The Tun Abdul Razak Cup is to commence this coming Sunday, October 14 at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium, a fact that many seem to be unaware off.
The Razak Cup is in its 50th edition but the manner in which it is being treated by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation is that it might as well be just another tournament in their calendar, get it over and done with.
As of yesterday, no fixtures have been provided to the members of the media and thus the scant publicity the Razak Cup has received. But we shall leave that to the experts from a news portal agency to handle as they have been given the job to do.
What irks everyone is that the manner in which the tournament is going to be run and the lack of importance paid to such a prestigious tournament that easily stands out as one of the longest running hockey tournament in the world.
Firstly no real though nor effort was put in to make the 50th edition as a special event for it has just ended up as just another Razak Cup tournament.
The tournament starts on October 14 and will end on October 22, which is a Monday with the final slated for 8.30pm. Perhaps the person who drew up the fixtures thinks that he is the Rupert Murdoch of Malaysia, owning the media organizations. It is already bad enough that matches played in KL that end up late hardly gets media coverage and he expects a 10pm finish in Kuantan to be given back page coverage.
Then comes the question of the duration. Teams in Division One will end up playing just five matches over a ten day period. This means that they play a match every alternate day. Perhaps the Tournament Director has mistaken this to be a veterans tournament.
Kuantan boasts of having two lovely pitches side by side, an envy of world hockey fraternity. But instead of making full use of such grand facility, teams are expected to play 8.00am matches. Funny that the final is slated for 8.30pm but on all other days matches in the evening are listed as 1730 and 1930.
Talking about the timings, it is obvious that the fixtures pay scant respect to the prayer time for Muslims as matches are at 1930 and that puts Muslims in an awkward position as the Magrib prayers are normally just before or after that start time.
Why is the tournament not finishing on a Sunday, especially since there is another pitch available at the Sukpa? Perhaps it's to be in the limelight for a longer duration that has enticed certain officials to prolong the event. Yet the state hockey associations are quiet, due to the fact that they have the could not care less approach.
Playing just five matches a day out of a possible eight has surely made a mockery of the fixtures, but be prepared for an answer that it is conforming to the FIH regulations.
So Mr. President, will you step in and issue a royal decree that the fixtures need to be changed as you did so two years ago when teams were forced to play matches at unearthly timings? Mind you sir at that time there were only two pitches in Kuantan but now with three the timing of matches look more ludicrous.
Well three months ago some officials within the MHC Competition Committee questioned my appointment as the Assistant Tournament Director for the Malaysian Games.
But looks like these same officials have no inkling on how to run a tournament as they themselves have messed up big time, even though they supposedly enjoy international appointments but are seriously incompetent.
Oh we'll this is only the beginning as much more is expected to go wrong and this blog will highlight it, as it happens. As for updates, who cares right which team does how for when the powers that be do not care then why should we?