Friday, September 12, 2008

Junior Hockey World Cup - Do we know the truth?

It was interesting to see how the Junior Hockey World Cup (JHWC) co-hosting issues unfolded. Obviously certain groups are attempting to gloss over the issues, leaving a lot of "holes" in their journey. To provide creditability to their endeavours they rushed the joint co-hosting meeting to Kuala Lumpur, and got the MHF President to attend it for the 1st time. This is a whole 9 months after the award by International Hockey Federation (FIH) to Malaysia as co-hosts of the JHWC.

Prior to this meeting, the MHF President in his own words to the media in June and August 2008, stated that he was not aware as to what was transpiring. It would seem that he was "shut out" from such information. I do not blame him for the actions that were taking place in Johor Baru and Singapore. The Johor Hockey Association (JHA) had strangely acquired "national" status to enter into discussions with the Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF). This was not difficult to understand as the MHF's Deputy President is also the JHA's President and the whole matter of the JHWC suddenly became a "right" of the JHA.

The question is how far all of this maneuvering to create a certain perception would have enticed the Johor State Government to approve an allocation of nearly RM$40 million for the construction of 2 hockey stadiums. Indeed it is rumoured that there is a further request to increase the allocation by another RM$10 to 12 million. This would bring the total up to about RM$50 or 52 million.

The Johor State Government in making the original allocation must have been guided by the FIH Letter of Award to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), with the condition that 2 new hockey stadiums had to be built for the JHWC. This would have been a key turning point in the decision making for the Mentri Besar of Johor, who was also a former Sports Minister. He would have assumed that the necessary process and procedures had been adopted in MHF's bid including the necessary support from the Malaysian Government. This is a prerequisite by the Malaysian Government before any National Sports Associations bid for international events especially if they want the Government support.

The question is where did FIH get the idea of the 2 new hockey stadiums? They cannot just "pluck" it out of the sky. It must have come from the bidding papers of the MHC (for all purposes it is the MHF) . The FIH would not stipulate such conditions unless the MHF had provided such undertaking.

Now comes the interesting question: On what basis did the MHF provide such an undertaking?

Before anyone contemplates an answer, the following facts must be known:
  • In November 2007, the FIH awarded the co-hosting of the JHWC to the MHF and the SHF.
  • In January 2008, the MHF at its Management Committee reported the the FIH's decision on the JHWC and that the Government's support had been obtained.
  • In March 2008, the National Sports Council (NSC) on behalf of the Government provided a support letter for the MHF's bid for the JHWC. The letter was addressed to the FIH Secretary and stated that Kuala Lumpur has the required hockey facilities and had the experience of organising major international sporting events.
  • In late March 2008, the FIH approved the match schedules and Johor Baru was named as Malaysia's venue.
If the NSC provided a support letter 4 months after the FIH had awarded the JHWC to the MHF, therefore the undertaking of building the 2 new stadiums in the bidding would not have had the consent of the Government. It is also safe to conclude that when the Government gave the support letter, the the FIH decision of co-hosting and its pre-condition may not have been comminicated to the Government. Now we can understand why the NSC's support letter only stated that it was the MHC who was bidding and Kuala Lumpur should be the venue.

In summary, it would seem that the Federal Government and the State Government through NSC may have been misled on the JHWC by the MHF and/or JHA. As such the capital expenditure allocation of approximately RM$50 million for the 2 stadiums need not necessarily be borne by the Government as they had not consented for the construction of the 2 hockey stadiums in the 1st place.

Seemingly the entire organisational process of this tournament is to cater to the whimsical fancies of a few who appear willing to drag both country and tournament through the mud in the process. In the meantime, there is no white knight to take on the MHF and demand the truth that they should have provided from the get go. Is it any wonder that hockey is in a shamble?


Anonymous said...


We keep on building pitches & stadiums and hosting international tournaments.

When are we embarking on development for hockey?

Why spend millions on hockey pitches (we have approx.30 hockey pitches in the country today).

Are they been utilised fully?
(We don't have the pool of hockey players)Why?Poor development program.

With today time of uncertainty with oil price and other essential
items rising,we should be prudent in our expenditure.

Malaysia is a beautiful land with many natural resources.Please use it wisely.

Time have change,the land have change and the people,s mindset
have change.

Today its wise world,not stoneage.

MHF shouldnt misled NSC and most importantly the people of Malaysia.


Anonymous said...


i always maintained that there is an'unholistic scam' regarding the award of this tournament from the word go.

MHF will not bid if MHF is not coerced by the SHF as it have the FIH VP assuarances.

So, please we should not play 'wayang kulit' but request NSC to get to the bottom of it and bring it up to FIH,Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Community Development,Youth and Sports for them to get to the bottom of this disgraceful saga.

At the end, we Malaysians will be the laughing stock as we allow the SHF to come and pressure us.

What do Malaysia have to gain for co-hosting this tournament. SHF have all to gain as they are in no position to host any major tournament. So they piggy-back Malaysia and now they want to hi-jack and threatened to go on their own.

Why don't we go to Singapore and find out as to how far they have gone in their preparation and whether their facilities are FIH approved before they can come and bully us.

Unless, the SHF FIH VP is so powerful that they can send their officials to 'barter' with the FIH and close one eye to let Singapore host without the necessary requirements.

Come on Malaysia, stand up.

Disgusted Hockey Lover