Hockey: Missing names raise eyebrows

When a new competition committee and umpires committee was set up recently, the clarion call was that it will be different from the past.

And by that one would have understood it to read , to be more fair, open, approachable, patient, transparent in running competitions or in appointing officials.

But as the Malay proverb, “ indah khabar dari rupa.”

There was tremors all around when emails were sent out to a select group of Technical Officials who were invited for a briefing for Technical Officials of the Malaysian Hockey League this Sunday

Conspicuously missing from the list were names for f officials that listed in the AHF or FIH list.

If all these officials were omitted, then it could be understandable.

However this was not the case as the following officials were said to be not on the invited list to the briefing.

However this list cannot be independently verified as it is based on info derived from some sources of the officials not receiving the circular.

Those omitted are : Brian Fernandez, Col ( B) B. Muthukunar, Daljit Singh, Jusvir Singh, Norazmi Saafar, Juriah Fenner, Nor Akma, B. Shaji.

The above are experienced officials and are listed in the AHF and FIH or in both.

However several others in the AHF and FIH lists have been named, thus leading to question marks being raised as to what was the criteria.

Those on either the FIH or AHF list that have been invited are : P. Kuganeson, Ernawati, K. Ananthavale, Ravi and Nazerah.

In terms of breakdown of those invited from states, it shows some disparity as well.

Those invited are as follows; N9 – 6 , KL – 4, Selangor – 8, Penang – 3, Pahang – 4, PDRM – 1.

No officials were invited from Kedah, Johor, Malacca, ATM, Perak, Terengganu, Kelantan, Sabah, Sarawak, Perlis.

It is however pertinent to note that there is a cost reduction directive in place which is totally understandable.

However what justification is there for omitting officials from Kedah and Sabah especially when there are matches in Sungai Petani and Kota Kinabalu?

If there is an argument of giving preference to younger set of officials, then how is it that some who are well over 65 years old are being recalled?

And mind you, the MHL is the premier Hockey tournament in the country. So by leaving these international level officials out, it may affect their chances of remaining in the international lists for being ineffective in the domestic scene.

Another thing that is being frowned upon is the presence of two members of the Umpires Committee as Technical Officers.

Should they not be better off serving as Assessors of Umpires and leave the Technical duties to others so as to avoid a conflict of interest?

One key offices bearer who was contacted in these matters said that no such thing had occured and all senior officials were to be invited.

But at time of penning this, three officials confirmed not receiving invites.

Is there something behind the scenes?

Perhaps the Chairman of the Competition and Umpires Committee care to explain.

My lines are open and I will be all the more willing to carry your explanation or rationale in full,

Over to you gentlemen. Let’s start the year with one common aim – to improve and better the image of the sport we all love.