Hockey: A lesson in history

Are Hockey stadiums in the country considered as white elephants?

That is in reality a fair and just conclusion taking into account the number of events held at states over the past five years.

In the past there used to be a fervent bidding process to host the national tournaments.

Not only was it considered prestigious to win the right to host the Tun Razak Cup, Tun Hussein Onn Cup, The Aziz Durairatnam Cup, the Alagendra Cup, the National U15 Milo Cup, but was also used as a mean to raise funds for the state Hockey body.

And who can forget the various quadrangular tournaments like the XA Nicholas Trophy in Seremban.

For those who do not know Hockey but claim to know it, the Aziz Durairatnam Cup was an U23 interstate affair while the Alagendra Cup was an U20 tournament.

The Tun Hussein Cup was a 8 team affair comprising of the four semi finalists of the Razak Cup plus 4 foreign teams.

And there used to be the Champions Club Tournament, where the league champion of each state try to be the national club champion.

And schools were not left out either as there used to be. champion schools tournament.

But over time and no thanks to some who just never held state level positions, these tournaments were scrapped one by one.

The U20 and U23 made way for the U21 in 1986 but since 2016 theU21 too had died , held only on the years Sukma is contested.

The U15 was split into the U14 and U16 but we have stopped participating in the annual 4 nation tournament in Germany since 2016 as well.

In the MHL, a two division league was started in 1992 but that too was shit in 2019.

And probably Alagendra is the most unfortunate as another trophy named after him, the MHL knockout too had been scrapped lately.

Leagues as states used to flourish and often it was fiercely contested as clubs jostled to win places to go for honours at national level.

But what had become of the sport today?

A bunch of title seeking, position clamouring and lazy officials hold the positions at state level.

They have no idea on the sport but clamour to add titles to their names, sit amongst VIP’s and get free trips overseas from time to time.

Name me one state that had put up its hand to host a tournament and I will show you the pot of gold!

Hockey today is nothing but just a sport without any vision be it at state or national level.

Anyone recalls the blueprint done several years ago?

One will now have to be an archeologist to dig for a copy of it though it was only done four years ago!

Why do we keep losing tournaments?

Simply because those at the helm today have no inkling about the sport,

Imagine one newspaper report stating that the Tun Razak Cup format was to be changed after 20 years.

The official quoted forgets that the Tun Razak Cup was played in a zonal format in 2011.

And the reason why each team is to register at least 4 U21 players is to give the players an opportunity to play at a higher competitive level.

Hence the brilliant minds have now created another veterans tournament!

Money , said to be RM50k was fished out to states to hold leagues but frankly how many actually ran leagues?

And this year the allocation is said to be RM100k for each state, in all eventuality the state office bearers will use it for their own lawatan sambil belajar.

The subsidy mentality in Hockey must stop and its time for states to start playing hosts to tournaments, not let the national body dictate it.

If the national body had for the past 4 years spent an average of RM80k to run one tournament, the same amount ought to be offered to states as organisation or hosting fee.

But who really cares when all they do is sit, make statements for their clamour moment, eat karipap and to hell with the sport.

When the gravy trail stops, if it had not, then reality sets in.

In the meantime let’s carry on dreaming and stay sweet all the time for appearing in social media doing nothing is so cute while the entire eco system gets sucked in by the spectrum of things.