News for 14 August 2013

All the news for Wednesday 14 August 2013


2013 Men's Pan American Cup in numbers

Yan Huckendubler, PAHF



Kwan Browne, most capped player at 2013 Pan American Cup. (Photo: Yan Huckendubler)

Who is the youngest player and who has the most International Caps at the Men’s Pan American Cup in Brampton, Canada?

The average age of the 143 players (Mexico has only 17 players on their roster) participating in the Men’s Pan American Cup in Brampton is 24.2 years old. The youngest team is Mexico (21.8), while the oldest team is Argentina (27.3).

Uruguay player Patricio Draper is the oldest player at 38, 2 years older than Mexican Captain Oscar Hernández (36). At the other end of the age spectrum, Mexican rookie goalkeeper José Hernández is the youngest player at 16, just one month younger than his teammate Alex Valdes and 2 months younger than another rookie goalkeeper, Kwesi Emmanuel from Trinidad & Tobago.

There are 21 teenagers in the competition (2 for Brazil, 3 for Canada, 1 for Chile, 5 for Mexico, 3 for Trinidad & Tobago, 4 for Uruguay and 3 for the USA). Only Argentina has no teenager.

The average number of International Caps is 46.8. The team with the least international experience is Mexico (with an average of 16.7 International Caps), while the most experienced team is Argentina (with an average of 84.2 International Caps).

Not surprisingly, Argentina is both the oldest and most experienced team in the competition, and Mexico is both the youngest and least experienced team.

The most capped player in the competition is Trinidad & Tobago star Kwan Browne, with 287 international appearances. Only Matias Paredes (Argentina) has also more than 200 Caps and there are 4 other players with more than 150 Caps (Lucas Rey and Juan Martin Lopez for Argentina, David Jameson and Scott Tupper for Canada), with Argentinian Pedro Ibarra set to join the +150 club during the Pan American Cup.

At the other end of the experience spectrum, 13 players are making their international debuts in this competition (1 for Brazil, 2 for Canada, 6 for Mexico, 2 for Trinidad & Tobago, 1 for Uruguay and 1 for the USA).

Interestingly, Mexico has a reduced roster (only 17 players) but have 3 goal-keepers.

Pan American Hockey Federation



Stickmen look to avoid Argentina in semis

Nigel Simon



T&T captain Darren Cowie, right, battles with Chile’s Alexis Berczely for the ball in their Fourth Men’s Pan American Cup match at Brampton, Toronto, Canada, Monday. In the background is T&T’s Christopher Scipio. T&T won 5-1. Photo: Courtesy Pan American Hockey Federation.

Buoyed by convincing wins over Brazil (5-2) and Chile (5-1) in their first two matches at the fouth Pan American Hockey Cup, T&T men will be confident of a third win when they face host Canada in a Group B decider at Brampton, Toronto, from 7 pm. T&T is assured of a spot in the semifinal with maximum six points, while second placed Canada, on four points needs victory while Chile (one point) is expected to get past Brazil in today’s opener from 9 am.

For T&T,  it will be a case of getting the win or a drawn result to ensure top spot in the group, which will also mean avoiding powerhouse and Group A top team, Argentina in the semifinal.

While T&T includes the experienced Kwandwane Browne, Darren Cowie, Aidan De Gannes, Solomon Eccles, Dillet Gilkes, Wayne Legerton, Mickell Pierre, Dwain Quan Chan, Andrey Rocke and Akim Toussaint, the Canadians, ranked 14th in the world are in a rebuilding phase and will need to improve drastically from their 2-2 draw with Chile and 3-1 win over Brazil if they are to stop T&T.

In Pool A, Mexico and USA, both with three points after two matches, meet from 11am in a virtual battle for the second semifinal qualifying spot behind Argentina.

Today’s Matches

Pool A: Mexico vs USA, 11 am; Argentina vs Uruguay, 5 pm
Pool B: Brazil vs Chile, 9 am; Canada vs T&T, 7 pm

Standings

Group A:

Teams    P    W    D    L    F    A    Pts
Argentina    2    2    0    0    21    2    6
USA    2    1    0    1    12    8    3
Mexico    2    1    0    1    4    14    3
Uruguay    2    0    0    2    1    14    0

Group B:
T&T    2    2    0    0    10    3    6
Canada    2    1    1    0    5    3    3
Chile    2    0    1    1    3    7    1
Brazil    2    0    0    2    3    8    0

The Trinidad Guardian



Gunning for top spot

ASIA CUP: Coach wants Malaysia to win and qualify for World Cup on merit

By REPORTS BY AJITPAL SINGH


WITH an eye on next year’s World Cup, Malaysia, who have not featured in the big event since 2002, want to qualify for it on merit by winning the Asia Cup scheduled for Aug 24-Sept 1 in Ipoh.

However, Malaysia, who finished fifth in the World League Semi-Finals in July, may not need to win the tournament if any of the already qualified teams win their respective continental competitions.

Malaysia are drawn in Group A with Pakistan, Japan and Taiwan while former world champions India, South Korea, Bangladesh and Oman make up Group B. Only the champions qualify for the World Cup.

In his fifth assignment as national coach, South African Paul Revington hopes his team will make an impact on the Asia Cup.

“The target is to win the Asia Cup and qualify for the World Cup, not wait for other continental championships to decide our fate,” said Revington recently.

Under Revington, Malaysia finished a respectable fourth in the Champions Challenge I event and third in the Asian Champions Trophy, both last year.

The coach used mix-and-match squads and tested different strategies in those tournaments.

Malaysia then finished second in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and fifth in the World League Semi-Finals, both this year.

In the Asia Cup, Malaysia will open against Taiwan on Aug 24 before facing 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games gold medallists Pakistan the next day followed by Japan on Aug 27.

For the record, Malaysia’s best finish in the Asia Cup — incepted in 1982 — was a bronze medal in 2007 in Chennai, India. Other editions saw Malaysia finish fourth, or worse.

Pakistan and South Korea have been champions three times each while India have won the biennial event twice.

Revington has set a difficult but achievable target for his team in the Asia Cup.

Malaysia’s senior team have never won a gold medal at an international tournament, save for the Sea Games.

Revington has named 16 of his 18 players for the Asia Cup and they are now in Ipoh for centralised training.

Ahmad Kazamirul, Azreen Rizal, Jivan Mohan, Kairulnizam Ibrahim, Meor Azuan, Azammi Adabi, Ramadan Rosli and Norhizzat Sumantri will battle for the two vacant slots.

Revington also included four juniors — Mohd Fitri Saari, Muhammad Firhan Ashaari, Mohammad Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin and Faiz Helmi Jali – for the Asia Cup.

“I hope the players will bring the same drive and intensity they had during the Under-21 tournament last year, which Malaysia won,” added Revington.

While South Korea and Malaysia are expected to qualify after the completion of other continental championships, the Asia Cup will be crucial for Pakistan and India, who have never missed a World Cup.

New Straits Times



All players except Rizwan Senior fit, says Akhtar



Asif Bajwa also visited the camp and said the team was working hard. -File photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com

LAHORE: Pakistan hockey team’s head coach Akhtar Rasool said on Monday except Rizwan Senior all the probables at the national training camp for the Asia Cup were fit.

Talking to reporters as the camp resumed after the Eid-ul-Fitr break at the National Hockey Stadium here on Monday, Akhtar said Rizwan had a hair-line fracture on his left hand. The coach however hoped that the player would regain fitness before the start of the Asia Cup starting in Malaysia on Aug 24.

“All the other probables who reported at the camp are quite fit and it seems they all followed the fitness programme given to them for maintaining fitness during the Eid holidays,” Akhtar, a former Olympian, added.

Akhtar, under whom the team face a challenging task of winning the Asia Cup to make the 2014 World Cup, said the morale at the camp was high and the players were in high spirits.

“During the next few days we will try our best to give final shape to our match strategy [for the Asia event], and to remove all the flaws noticed in the attacking and mid-field areas,” the coach said.

Meanwhile, secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Asif Bajwa also visited the camp and said the fit-looking boys were working hard.

Bajwa said the final team would be announced by the head coach in the next couple of days.

Pakistan last won the Asia Cup title way back in 1989.

“Though it is a hard target for Pakistan to win the Asia Cup in order to qualify for the World Cup, in the last couple of years the green-shirts have stamped their supremacy in the Asian region by winning the Asian Champions Trophy, so the PHF hopes our team will clinch the title in Malaysia,” Bajwa stated

Dawn

 



I'll be responsible for India's showing in Asia Cup: Oltmans

NEW DELHI: With a relatively young and inexperienced side at his disposal, High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans is doing his bid to take the pressure off his wards and said being the interim coach he would be solely responsible for India's performance in the Asia Cup hockey tournament to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia.

India face a must-win situation in the Asia Cup, to be held from August 24 to September 1, as they need to win the tournament to qualify for next year's World Cup in Hague, The Netherlands.

"I'll be responsible for the team's performance but at the same time I'm confident also," Oltmans told the media persons on the sidelines of the national camp at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

"We have prepared ourselves in the best possible manner in the short period of time we had. We can assure all that we will give our 100 per cent every single minute and in every single game we play," the Dutchman added.

Injuries to four key players -- Askashdeep Singh, S V Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and Danish Mujatab -- had forced India to field a young and inexperienced forwardline, but Oltmans reposed faith in his young crop of strikers to deliver in the Asia Cup.

"Of course we will deliver, there is no doubt about it. The boys are working very hard and I am confident that it is the right team to be there," he said.

"We can only pick players who are available. But what we can do is prepare them in the best possible way that they are able to perform.

"If we are able to produce good performances on a consistent basis there (in Ipoh), we can win the tournament," Oltmans insisted.

Asked about the impact of the new goalkeeping coach, Dave Staniforth on the Indian custodians, Oltmans said: "He is trying to prepare the goalkeepers in whatever short period of time he has.

"Our special emphasis now is on penalty corner defence and shoot-outs."

Oltmans also reasoned the induction of young Amit Rohidas in the defensive line in place of Harbir Singh.

"I feel for Harbir, it was little tough on him but he realises the goal and planning of the team. Amit is a drag-flicker and I always prefer three drag-flickers in the team so that two of them can be on the turf at the same time," he said.

The Times of India



My conscience was clear, says Kaushik

Chander Shekhar Luthra 



For Maharaj Krishan Kaushik, making a comeback as national coach after allegations of sexual harassment just before the 2010 Commonwealth Games, is like getting a new life. The only one thing that kept him going was his faith.

Kaushik, who returns as the national coach for the upcoming Asia Cup, said: “I knew that someone played dirty against me. My conscience was clear and I knew that I will emerge clean from the controversy. But the only regret, perhaps, was that I was expecting a written apology from all those girls who signed at the behest of others on a piece of paper. That has not happened,” said Kaushik.

Kaushik, who  replaced Michael Nobbs, said he was more of a link between the High Performance Director, Roelant Oltmans, and the players.

His last assignment as coach was in 2010 when he had to resign as the chief coach of the national women’s squad after allegations of sexual harassment. “I was part of this team earlier and not much has changed in these years. It was a difficult phase, as we all know, but there is no point discussing all that now.

There are so many fresh challenges ahead of me, like the one that we have right now of qualifying for the World Cup by winning the Asia Cup. My focus is on the plans that can take Indian hockey forward,” he added.

Kaushik admitted that there was a shift in style and tactic after Nobbs’s exit. “Naturally, a style and system has changed with Oltmans coming in. He is a renowned coach and has his own ideas. It’s also been a learning curve for me personally.

That’s what our job is — to be up to date with the new training methods and coaching techniques.” Dave Staniforth has joined the camp as strategic analyst and goalkeeping coach. Kaushik had no doubts that his presence will also help the team.

DNA



I feel like leaving hockey: Yuvraj Walmiki

Struggling to tackle inexplicable ouster from national team, hockey hero contemplates quitting

Ashwin Ferro



Sticky times: Hockey striker Yuvraj Walmiki, who has been ignored for the Asia Cup, wears a forlorn look at his residence in Marine Drive yesterday. Pic/ Bipin Kokate

The pall of gloom hovering over the South Mumbai sky yesterday got even duller as one entered the humble dwelling of India’s young hockey hero, Yuvraj Walmiki at Marine Drive.

He was kitting up, visibly against his will, for yet another solitary practice session at the nearby Mumbai Hockey Association-Mahindra Stadium. Having been constantly left out of the Indian team with no reason offered, Yuvraj has been training with a bunch of youngsters, but given his immense talent, it’s as good as training alone.

Yuvraj was inexplicably not considered in the list of 48 players called for a month-long national camp that began on July 16 in preparation for the eight-nation Asia Cup (August 24-September 1) in Malaysia — a tournament India have to win to qualify for next year’s World Cup in the Netherlands.

And he doesn’t even know why. “I had to attend my elder brother’s wedding in Aligarh on July 20, so I requested then coach Michael Nobbs and high performance director Roelant Oltmans during last month’s Europe tour to allow me to attend the first two days of the camp and then leave on July 18 for the wedding and return on July 23. Or, allow me to miss the first week of the camp and join from July 23. Both agreed to this. But I later discovered my name missing from the list of 48 probables for the camp.

I was shocked,” Walmiki told MiD DAY yesterday. His omission is even more surprising considering four of the national team’s forwards — Danish Mujtaba, Akashdeep Singh, SV Sunil and Gurwinder Singh Chandi — are injured. But in the final list of 18, the authorities have preferred to rope in two inexperienced forwards Ramandeep Singh and Nikin Thimmaiah rather than Yuvraj, who rose to prominence scoring against Pakistan in the 2011 Asian Champions Trophy final in China, and has been a prolific striker ever since.

Such has been the 22-year-old striker’s influence in the national team, that every time he’s part of a campaign, Team India end up winning laurels (see box). Yuvraj has tried speaking with the authorities to find out where he is lacking, but he has got no reply. He is now contemplating giving up what he does best. “I honestly feel like giving up hockey. I have struggled so much but to no avail.

“On the personal front, my family continues to live in a shanty nearly two years after Maharashtra chief minister Prithiviraj Chauhan promised to allot me a flat after the Asian Champions Trophy win. And on the professional front, I’m not being picked to play for the nation despite being one of the better players in the country,” a dejected Walmiki said.

Ironically, Walmiki finds more takers abroad. Besides an invitation to play in the highly competitive German hockey league (Bundesliga) for the fourth time on the trot, last week an Australian hockey equipment manufacturing company, Ritual offered him a lucrative four-year stick contract — a first in Indian hockey.

But nothing can take away that blue feeling from Walmiki’s life brought about by the lack of the India blue. “Right now, I don’t even feel like watching the Indian team play the Asia Cup. That’s why I’m planning to leave for Germany to play for Bundesliga club TGF Frankenthal before the Asia Cup begins,” said Walmiki. This stint away from home will hopefully not just help boost the young hockey hero mentally, but also his family financially.

Team India with Walmiki

2010 SAF Games (Bangladesh) > Silver
2011 Asian Champions Trophy (China) > Gold
2011 Champions Challenge (SA) > Silver
2011 South Africa Test series > Won 3-2
2012 Olympic Qualifiers (India) > Gold
2012 Champions Trophy (Australia) > Fourth
2013 Azlan Shah > Bronze
2013 Europe Tour (Holland) > Won 2-0
2013 Tri-series (Australia) > Silver

Super League from Sept 1, Gold Cup on Oct 20

The Mumbai Hockey Association’s astro-turf is all set for a flurry of activity across the next two months. Following today’s Super League final between CR and Indian Navy — the match will conclude last year’s league — MHA will organise the 2013 edition of the Super League with 10 teams — Air India, CR, WR, UBI, Sea View, Customs, SAI, RCF, Indian Navy and ONGC. “We’re planning the Super League from Sept 1-25. We are yet to confirm ONGC’s entry. They will be the only outstation team, but I'm glad to see a club side (Sea View) included,” MHA president Manga Singh Bakshi told MiD DAY yesterday. Close on the heels of the League will be the All India Bombay Gold Cup. “The Gold Cup is planned for October 20 with 8-10 teams in the fray. We’re currently looking for sponsorship,” added Bakshi. 

Mid Day



Hockey India announces Shiv Naresh as apparel partner


In its association with Hero Hockey India League, Shiv Naresh will supply uniform for technical officials, umpires and HIL staff.

NEW DELHI: Hockey India on Wednesday announced Shiv Naresh as its apparel partner for the national team as well as the Hero Hockey India League.

As a part of the partnership with Hockey India, Shiv Naresh will provide both on and off-field playing and training uniform ranging from training shorts and shirts to tracksuits and equipment bags to the teams.

"Shiv Naresh will be supplying playing and travelling kit to Senior Men and Women as well as junior teams. These uniforms are specially designed with moisture management fabric to ensure the players stay dry and cool and assist them to perform at their optimum levels," HI said in a statement.

In its association with Hero Hockey India League, Shiv Naresh will supply uniform for technical officials, Umpires and Hero HIL Staff.

Hockey India President, Mariamma Koshy said, "Hockey India has had a fantastic relationship with Shiv Naresh and we look forward to continuing this in the future."

The Indian men's Team will be wearing Shiv Naresh apparel during the ninth Asia Cup to be played at Ipoh, Malaysia from August 24 to September 1.

Economic Times



TriFinance EuroHockey Championships starts this weekend!



This Saturday marks the start of the TriFinance Eurohockey Championships, where England's Men and Women will play against the best teams Europe has to offer.

However, there's even more than great hockey on offer at the event, as it's about the entire experience including live bands and DJs, kids villages and special acts. Those in charge of the Championships have put together a promotional video to try and capture the essence of what the following week will involve, which you can watch below.

Don't forget, the entirety of the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships will be viewable through the BBC, via the red button and BBC iPlayer. Now there's no reason to miss out on one of the biggest events of the year!

For our take on what you need to know about the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships 2013, you can click here.

England Hockey Board Media release



Follow Scotland in the EuroHockey Nations Championship


Scotland Women Squad

Scotland Senior Women’s matches in the EuroHockey Nations Championship will be broadcast exclusively live on the BBC Red Button, online and iPlayer channels throughout the competition running from 17-25 August.

Scotland will compete in Pool B against Germany, England and Spain in the continent’s top hockey competition.

You can watch Scotland live on the BBC at the following times:

Saturday 17 August: Scotland v Germany 11.00 BST

Sunday 18 August: Scotland v Spain 11.00 BST

Tuesday 20 August: Scotland v England 13.00 BST

Dates and times for the crossover matches will be confirmed following the Pool stage.

Please visit the BBC Sport website for more information about how to watch the EuroHockey Nations Championship.

Scottish Hockey will be also be providing a live Twitter feed @ScottishHockey during the course of each match using #EHC2013 hashtag.

There will also be match reports uploaded to the website and photos from each match posted on Facebook.

Let’s get fully behind the squad and support the players and coaches in what will be a tough campaign – Go Scotland!

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Draw & Venues confirmed for EHL R1


Koln celebrate. Photo Frank Uijlenbroek

Hilversum, August 13, 2013 - The Euro Hockey League (EHL) and the European Hockey Federation (EHF) are delighted to announce the draw and venues for Round 1.1 and Round 1.2 of the forthcoming 2013-14 season. The city of Barcelona (ESP) and Lille MHC (FRA) will play hosts to Europe’s finest club hockey competition. Twenty-four teams met the selection criteria and will play Round 1 this October. Each event will feature twelve teams divided in four pools of three. The top two of each pool will reach the KO16 tournament. At the end of Round 1 sixteen teams remain in the competition.

Round 1.1 at the Complex Esportiu Municipal Pau Negre-Parc del Migdia in Barcelona will begin on Friday 11 October and finish on Sunday 13 October 2013. Round 1.2 at Lille MHC will take place two weeks later, beginning on Friday 25 October and finishing on Sunday 27 October 2013. Lille hosted Round 1 of the EHL before in 2008 and has had a great impulse in growth thanks to the top European club hockey competition.

Jean-Michel Dutrieux, chairman of Lille MHC: “We want to show to the city of Lille and its community how great hockey can be. Organizing Round 1 of the Euro Hockey League will help us with that. And it gives us the opportunity to give something back to our supporting hockey community. We have a great team here that handles the organization of the event and we hope that Round 1 of the Euro Hockey League in Lille will become a tradition.”

There are six teams who will compete in this seasons Euro Hockey League for the first time: Harvestehuder (GER), Cardiff & Met (WAL), Surbiton (ENG), SV Kampong (NED), AZS Politechnika Poznanska (POL) and SV Arminen (AUT). The draw resulted in pools that will provide us with exciting games in both Barcelona and Lille. Some expected highlights:

In Barcelona:

·  Pool D features an EHL regular alongside two newcomers to the competition, with English champions Beeston facing first timers Harvestehuder THC (GER) and Cardiff & Met (WAL). Harvestehuder will be considered Beeston’s biggest rivals to top the pool, while it looks to be a baptism of fire for Cardiff, the first ever Welsh team to qualify for the EHL.

·  In Pool E, Spanish giants RC Polo de Barcelona will be challenged by Surbiton HC (ENG) and SV Arminen (AUT). Surbiton have long been considered to be one of the most gifted teams in England, and will be looking forward to challenging themselves against their Spanish and Austrian opponents.

In Lille:

·  Host club Lille MHC face a huge battle to fight their way out of Pool A, with Dutch champions and pre-tournament favourites H.C. Rotterdam (NED) and EHL ever-presents Reading HC (ENG) standing in their way of a place at the upcoming KO16 event. However, the home favourites will be determined to show that they are more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the European elite, and will be heavily supported by a partisan crowd.

·  Pool B features German champions KTHC Rot-Weiss Köln up against Dutch newcomers SV Kampong and SC Stroitel Brest of Belarus. The squads of Köln and Kampong are packed full of international talent including several Gold and Silver medallists from the London 2012 Olympics, and their match-up is expected to be one of the highlights of Round 1.

·  Another clash of the giants takes place in Pool C, with Belgian champions Waterloo Ducks aiming to get the better of nine times European champions HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim of Germany. The Pool also features AZS Politechnika Poznanska (POL), who will be looking to cause an upset against their illustrious opponents and claim a place in the second phase.  

·  Pool B features German champions KTHC Rot-Weiss Köln up against Dutch newcomers SV Kampong and SC Stroitel Brest of Belarus. The squads of Köln and Kampong are packed full of international talent including several Gold and Silver medallists from the London 2012 Olympics, and their match-up is expected to be one of the highlights of Round 1.

·  Another clash of the giants takes place in Pool C, with Belgian champions Waterloo Ducks aiming to get the better of nine times European champions HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim of Germany. The Pool also features AZS Politechnika Poznanska (POL), who will be looking to cause an upset against their illustrious opponents and claim a place in the second phase.  

The complete draw, venues and match schedule can be found by clicking here.

Euro Hockey League media release



Auckland strikers headline top goal scorers


Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

After opening weekend of the Ford National Hockey League, Auckland are on top of the goal scorers tables for both men and women.

International guest player Simon Egerton (England) tops the list for the men with four goals from two games following a hat-trick against Northland on Saturday.

Egerton is followed by teammate Joe Crooks, Hugo Inglis (Southern) and Stephen Jenness (Capital) who are all on three goals.

Auckland’s Katie Glynn tops the women’s table with four goals, also scoring a hat-trick against Northland.

Behind Glynn are international guest player Naomi Evans (Northland) and Katarina O’Callaghan (Capital) both on three goals.

Round 3 of the NHL will be contested this Saturday, with the tournament running all week at North Harbour Hockey Stadium before finals day on Sunday 25 August.

CLICK HERE for the men’s and women’s top goal scorers tables

CLICK HERE for the Ford NHL points tables

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Hero Hockey India League "appreciated globally" - Negre

FIH President congratulates HHIL on success of inaugural season



Ranchi Rhinos were the winners of the inaugural Hero Hockey India League. (Photo: Hero Hockey India League)

NEW DELHI: It is just one season old but the Hero Hockey India League has drawn global appreciation and is important to revive the sport in the country, FIH President Leandro Negre said on Monday.

"The FIH is very clear about the importance of Hero HIL and that's why we have allotted a special window to it", said Negre.

"After the inaugural season, the Hero Hockey India League is appreciated globally by everyone and I am hopeful that the league will prove to be a new milestone for the future of Indian Hockey," he added.

Negre was in India for the sixth Franchise workshop, which was attended by representatives from each of the five HIL franchises.

In the workshop, HIL presented and shared its plans with all the franchises for the second season of the event.

Negre and Jons Hensel, Chairman of the Euro Hockey League (EHL), were the special guests for the workshop and shared their views about the league with the franchisee officials.

"Hero Hockey India League has gained the right momentum in the inaugural season and it has the potential to grow to a large scale in the coming years. All the Dutch players who played in the inaugural season of Hero HIL returned back with happy stories and rich experience", said Hensel.

Hockey India League chairman Narinder Batra thanked Negre and Hensel for attending the workshop and sharing their vision.

"Hero HIL is putting in its best efforts to present a more spectacular League in 2014, and we obtain precious inputs in the workshop from our special guests and franchise members on which we will work in the coming days," said Batra.

During the workshop, the HIL's broadcasting partner Star Sports also made its presentation.

Hockey India media release



Hockey team’s participation in CWG in jeopardy

LAHORE - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Asif Bajwa has said the federation had told each and every thing regarding participation in the Commonwealth Games to federal government, ministry of sports, secretary sports and Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

Talking to the reporters here at the National Hockey Stadium on Tuesday, Bajwa said: “I have not only informed the government and other authorities about the whole scenario but also have wrote a letter to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) about it and told them that in the current situation, the chances of hockey team’s participation in the Commonwealth Games seem bleak.”

“I also wrote a letter to the Commonwealth Games organising committee in which I they were informed about the current situation and they are requested to allow Pakistan hockey team direct entry in the event,” he added.

“All the government sports authorities and bodies are well aware of the entire situation and now it is their duty to resolve this issue and make sure Pakistan hockey team’s participation in the Games. Hockey is our national game and we cannot go ahead until and unless the government allows us so we can take step just according to the directions of government,” he said and added: “As government’s stance about Gen Arif-led POA is very clear that it is not a legitimate body so we will not in a position to contact them regarding our team’s participation in the Games.”

“Our aim is to work for the betterment of the game and now it is up to the government and Commonwealth Games committee what they decide and whatever they finalize, we will be bound to follow that,” he concluded.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan hockey team can face suspension in the 2014 Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow due to an ongoing tussle between the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and the government.

The Commonwealth Games has announced that the Pakistan hockey team cannot take part in the Games unless the POA headed by Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hassan gives its approval. The participation of Pakistan in international sports is being affected by the ongoing tussle between the Gen Arif-led POA and the POA led by Gen Sahi.

The Nation



Asif Bajwa embarrasses Pakistan

PHF snubbed by Commonwealth Games Federation

By Special Correspondent




LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) ‘direct’ approach to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in getting an Expression of Interest (EOI) for participation in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow has resulted in a snub from the latter. The CGF has responded by directing the PHF that acceptance of its EOI was contingent on its being routed through “the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) led by Syed Arif Hasan.” In an effort to sidestep the internationally recognised POA, led by Lt Gen (r) Arif Hasan, by writing directly to the CGF to get its consent for participation in the Commonwealth Games 2014, in a letter dated July 29, 2013 by the PHF secretary general Mohammad Asif Bajwa, has resulted in embarrassment for the country.

The PHF letter said: “Pakistan hockey team has qualified for the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 and we are willing and ready to participate in the Games. Unfortunately at present there is a serious problem with NOC Pakistan. We are facing lot of difficulty because there are certain decisions taken by the apex court, as well as Government of Pakistan, that is why I am taking this opportunity to send you our ‘direct’ Expression of Interest, so that we are able to participate in the Games, in the mean time as soon as the situation improves, we will forward our willingness through NOC (National Olympic Committee).”

This ‘direct’ approach was summarily rejected by the CGF in its response on August 8, 2013. The CGF Chief Executive Officer, Mike Hooper, in a tersely worded letter wrote: “Whilst I acknowledge receipt of your note below, I would advise that acceptance or otherwise of the recent invitation for Pakistan to participate within the Men’s Hockey Competition at the 2014 Commonwealth Games is a matter for our member Association in Pakistan i.e. the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) led by Arif Hasan. It is my understanding that as part of their internal processes the POA, in a communication to the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on August 5th, provided the PHF with a copy of the invitation and in doing so they also outlined the basis upon which it had been issued. The PHF was invited to respond directly to the POA by August 15, 2013. I would strongly suggest that you do just that.”

Commenting on the issue, POA chief Arif Hasan said the message of the CGF was loud and clear. “Any effort to bypass the POA in order to participate in any international event, global or continental, shall similarly fail. This should be an eye-opener for the ill-advised PHF to mend its ways, and, as the POA has publicly advised it before, not hurt the interest of Pakistan hockey by pushing unprincipled, petty and personal agendas. As officials of the PHF, the president and secretary of the national federation have a responsibility to ensure the well being and growth of the game in Pakistan. By shutting itself out of the international competition for the sake of one-upmanship would be no service to Pakistan hockey – a national sport that every Pakistan holds dear.”

The Daily Times



Allama Iqbal XI win I-Day hockey match

LAHORE - Allama Iqbal XI scored a narrow 3-2 win over Quaid-e-Azam XI to win the Independence Day exhibition match held by the Sports Board Punjab (SBP) here on Tuesday at National Hockey Stadium.

Umair Aziz was the star performer from the winners with a sterling performance of netting a hat trick scoring goals in the 21st, 52nd and 54th minutes before giving his side 1-0 lead at interval. Abid Bhatti slammed two goals from Quaid XI in the 51st and 53rd minutes. Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs M Saqib Aziz was the chief guest on the occasion while Director General SBP Dr M Saleh Tahir was also present on the occasion. Later, the chief guest gave away the prizes.  

The Nation



Nook Sports to host U14 Girls National Indoor Tournament

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Field Hockey today unveiled Nook Sports, the new Home of Hockey, will host the 2014 Under-14 Girls National Indoor Tournament. In previous years, the Under-14 and Under-16 division competed over the same weekend at the same venue. As a separate event in 2014, the Under-14 division will nearly triple in size, expanding from 48 club teams to up to 120 club teams. 

“We are thrilled to provide more opportunities for clubs and players to experience a National event,” said Steve Locke, Executive Director for USA Field Hockey. “Expanding the Under-14 division at the National Indoor Tournament is in line with our overall strategic plan to grow the game and provide competitive playing opportunities for young athletes to develop. Nook Sports is a fantastic venue, centrally located Pennsylvania, the hotbed for field hockey in the U.S.”

USA Field Hockey announced Nook Sports the Home of Hockey and Home of the U.S. Women’s National Team in January. Nook Sports located in Lancaster, Pa. is the country’s largest indoor sports complex that will host both international and USA Field Hockey sanctioned events beginning in 2014. The venue features over 700,000 square feet of indoor space with state-of-the-art sport court for indoor hockey as well as a multitude of other indoor sports and sporting events.  "We are honored to be able to host such a prestigious event and are thrilled to offer young athletes from all over the country the opportunity to compete at the new Home of Hockey," said Steve Goris, Chief Operating Officer for Spooky Nook Sports. "Having the U-14 National Indoor Tournament at the Nook is a great first step in utilizing a location which can easily support and promote both our indoor youth development and our national indoor programs,” said Denise Zelenak, head coach of the U.S. Women's National Indoor Team. "It also creates the opportunity for both the indoor and outdoor programs to identify our top young athletes at the same venue."  The 2014 National Indoor Tournament presented by Yolo Sportswear will kick-off February 21-23 at Nook Sports with the Under-14 Girls division. The Under-19 Girls National Indoor Tournament will follow at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Va., February 28-March 2. The third and final National Indoor Tournament weekend will feature Under-16 Girls at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, March 7-9. All divisions of the National Indoor Tournament from 2014 onwards will be 5-a-side with a maximum of 12-players per roster. Boys and adult programming at the National Indoor Tournament will be announced in the near future. All three weekends of National Indoor Tournaments will be hosted at the Nook from 2015 onwards. Registration for the Under-14 National Indoor Tournament will take place September 11-22. USA Field Hockey member clubs will be invited to apply for up to five teams per club. A lottery on September 25 will determine the 2014 participants. Full application information will be available August 16 for member clubs. USA Field Hockey’s ‘Stay to Play’ policy will be in place for the U14 National Indoor Tournament and will be provided by Nook Sports. Teams who are successful in their application to participate in the U14 National Indoor Tournament will be required to book housing accommodations through USA Field Hockey’s Stay to Play partner. The National Indoor Tournament, held annually in late February and early March, pulls together standout indoor clubs and competitors from across the nation for the opportunity to compete on the national stage and be crowned an indoor national champion.

USFHA media release