FIH foil Indonesia hockey team's 'sneak attack'
The Malaysian women, bronze medallists two years ago, will start their campaign against the Philippines today. NSTP/MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN
THE Indonesian indoor hockey team made a desperate dash to play in the Sea Games, but their plans flew out the window following a ‘no’ from the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) yesterday.
Indonesia did not register to play in the Games because of an internal fight between two associations, one of which is not recognised by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
However, the unrecognised Field Hockey Indonesia body tried to sneak in via the backdoor, and even had the audacity to fly down to Subic, to ‘try their luck’.
FIH only recognise the Indonesian Hockey Association, who are their member.
AHF CEO Datuk Tayyab Ikram was firm on the matter.
‘Even though Indonesia (men and women) made the trip to Subic, they will not be allowed to play as the FIH are very strict on these matters,’ Tayyab said.
‘We (AHF) had done the fixtures much earlier, and since Indonesia did not submit their entry by the closing date, they can’t play.’
In the men’s event, Malaysia are favourites to defend their KL 2017 gold, while the women look set to play in the final against Thailand.
Indonesia were silver medallists in the men and women’s events when the sport made its debut at the 2017 KL Games.
Indonesia were strong contenders for the Philippines Sea Games gold as they had gone on a Europe Tour to prepare.
Yesterday morning, the Indonesian team met Malaysia coach K. Dharmaraj during breakfast at their hotel, and were still confident that they will be allowed to play.
The Malaysian men’s team will open accounts against Myanmar on Thursday followed by Singapore, Thailand and Phillipines.
The Malaysian women, bronze medallists two years ago, will start their campaign against the Philippines today.
New Straits Times