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News for 14 December 2021

All the news for Tuesday 14 December 2021

Hero Asian Champions Trophy Dhaka 2021 - 14 December
Dhaka (BAN)

All times GMT +6

14 Dec 2021 15:30     KOR v IND (RR)    
14 Dec 2021 18:00     JPN v PAK (RR)    

15 Dec 2021 15:30     IND v BAN (RR)    
15 Dec 2021 18:00     KOR v JPN (RR)    

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Pakistan and India looking for fourth title at Men's Asian Champions Trophy

By Owen Lloyd

India will be aiming for their fourth Men's Asian Champions Trophy in Dhaka ©Getty Images

Pakistan and India are both looking for their fourth gold medal at the Men's Asian Champions Trophy as the competition is set to begin tomorrow in Dhaka at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium.

Manpreet Singh achieves a unique feat as he leads India at the Asian Champions Trophy


Manpreet Singh travels with the Indian team to Dhaka, Bangladesh, today, shouldering the responsibility of captaincy. By doing so, Manpreet becomes the first Indian to lead his country at an Asian continental championship – including the Asian Games and Asia Cup — as many as three times.

Team India to face Korea in Men's Asian Champions Trophy opener

India, led by skipper Manpreet Singh and vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh, will return to action for the first time since their historic Olympic bronze-medal winning campaign.

The Indian men's hockey squad for the Asian Champions Trophy

India Men's Hockey team will return to action for the first time since their historic Olympic bronze-medal winning campaign as the Hero Men's Asian Champions Trophy 2021 gets underway in Dhaka from 14 December. In their opening tie, India are up against Korea. The defending Champions will be led by Skipper Manpreet Singh and Vice-Captain Harmanpreet Singh as they look to win the trophy.

New cycle starts as Indian men's hockey team take on Korea

Indian men's hockey team will start its new cycle with a bunch of youngsters aiming to prove their mettle when it begins its campaign against Korea in Dhaka on Tuesday

India men's hockey team celebrates after winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year. AP File

Dhaka: Olympic bronze medallist Indian men's hockey team will start its new cycle with a bunch of youngsters aiming to prove their mettle when it begins its Asian Champions Trophy campaign against Korea here on Tuesday.

Indian Connection to Japan’s Women Asian Champions Trophy Glory

Japan put up a phenomenal performance to win the 6th Women’s Asian Champions Trophy at Donghae by putting it across South Korea by the odd goal in three in the summit clash. The title win is a reflection of the consistent efforts of the Japanese women’s hockey team. The triumph has an Indian connection – former Indian goalkeeper and former Olympian Jude Menezes guided Sakurai Japan to glory at Donghae as head coach of the team.

Two Covid-positive players can't return yet

By K. Rajan

The national women’s hockey team returned to Malaysia yesterday from South Korea minus two Covid-infected players. - Pic courtesy of MHC

THE national women's hockey team returned to Malaysia yesterday from South Korea minus two Covid-infected players.

Czech Republic ace Katrina Lacina sets sights high for 2022 Indoor World Cup in Liège

As we build up to the sixth edition of the FIH Hockey Indoor World Cup, which is set to take place in Belgium early next year, we look at the teams that will compete for the title at the intense, action-packed competition that will be played at Country Hall de Liège from 2-6 February 2022.

Kenya Police crowned Jamhuri Hockey champions

By Washington Onyango

Oliver Echenje [left] of Kenya Police and Vincent Wesonga of Mombasa West Hockey club fight for control of the ball during Daikyo Japan Motors Jamhuri Festival hockey tournament held at Mombasa Sports Club. 11th December 2021.[Omondi Onyango,Standard]

Kenya Police hockey club are the 2021 Jamhuri men’s champions.

Kenya Police, national women win Jamhuri hockey tourney

By  Abdulrahman Sheriff

National women's hockey team emerged the winners of the MCHA Daikyo Japan Motors Jamhuri  tournament after beating the Blazers 2-1 on penalty flicks in the final match at Mombasa Sports Club on Sunday.

SA umpires sign off on top

Peter Wright and Michelle Joubert, two of South Africa’s five hockey officials at the Olympics, continued the country’s fine tradition at the Games. Getting there took planning, fitness training and mental preparation.

By Karien Jonckheere

Olympic dreams are harboured not only by athletes but also by the often unnoticed officials on the sidelines. So when umpire Peter Wright stepped on to an Olympic hockey pitch for the first time in Tokyo, he too was fulfilling his ultimate aspiration in the sport.

Bell formally steps back following his “magical era” with the Green Machine

Jonny Bell has retired from international hockey having played an in crucial role for the Green Machine from his debut in 2012, encompassing 181 caps – 29 as captain – the 2016 Olympic Games, the 2018 World Cup and three European Championship A division events.

Jonny Bell: Former Ireland captain retires from international duty

Jonny Bell captained Ireland 29 times during a distinguished international career

Former Ireland captain Jonny Bell has retired from international hockey.

Hockey Punjab first to enter quarterfinals; Hockey Karnataka, Hockey Chandigarh log second wins

Hockey Karnataka and Hockey Chandigarh remained unbeaten and stayed on the course of quarterfinal berths registering second wins, respectively.

HOCKEY PUNJAB became the first team on Monday to make it to the quarterfinals in the 11th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship Pimpri-Chinchwad 2021 being held at Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar-Pimpri.

Junior World Cup; no end to Pakistan hockey`s miseries

Ijaz Chaudhry

Pakistan, once the undisputed king of world hockey, has been achieving one dubious distinction after another. The most recent came at the just concluded Junior World Cup in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar. Pakistan finished 11th- their worst ever position in this competition.

For the followers of the game, it came as no surprise. National teams" performance, senior and junior, has shown a constant downward slide for the last many years. The slump has been the worst during the tenure of the incumbent President PHF. Since 2015, when Brigadier (rtd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar took office, Pakistan hockey has suffered one humiliation after another:
- Pakistan's World Ranking has fallen to 18th; 10th when Khokhar took over.
- Olympics: Pakistan failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
- World Cup 2018: PHF bragged, ‘Pakistan qualified after failing to do so at the previous edition.’ Pakistan’s qualification for the 2018 World Cup was entirely down to FIH’s decision to increase the number of participating teams from 12 to 16. How Pakistan, the record four-time World Cup winners, fared at the 2018 World Cup? They finished 12th thus equaling the worst ever finish, scored just two goals; their lowest World Cup tally, a goal difference of 10, also the worst.
- Asian Games 2018: Pakistan ended 4th (equaling worst ever position)
- Failed to qualify for the Youth Olympics for the first time after finishing a miserable 6th at the qualifiers in 2018; also suffered 1-12 defeat against Malaysia during these qualifiers.
- Pakistan’s worst-ever defeat in international hockey: 1-9 loss to Australia, November 2017.
- Worst ever defeat against India: 1-7 in June 2017 (Hockey World League, London) followed by another humiliation against the same team 1-6 in the same event, a few days later
- In the last 10 matches against India, Pakistan has lost all barring one which was a draw.
– And now, the worst position (11th) at the Junior World Cup.

PLUS Major Administrative Failures:
- Withdrawing Pakistan team from the FIH Pro League just a couple of weeks before Pakistan"s first match in January 2019; also had to pay fine to the FIH     
- Pakistan couldn"t appear at the Junior World Cup in 2016 in India as PHF failed to submit visas of players in time     

Coming to the 2021 Junior World Cup, Pakistan failed to reach the quarter-finals after winning one and losing two pool matches. In the positional playoffs, they beat Poland and the USA and lost to South Africa. Two of the three wins came against the USA and Egypt, who later vied for the wooden spoon. Poland was the other team who lost to Pakistan. Poland was not among the original 16 teams for this Junior World Cup. Three strong teams, Australia, England and New Zealand ranked 1, 6 and 8, had pulled out due to Covid related reasons. They were replaced by Poland, the USA and Canada.

Had Australia, England and New Zealand come to Bhubaneswar, Pakistan might have featured in the match for the wooden spoon.     

PHF, as is its wont, has come out with all sorts of excuses. The PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa told, "Pakistan’s junior players had not been engaged in any international activity for the last eight years. This lack of experience was the cause of the poor show. "

A Wrong Statement.

In 2016, Pakistan juniors were training in full earnest for the Junior World Cup. The team had toured Holland and Spain where they played matches against the national junior teams and also figured in an international junior tournament.

This was followed by the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia in October/November; Pakistan lost to Australia in the final. 

Then due to the negligence of the PHF led by Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, the visa process for the team couldn"t get completed in time and Pakistan didn’t appear in the 2016 Junior World Cup held in India in December.

 A Pakistan under 18 side was also raised that year with an eye on the next Junior World Cup; one held recently. That side played a 4-match home series against Oman.

The team later figured in the under 18 Asia Cup held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in September 2016. In April 2017, Pakistan Juniors participated in the Australian Junior National Championship. The next international assignment was the Asian qualifiers for the Youth Olympics in April 2018. Pakistan failed to qualify for the first time; also suffered a humiliating 1-12 defeat against Malaysia. A development squad toured Canada in June 2018; seven members later figured at the 2021 Junior World Cup. In 2019, Pakistan Juniors played a 4-match series against Oman under 21. All this time, many members of the 2021 Junior World Cup team had been appearing for the national (senior) side as well. Pakistan"s national team"s last international engagement was the Olympic qualifiers, the double-legged tie against Holland in October 2019. Four boys of the junior team in Bhubaneswar were members of that senior squad.

Hence, PHF"s lament that there was no international activity for Pakistan"s juniors over the last eight years has no grounds.

Since, early 2020, due to Covid, there has been very little international hockey activity. Not only Pakistan, others also suffered.

Another PHF excuse: Some top teams in Bhubaneswar included players who played at the Tokyo Olympics where Pakistan had failed to qualify. Again, it was the PHF failure. In July 2017, Pakistan, despite its ranking of 13 at the time, had been selected in the FIH"s new flagship event, the nine-team Pro League. The first edition of the Pro League commenced in January 2019. PHF withdrew the Pakistan team a couple of weeks before, citing financial constraints. Participation in the Pro League would have earned Pakistan FIH ranking points even if they had finished last. With those ranking points, the then 13th ranked Pakistan could have leapfrogged the nations ranked above them not selected for the Pro League: Ireland, Canada and Korea. Thus, at the time of the Olympic Qualifiers in November 2011, Pakistan might have reached the no 9 ranking in the world and played probably Ireland or Korea in the Olympic Qualifier. But after the withdrawal from the Pro League, Pakistan"s ranking went down further to no 17. Hence, they faced the mighty Holland (world no 3) for the Olympic qualifier in November 2019 and as anticipated lost badly with an aggregate score of 5-10. Against Ireland or Korea, Pakistan stood a fair chance to win and thus qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

In 2015, when Pakistan couldn"t qualify for the 2016 Olympics, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his capacity as the PHF"s Patron in Chief replaced federation"s President Akhtar Rasool with incumbent Khalid Khokhar. Later, Khokhar got appointed Asif Bajwa as the secretary of the PHF. Asif Bajwa had an earlier stint at the post (2008-2013); dismissed amid allegations of financial corruption and human smuggling.

What is stopping PM replace the President and Secretary of the PHF with a stroke of his pen which he is authorized as the Patron in Chief of the PHF? In the same capacity vis-a-vis the PCB, he has already exercised this authority, not once but twice even though the PCB has been doing far better than the PHF all this time.  

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey & other sports. For more about him and his work, visit: www.sportscorrespondent.info


The India-Pakistan hockey Invincibles who got separated at their nations’ birth

Bani Singh, daughter of India's hockey double gold medallist Nandy, has crafted a solemn documentary tracing friendships of his college mates and India, Pak stars Shahrukh and Keshav Datt on either side of the emotive border.

By Sandeep Dwivedi

The Indian hockey team for the 1948 London Olympics. Grahnandan Singh (Nandy) and Keshav Datt (standing 2nd from right and right). (Pic credit: Taangh.com)   

Lahore’s Government College had five hockey players at the 1948 London Olympics — two from the newly-born Pakistan, three representing freshly-partitioned India. Classmates till a few months ago; they had parted with heavy hearts and scars that would never heal.

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