Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Malaysian hockey's alcohol consumption fiasco - "What is happening?"

2 national players coming for training in the morning smelling of alcohol after a late nite and 3 others who returned "slush" with alcohol to their NSC accommodation in the wee hours of the morning seem to represent a problem that has confronted the national teams from the Poland days in 2004 to the Junior team fiasco there.

The then team manager resigned after the incident and today is involved in MHF, including in the proposed panel to advice the current national coach. The then coach went on to become the national chief coach and unceremoniously had to vacate his position because of the pending changes that was realised in the BGM of MHF in November 2008.

5 years later we are still facing the problem of excessive drinking among players and late nites particularly on training days. Has it become such a problem that it is uncontrollable? Or is it only related to a few and the matter is being blown out of proportion? Whatever it maybe, the point is the discipline action that followed after the Poland episode must have not made an impact on the players or future generation of players. The punishment may not have created a deterrent measure and therefore the excessive alcohol drinking and partying habits just continue to prevail.

In a way it is sad that the young lads are not allowed to enjoy their life. If they do not drink and party at this age, they may miss a large part of their youth life and this is not going to return. The easy money and the glamour that comes their way is tempting and resisting it requires great courage. These lads are not "superhuman beings" and therefore some of them would fall to the temptation.

In all honesty I do not think that former hockey internationals were "angels". They too would have indulged but the point is they would have taken a balanced approach. They would not have gone over board with excessive drinking and late nites or they would have confined such indulgent to non training days or on their "leave" days.

An example is the 1968 Mexico Olympics incident with the national hockey team. Some form of news blackout is maintained and the whole truth of what happened has never surface. The rumour was it involved booze and women. This was the Malaysian squad and in the words of the then Germany's national coach, it was a squad who would be a sure semi-finalist in the Olympics. The team was groomed and nurtured painstakingly by the late legendary Datuk Dr Aziz Durairatnam. What prevailed outside the field contributed to Malaysia being placed 11th or 12th at the Mexico Olympics.

The fallout of the Mexico Olympic episode saw the end of Datuk Dr Aziz Durairatnam's involvement in hockey and substantial members of the team retired or never found a place in the national team bar 2 or 3. That was the price Malaysian hockey had to pay but it did not stop Malaysia from going to the 1972 Olympics and emerging 4th in the 1975 World Cup.

The late Tun Abdul Razak as President of MHF then knew what had to be done. There was no compromise to the lack of discipline in the players and the disciplinary actions had to come swift. Even the team manager, the late Datuk Dr Aziz Durairatnam took it upon himself to quit, which was the only right thing to do.

Today on the incident of the 1st 2 players, MHF was procrastinating over it for sometime and when an action followed it effectively was an "ant bite". Now we have the incident of the 3 players and again everyone seem to be "mentally constipated" to pursue the disciplinary action. Indeed the common aspect of all these 5 players is that they play for the same team in the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) and have the same manager as the national team. What a coincidence!

Maybe MHF does not have the "stomach" to undertake severe disciplinary actions. They allowed the match fixing allegation slip, they went hot and cold on the 2 players and now on the 3 with all the evidence they seem to be frighten to act. The feeling is they do not have the players and these players are indispensable to the team. So why upset them? The most that can happen is there could be "repeat performances" of their excessive drinking and late nites but at least there is still a team. These "prima donnas" like the lead soprano in an opera, are much needed for Malaysia hockey. So why fuss over it? Maybe with time all these could be forgotten or just accepted as "fait accompli"


Anonymous said...

Players drunk coming for training in the morning is a storm in a tea-cup.
What can beat the crippled FIH Representative at the recently concluded Junior World Cup in Singapore having a raging spat infront of the public with uncensored superlatives and it adjourned into the VIP/Media Room where threats like,'I will fixed you and I will divorced you.'

'Examplo Decimus' should be practice in the whole strata of the Hockey Faternity. And when the leaders behave then they can censor others but when they cannot uphold the conduct their positions warrant, then what does a few drunk players harm the game.

Reax bro, the FIH must come up stongly against errant officials then players will fall in place.

You might think that my comment is not relevant, but we say it is. When FIH does not take care of its reputation by allowing their top officials misbehaving then why must we worry about a few mabok players.

Look after your heart,we need you.


observer said...

Dear ghandi if memory serves me right the so called fiasco of 1968 invovled only one or two players and not the whole team.Today this indiscipline is only the follow thru from what was started from 1992 and now has reached even to the junior levels.

I wrote once that for all of this to stop is to appoint someone who will not stand up to the nonsense happening.the one man i believe that can do it is M.Mahendran and he must be given a free hand to throw out any diseased parts of the team.

If you check back Mahendran was given the boot because one skipper of the national team who later went on to bet the national team's downfall on the internet badmouthed him and the mhf felt that they would rather lose a coach than then a primadonna.

Malaysian hockey is bleeding and bleeding big time as every one invovled has a hidden agenda for themselves,only a handful of honourable man are left in this circle and we on the outside can only hope that a miracle will save this wonderful sport.tq.

Gandhi, said...

Dear Observer,

Yet again we are engaged in a discussion.

Essentially, one has to look at the system from policies, procedures to enforcement.

Policies is the expectation that is created and to educate the present and future players on it.

Procedures are clear cut processes that monitors such activities.

Finally, enforcement is a deterrent process which ensures the activitives do not take place and provides a warning of what could happen. Something that must be spelt out and people are fully aware of it.

All this can only work if the people who administer this, undertake it diligently without fear or favour. This is where the system tends to breakdown.

As such the game suffers.

Anonymous said...

Bro, you happen to be salient on the disgraceful conduct of the Singapore Hockey Federation's President and her husband which brings the Joint Co-hosting of the JWC into ill-repute.
We want to know the indebt happenings of this episode as this is a new type of scandal instead of your usual detective work on our turf.
We are perfectly sure with your contacts and ingenuity, you and you alone can clear our suspense or you are the same as the others, hypocrites talk behind the back but do the opposite in the front.

We have confidence in you.


observer said...

Let me now tell to you all about rules and procedures in Malaysia it simply does not work,look at our civil service that alone will tell you how much respect we have for the system.

We must go back to the old way of doing things as one must be proud to represent one's country and anyone not interested should be discarded no matter how good he is.I agree that there are certain criteria should be followed but on the other hand why follow something that has failed us,why not try a new approach.Change must come with bold decisions and staying your ground for the betterment of the system,tq.

Gandhi, said...

"Busybody" left an anonymous comment on 26th June, of an incident in Singapore during the Junior World Cup tournament.

Firstly, i must make it clear that i do not go searching for such news. Further, it would be wrong to publicise such feuds.In fact i should have edited your comment before publishing it.

Thanking you.