Thursday, March 19, 2009

FIH - Part 1: "The pawns of international hockey polictics".

Indeed when the new President of FIH was voted in, there was a sigh of relief to some of the Asian countries. At least in Malaysia, prior to the FIH election, there was a feeling that the former President was not very supportive, particularly after her experience with the organisation of the 2002 World Cup. She must have been disappointed with the opening ceremony witnessed hardly by 500 people in a hockey stadium that could fill nearly 25,000 and also the lack of proper protocol accorded to her for the official dinner. This probably sealed a negative feeling towards Malaysia. From the onset I believe that the then President of MHF, DYMM Sultan of Perak was unaware of the background to these matters but he probably may have felt the change of relationship of the then President of FIH with Malaysia.

Although Malaysia got to become the co-hosts with Singapore for the Junior World Cup 2009 during the tenure of the former President of FIH, the reality of that bid is intertwained with enough interesting stories that would require a book to fully explain the matter. In summary, it reflects the success of a carefully laid out plan which was put together, so as Malaysia, Singapore and FIH could all be seen to be in a "win win" situation. In a tripartite relationship can all benefit equally?

For FIH, it is a show of support for Asia i.e giving them an opportunity to organise and permitting 2 Asian teams to automatically qualify. Of course, it could also be "pay back" for the Champions Trophy, which Malaysia stepped in to bail out the event. As for Singapore, it is a sensational achievement, for a world event shall be taking place at its ground. Something that has not happened in Singapore other than lately the F1 race. Added to this, the Singapore team can now play at the world stage, which they would not have dreamt in the past. In the case of Malaysia, obviously automatic qualification was the price and for some particularly in Johore, a RM20m new international class hockey stadium. Further the pride of organising the Champions Trophy including incurring a debt of RM1.3m, which is a probable enticement to organise the JWC 2009. Now it is for you to guess who are the winners and losers?

Sadly, the former President of FIH must have felt by doing this favour to Malaysia and Singapore, she would probably be getting the Asian support for the election The President of Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF), herself a Vice President under the previous and current regime, is a known friend of the former President. Their friendship plus the bailing out of Champions Trophy would have helped JWC 2009 to come to this region. In all fairness the SHF President must be credited for pulling it off.

Apparently, there were "chit chats" that pulling off the JWC 2009 in Malaysia and Singapore was to set the basis to start the onslaught for positions in Asian Hockey Federation (AHF). Alliances were being created including in Malaysia that the existing office bearers in AHF need to be replaced. Obviously, this grand plan became a futile exercise even before it could commence because of the imminent changes in MHF. While changes took place in MHF, FIH too became a battleground for its election. The results there too may change the course of many things but for the moment it is status quo.

1 comment:

Gandhi, said...

I have edited the comment before posting it.
The text of the comment is as follows:

'Credit must be given to her for pulling it off'.( we hope it is your cynical best)

With all due respect to you, if you gave her credit then you must be one of those that were blinded by her'charms' and 'her way of talking to men.'( quote from one (name deleted)of the sporting divas of SIN Sports)

Do you know that by her self seeking glory, she will get Malaysia humiliated if we were beaten badly by the other Teams( which we think it is a reality) then our Hockey will be a laughing stock of the world and what do you think will happen? Hockey will be gone from here on.

No way will any foreign coach come to coach our National Team.

SIN, it is a foregone conclusion and we hope that she will commit hari-kiri if she have any pride. She have to do it, as the great numoro-uno SIN will be disgraced and surely the Singapore Sport Council's top brass have to answer for being hoodwinked into going with her justification to host the JWC.

And now they are implicated as they have to answer for the catastrophe and humiliation to their bosses who hate SIN to be put into such a position.

Scared for our Nations.