When I read this morning's paper, the headlines on hockey seemed to give me some hope. Malaysia are still ranked 14th despite failure to qualify for the Olympics. I thought this was a good start for my day until I indulged into the article proper. It changed my day as, in the usual smaller print, it became apparent that China(15th) and Japan(17th) would overtake us when the rankings are done after the Olympics. In the same line it was indicated that India and Pakistan, who are ranked in the top 10 would also drop in position.
The report was only a small column and yet the headline gave a wrong impression. Malaysia's ranking had not changed because FIH has yet to update its list. They want to do it after the Olympics as it would capture the post Olympic rankings, i.e after a major hockey tournament. To provide a view that Malaysia's position after qualifiers has not changed does not reflect the true scenario of the rankings.
To mitigate the drop in rankings for Malaysia, the aspect of India's and Pakistan's position seem to be played up. The only reason I believe this scenario was painted is to highlight that even top teams suffer such fate. Seriously, I am not worried about India and Pakistan. They were great hockey nations and good luck to them.
My interest is Malaysia, and I always want to rate Malaysia with the best. However, we have peculiar officials who cannot get themselves to be ranked in the tournaments that make a difference. Yet today they are soliciting for tournaments that can help in the ranking. This is honestly a "weirdo" way of thinking. When the opportunity was there they allowed it to slip. Now they want other tournaments to help them. What guarantees are there that this coach would get Malaysia to perform well and better our rankings.
It seems that it is only "hot air" from the coach. Obviously the Reporter is providing him a platform to voice his opinion. I have nothing against that except the Reporter must also have the responsibility to ask the "if's" and "but's". He seems more interested in highlighting the coach's contract is till 2012. It seems that the Reporters (save the ones from Malay Mail) these days connected to hockey have an agenda too. It is becoming too obvious and may call into question the wisdom of some of the articles.
The bottom line is Malaysia has performed badly. It seems the perennial excuse of fitness is the cause of our bad performance. Strange, as our players are always in centralised training and still fitness is the excuse. Then there must be something surely wrong with our training sessions or our coaches do not have the proper skills to train the players. Therefore which of these is it?
The Management in MHF must surely take responsibility for all that is going wrong in hockey. They seem to have left it the so called Coaching Committee and coaches, who have lead them up the "garden path" until they arrived at the "cliff end". Poor chaps are now caught at a point of "no return" and the only choice is to "jump off". The question: Why all this is permitted to happen? There are personalities in MHF who have utilised certain person's name to instill fear and get things done for their own benefit. They make him to be the "de facto" chief and he calls the shots. They offer trips and other positions with the National Teams, to keep key officials with affiliates happy so as their shortcomings do not become apparent. This way they believe they can sustain their power in MHF. I am sure the President is kept in the dark on all these as he does not have his people there to let him know what is going on.
This is where the media comes handy for these people, to provide the perception that things are going on well in hockey. Such an impression creation is a strategy for certain group to sustain their position in MHF, notwithstanding where we are ranked in world hockey.