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News for 28 December 2014

All the news for Sunday 28 December 2014

National hockey championship: Punjab coach and manager receive bans

Navy and Wapda players vie for the ball during their National Hockey Championship match in a foggy Sialkot on Saturday. PHOTO: APP

KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) handed out a two-match ban to Punjab coach Sabir Ali  and a one-match ban to manager Tariq Sheikh for misbehaving during the 61st National Hockey Championship match in Sialkot on Saturday.

Punjab registered a 3-0 win against Railways at full-time as both teams played a goalless first quarter, after which Shahid Anjum scored the opening goal in the 27th minute of the match.

Ali Raza doubled the lead for Punjab in the 54th minute, while Anjum sealed the win five minutes later.

Despite the result, Olympian Tariq and coach Sabir criticised the jury and the duo received a ban from the tournament director.

“Punjab team manager Tariq and coach Sabir have been banned by the tournament director at the ongoing National Hockey Championship at Sialkot,” read the official PHF press release. “Sabir has been banned for two matches while Tariq for one match. Both had misbehaved with the field jury.”

Meanwhile, in other matches, HEC won their fixture against Islamabad 3-1, with Hassan Ubaid scoring two goals on penalty corner, while Asghar Tariq sealed victory for HEC with his field goal in the 56th minute. Islamabad managed to score only one goal through Noman in the 37th minute.

Wapda registered a win as well, defeating Navy 3-1 in the last match of the day. National player Umer Bhutta struck a goal in the fifth minute for Wapda, while Aleem Bilal doubled the score in the 22nd minute.

Navy’s Muhammad Sabir scored in the 45th minute and Pakistan captain Muhammad Imran scored in the 55th to win the match for Wapda.

The Express Tribune

Ireland’s Harte twins to bring new energy for Dabang Mumbai

Anil Aldrin, hockey coach for Dabang Mumbai, Viren Rasquinha, Strategic advisor and mentor for Dabang Mumbai Edgar Mascarenhas, goalkeeping coach during the unvieling of the logo of Dabang Mumbai hockey team. File photo   

Ireland’s twin brothers, David Harte and Conor Harte, are all set to represent the newly assembled Mumbai franchisee Dabang Mumbai in the upcoming Hero Hockey India League (HIL), starting from January 22.

While David will be playing his second year in the HIL, Conor will feature for the first time this season.

In the recently concluded HIL Players’ Closed Bid 2014, David was bought for $51,000, making him the second most expensive goalkeeper in the league this season after PR Sreejesh.

Conor’s signing ($10,000) for the same team makes him only the second Irish person to ever play in the league and mark a high point for the twin brothers.

David, who made his international debut in 2006, has 135 international caps to his name and is regarded as one of the world’s top hockey goalkeepers.

He was also adjudged the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament in the FIH Champions Challenge 2014, held in Kuantan, Malaysia, where Ireland finished at fourth position.

Speaking on his brother Conor, who has 137 international caps, David said, “Since the news of joining a new team together, we both are very happy and excited to play alongside for Dabang Mumbai. On top of that, I have experienced the electric atmosphere at the games which is something I can’t wait for, the chance to be able to play in front of 10,000 screaming fans who love the game.

“This will surely be a good experience for Conor also. I have shared many stories of the HIL with him and the magnitude of the competition. Conor is new to the League but he has good international experience and has been playing for Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles. With the new team and new management, we are expecting a new change in the team and we will start our campaign with new zeal.”

The Hindu

Surjit Academy held to1-1 draw

Players fight for the ball during a match of the Mohinder Singh Munshi Tournament in Jalandhar on Saturday. Malkiat Singh
Jalandhar - Defending champions Surjit Academy, Jalandhar, were held to a 1-1 draw by Ratwara Sahib Academy in the opening match of the Mohinder Singh Munshi Hockey Tournament at the PAP hockey stadium here today.
On a foggy day, Ratwada Sahib Academy put up a strong fight against the team that had beaten them 4-0 in last year’s final.
In the other matches, Panj Dariya Academy thrashed Mohinder Munshi Academy 4-1, while Cheharta Academy beat Roopnagar Academy by 3-1.

The U-19 tournament is conducted in the memory of Olympian Mohinder Singh. He was a key member of the 1975 Kuala Lumpur World Cup winning squad and 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Liberals hockey tourney begins today

Patiala: The 39th edition of the GS Bains Liberals All India Hockey Tournament begins at the Punjab Public School in Nabha on Sunday.

From this year, the tournament has been named after former IAS officer GS Bains, who passed away on September 4 this year. Bains was the founder president of the organising committee of the tournament.

As many as 26 teams from all over the country will be seen in action in the tournament. Favourites like Punjab Police, Indian Air Force and Namdhari XI will look to dethrone defending champions BSF.

The Tribune

Dhyan Chand's son dejected by Bharat Ratna 'snub'

Anurag Singh

INDORE: A day after Bharat Ratna was conferred on former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Madan Mohan Malaviya, hockey wizard Dhyan Chand's world cup-winning son, Ashok Kumar, expressed hurt because his father was 'snubbed' yet again for the country's highest civilian honour.

"After Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju informed Lok Sabha in August about the ministry's recommendation for posthumous Bharat Ratna for Dada Dhyan Chand, hockey lovers were elated," Kumar told TOI.

"Not only our family, but hockey fans across India were expecting the much-awaited honour for country's most successful centre forward, who powered India to three Olympic hockey titles in pre-independence era. Hockey lovers across the country feel let down," said Kumar.

"But we still have hopes. The way two illustrious sons of the soil received Bharat Ratna on their birthdays."

The Times of India

Dhyan Chand deserves Bharat Ratna: Milkha Singh

CHANDIGARH: While reiterating that Major Dhyan Chand should be conferred the Bharat Ratna, legendary athlete Milkha Singh conveyed his congratulations to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and late freedom fighter-educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya on being named for India's highest civilian honour.

"I wish to congratulate Vajpayeeji for a very deserving recognition. And I am very happy to see the posthumous recognition for Malviyaji for his service to the nation in many ways," Milkha said.

However, Milkha said that former hockey superstar Dhyan Chand, who powered India to three Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936, too deserves the honour.

"I also wish to see the Bharat Ratna conferred on Dhyan Chand for his tremendous service to our country. He made India proud. To build sports consciousness in our country and the character building it leads to, we need to honour our sportsmen as they help both by bringing laurels to the country and also inspiring many to work hard at whatever they do," Milkha, who participated in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics, said.

"It was good to see Sachin (Tendulkar) get it last year and hopefully Dhyan Chand too. Though, ideally it should be given when a person is alive."

The Times of India

USA clears Terry Walsh, Hockey India unmoved

by Mihir Vasavda

A month after his controversial exit from India, former India hockey coach Terry Walsh has claimed that USA Field Hockey (USAFH) has ‘confirmed there were no financial issues during his tenure as the technical director’ there.

Walsh left the country under contentious circumstances after being accused of financial impropriety by Hockey India (HI) president Narinder Batra. It was alleged the Australian was involved in misconduct to the tune of $176,000 when he was in charge of USA Hockey.

Consequently, his contract was not renewed by Hockey India, who are now looking for a new coach.

Walsh, however, said he was cleared of any wrongdoing by USAFH. In a statement, his lawyer Antonio Sarabia of California-based IP Business Law said they have received a written communication from USAFH to this effect. “We are glad to report that the attorney for USA Field Hockey (Mr. Steve Smith) wrote, on December 10, 2014: ‘Finally, the assertion that USAFH criticised Walsh’s failure to obtain a software license for Sportstec software directly from Sportstec on behalf of USAFH is simply incorrect.’ This confirms that there were no financial issues related to the services rendered by Mr. Walsh for USAFH,” Sarabia said.

Last month, Walsh resigned as India coach, seeking a renegotiation of his contract with Hockey India and the Sports Authority of India. He had demanded more freedom in decision-making and permission to work from home for a longer period. While the government was willing to discuss most issues, Batra decided to part ways with him citing documents he had received from USAFH about the alleged financial irregularities committed by Walsh while working with them. Walsh had vehemently denied the allegations but Batra would have none of it. Consequently, after returning to Australia, he demanded an explanation from USAFH and threatened to take legal action in India to clear his name.

Despite getting the clean-chit, Walsh will not be returning to India as coach. “He could not provide necessary explanation when it was required. This (statement by USAFH) does not hold any ground now. For us, the Walsh issue is over,” Batra said.

Under the 61-year-old’s tutelage, India enjoyed one of its most successful years in recent times after winning the Asian Games gold and the Commonwealth Games silver. They also won their first-ever test series in Australia in November, which eventually turned out to be Walsh’s last assignment with the team.

Indian Express

MHC constitution sin binned by hockey’s world body

by S. Ramaguru

Sin-binned! A player is temporarily sent off during a Malaysia Hockey League semi-final match in December. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation’s (MHC) attempt to amend their constitution has run into a snag.

The draft of the constitution which was sent to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in October was rejected which led to the Sports Commissioner’s office to withhold their approval.

The FIH in a letter to the MHC last month outlined seven areas the MHC must address before they give their approval.

Among the areas are on gender equality, limit the number of times for elected positions and the age limit for posts, democratically elected office bearers, anti-doping clause and suspension and indemnity clause for members.

The Sports Commissioner’s office in a statement said that the MHC should call for an emergency general meeting to discuss the issue and rectify the areas that have been highlighted by the FIH.

“We have met with the MHC last month but we were not told of the letter from the FIH.

“During our discussion, we did advise the MHC on the women’s role in their set-up and how the merger will work between the men’s and women’s wings.

“Since the FIH have highlighted it, our suggestion is for the MHC to reconsider or review their earlier decision so as to avoid any conflict with the world body.

“For now the Sports Commissioner’s office will defer endorsement on the changes,” read the statement.

The MHC are expected to discuss the issue and come out with a decision soon.

They were supposed to hold their congress this month but have deferred it to January next year.

Incumbent president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has indicated that he will not seek re-election when his four-year term ends this year.

The Star of Malaysia

MHC No.2 wants constitution ‘crisis’ sorted ASAP

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president Puan Sri Raja Noora Ashikin said the association must call for an immediate meeting to discuss the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) rejection to their proposed constitution.

The FIH cited several areas the MHC must address before getting the approval.

“I just cannot understand why the letter from the FIH which was sent in November has not been made known to the council members and the affiliates.

“We have to seriously look into the contents and act on it. They (the FIH) are the governing body and we are their affiliate. You cannot go against them,” she said.

Raja Noora also blasted some top MHC officials for making unwarranted remarks on the issue. She alleged that some of them had called for the FIH not to interfere in MHC’s matters.

“This individuals must have lost their mind. The FIH can take action and ban us. Furthermore our president (Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah) is a member of the FIH executive body. These officials are insulting him as well with their statements,” she added.

She said the sooner the issue is sorted out the better so MHC can then look into holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) with elections among the agenda.

Tengku Abdullah who has helmed the MHC since 2009 has said that he will not seek re-election. He is currently the president of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) and also president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).

The constitution has been an ongoing issue since 1991 when the FIH called for the men’s and women’s associations to merge.

“In the early stages we did work out a constitution but then it was a loosely worded version which satisfied the FIH. We were only merged on paper. In 1998, we then worked out a more formal constitution and refined it in 2010 which was also accepted by the FIH,” added Raja Noora.

“For some reason another amendment was proposed and this time it has gone terribly wrong.”

The Star of Malaysia

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