Some 75% of the national hockey players are smokers and this was one of the reasons attributed by coach Tai Beng Hai as to why Malaysia failed to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.
In a revelation that will surely make players sweat under their collar and seethe with anger, the coach also listed out the names of the players who virtually smoked out the chances Malaysia had in making it to the Olympics after a hiatus of 12 years.
Beng Hai listed several factors that led to the dismal performance in Dublin and amongst them were; anger management, killer instinct/decision making, tactical indiscipline, lack of match temperament, desire/hunger/winning culture, leadership, poor umpiring and smoking.
While all of these have often been highlighted , one notable entry in the report submitted to the Malaysian Hockey confederation was the fact that players from Ireland had sought exposure in the European leagues and that Ireland had secured at various times the services of Wouter Tazelaar, a former consultant to the Pakistan national team.
Beng Hai prevented players from Malaysia to play their trade in overseas leagues and was also presented with a chance to secure services of a consultant during a high powered meeting at Istana Perak in December.
So why harp on this as reasons attributing to us losing out to Ireland.
On the question of lacking of hunger, did Beng Hai at anytime chide the MHC for rewarding the players with wands of cash after finishing merely fifth in the Champions Challenge in South Africa in December last year?
The team had the services of a full time psychologist from January onwards and if anger management was the issue, then either the psychologist was not up to mark or the anger was directed at the coach, with indifferent performances probably a silent protest that the players concerned opted to use to send a message across.
Revealing such information in a report, and mind you there is so much in the report that one has to digest it properly, was not in the best interest of the players and MHC.
More on the report on coming postings but while Beng Hai may have wanted to be open about what he felt, the players probably will not look at it in such a manner especially since MHC announced today that Beng Hai will coach the team until the Azlan Shah Cup next month.