All the news for Tuesday 27 December 2011
Hockey aces eye Olympics
Sandeep, Sardara confident of making most of Olympic chance
Sandeep (L) and Sardara Singh. Tribune photos: S Chandan
Chandigarh: Riding high on recent success, ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh and half-back Sardara Singh are optimistic of making it big in the London Olympics. Sandeep bagged the ‘best player’ award in the recently held Champions Challenge-1, held in Johannesburg while Sardara had earlier made it to the FIH World XI squad.
Both are presently attending the National coaching camp in Bangalore for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers and feel that the team has lot of potential to win the top honours.
“The recently held tournament in Johannesburg has proved to be a boost for the team and also for the players, as we got time to overcome the shortcomings we faced there,” said Sandeep.
“I am very happy with my performance there and need to work more on playing attacking game,” he added. “I am also working on my flick as my aim is to strike the boards every time.”
The backbone of the team, Sardara feels that the team will give the best. However he refused to comment on any controversial issues.
“The team is on the right-track. All we need is to work hard on our deficiencies, which we are doing in the ongoing camp,” he said. “The players are not looking at any controversies and only focusing on the game.”
On the issue of grass root level hockey in Haryana, the players feel that to promote the sport among budding players, the Government should announce financial awards or aid. “We applaud the State Government for providing jobs and feel that additional financial grants should be given to top-level players, like in other states,” said the duo.
Liberals Hockey: CRPF edge past J&K Police
Patiala: The third day of the 36th Liberals All-India hockey tournament in progress at Nabha saw CRPF, New Delhi, march past J&K Police, Jammu, 2-1, while Sports Hostel, Lucknow, swamped Sikh Regimental Centre, Ramgarh Cantonment, 4-1. Hawks Ropar overcame stiff resistance from Western Central Railway, Jabalpur, to win by a solitary goal.
J&K Police failed to maintain their winning run and went down fighting 1-2 to CRPF in a fierce encounter. CRPF forged ahead in the 25th minute through P. Saini who combined with Parmod Kumar to enter the circle and push the ball into the goal. Undaunted, the J&K outfit made a couple of counter-attacks and equalised in the dying seconds of the first half.
CRPF failed to utilise any of the four short-corners earned in quick succession in the last ten minutes of the game. A minute before the end, nippy forward Mandheer Singh scored a fine goal when he dashed into the circle from 25-yard line to give a well-deserved 2-1 win to his team.
Sports Hostel continued their winning streak with a fluent 4-1 victory over SRC Ramgarh. In a fast-paced encounter, SRC scored the first goal in the 47th minute through their full-back, skipper Harvinder Singh, who converted a penalty-corner. E. Khan restored parity in the 54th minute with a solo run from the left flank. The Army men tried to come back into the game but Lucknow blunted their attacks with robust defence.
Sports Hostel stepped up the pace and succeeded in forcing a penalty-stroke in the 65th minute, which was converted by Imran Khan to make the score 2-1The Lucknow lads swarmed the SRC citadel and scored two goals in the 66th and 67th minutes through forward Amit Kumar to post a win.
In the last match of the day Hawks Ropar overcame a spirited WCR, 1-0, the goal being scored by Navjot Singh in the 45th minute.
Tuesday’s fixtures: Air Force, New Delhi vs Sangrur XI (11.30 a.m.); Punjab Police, Jalandhar vs Sports Hostel Lucknow (1.00 p.m.); AOC, Secundrabad vs Hawks Ropar 2.30 p.m.).
Stay away from WSH or face 5-year ban: PHF
LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation on Monday threatened to impose five-year bans on players, who opt to play in the unsanctioned tournaments such as much-hyped World Series Hockey, planned in India.
The decision was taken at PHF's General Council meeting, where it also decided that the federation would take legal action against former Olympians who are making allegations of corruption and misuse of power against PHF officials.
"The council has unanimously agreed that all those players who defy the PHF and go and play in any tournament that is not sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation will be immediately banned for five years and would not be able to play in Pakistan," PHF President Qasim Zia said.
A number of leading Pakistani players have signed up for different teams in the lucrative WSH which has been deferred to February 2012 by the organisers who are offering handsome payments to players.
Forward Rehan Butt, former Pakistan captain Zeeshan Ashraf, half-backs Waseem Ahmed and Shakeel Abbasi, goalkeeper Salman Akbar and some other players are said to have signed deals with the WHS franchises.
Zia said the Council also decided that while it had no issues with former Olympians criticising the PHF or its working, it would no longer tolerate allegations of corruption and misuse of power.
"Former Olympians are free to criticise the federation or performance of team but we can't have any of them making serious and unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against PHF officials," Zia said.
Former Olympians Naved Alam and Mansoor Ahmed had recently alleged that some PHF officials including secretary Asif Bajwa were involved in human trafficking and misuse of funds in the Federation.
Zia said the council had decided that legal action would be initiated against such players so that either they present proof or pay damages.
The council also reviewed the performance of the senior and junior teams for the year 2011 and also discussed preparations for the 2012 London Olympics.
"There was also lot of debate on performance of Dutch coach Van Den specially his reluctance to remain in Pakistan for any long period of time," one source said.
The Dutch coach has come in for criticism after Pakistan finished seventh in the eight-team Champions Trophy in New Zealand and he also skipped the recent home series against China because of Christmas vacations.
The Times of India
PHF amends constitution to bar players’ participation in illegal events
LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has amended its constitution to impose penalties up to five-year ban in case of a player's participation in a tournament that is not sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Addressing a news conference at National Hockey Stadium after the meetings of Congress and Executive Board, held under the chairmanship of Qasim Zia, here on Monday, PHF secretary general Mohammad Asif Bajwa said the amendment would equally be applicable at domestic level. “Any activity which will be organised without getting prior permission from the PHF will be dealt in accordance with the amended clause of Article 5.4,” he added.
He said the amendment had been made in line with an FIH direction that clearly stated that any international activity in any part of world without the approval of the FIH would be considered as an illegal hockey event and players, coaches, and umpires taking part in it would face punishment sanctioned by their respective hockey federations. About the nature of the punishment, he said it could vary case to case and can be up to five years ban and a fine. “Through this amendment we will be able to restrict the participation of players in unsanctioned tournaments and will also ensure that illegal hockey tournaments do not take place in Pakistan,” he added.
Bawja said the PHF Congress and Executive Board meetings were attended by 78 members out of 93 and a number of decisions were taken for the betterment of the game. He said the Congress and Executive Board also approved to initiate legal action against those former Olympians or players who were involved in propaganda of defaming the national federation by levelling allegations of human trafficking. “We will soon be starting legal proceedings against such individuals without taking into consideration their status,” he said and added: “We are open to positive criticism for the betterment of the PHF and Pakistan hockey. But will not tolerate such baseless allegations and will seek justice from the court to protect the dignity of the PHF.” Bajwa said the house approved a budget of Rs.480 million for the year 2012 as the national federation faced a deficit of Rs.220 million.
PHF chief Qasim assured the Congress and Executive Board that he would generate necessary funds to meet the shortfall. “I have done my best efforts to make the PHF financially viable during the past three years by generating adequate funds.”
On the proposal of the PHF president, it was decided to launch Noor Khan Best Player of the Year trophy and a cash prize of Rs.100,000 each for the male and female players. The Congress also acknowledged the services of late PHF secretary general Brig Manzoor Hussain Atif and decided to introduce Brig Atif Trophy and a cash award of Rs.50,000 each for the junior male and female players of the year. Bajwa said the Congress and Executive Board had constituted disciplinary, finance and competition committees for the smooth functioning of the PHF. “The National Junior Championship will be played from January 10-25 and the competition committee has been given the task to finalise its venue and dates of other national events to be held during the year 2012,” he concluded.
The Daily Times
Coaches and former internationals can still play part in 1Mas
By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: Former internationals and accredited coaches can still play a part in the 1Mas programme by setting up their own coaching sub-centres to help develop the game at grassroots level.
There are currently 15 centres of excellence — all the states have one while Kedah has two — under the programme. The plan is to increase the number of sub-centres to cover more areas in the country.
Former internationals can get involved through the “outsource” initiative which will provide the backing for these sub-centres although they are not part of the official programme.
Currently, there are three such centres — two in Pahang (Jerantut and Karak) and one in Penang — operated by state coaches. The Jerantut centre is run by M. Gopalkrishanan and S. Balachander while Kunam Sargam is in charge in Karak. The Penang centre, based at the Penang Free School and the SRJK Ramakrishna, has Yap Gark Soo and M. Thayalan as the coordinators.
1Mas director Lim Chiow Chuan hopes others will follow suit. He said former internationals and coaches can learn more about the outsource initiative through the official website or the secretariat at the National Hockey Stadium.
“This is a good way for former internationals to give back to the game. We offer them equipment, coaching allowances and help with the pitch rental so that the centres can cater to the training needs of the kids. We will also send the coaches for courses and will visit them to evaluate their training programmes and offer suggestions.”
Currently, former internationals are mainly either national, state or club coaches. There are just a handful who coach kids on their own initiative.
Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah recently said that more effort should be put into the development of the game at the lower levels.
“It is for the states to ensure that their coaches help nurture new talent. They can do this through the 1Mas programme,” he said.
It is left to be seen if any of the former internationals or coaches will take up the challenge in the coming year.
The Star of Malaysia