Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Much has been said with regards to the release of the two national players, namely Faisal Saari and Firhan Ashaari for the inaugural Sultan Johor Cup. But the national coach Tai Beng Hai is adamant in not releasing the duo for he requires the players for the Champions challenge 1 that will be held in South Africa late November.

The argument, from what was learnt from insiders, is that Beng Hai wants his best players in South Africa so that the team will meet the target set by MHF, and in the process according to Beng Hai will get a favourable draw for the Olympic Qualifiers. That Mr. Tai Beng Hai is you being way off the mark.

For starters, if one was to look at the image above, the FIH rankings will only be changed after the Champions Trophy and Champions Challenge 1.

And the draw or decision as to which team plays where with regards to the Olympic Qualifiers is set to be made either on November 8 or 12 at the FIH Meeting.

So unless Beng Hai knows something that even FIH does not know, how on earth has he based the importance of the Champions Challenge 1, which I must admit is not solely his doing but also some administrators within MHF.

Looking at the current ranking points, Malaysia is in the 14th position, with a total of 1139 points.

And in order to be fair to TBH and others who might not understand the FIH ranking system that obviously favours the whites, lets list down the ranking points for all the 8 teams at the Champions Challenge in the respective order:

Argentina: 1470
India: 1380
Canada: 1221
Belgium: 1198
South Africa: 1180
Malaysia: 1139
Japan: 928
Poland: 765

And the points at stake at the Champions Challenge 1 are as follows:

Champion: 190
Runner Up: 170
Third: 160
Fourth: 150
Fifth: 140
Sixth: 130
Seventh: 120
Eight: 110

Now assuming we emerge champions in South Africa, the current total of 1139 plus champion points of 190 will make it a total of 1,329, still not enough to overtake Argentina and India for starters. And if either Canada, Belgium or South Africa finish amongst the top 4, our total points will not be enough to dislodge them.

But one thing is certain though, we will not go lower then 14 as we are for Japan and Poland cannot overtake us even if they become champs and we finish last.

So what is the significance of the rankings at Champions Challenge then and who came up with the brilliant idea that we will be in the top 10 circle as advocated by the MHF/MHC President when talking about World Rankings?

The bottomline is stop using silly excuses that do not hold water to justify the blatant disregard and in other words an attempt to discredit the ability of those within your coaching fraternity to say that my tournament is more important then yours.

The fact is both Firhan and Faisal will boost the National Juniors with their presence and lend credibility to the event which is for HRH Sultan of Johor. Let us not make Malaysian Hockey a laughing stock as other sports are when we are often praised as good hosts but never good enough to win.

Its time for you to stop in Tuanku President and make that call for the registration of players is this Friday.

And while at the issue of ranking, lets take a look at the women. For so generous were the men to give them 50% of positions and take a look at the graph and where does that place the so called visionary plan mooted by some?