News for 21 July 2010

All the news for Wednesday 21 July 2010

2011 FIH Champions Trophies to India and Netherlands

The Executive Board of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has allocated the FIH Champions Trophies for 2011. The Men’s FIH Champions Trophy will be played in India, while the women’s FIH Champions Trophy has been awarded to Netherlands.

After the success of the Hero Honda FIH World Cup in March this year, the FIH has decided to return to India in 2011. The men’s FIH Champions Trophy is scheduled for December 2011 and it will be the third time in hockey history that India will host FIH flagship event after Chennai in 2005 and Madras in 1996.

Olympic and World Champion Netherlands will host the women’s FIH Champions Trophy next year, with the tournament being completed by the end of June 2011.Netherlands already hosted the women’s FIH Champions Trophy five times before

For both FIH Champions Trophies, the exact dates and place will be decided in the coming weeks. The FIH will allocate its other World Level events for 2011 and the tournament from 2012 onwards in the coming months.

WorldHockey



IOC proves too good for India Juniors

S. Thyagarajan



INTENSE ACTION: IOC's Arjun Antil and Manpreet Singh of India Juniors fight it out in the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament. Photo: M. Vedhan

Persistent rain precluded precision passing but that did not prevent the India Juniors sparkle in spells under grey clouds against the formidable IOC in the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament on Tuesday.

But the variations and the vibrancy displayed by the A.K. Bansal-trained squad were insufficient threats to the heavy and seasoned IOC that won 3-0 and confirmed a place in the semifinals from Pool B.

Interestingly, the Juniors still enjoys a faint chance of making it provided an outright victory come their way on Thursday against Punjab National Bank, which gained full points over Southern Railway in the earlier match. The Juniors has four points against the six by PNB.

First blow

Deepak Thakur delivered the first blow even as the match was less than 30 seconds with a classic swerve and finish. Though stunned by the start, the Indian juniors lost no time in getting their act together.

With Lalitha Upadyaya as play maker, the Junior team brought a good measure of stress on the rival defenders. Conspicuous in the frontline was Yusuf Affan. His speed and stick work are a spectacle. If only he had matched his display with neat finish, there could have been a different script. It is only a matter of time before he gets a national cap in the senior squad.

Another player who distinguished for the Juniors was goal-keeper Navin Kumar. Some of his saves, especially in penalty corners from Raghunath were smart. The juniors had three penalty corners against four by IOC but the efforts by Chandan Singh and Amit Rohidas were futile against the veteran goal keeper Devesh Chauhan.

Experience proved a decisive factor for IOC. The former champion played a waiting game until late in the second half when a deflection by Hamza Mujtaba produced the second goal. Then Roshan Minz's effort widened the leeway in the final minute.

Third defeat


The local challenge, represented by Southern Railway, faded into insignificance, as the team slid down to its third successive defeat in as many encounters.

It is a pity that the team has not scored a single goal. On Tuesday, it succumbed to the sustained pressure exerted by Punjab National Bank.

The pace of the match was slow, given the slippery underfoot conditions owing to rain.

But the PNB squad. served well by Jatinder Saroha and Yudvir. progressively got the measure of the rival defenders, including the athletic Suresh at the goal.

True, the Railway team held on till late in the first half but with a minute go for the half-time, it conceded the goal when Jalwinder Singh flicked in a cross from Bruno Lugan.

Early on in the second half, PNB widened the lead. Yudvir served a nice pass to Bruno Lugan to do the rest and close on time a cross by Jatinder Saroha enabled Nitin Kumar to put the issue beyond doubt.

PNB has six points from three matches in Pool B and faces Indian Juniors in its last encounter.

The results: PNB 3 (Jalwinder Singh, Bruno Lugan, Nitin Kumar) bt Southern Railway 0; IOC 3 (Deepak Thakur, Hamza Mujtaba, Roshan Minz) bt India Juniors 0

Wednesday's matches: ONGC v Railways (2.15 p.m.); Army v Karnataka (4 p.m.); BPCL v Soutnern Railway (5.45 p.m.)

The Hindu



Champs Southerns and Province set for royal battle

JONATHAN COOK at Kat Leisure Park, East London


THE defending hockey champions Southern Gauteng and fellow favourites Western Province set the stage for a classic South Africa Women's Hockey Interprovincial Tournament clash at Kat Leisure Park in East London Wednesday following their comfortable Pool A victories on day one of A Section action Tuesday.

WP were particularly convincing in beating the exciting yet outplayed North West combination 6-1 while Southerns were made to work very hard for their 3-0 defeat of last year's B Section winners Eastern Province.

Of the other fancied sides tipped to claim berths in Friday's cross-pool semi-finals, KZN Coastal were way too good for neighbours up the N3 KZN Inland, as they cruised home 8-0, and Northerns Gauteng's Blues were always in command in their 7-0 win over Witwatersrand.

The B Section saw lopsided victories for Free State, who thrashed Namibia 14-0, and Western Province Peninsula, 12-0 victors against Sasko SA Country Districts B, although host province Border had to work harder for their 4-0 defeat of a plucky Northern Cape and KZN Mynahs were in a tight finish against Southern Cape before coming away with the full three points in their 2-1 outcome.

But all eyes were already looking ahead to the Southerns versus Province match-up Wednesday and few observers were prepared to stick their necks out and choose a winner. It's that close.

Southerns' top forward Pietie Coetzee sounded a warning to the WP defence that they will have to be at their best, the former national striker impressive in scoring two penalty corners against an impressive EP defence and goalkeeper in Michelle Cremer.

Another former SA goal-getter, WP's Henna du Buisson, also hit the back of the net twice, while current national striker Cindy Botha of KZN Coastal got two against KZN Inland and the Northerns trio of captain Kim Hubach, Dirkie Chamberlain and Jamie Porteous each got a couple in their tussle with Wits.

TUESDAY RESULTS

A Section: Northerns 5 Witwatersrand 0; Western Province 6 North West 1; KZN Coastals 8 KZN Inland 0; Southern Gauteng 3 Eastern Province 0.

B Section: Free State 14 Namibia 0; WP Peninsula 12 Sasko SA Country Districts B 0; KZN Mynahs 2 Southern Cape 1; Border 4 Northern Cape 0.

WEDNESDAY FIXTURES

A Section: EP vs North West; KZN Coastals vs Wits; Southerns vs WP; KZN Inland vs Northerns.

B Section: KZN Mynahs vs Sasko SA Country Districts A; WP Pens vs South Cape; Namibia vs North Cape; Border vs Mpumalanga.

Bye: Sasko SA Country Districts B and Free State.

SA Hockey World


 


Junior Women the Underdogs in European Championships

Scotland’s U21 players are the underdogs in Lille this weekend, where they take part in the Junior European Nations Championship, arguably the most important tournament in the world after the Junior World Cup. Participating in the championship is an achievement in itself, the team having fought for promotion from the second–tier Junior European Trophy, staged in Prague two years ago, to secure their place.

Team manager Sheila Gray realises the difficulty of the test that the team have earned for themselves, stating, “Obviously it’s a huge challenge to be playing in the Championship, and our first aim is to stay in the championship by finishing in the top six teams. Anything else is a bonus.”

Two years ago the side beat a bevy of Eastern European sides to earn their promotion, defeating Poland, Ukraine, Russia and hosts the Czech Republic, only losing out on the gold medal by a single goal against fellow promoted side France.

Scotland will have to contend with Belarus, Spain, and current champions, Germany. However, Gray doesn’t seem too worried by the prospect of being drawn in a group with the formidable Germany. “We’ve had a couple of training camps with Germany and we’ve actually competed very well with them. I think the key is not to be afraid of anyone. We have to go in and just play our own game.”

Two years can be a long time in the under-21 game, with only three of the seventeen-strong Scottish side returning from the team that gained promotion in Prague. CALA Edinburgh’s Amy Brodie, who scored against Ireland recently, and both goalkeepers, Bristol Firebrands’ Isobel Rosie and Glasgow Western’s Amy Gibson will return to European action for the under-21s. Rosie proved herself particularly adept at short-corner defence against Belgium last weekend while Gibson can be expected to give some of her consistently top-class performances.

Gray seems enthused by the prospect of testing out her young side. “I think we have a lot of young, exciting players who have the ability to play with the best, it all depends if they can find their best form.” The youth of her side, many of who are only nineteen, could also prove to be an advantage. It leaves several of the players with the motivation of being able to return and compete in the first-rank championship in two years time if they acquit themselves well.

Even for the older players who won’t have that chance, Gray doesn’t see a problem. “I don’t think it will affect them at all. They’re a mutually supportive team. They’ve trained and worked hard and are out to do the best they possibly can.”

Scotland U21 Women: Amy Gibson, Morag McLellan, Fiona Bruce, Nicola Lowrey, Alison Howie, Jilly Bell (Glasgow Western), Isobel Rosie (Bristol Firebrands), Kerry Hall, Daniele Johnston, Sophie McIntyre (Grove), Iona Stephen, Louise Fleming (Giffnock), Heather Stafford (Bradford Wakefield), Kristine Ayling (Kelburne), Amy Brodie (CALA Edinburgh), Rebecca Condie (Birmingham University), Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough University)

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Woman hockey member alleges sexual harassment

Arghya Ganguly


NEW DELHI: A member of the Indian women's hockey team has accused team's coach and Olympian, Maharaj Kishan Kaushik, of sexual harassment.

An anonymous letter dated June 11 was sent to the ministry, a copy of which is with TOI, saying, "Mr Kaushik asks for sexual favours from the junior girls and passes lewd comments by calling them to his room on the pretext of 'game meeting'. The girls, all coming from poor and humble background are too scared to speak against the coach. A couple of years back the coach also had adulterous relations with a lady member of the coaching staff. They together spoiled the whole atmosphere of the camp. The camp became a means for their illicit deeds."

Kaushik, when contacted, vehemently denied the allegation. "I don't know who has written the letter. But whoever has written it, I want the ministry to find out and punish the perpetrator for slandering my name. That's all I have to say about this."

The letter goes on to say: "Our team has two videographers. One is Mr Basavraj who is basically a photographer employed with the Sports Authority of India, Bangalore. He only knows how to record matches and has zero knowledge of computers. The other videographer Ms H Nalini is a software professional... Nalini is the main requirement of the team looking into the importance of video analysis in modern hockey. Yet for any foreign tour Kaushik takes Basavraj with the team, the reason being Basavraj bribes Kaushik and also buys him drinks on tours abroad and pays for his shopping. The whole team is upset with this."

The player further alleges in the letter: "Kaushik lacks the quality of tactical play that is required to compete at elite level. He is psychologically unfit." The letter ends with a lament that the Indian women's hockey team is not able to perform well because of the coach.

"Sir, our women hockey players are really talented and the team can be amongst the best in the world but the politics of the coach is ruining the team. MK Kaushik is using his reputation to hide his wrong-doings... he is misusing his position as the chief coach."

Meanwhile, a TV channel added to the sleaze by showing video clippings of a team official in a compromising position with a couple of girls. When contacted, Rajiv Mehta, chairman of a five-member committee formed to probe into this incident, told TOI: "We have received a complaint. We had a meeting and we have dropped the videographer from the team with immediate effect. Kaushik also told us that he won't tour with the team until his name is cleared. We have called the girl complainant tomorrow for a meeting."

The Times of India



No action against players participating in Nationals: Srinivas

NEW DELHI: Sport Ministry on Tuesday made it clear that players who participated in the IHF-organised Senior Men's National championship in Bhopal won't be panelised by Hockey India.

In a letter to former coach Joaquim Carvalho, joint secretary Injeti Srinivas said he has already asked Hockey India to clarify that no action will be taken against players who participated in the tournament.

"I have advised Hockey India to immediately issue a clarification that it will not take any disciplinary action or impose any penalty against any player for participating in the Senior Men's Hockey National Championship being conducted in Bhopal by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) from 4th to 18th July, 2010," Srinivas wrote in reply to Carvalho's letter dated 15th July, 2010.

Srinivas also said that the SAI hockey turf in Bhopal was not made available for the national tournament because it was pre-occupied for the preparation of Commonwealth Games core probables.

"I would like to clarify that the only reason for which the hockey turf at SAI Regional centre, Bhopal was not made available for conduct of this tournament was due to its pre-occupation with the preparation of CWG core probables," he wrote in the letter.

He also said that the recognition of Indian Hockey Federation as a sport federation was restored and currently there were two national bodies governing the game.

"I have also advised the institutional members of Hockey India (HI) that the recognition of IHF as a National Sports Federation stands restored in the light of the Judgment dated 21st May, 2010 of Hon'ble Delhi Court .... As a result, we currently have two recognised National bodies for Hockey, viz, IHF and HI," he wrote in the letter.

The Times of India



Hockey India rejects government grant

NEW DELHI: Hockey India on Tuesday became the latest sports federation to reject government grant and go ahead with its upcoming elections by defying the Sports Ministry's age limitation guideline.

In yet another snub to the Ministry, Hockey India said that it will conduct its elections as per its constitution and will not tolerate any interference from outside, thus becoming the third sports body after IOA and Badminton Association of India to refuse government aid.

On a day of high drama, Vidya Stokes' nomination for HI president's post was accepted by the Returning Officer, setting the stage for a showdown with the Sports Ministry.

Stokes' candidature came under scanner yesterday after the Sports Ministry made it clear that the "No Objection" given to Hockey India for the July 28 polls was conditional and would apply only on abiding with the recent age limitation guidelines of the government.

Stokes, who earlier held the post of Indian Women's Hockey Federation chief, is presently 83 and as per the government guidelines no official who is 70 or above is eligible to contest elections of National Sports Federations.

But Justice Justice R C Chopra approved of Stokes' nomination after Hockey India refused to go by the government's guidelines, saying the national body was bound by the Societies Act and its own Constitution.

The HI's decision to ignore government funds came to light later in the evening when Sports Ministry observer SK Mendiratta submitted his report.

"Narinder Batra (Stokes' representative) categorically made a statement before the Returning Officer that the Hockey India was not asking for any financial grant or facilities from the Government and, therefore, the Hockey India was not obliged to follow and implement Policy Guidelines of the Government," the report said.

"They also submitted that HI was prepared to face the consequences of not following the Government's Policy Guidelines. Taking note of these, Returning Officer accepted the nomination of Stokes, by passing a speaking order," Mendiratta said in the letter.

Hockey India secretary general Batra doubted government's intention and said the conditional "No Objection" given to them last year does not mention guidelines on age.

"We duly accept government's guidelines on tenure limitation of two terms of four years each. When we got the 'No Objection' from the government in August 2009, age limitation was not there. We don't accept the amendments made in the guidelines in May 2010 because they were not made with clear intentions," Batra said.

"We are not governed by the government, we are governed by the Societies Act and by our own Constitution. The government has no right to interfere in our Constitution," he said.

The Times of India

 



Nomination of Vidya Stokes accepted

Special Correspondent


The nomination of Mrs Vidya Stokes for the post of president was accepted by the Returning Officer for the Hockey India (HI) elections on Tuesday on the understanding that the federation was not following the Union Government guidelines and would not need government funding in future.

Faced with the nomination of 82-year-old Vidya Stokes, in violation of the age stipulation of 70 in the government guidelines, as conveyed by the Government observer S. K. Mendiratta, the Returning Officer ruled in favour of the former.

The ruling came following oral submissions made by HI Secretary Narinder Batra and lawyer Hitesh Jain to the Returning Officer, Justice R. C. Chopra (retd), on Tuesday during scrutiny of nominations for the July 28 elections.

Independent society

Hockey India argued that it was a registered society having its own constitution and by-laws and was not bound by the latest government guidelines.

Batra accepted the fact, when the Returning Officer pointed out the consequences of non-adherence to the guidelines, that his federation would have to manage without government funding.

The contest for the president's post would be between Mrs Stokes and former India captain Pargat Singh while Batra will take on G. Haider of Arunachal for the secretary's post.

According to Batra, K. Krishnamurthy's nomination for secretary was rejected since he was not part of the electoral college. Court decisions also did not favour him, according to Batra.

Batra said that HI accepted the position as it stood in January, 2010 when its former president, A.K. Mattoo, wrote to the ministry accepting the conditions laid down by the Government for recognition including the tenure of office-bearers.

At the time, the Government granted its recognition to HI in August 2009, the tenure clause restricted the term of office-bearers to two terms of four years each at a stretch. There was no age bar at that time.

No age bar

“We don't accept whatever has been brought in (in the guidelines) after that. There is no age bar in the FIH or the IOA, the two parent bodies we follow,” said Batra.

A Sports Ministry spokesman while reacting to the development on Tuesday cautioned HI that if the body was desirous of maintaining its status as a recognised federation then it would have to follow the guidelines as a whole.

“If you want to function as a National Federation then you have to be guidelines-compliant. There is no other option. There is no question of accepting part of those guidelines or stating that you don't require government funding. Either you accept government recognition and follow the guidelines or function as a private club,” ministry's Joint Secretary Injeti Srinivas said.

There was little merit in the argument, according to him, that the guidelines as they existed in August 2009 were different. “The guidelines are dynamic,” he said.

The ministry would, however, wait for an elected Hockey India to emerge and assess its decision about government funding before taking a call on HI and its latest stance.

“We don't know whether the opinion expressed by two nominated members (of HI) has the backing of the majority in an elected body,” he said.

The ministry has also taken the stand that, for the time being at least, the two recognised federations (HI and Indian Hockey Federation) could have the right to function at the national level because of the exceptional circumstances following a court order.

It has already communicated to government departments that no player should be penalised for playing under one federation or the other.

The air of confusion, in the ministry's assessment, was likely to clear after the Asian Games in November.

The Hindu