Friday, May 20, 2011


The intentions of the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) to lend credibility to the Tun Razak Cup were noble. But the execution is not.

For the plan to regain the lost glory of the prestigious tournament of the 60's right through to the 80's has fallen flat.

The MHF had wanted to hold the tournament on a zonal basis, with four teams in each zone, the top two playing in the Razak Cup top flight with the others in the second tier.

But the zonal system hit a snag right from the start.

Firstly the zonal competitions that were to commence in early April had to be moved to late May, and believe it or not - it was due to the fact that we are facing a shortage of umpires.

Now that it is being held next weekend (the first round of the qualifiers) another row is brewing - should the national players be released to the states.

From the onset it was agreed and decided that the national players will only be released for the Razak Cup proper in late July in Malacca - for the final round. So really there should be no debate what so ever on this.

But then state teams are in a catch 22 situation - they will be without their national players as well as their top juniors for the Project 2013 team will be touring Australia and New Zealand during that period.

So 45 of the best players in the country cannot play in the qualifiers, be it the first or second round (scheduled for late June), since the Project 2013 are preparing for an Europe Tour whilst some players will be playing in the AHF Under 18 in Singapore from June 17 to June 25.

Then we have another issue - the withdrawal of teams, PDRM and Singapore withdrew early this month and Terengganu has followed suit, citing lack of finance.

Maybe Terengganu should ask the Sports Minister and NSC DG, both who hail from that state for financial help - maybe donate half their salary to ensure Terengganu has sufficient funding to participate?
But the attempt to revive ( sorry to use the word as it may offend the sponsors) has fallen flat and a kiss of life now is not sufficient.
So do the right thing - scrap the qualifiers, hold the Razak Cup in July, get some foreign players with the money you save from holding the qualifiers and hold a raffle draw to let states have their sefvices. Maybe then we can see some decent performance.