When FIH was in a quandary about having to suddenly find a host for the Champions Trophy, it was suggested that MHF should help out by agreeing to host it and in exchange negotiate for the Junior Hockey World Cup (JHWC) with Singapore Hockey Association (SHA) as co-hosts. It was rumoured that SHA had the connection in the FIH Council and based on the understanding of helping FIH in its hours of need, it would help to swing the JHWC to this part of the world.
Is this "shop talk" or facts? It is difficult to confirm. What is definite is that MHF did organise the Champions Trophy and the performance in the field and on the "bottom line" was a disaster. Malaysia was last in the tournament and MHF ended with RM$1.3 m in debts. The only "silver lining" was Malaysia was awarded 135 points by FIH, which did assists Malaysia to hold its 15th position in World rankings until FIH releases its new ranking soon.
On the other side, good governance and transparency suffered as MHF summoned an urgent Management Committee Meeting to approve certain guidelines on dissemination of financial and accounting information. In future all MHF financial reports shall not be collated with the main report, instead it shall be a separate serial numbered report and handed out at the meeting and shall be collected back at the end of the meeting. The idea is to prevent any form of information being known to the media, especially after the"breaking news" of MHF's RM$1.7 m debts. Probably, bad news should never be made known!!!
So, Champions Trophy was done and dusted. Therefore attention was turned to JHWC and in January 2008 MHF was informed that they would be co-hosting the tournament with Singapore in June 2009. If there was a prior understanding, it would seem that this news fulfilled the understanding. What is interesting is whether at this point the Malaysian Government, particularly the National Sports Council (NSC), were aware that MHF were bidding for this tournament. This question had to be asked as FIH had approved the match schedules and venues as prepared by SHA representatives even before NSC gave a support letter for the JHWC. The "shocker" is Johor Baru is named as Malaysia's venue.
From logical deduction it would seem that MHF had not informed NSC that they were bidding for JHWC as co-hosts with Singapore and Johor Baru shall be Malaysia's selected venue. What is disturbing and the need for it to be determined is whether MHF had entered into any formal Agreement with SHA and/or with FIH on the basis of co-hosting, including which countries organise the opening and closing ceremonies plus the semi-finals and finals. Aspects of responsibilities, undertakings, sponsors, selection of consultants and contractors, financial implications and other logistic issue must be outlined. Another fundamental aspect is the question of infrastructure particularly the hockey pitches to FIH requirements. So does such an agreement exists?
MHF continues its communications with SHA including jointly appointing Total Sports as Event Managers for the JHWC, with Johor Baru as Malaysia's venue, even without pitches fulfilling FIH requirements. It would seem NSC has been kept in the dark.
NSC's letter of support to FIH in mid-March 2008 seem to advocate Kuala Lumpur as the venue and it was to be part of the attachment to the bidding document. Meantime, FIH had given its approval without NSC's letter, while Johor Baru does not have infrastructure i.e hockey pitches to FIH requirements. An utter state of confusion. The question: What is happening in FIH, MHF and SHA?
MHF is in a sad state of affairs and it seem that they are trying to "bite something that they may not be capable of chewing". It would seem that NSC is being dragged in without timely information or being omitted in receiving the proper information. Why "the clock and dagger" style of doing things?. The major source of funds and support for Malaysian hockey is the NSC and yet they are being treated strangely by MHF.