Just to remind hockey lovers, in June 2008, the President of MHF had indicated to the media that there is no progress on the JHWC. That was 2 months ago and now, again, in mid-August, they are somehow still not in any position to clarify. It would seem only 1 person i.e the Deputy President knows what is happening and nobody else in the MHF Management Committee is aware including the President, 6 Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer. It gives the impression that insofar as the MHF is concerned, the JHWC is a "1 man wagon". Is it because this one man is the only person working in the MHF, or that he is such a personality that he chooses when and what to report? Whichever way the responsibility lies with the MHF.
Therefore, awaiting a report from the Johor Hockey Association (JHA) to know about the progress of the JHWC gives a further impression that the MHF may have abdicated the responsibility to the JHA. This is very strange as on Friday's Malay Mail one of the MHF Vice Presidents seem to have indicated the difficulties of affiliates in comparison to the good job done by Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA). Yet somehow the MHF has left an international event like the JHWC to an affiliate who may not be held in any great esteem by the MHF themselves. How strange and confusing
The JHWC seems to have revealed some peculiarities that may be taking place in MHF. Even if it is not, the manner in which things are being done appears to manifest something that is not normal. The fact that in January 2008 it was reported in the MHF that the JHWC was awarded to Malaysia, and that the Match schedules were prepared and approved by the FIH in March 2008, with Johor Baru and Singapore as venues, reflects the depth of work that has gone into it. The drama begins here with the following :
- Did the MHF endorse for the official bidding of the JHWC as co-hosts with the Singapore Hockey Association (SHA)?
- If so, was there a written understanding between the MHF and the SHA on the arrangements to the bidding and what should follow once an award is made by FIH?
- Why did the MHF nominate Johor Baru as the Malaysian venue, knowing that there are no hockey pitches there that fulfil FIH requirements?
- The NSC's support for bidding named Kuala Lumpur as the venue, so why did the MHF pursue with Johor Baru which did not have the facilities?
- On what basis did the FIH award the co-hosting of the JHWC, and why was such an award letter was not made available to the MHF Management Committee, the MHF Council and the NSC?
- What assurance did the MHF have that Johor Baru would have the 2 new hockey pitches well in advance of the JHWC?
- What is the "fall back" position for the MHF if Johor Baru does not have the facilities built in time, or fail entirely to build them? Would the FIH and the SHA agree to it?
- When would the FIH want to inspect the facilities at Johor Baru to sanction it as fit for use?
- Has the MHF and the SHA entered into a formal Agreement after the FIH Award of co-hosting, taking into account the basis of co-operation, the scope of work for each party, the responsibilities, undertakings, financial implications and other relevant matters?
- Did the MHF appoint an Organising Committee for the JHWC?
- How does the JHA fit into the co-hosting and was this officially endorsed by the MHF?
- Has the NSC been fully informed and are they assisting in the organising of the JHWC?
Coming on the back of the MHF's dismal record involving the collapse of standards within the various National teams, it seems that the JHWC is the next to fall victim of the MHF's bizarre methods.
However, while the failing national teams may be a dent in the pride of our country's hockey, the JHWC is an entirely different matter. Not only does the MHF's reputation hinge on successfully hosting the tournament, but as it is a Government supported event the entire country's reputation in the sporting world is on the line too. It would be nothing less than humiliating for our nation were the MHF's shortcomings to affect this international level tournament.
As such it seems only reasonable that the MHF set up a core team that is able to liase with the Government and ensure the success of the JHWC. Hockey is a team sport, not a one man show, and it seems like the MHF would do well to remember that.