kaushik asked that since "no conclusive enquiry report has held me guilty of the charges levelled against me", how could Batra say such a thing.

He said the HI letter was also contradictory since at one place it stated that the written versions of Ranjita Devi commands "high credibility" since it has made specific charges and specific comments. "But in the second part, the management admits that the committee did not have coercive power to verify and test the versions of Ranjita Devi."

He added: "Now it’s very hard to understand how a statement can be termed as highly credible when admittedly it has not been verified."

Kaushik’s letter said that the tone and tenor of certain aspects in HI’s letter, copies of which were also addressed to sports secretary and director general of Sports Authority of India, "make it clear that the management of HI is acting in a vindictive manner and making recommendations (to the higher authorities) which are against the conclusions of the enquiry committee."

Kaushik also said that the players who could not make the team on the basis of merit turned against him. He said the decision to send the report to police was "pre-meditated and is part of a larger plan by the management of HI to replace me. I see this as an attempt to intimidate me, my family and future coaches." Kaushik’s lawyer said that the former player might move court if the need arises against those who have "maligned" him.

The Times of India

Kaushik threatens to sue Hockey India

Embattled former hockey coach MK Kaushik on Monday, decided to take legal opinion on charges of sexual harassment levelled against him. This comes after Hockey India's recommendations to sports ministry that the allegations made by national player Th Ranjita are backed by credible evidence. Kaushik addressed members of the press on a day when the sports ministry set-up a fresh committee to look into the matter. The Dronacharya awardee said he was 'deeply hurt' by the letter sent by HI, a copy of which was also marked to the commissioner of Delhi police.

"I received a copy of the letter today and was hurt to see its contents. Certain points in it like my services are not required are not for HI to recommend to the ministry. It is a clear case of HI manipulation and I raise strong objections to it," he said.

Kaushik also sent a strongly worded letter to HI president Vidya Stokes calling Narinder Batra (HI secretary general), an incumbent and alleged that he had been plotting to appoint people of his choice as coach of the women's team. His lawyer- Mandira Mitra- said that filing a defamation suit was being considered.

"It is a little early to decide whether a case will be filed by us. Defamation suit can be filed if the need arises but we want to see what the ministry probe panel has to say on the matter," she said.

Hindustan Times

Hockey India handled sexual harassment case in childish manner: Pargat

NEW DELHI: Former India captain Pargat Singh has criticised Hockey India (HI) for its handling of the accusations of sexual harassment against coach M.K. Kaushik.

"The way they handled the matter was childish. It is basically because of an inefficient administration. They did not handle it in a professional manner," said Pargat, an Olympian, who is a candidate for the president's post in HI elections slated for Wednesday.

Pargat said the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) should have taken up the matter.

"They should have formed a redressal cell having an independent person with a legal mind. For matters like these, there should be a grievances cell. It should be independent and not involved in politics. Any player can register their complaint without fear," he said.

Indian hockey was rocked by yet another controversy last week after a player Ranjitha Devi levelled charges of sexual harassment against Kaushik. HI also sacked the videographer M. Basavaraja after photographs of him with a prostitute, during an overseas tour, surfaced in the media.

Kaushik, also an Olympian, quit and maintained that the accusations were baseless and a conspiracy to tarnish his image.

HI has formed a four-member committee comprising Rajiv Mehta (chairman), former players Zafar Iqbal and Ajit Pal Singh and Sudarshan Pathak.

HI also told the government that it will not need the services of Kaushik in future. HI secretary general Narinder Batra submitted the report of the internal probe committee, which looked into the allegations of sexual harassment against Kaushik, to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the sports ministry and also marked a copy to the Delhi police commissioner.

The Times of India

Ministry swings into action

The Sports Ministry on Monday asked its permanent committee on sexual harassment to probe the recent allegations against hockey coach MK Kaushik. The all-women committee, comprising five senior officials of the ministry, a representative each of an NGO and the Delhi Women Commission, will follow

The statement did not specify any time frame for submitting the report.

The committee will also take into account report of the four-member "ad hoc" panel set up by Hockey India that investigated the allegations made by former India player Th Ranjitha that Kaushik has sought sexual favours for picking her in the team.

The HI panel comprising Rajiv Mehta, former India captains Zafar Iqbal and Ajit Pal Singh and Sudarshan Pathak of Hockey Delhi, concluded that the charges and statements made by Ranjitha were of "high credibility" and suggested that the Sports Ministry should conduct further inquiry into the matter.

Kaushik, who resigned after appearing before the HI panel, has denied the allegations.

The Ministry, however, claimed that it has not yet received the report that HI said has been sent to it and the Delhi police.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has also issued instructions for withdrawing Ramesh Malhotra from the national weightlifting camp following the allegations by Sydney Olympics bronze medallist Karnam Malleswari.

Malleswari had accused Malhotra of sexually harassing junior weightlifters.

The Ministry has also made secretary, Sports Authority of India (SAI), in-charge for all camps so as to revamp and strengthen coaching administration in SAI.

The Ministry's move in both the cases is a step towards taking action against two SAI employees facing allegations.

The step is necessary in the case of hockey as the HI panel has not made any recommendation and the Ministry will have to follow its rules before taking action against Kaushik, who is with SAI on deputation from Sports Directorate, Haryana.

Hindustan Times

Sports ministry's sexual harassment committee to inquire Kaushik case

NEW DELHI: Sports ministry decided to launch its own probe into the allegations of sexual harassment against former women's hockey coach MK Kaushik by handing the task to its internal committee.

Kaushik had resigned after player Ranjitha Devi complained to Hockey India that he sexually harassed her during the recent Canada and China tours. HI had already referred the case to Delhi Police after examining the report of its five-member inquiry committee set up after Ranjitha's complaint.

"The ministry has issued an order to the ministry's sexual harassment committee to inquire into the recent allegations against MK Kaushik. The committee will follow due procedure laid down by honourable Supreme Court in the Vishakha case," a statement from the ministry said.

The ministry said that the committee will take into account the report of the inquiry panel set up by Hockey India to probe the allegations against Kaushik though it is yet to be received.

"The inquiry committee which was set up by HI which is yet to be received by the ministry will also be taken into consideration by the committee," the statement said.

The committee will comprise of five senior women officers from the sports ministry and a woman member from a NGO. The committee will co-opt one member from the Delhi Women's Commission.

Regarding allegations of sexual harassment against weightlifting coach Ramesh Malhotra as made by Karnam Malleswari, the ministry on Monday decided to withdraw him from the national camp at NIS Patiala.

"The ministry has issued instruction for withdrawing coach Malhotra from national camp for weightlifting. With a view to revamp and strengthen coaching administration in SAI the secretary SAI has been made in-charge," the ministry statement said.

Olympics bronze medallist Malleswari had alleged that Malhotra had been sexually harassing lifters for more than a decade now and he was suspended on Saturday by Indian Weightlifting Federation pending a probe by a committee comprising IWF vice-president Kumbasi Subramanya, Pal Singh Sandhu and joint-secretary Madan Lal Savli.

The Times of India

Hockey Controversy: Saini planning legal action against players

NEW DELHI: Anurita Saini, former assistant coach of the women's hockey team, said she is contemplating legal action against the players who have alleged that she had an affair with coach MK Kaushik.

Saini, who was assistant to chief coach Kaushik till 2006, said she and her family are disturbed over the way her name has been dragged into the controversy.

"It is very embarrassing for me and my family," Saini said.

"I have contacted my lawyer. And I am going to file a defamation case against those who have taken my name," said Saini, who was part of the 1982 Asian Games gold medal winning team.

A few players including former captain and goalkeeper Helen Mary had alleged that Saini had an affair with Kaushik.

"How can they take my name without any evidence. And a senior player like Helen Mary is doing this. Do they know the meaning of having an affair with someone. I have left the team long back. Why are they defaming me after four years."

"I had a professional relationship with Kaushik. We had good co-ordination and during our time the team performed well."

"I want all this to be properly investigated by Sports Authority of India, CBI or any agency. Whatever is happening is not good for hockey."

The Times of India

Woman hockey player dropped from squad without reason

RANCHI: Woman hockey player Asuntha Lakra Saturday said she was dropped from the squad for the Asian Champions Trophy in Busan, South Korea at the last minute without any reason.

The Jharkhand player said she was to go with the team for the tournament beginning Tuesday.

Lakra said she was even given the air ticket.

"But just before the departure of the team to Busan I was told that another girl will go in my place. I was shocked to hear that. When I asked the team manager and other people, I was told to ask the national selectors. Preeti Kiro, who is also from Jharkhand, has been included in my place," Lakra told reporters on Saturday.

Lakra has been a regular member of the national team for the past 10 year.

The issue has surfaced at a time when the Indian women's hockey team is embroiled in a controversy. The chief coach of the team MK Kaushik resigned following allegations of sexual harassment by a player Ranjitha Devi, who produced a letter of support signed by 31 players of the national camp.

Lakra, who hails from Simdega district, is working in the railways.

The Times of India