News for 28 July 2010

All the news for Wednesday 28 July 2010


Blacks Sticks men complete sweep of France

New Zealand completed their preparation for the men's hockey Champions Trophy with a third successive defeat of France in a warmup match in Paris today.

The Black Sticks completed a clean sweep of the French series with a 3-0 win, following 4-2 and 4-0 victories.

Striker Simon Child struck twice for New Zealand while Nick Wilson grabbed the other goal.

The French series was preceded by a 3-5 loss and 1-0 defeat of Belgium in Antwerp, along with a third placing at a four nations tournament in Nottingham.

Coach Shane McLeod's men now return to the English city for the six-nation Champions Trophy, starting with a match against Germany on Sunday night (NZT).

Stuff



Hockeymen swamp Panama 15-0

Wayne Legerton helped himself to six goals as the Calypso Stickmen swamped Panama 15-0 for their third straight win to end Pool A round-robin play in the men’s hockey tournament. Legerton scored four in the first-half, in the ninth, 24th, 27th and 35th before he added items in the 54th and 56th minute for the rampant T&T to end with maximum nine points ahead of their semifinal match tomorrow against Netherlands Antilles from 2 pm.

Atiba Whittington, chipped in with a hat-trick (16th pen, 25th, 63rd), Mickel Pierre two (17th, 48th) while Akim Toussaint (seventh), captain Kwandwane Browne (11th), Dillet Gilkes (29th) and Dwain Quan Chan (46th) added a one each. Mexico, winners of Pool B following a 9-0 thrashing of Jamaica meets Pool A runner-up, Barbados in the other semis after the latter beat Puerto Rico 4-2 to seal second spot with six points. Before the match, a minute of silence was observed in memory of Garvin Francis-Lau, former president of T&T Hockey Board, who passed away suddenly on Friday from a massive heart-attack.

The Trinidad Guardian



England Hockey Captain Barry Middleton Ruled Out of Champions Trophy

England Hockey captain Barry Middleton has been ruled out of next week's ABN AMRO Champions Trophy after breaking his toe in a training match on Friday.  He will be replaced by Bowdon forward Alastair Brogdon.

26 year old Middleton, who it was reported last week will move from Dutch club HGC to German side Der Club an der Alster for the 2010/2011 season, was struck on the foot by the ball during an uncapped practice match against Spain during the squad's training camp at Lilleshall last week.  He will now miss the ABN AMRO Champions Trophy in Mönchengladbach, Germany.

His replacement is 22 year old Bowdon forward Alastair Brogdon, who scored England's first goal in their 4-3 World Cup semi final defeat to the Netherlands in March.

A replacement captain for the tournament will be appointed once the team arrives in Germany.

England's Champions Trophy campaign gets underway against Germany on Saturday before Spain are the opposition on Sunday.

England Hockey Board Media release



England captain Barry Middleton ruled out with injury

By Emily Benammar



Sidelined: Barry Middleton will miss the eight-day six-nation Champions Trophy with a broken tow Photo: ADY KERRY

England captain Barry Middleton has been ruled out of the forthcoming Champions Trophy after breaking his toe in training.

The 26-year-old sustained the injury during a practice match against Spain at the squad’s pre-tournament training camp in Lilleshall last Friday, and it remains unclear how long he will be sidelined.

Head coach Jason Lee is yet to name a replacement captain for the six-nation tournament which gets underway in Mönchengladbach, Germany on Saturday, but has called 22-year-old Bowdon forward Alastair Brogdon into his 18-man squad.

Middleton’s absence will come as a major blow for England, who are also without Richard Mantell and Matt Daly, but Lee remains confident that trying out new things will stand them in good stead for the future.

“Injuries have forced the experimental side of things on our hands,” he said. “I consider it [the squad] inexperienced to a degree but it’s more experimental in what we’re trying to achieve on the pitch.

“It’s a confusing time for the guys but the Four Nations was encouraging because a lot of what we’ve worked on is being implemented and hopefully that should continue.”

England open their Champions Trophy campaign against hosts Germany, the side they beat to win last year’s EuroHockey Nations Championships before losing to them in the semi-finals of this year’s World Cup and Four Nations final.

The Telegraph



England captain Barry Middleton out of Champions Trophy


Middleton will play his club hockey in Germany next season

England hockey captain Barry Middleton has been ruled out of the Champions Trophy in Germany after breaking his toe in a training match last Friday.

The 26-year-old will be replaced by Bowdon forward Alastair Brogdon while a replacement captain will be named when the team arrives in Monchengladbach.

Brogdon scored England's first goal in their World Cup semi-final defeat to the Netherlands in March.

England's campaign gets under way against Germany on Saturday.

They then take on Spain on Sunday, 1 August, defending champions Australia on Tuesday, 3 August, the Netherlands on Thursday, 5 August, and New Zealand on Saturday, 7 August.

The men will be hoping to at least match the success of the women's team, who won the first Champions Trophy medal in the nation's history when they beat Germany in the bronze medal play-off in Nottingham earlier this month.

BBC Sport



Jason Lee on England's opponents

By Emily Benammar



Ones to watch: Jason Lee says Germany and Australia are likely to cause England the most trouble at the Champions Trophy Photo: PA

England coach Jason Lee talks to Telegraph Sport about what he thinks of the five nations his squad will come up against at the Champions Trophy.

New Zealand

I think they will have their most experience players back and a few of them are considered some of the best in the world so that’ll make a huge difference to them. Even taking the best players out they’re a good side, I think they play nice hockey.

They have a lot of strength in their squad and we’ve enjoyed quite a battle with them over the years because they’ve kind of followed our progression up the rankings and we’ve just kept out nose ahead.

I‘m fond of them. I think they’re a fantastic team that make the most of their resources.

Spain

Spain are going though transition. They’ve got a new coach and gone back to Spanish team thinking. They had a Dutch coach before and so it’ll be interesting to see if they’ve gone back to a more Spanish theme to their play as there were definitely some Dutch aspects to their style over the last 8 years.

But they’ve got some of the best forwards in the world so they’ll cause a lot of trouble. They out did us for pace in the last Champions Trophy and at the World Cup. Hopefully that’s an area we’ll be able to control a bit more this time.

Australia

To be frank Australia are head and shoulders above everybody else. Man-for-man have by far the best squad – physically and technically. Tactically they may be weaker than some other countries which is the reason we can get close to them.

I’m nervous for some of our younger players playing against Australia because it can be a bit of a whirlwind and they’ll have to play like men and it’ll be interesting to see if they can stand up to it. But there’s no better thing in hockey for us than England v Australia. It’s nice that we’re on a one game winning streak as opposed to a 25-year losing streak now.

Holland


They also have a new coach who was HGC coach so Ash [Jackson] and Baz [Middleton] know him well.

Paul has created a 40 man squad and is bringing a lot of youth into the side as there’s been a lot of criticism that they're old and that was to blame for some of the poor results. So it’ll be interesting.

We played them a coupe of weeks ago and they played an entirely young group and they were competitive but inexperienced, so they have lots of talent but are probably still trying to find how to use it best.

So they could be brilliant or they could be poor. But we would like to think we’re equal to them if not better at the moment.

Germany

Germans it doesn’t matter who’s on the pitch for them they're a system of great hockey. In the past they’ve sent a B team to the Champions Trophy and still finished fourth and that reflects what theyre like.

You know what youre getting with Germany and that’s fantastic tactical hockey and fantastic control. Unless youre really at you best it’s hard to compete with them.

We’re getting closer and closer not long ago getting a draw with them in a practice match was awesome but now we’re contemplating that we can beat them in major tournaments.

The Telegraph



Rest assured, Rob is the key

By Graham Wilson


ALFIE MOORE is giving England a little bit of trouble.

A week after weighing into the world at 8lb 4oz, he has occupied the attentions of a shattered new dad in England midfielder Rob Moore, who goes to Germany today to play in the gruelling ABN AMRO Champions Trophy competition – for a rest.

Moore, 29, the Athens and Beijing Olympian who plays for Surbiton, turned all his attentions to partner Camilla last week, who after her own long labour brought Alfie into the world 12 days late.

Thankfully the new arrival was just in time for the six-nations round-robin event taking place in the impressive stadium at Moenchengladbach. The away games are something Camilla has gotten used to, having not been involved as a player but now turned “avid watcher”.

“ I haven’t slept much since last Tuesday but I’m impressed with myself,” joked Moore. “I’ve been running a couple of times. But the babe sleeps only for two to three hours in one go at the moment, so I’ll be glad to get some sleep out there.”

Moore is the vital link for England, the midfielder who injects at penalty corners for the strikers, usually Ashley Jackson. No pressure there then, with hosts and Olympic champions Germany first up on Saturday. But Moore was in the squad which beat Germany to gold at the European Championships last year but lost to them in the semi-finals in the World Cup. He missed the recent 3-2 ‘golden goal’ defeat in Nottingham to be at home.

“The Europeans were a massive highlight in my career,” he said. “The World Cup was going well too, but we had a lot of injuries. When I first started playing we were always losing to Germany, but our fortunes have changed.”

Next up for Moore and England will be Spain, Australia and the Netherlands, with New Zealand rounding off the pool stage ahead of the classification matches on August 8.

“I can’t wait,” said Moore. “Then I have a couple of weeks off to help out with the baby.”

Daily Express



Hockeyroos select 2010 World Cup squad

The Hockeyroos will continue to blend youth with experience in their bid to win gold at the 2010 Women’s World Cup, with the Australian squad selected today.

Held from August 30 – September 11 in Rosario, Argentina, the Hockeyroos will be trying to win their third World Cup gold medal, with their last gold victory coming in 1998.

If they win gold at the tournament, it will be the first time in history that both the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos have won the World Cup in the same year.

In an indication of the youthful nature of the Hockeyroos squad, the likes of Teneal Attard, Madonna Blyth, Kate Hollywood and Kobie McGurk are already veterans of the team at only 24 and 25 years of age.

While the squad has experience in the likes of Nicole Arrold and Kim Walker, both who competed at the 2006 World Cup, Kate Jenner and Jayde Taylor have also been named in the squad despite both having played less than 10 games each.

Remarkably, both players only made their international debuts over a month ago during the Hockeyroos month long tour of Europe.

However both players impressed coach Frank Murray who said they both deserved their place in the team.

“Both Jenner and Taylor did well on the tour of Europe and earned their spots. Taylor brings a bit of intellect and composure to our defence and Jenner brings a bit of youthfulness and energy,” said Murray.

Further strengthening the squad, Murray said he had no hesitation in selecting Kate Hollywood and Casey Eastham who were in some doubt for selection due to recent injuries.

“Both players will be fine for the World Cup. Eastham has been very good at training and has overcome her knee injury, she is moving really well. Hollywood (broke her hand during the tour of Europe) is as fit as I have ever seen her. She is raring to go to the point where we are actually holding her back so she doesn’t over do it,” said Murray.

While the Hockeyroos would have been further strengthened by the likes of Stacia Joseph who is overcoming an osteitis pubis injury and Hope Munro who recently announced she was taking a break from international hockey, Murray said that the team’s recent form indicates they have every reason to be confident leading into the tournament.

“Our results over the past 12 months have been good in that we have beaten England, Germany and Argentina, so we know we are capable of beating all of these teams at the World Cup. We have only played the Netherlands once in the past year but we came away with the win so we will take confidence from that.

We first need to make it through the pool stage but barring any major injuries winning the gold medal or a medal is not beyond us,” said Murray.

A noteable inclusion is that of 18 year old Melbourne VCE student Georgia Nanscawen, who will continue to balance her duties with the Hockeyroos with her school studies.

Murray acknowledged the likes of other young players such as Fiona Boyce, Anna Flanagan and Emily Hurtz who were close to selection, indicating that they all had bright futures ahead of them.

“In some cases as it was with Emily Hurtz as a striker it was a case of experience versus youth. But we just felt that someone like Shelly Liddelow adds a bit more fire power to our penalty corners,” said Murray.

Hockeyroos World Cup Squad

Nicole Arrold (ACT), Teneal Attard (QLD), Madonna Blyth (QLD), Alison Bruce (NSW), Toni Cronk (NSW), Casey Eastham (NSW), Kate Hollywood (NSW), Kate Jenner (NSW), Fiona  Johnson (NSW), Amy Korner (QLD), Shelly Liddelow (WA), Rachael Lynch (VIC), Kobie McGurk (WA), Georgia Nanscawen (VIC), Ashleigh Nelson (WA), Megan Rivers (NSW), Jayde Taylor (WA), Kim Walker (WA).

Hockey Australia media release



Goals galore in T&T hockey league

There were no shortage of goals when matches in the T&T Hockey Board’s Trinity and Veteran’s Division continued at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua, over the weekend. In an a total of 77 goals were scored in ten matches with Queen’s Park leading the way with a 19-1 mauling of Shape in a Veterans Division encounter on Friday night. The Parkites were led by six goals from Captain Gary Griffith and a handful from former national player Raphael Govia.

Scores:
Thursday


Veterans: Fatima 9 (Richard Downie 4th, 21st, 48th, Colin Young 17th, 26th, 60th, Neil Pichery 30th, Ralph Nathaniel 35th, Derek Lee 49th) vs Paragon 1 (Lorna Cooper 10th).

Friday

Veterans: QPCC 19 (Gary Griffith 3rd, 18th, 22nd, 47th, 51st, 56th, Raphael Govia 21st, 29th, 42nd, 57th, 61st, Peter Rodriguez 64th, 68th, Ronald Murray 48th, 60th, Lindsay Young 5th, Paul Weekes 15th, Wendell Newallo 23rd, Gary Chin 27th) vs Shape 1 (John Chuck 51st).

Saturday

Trinity Women: Petrotrin 10 (Kerry Edghill 9th, 36th, 59th, Dara Ransome 13th, 35th, 36th, Maria Walker 23rd, 51st, 54th, Josanne Mc Intosh 26th) vs Checkers 0. Magnolias 3 (Tamara De Nobriga 30th, 47th, Gayle-Ann Nieves 63rd) vs Paragon 0.

Trinity Men: Carib 2 (Shea St Louis 54th, Colin Boodoo 58th) vs Petrotrin 0. Fatima 2 (Jordan Vieira 59th, Mario Mohammed 61st) vs Notre Dame 0.

Sunday

Trinity Men: Fatima 13 (Ishmael Campbell 30th, 40th, 45th, Colin Young 12th, 57th, Jordan Vieira 25th, 52nd, Dean Nieves 46th, 63rd, Dwight King 68th, 69th, Che Modeste 14th, Dev Lum Kit 41st) vs Petrotrin 2 (Shakeil Joseph 20th, Brian Edghill 50th).
Shape 4 (Dillon Campbell 15th, Jordan Reynos 22nd, Jerron Frank 43rd, Shaquille Edwards 69th) vs Paragon 1 (Salem Clapham 64th).

Trinity Women: Petrotrin 8 (Maria Walker 51st, 58th, 62nd, Dara Ransome 41st, Rachel Charles 12th, Kerry Edghill 17th, Kerry Phillip 21st) vs Ventures 0.

Veterans: Fatima 2 (Gerard Vieira 35th, Wayne Nieves 68th) vs Notre Dame 0.

The Trinidad Guardian



100Plus to sponsor Razak Cup hockey meet

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) have sealed a RM1.5mil sponsorship deal with 100Plus for the Razak Cup tournament for three years starting from next year.

The sponsorship – worth RM500,000 per year, with RM300,000 in cash and RM200,000 in kind – begins next year in April.

MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and James Teo, the managing director of F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn Bhd, witnessed the signing of the agreement at a hotel here yesterday.

Datuk Kamal Harun, national corporate affairs manager of F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn Bhd signed on behalf of the soft drinks company while MHF deputy president Nur Azmi Ahmad signed for the federation.

The 100Plus sponsorship is timely as the tournament is set to undergo a change in format next year.

The new format will see the teams competing in the qualifying rounds in five zones – North, Central, South, East and West – before moving on to vie for top honours in the final round. The qualifying rounds will be held on a home-and-away basis.

Penang, Kedah, Perlis and Armed Forces; are in the North zone; Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and National Under-16 (Central zone); Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Johor and Singapore (South zone); Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan and Police (East zone); and Sabah, Sarawak, Labuan and Brunei (West zone).

After the qualifying rounds, the top two teams from each group will feature in Division One while the teams who finished third and fourth will compete in Division Two.

“The new format and also the 100Plus sponsorship will be a good stepping stone to develop hockey,” said Tengku Abdullah.

James said he was pleased to have finalised the three-year agreement with the MHF.

“As part of our agreement with MHF, we will also provide drinks for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL), international matches and age-group competitions.”

The Star of Malaysia



Hockey India poll today

Prabhjot Singh


Will Pargat Singh become country’s first ever Olympian to head Hockey India? Pitted against 83-year-old Vidya Stokes, the former All-India Womens’ Hockey Association chief and veteran Congress leader from Himachal Pradesh, and supported by all-powerful Suresh Kalmadi group, Pargat Singh, backed by strong lobby of past and present players, appears confident of making history tomorrow.

Olympians make successful National Sports Federations chiefs. India’s archrival and neighbour Pakistan that has done extremely well on international hockey scene after partition already had three Olympians at helm of affairs. Starting with AIS Dara, Pakistan has been served well by Brig SMH Atif and now Qasim Zia - both Olympians. Ramesh Patel, who was a member of the New Zealand team that shocked India in the opener of the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico, has been commanding the New Zealand Hockey Association very well.

Unfortunately, India has never before placed its confidence in the capabilities of an Olympian who understand the sport better than those who just administer it. “Vidya Stokes has had her innings. She has contributed her bit for 23 long years and now it is time for her to make way for much younger, energetic and more acceptable youngster to head the national hockey body,” says former international Gurdishpal Singh.

“Change and freshness,” he says, “will do the Indian hockey good. It is not only me but a long big family of hockey Olympians and internationals who all are looking forward to some freshness in running the affairs of our national game,” he adds.

“Sports administrators like Suresh Kalmadi have been working more for themselves than doing anything good for sports in the country. I wish they were in the construction or infrastructure development business than sports,” says another Olympian. Sukhvir Singh Grewal, a former international and coach of the 1992 Indian Olympic hockey team, feels that India could not get a better person than Pargat Singh to head its national body. “He is one person whom the entire hockey world recognises as a good player and an able administrator,” adds Sukhvir Singh Grewal.

Vidya Stokes on the other hand is hoping for support for her neat and clean image. Her added strength is unstinted support from the Suresh Kalmadi-led Indian Olympic Association as well as the ad hoc committee of the HI that had been holding the fort after dissolution of the Indian Hockey Confederation.

Interestingly, some of her former team members, including Secretary-General Amrit Bose, are supporting Pargat Singh and not her. Initially not included in the list of two representatives of the Delhi Hockey Association to attend tomorrow’s election meeting, Amrit Bose, had to seek legal recourse.

The Tribune



Election Update: TN and Tripura gets vote

s2h team


Tamil Nadu and Tripura gets clearance from respective courts and their representatives will vote in the Election today.

Government withdraws its observer from the election, however FIH observer Ondorzo is expected to be present.

The election takes place in the Lalit Hotel, New Delhi

Election is expected to take place between 12-13 hrs

Stick2Hockey.com



Government withdraws observer for HI elections


Abiding by the Delhi High Court’s directive, the Sports Ministry on Tuesday withdrew its observer for Wednesday’s much-awaited Hockey India elections.

In a letter, the Ministry stated that it decided to withdraw its observer, S.K. Mendiratta from the poll process on the instruction of the High Court, which said IHF was the solely representative of the national game in the country and HI was a private body.

“The government election observer’s presence at the annual general meeting of HI, which is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, does not in any manner reflect government’s endorsement of the election process or its outcome. However, in deference to Honourable High Court’s directives, the government has decided not to depute the government election observer to oversee the elections,” the letter signed by Joint Secretary Injeti Srinivas said.

The government has also taken note that during the scrutiny of nominations for the election, HI took a stand that they were not bound by the government guidelines relating to age and tenure limits.

“The government is of the view that every National Sports Federation is fully bound by the government guidelines for it to function as an NSF and perform the public function of selecting the national team and deputing it for participation in international competitions,” the letter said.

“In the present situation with two recognised NSFs in place for the promotion of hockey in India, only one of which namely HI, enjoying the required support of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the government will comply the directions of the High Court to obtain the co-operation of IHF and IOA and any other body that may have been set up to resolve the matter in the best interest of hockey in the country,” the letter added.

The Sports Ministry’s decision came after the Delhi High Court, earlier in the day, asked the government not to associate itself with Wednesday’s election as HI was a private body.

The High Court said IHF is the sole recognised body for the game in the country as it had already quashed the government’s notification for derecognition of the KPS Gill-led sports federation.

The High Court had on May 21 set aside the Centre’s decision to derecognise IHF and the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) deaffiliation of the federation.

The Hindu



High Court demands clarity in hockey mess

Two months after it reinstated the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) headed by KPS Gill, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday warned the government against continuing to associate itself with the election of Hockey India (HI), calling it a mere "private body". Justice S. Muralidhar reiterated that the IHF was the only recognised body for the sport in the country. The court's stinging stricture comes ahead of HI election scheduled for Wednesday to elect its office-bearers. HI was under pressure to hold polls as the international hockey federation (FIH) had threatened that India would be debarred from playing in the Women's World Cup in August if an elected federation was not in place by July 31.

The court had on May 21 ruled that both the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Ministry did not follow procedures set in their constitution while suspending and disaffiliating the IHF and, therefore, their action was illegal.

Justice Murlidhar said that Wednesday's election would be allowed only when the confusion regarding its status is cleared.

"The election of July 28 can only take place when the clarification is made by the government and the HI," the court said, adding, "If they don't issue a clarification, the election cannot be held." The judge also asked the government to withdraw its observer appointed to monitor the HI elections.

The court slammed the ministry for not taking proper steps for removing confusion regarding the status of HI after its judgement. "It seems the government allowed holding of elections but why is the government supporting Hockey India. It would create further confusion," said the judge.

"If the government has not recognised you (HI), then why is it allowing you to conduct elections? The government should not be involved in the election of a private body," the court said.

Tuesday's order from the High Court came after the IHF challenged the ministry's letter dated July 2, 2010 granting no objection to HI to hold elections.

HI TO GO AHEAD WITHOUT OBSERVER

Hockey India is going ahead with election to choose its first managing committee despite the adverse order from Delhi High Court recognizing IHF as the official body for the sport in the country and the government withdrawing its election observer.

The Sports Ministry on Tuesday withdrew its observer – SK Mendiratta, for Wednesday’s election and said it will be working with IOA and IHF towards having one recognised body for the sport in the country.

Though not admitting directly that it can’t de-recognise Hockey India because it is affiliated to FIH, the Sports Ministry said it recognises IHF as well going by the Delhi High Court order of May 21, 2010.

“The Government Election Observer’s presence at the Annual General Meeting of HI, which is scheduled to be held tomorrow, does not in any manner reflect Government’s endorsement of the election process or its outcome. However, in deference to Hon’ble Court’s directives, the Government has decided not to depute the Government Election Observer to oversee the elections of HI on 28 .07.2010,” Joint Secretary (Sports), Injeti Srinivas, said in a statement.

Tripura cannot vote

The Gauhati High Court has barred both Hockey Tripura and Tripura Hockey from participating in the election process after the two bodies failed to settle their dispute over, which is the official body of the state.

According to Hockey India’s voters list Tripura Hockey’s Rupak Deb Roy and Mahuya Kar were the official representatives for the elections.

Hindustan Times



Can Pargat make it to the president's post?

S. Thyagarajan


Chennai: An Olympian and former captain has thrown his hat in the ring for the post of President. It signals a desire to streamlining governance. For Pargat Singh, the only hockey player with the distinction of leading the country in two successive Olympic Games, the contest against the 83-year-old Vidya Stokes is more than a crusade to regain the country's hockey profile.

Small wonder, the elections to Hockey India, scheduled on July 28, are in focus.

Pargat's credentials to don the mantle and give a new direction to hockey, languishing for two years for want of professional governance, cannot be disputed. Long after his playing days, the former defender, who was feared, respected and admired by the opposition, seeks the mandate from the ‘privileged' representatives of hockey's fraternity. Pargat has a vision, commitment and a well-crafted programme to revive, revitalise, probably, revolutionise, the administration in every layer.

Vidya Stokes stakes her claims — supported by a powerful IOA section that created an entity called Hockey India, trampling many a democratic norm — on the strength of her long association with women's hockey. More importantly, Ms. Stokes has held several political offices as minister, speaker and governor. But surprisingly, Ms. Stokes is unwilling to accept Sports Ministry's guidelines, one of which imposes the age restriction of 70. Ms. Stokes and her backers have chosen to defy this provision when raised by the Ministry's election observer. HI rejected Government funding. This is an act of desperation to stay in the fray.

A sport like hockey, or for that matter, any discipline besides cricket, cannot survive without Government's financial assistance. Sadly, this defiance is becoming a norm. How these units will raise the wherewithal to promote sport they want to serve in as office-bearers in anybody's guess. Suffice it to say, the players, in every segment, will be the victims. The decision to spurn government's financial assistance is probably based on the illusion that the ministry cannot, or will not leave players in the lurch for competitions and training fearing public backlash.

The question is whether Pargat Singh can overcome the odds, real and created, on Wednesday. From the time of the suspension of the IHF following the 2008 debacle in Chile, every move of the IOA was orchestrated to suit a specific matrix. The haste with which the FIH acknowledged the formation of Hockey India without applying its mind triggered a slew of court cases. The Delhi High Court judgement upholding the IHF appeal against its suspension was a setback for the IOA. Even within the FIH there is a school of thought that it needlessly slithered into the quagmire of India's hockey politics without a clue to coming out untarnished.

In the two-year rule, HI has had to wade through a maze of problems starting with players' protest over unsettled payments, the huge mess before the World Cup in several organisational aspects from ticketing to media relations, polemical exchanges with the Sports Ministry, the imbroglio over preparing the eligible list of voters leading to a plethora of court cases, and the recent embarrassment of accusations of sexual harassment against the women's coach, M.K. Kaushik. By no stretch of imagination is this an illuminating report-card for a unit that chooses to forego the Ministry's financial support to side-step the guidelines.

Meanwhile, the FIH, for all the humiliation it suffered during the World Cup — the media walked out leaving the President, Leandro Negre red-faced — has allotted the 2011 Champions Trophy to India. Who made this bid and on what authority is unclear. Does the FIH believe that everything will be smooth by then and the Indian administration will become a model of proficiency? It is optimism, terribly misplaced.

The Hindu



HI polls: Vidya Stokes vs Pargat Singh

Vidya Stokes, 83, of Himachal Pradesh has had a long innings in sports administration, having been the head of the Indian Women's Hockey Federation from 1984.

She was beaten by Arnavaz Damania in 1990 but came back to power four years later. Stokes has been in hockey administration ever since.

She took over as the chief of Hockey India (interim body) from AK Mattoo after he resigned early this year. She was faced with a rebellion by the women's hockey team seeking settlement of monetary dues as soon as she assumed power. An elegant, soft-spoken woman, Stokes is a member of the Congress, has held position as minister and is an MP.

In this election, Stokes' age is her greatest disadvantage, as she has crossed the limit of 70 stipulated by sports ministry's guidelines. But she and Hockey India have rejected the norm.

With IOA's backing and associations, Stokes is aiming to be the first elected president of the unified body.

Pargat Singh, 45, of Jalandhar, Punjab, was a fullback and penalty corner hitter of repute who shone as a junior and made his debut in the senior ranks in the mid-80s. Aggressive and self-assertive, he led the Indian hockey team in two successive Olympics in 1992 and 1996. Pargat also had a short, uninspiring stint as India's chief coach in the late 90s.

By then, his disillusionment in the system was evident, as he had begun voicing his opposition to the ad-hoc ways of the federation. Pargat's skills as an administrator became evident when took over as the director of sports, Punjab in 2005. Some of the first include hike in budgetary allocation, training and appointment of coaches, increase in cash awards etc.

A fighter, he took on IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi and Hockey India even as he convinced various factions within Punjab to unite to form Hockey Punjab. Pargat has set his agenda well in advance, that is to bringing warring factions together like he did in Punjab and professionalise the game with experts from various fields.

The Times of India



Nambiar's election raises eyebrows

NEW DELHI: Chargesheeted in multi-crore defence scam, Ramesh Nambiar has been elected unopposed to Hockey India as one of its joint-secretaries even before the elections have been held.

This has raised eyebrows in hockey circles with many officials saying it is symbolic of the state of hockey in India.

Nambiar, an Air India general manager, was named in the CBI chargesheet in the OFB (ordnance factory board) scam, in which Nambiar, former OFB chairman Sudipta Ghosh and several others were arrested. Nambiar and others spent several weeks in jail before they were granted bail.

On June 30, CBI filed its chargesheet in the court of the special CBI judge, Kolkata. The chargesheet names Ghosh, Nambiar among others, besides some defence firms. Nambiar is alleged to have facilitated transfer of illegal payment between defence firms and various individuals.

Nambiar was suspended by Air India but sources say he was reinstated. Nambiar made it through even before the elections as out of six contestants for four posts, only two are male.

The Times of India



Kalmadi is the dirty face of Indian sports: Pargat

NEW DELHI: Barely 48 hours before the Hockey India elections, Pargat Singh on Monday launched a scathing attack on IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi, calling him the "dirty face of Indian sports" who is desperate to maintain control over the game's administration by interfering in the much-awaited polls.

The former India captain, in fray for the President's post in the elections on Wednesday, said Kalmadi is backing an 83-year-old Vidya Stokes for the job as he is only concerned about keeping his control and least bothered about the sport.

"The reason they violated the government's guidelines (on age limitation) is to field an 83-year-old lady (Stokes). Kalmadi just wants a rubber stamp. If they (the present ad-hoc HI office bearers) are elected, it won't be called Hockey India, it will be called Hockey Kalmadi," he said.

"Kalmadi is the dirty face of Indian sports. He is a destroyer. He talks of the Olympic movement but he has destroyed the Olympic institution. Such dirty people should be thrown out of sports," said Pargat.

"The Kalmadi group has a 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. They have a battery of lawyers to fight their case," the former India full-back added.

Pargat also accused Kalmadi of fielding his own personal office staffs in the HI polls.

"A member of Kalmadi's personal staff, Manoj Bhore is a voter from Hockey Maharashtra. So, you can imagine what is going on. He has made a mockery of the system. He just wants to capture hockey," he said.

He also said that the present office-bearers of HI have no right to reject government's assistance as it is the prerogative of the elected house.

"Who are they to tell they don't want government's assistance, it is the house to decide. What is their authenticity? If the government's recognition is not there, how can the Indian team participate in international tournaments?" Pargat asked.

"They should keep in mind that it is not their personal team, it is a national team," Pargat stated.

"In the last two years, the government has given Rs 13 crore to hockey but nobody knows where this money has been spent," he added.

Pargat said he decided to foray into hockey's administration only to revive the national game, which is in a mess for the past two years.

"Enough is enough. For the last two years hockey has suffered. There were only divisions within the game but I will do whatever is possible to unite hockey," Pargat said.

"If you don't bring positive faces, how will you promote hockey? If good faces come, money will automatically come into the game.

"I don't have financial power like them, neither do I have the muscle power but what I have is a noble intention. The government is open to sit and discuss. If I get elected I will do whatever is best for the sport," he said.

"I have a plan for hockey's development. I want to bring in a coaching system, umpiring system, short and long-term planning will be there, a proper domestic structure will be set up. A calendar will be there and every aspect of the game will be looked after," Pargat added.

The Times of India



FIH Executive Board takes important decisions

The Executive Board of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) gathered for the second time in 2010. This FIH EB meeting was scheduled on the occasion of the Samsung FIH Champions Trophy in Nottingham, England.

The FIH Executive Board took, under the presidency of FIH President Leandro Negre, many important decisions for the future of the FIH and hockey in general.

The FIH EB analyzed the Hero Honda FIH World Cup, FIH’s flagship event that took place in New Delhi, India early March 2010. It came to the conclusion that the event was an enormous success, even taking in consideration all difficulties in organizing this tournament, and that the FIH will go back to India for future FIH World Level Events, starting with the FIH Champions Trophy 2011 for men.

One special item on the agenda was the Brazil Project. With the 2016 Olympic Games to take place in Rio de Janeiro, it is the intention of the FIH to create a Memorandum of Understanding with the Brazil Hockey Confederation (CHB) and the Brazil Olympic Committee (BOC) to ensure the development of hockey in Brazil proceeds in a way that will enable Brazil to be competitive in both women’s and men’s hockey competition at the 2016 Olympic Games and that a strong legacy is provided for the sport in Brazil.

Another agenda point was an update on the new Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan for 2010- 2016 was not only discussed in the FIH Executive Board, but also in workshops with the Continental Hockey Federations and the chairs of FIH committees.  It provides a focus for tripling FIH revenues in the next period and therefore includes the establishment of a new brand architecture, the control of commercial rights and review of FIH World Level Events.

The restructure of the FIH Executive Board was unanimously approved and will be presented to Congress in November 2010. This proposal will go together with some other changes in the FIH Status. The proposal includes reducing the number of Executive Board Members.

The FIH Executive Board also approved the new structure of FIH World Level Events. From 2012 a new competition under the working name FIH world level competition will take place.

The FIH Executive Board allocated the FIH Champions Trophies 2011. The men’s FIH Champions Trophy will be played in India in December 2011, while the women’s FIH Champions Trophy will take place in Netherlands in June 2011. The FIH Champions Challenge I and II tournaments will be allocated in before the end of August 2010.

All FIH World Level Events for the period 2012-2015, including the two FIH World Cups in 2014, will be allocated in November 2010 on the occasion of the FIH Congress Week at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace Hotel in Montreux, Switzerland, where the next FIH Executive Board meeting is scheduled for 11 November 2010.

WorldHockey



Francis-Lau funeral today


Garvin Francis-Lau... former
T&T Hockey board president.


The funeral service of former T&T Hockey Board president and treasurer, Garvin Francis-Lau will take place today from 10.30 am at St Finbars RC Church, Morne Coco Road. His body will be cremated at the Cinerary, Long Circular Road, St James, from 1 pm. The 57-year-old Francis-Lau died following a masive heart-attack during a T&T Hockey Board’s Veteran’s Division match on Friday between his former club Stag Malvern and Police.

He is survived by his wife Dee (Rosemarie) and two children, Galina and Daryl. A release from the T&THB stated the board mourns the loss of Francis-Lau, a true servant of local hockey who has served the board’s executive body in various capacities. He was also a past president of the Stag Malvern Hockey Club. The T&T Hockey Board would like to extend sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Mr Francis-Lau.

The Trinidad Guardian