Yesterday, I said that Johnson Fernandez's appearance in hockey news for the front page of Malay Mail means that he has obviously "smelled "out that something is wrong in Malaysian hockey. I honestly thought that things were moving the right way. However, after reading this morning's newspaper, I was rather shocked with what the MHF Secretary had to say of the scheduled meeting on Monday 23rd June. Strictly to do with the poor performance at the Olympic Qualifiers in Japan, was his view for the meeting agenda. My God! This is completely different from what i read in yesterday's Mail. It would seem that the MHF Secretary is unable to comprehend the very intent of the President of MHF to hold the Monday's meeting. It would seem another "spanner" is being thrown into the works.
Johnson Fernandez did not mince words with today's Malay Mail's headlines. "Hockey Fixers" and the story is told in www.mmail.com.my 2oth June 2008. Game fixing has finally arrived to Malaysian hockey. Was it a long awaited period for the greedy players to enrich themselves?
The disgust churns the tummies of a number of former internationals. They cannot understand why players get involved and "sell out" matches they play. "Sell out" means they put bets in the matches they play and determine its outcome. Accordingly, they are able to enrich themselves. It is all about greed and is nothing to do with the pride of playing in National colours. I just cannot understand this as they are given good monthly allowance and other perks, which former hockey players would be envious of. Purely greed!
It would be interesting to see whether the Malay Mail will expose the growth of money lending business in hockey. Again it would seem officials, coaches, players and consultants are all involved parties. The other aspect is "kuttu" or what some refer to as "chit fund". Indeed to some this is a saving scheme, which gives a lump sum payout when the investor is due for his monies. Are all these distractions necessary at the hockey field? More so, as the lines of responsibility, roles and functions become so intermixed, everybody becomes a business partner or associate, how can one than expect anything else to be done?
National Sports Council (NSC) has come under tremendous pressure. Honestly, they could have done a lot. NSC was like "Santa Claus", handing out their funds without MHF giving them details, timeline, budget and targets. Everything is ad-hoc e.g. now the Senior team proposes to go to Hanover in Germany for a tournament during Puasa month or a China tour. Justification - " ta ada". If the hue and cries had not started someone would have just signed a cheque and a few in NSC would have also hopped on the trip too. It is the same people in NSC that have been involved in hockey and they do not seem to bring any fresh breath or ideas. For them it is another day of work whether Malaysia wins or loses.
So, when the Director General of NSC pointed fingers at the Deputy President of MHF as one of the parties to be blamed for the current scenario, I thought he was a very brave man. He would be more brave if he could also reshuffle his own setup and ensure his officials could also justify and account for the funds with the results of National Sports Associations(NSA) like MHF.
We must congratulate Mail Mail for having the guts to speak out with the necessary evidence. Without a doubt an experience hand like Johnson knows where to "tickle" to get the breaking news. Excellent work Johnson.