Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is the Asian Hockey Federation lagging behind?

My 3 part article on FIH was a critical analysis of what is happening in world hockey. Although it may sound critical and may question some of the actions of FIH, one thing must be clear is FIH willingness to adopt good governance and transparency in their actions. Most of the information and details were extracted from FIH archive and this I have to salute the past and present administrators of FIH. There is this "open book" policy in them and that in a way may permit them to become vulnerable for their decision making. On the other side, if they can justify the basis of their actions then the issue of accountability becomes the norm for them and this is probably why FIH remain such a stable and effective structure.

A number of people who read the FIH articles seem to feel that the issue of equitable representation of all the regions must be looked at carefully by FIH. There are others who believe that the respective continental parent bodies like the Asian Hockey Federation {ASHF) or the African Hockey Federation (AFHF) must play their effective roles. There is a view these continental Federations are too much top heavy and operate in the "old school" of thinking where information are not freely available.. Do i believe it? Unable to comment until i check it out.

Today the Internet is such a powerful tool that within seconds you can empower ourselves with sufficient information. Using a search engine i was able to view that AFHF has a tidy and dedicated informative website. Please visit their website: .Indeed what is fantastic is that they have all the relevant information from contact address, telephone numbers and even the Office Manager's details. They have the relevant sub-headings from About us, Events & Results, Calendar, Development, Coaching, Umpires, Anti Doping, Directory, Strategic Plan, Rules of Hockey, Photo Gallery and News. Some of the sub-headings namely Coaching, Development and Umpires are not developed but the rest seem pretty comprehensive.

AFHF seem to be regularly updating their website. In fact one notable element is they provide summaries of events in which they or their representatives participate A good example is that they had a summarise report of FIH Executive meeting of February 2009. This is a prime example of accountability and above all bring knowledge to the affiliates and interested parties.

AFHF must be praised for what they are doing despite having only 17 affiliates. To be fair most of their affiliates seem to be outside the blogshere and therefore accessing the affiliates for details is a little difficult. What is good, is that FIH is very supportive of them with the African Forum. In fact AFHF tend to organise some of their meetings in relation to the FIH Congress meeting. It is probably "to kill 2 birds with 1 stone" and why not.

Having come away with fairly satisfactory impression of AFHF, i had optimism that Asia would be doing something similar or even better. Initially, the internet search engine gave me a shocker i.e ASHF was mentioned over 460,000 times and that was worrying in nature. As i scroll through the results, i realise that ASHF did not have its own dedicated website. Honestly, the Africans seem far ahead than the Asians in the administration of hockey. Sketchy details of ASHF is listed in the Wikipedia, an internet encyclopedia. Unfortunately, it does not provide any contact reference i.e address or telephone or fax or e-mail address.

What Wikipedia provides is that the ASHF is located in Kuala Lumpur and has 30 national affiliates. The President is named as Alexander Alegendra. It carries the flags of the 30 affiliates and some of the flags are linked to provide again an incomplete detail of the respective affiliate. Malaysia's detail was not complete while that of Singapore and China did not exist. However the encyclopedia did have certain details on the tournaments namely the Asia Cup, Junior Asia Cup and Asian Champions Club.

It would seem that ASHF is lagging behind in information technology and the absences of a website is a fairly good reflection of it. As to why such a shortcoming exists in ASHF is something strange especially as there are enough experts and hosting sites in Asia including from a cost effective aspect. The fact ASHF is unable to keep the Asian public and the world hockey enthusiasts informed of what is going on in this region, may reflect that they are out of touch with modern tools. It is sad that for decades Asia was in the forefront of hockey and now we are completely left behind including in the dissemination of hockey information. One wonders how do you expect young Asian children to be part of a hockey fraternity when ASHF does not even cater for modern technological communication system, which kids are so used too. A price Asia is paying for the declining popularity and standards in hockey plus its equitable rights in FIH.

1 comment:

Gandhi, said...

The comment has been edited.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Is the Asian Hockey Federation lagging behind?":

How to improve when the same (deleted) from mhf are there.