All the news for Saturday 9 November 2019
A brave new world for SA Indoor Hockey as the Swiss teams arrive
Indoor Hockey begins its brave new world in South Africa as the Swiss Men and Women head to the home of the Rugby World Cup Champions for the first ever series played under the new rules of indoor Hockey. Under the new rules the matches will be four quarters of 10 minutes and that fundamental change throws up a variety of options for coaches.
Of course, it’s also a new world for the South African Indoor men, powered by Tops at SPAR for this series, as it’s the first time they are playing a home test match in almost five years and their first ever home indoor test series. Its also the first test series with David Joshua as the head coach and the country will be keen to see how him and the hordes of debutants go.
The SA Indoor Hockey Men, affectionately known as the BlitzStoks, have not played an indoor match since the 11th place playoff at the 2018 FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup and many of those players aren’t involved in this series. The team have announced Jethro Eustice as their captain, and he will be one of the few that have played Switzerland before in a 3-1 defeat at the World Cup.
The Swiss themselves will be preparing for the upcoming European Championship II at home in January with a clear goal on getting back into the top 8 of European Indoor Hockey again, while it will also be an opportunity for inspirational captain Manuel Keller to earn his 50th indoor hockey cap.
Over on the Women’s side there is a lot less uncertainty regarding this fixture. The two teams battled in Switzerland earlier this year with the SPAR South Africans surprising their hosts in a thrilling they 3-1 series victory. Star of the show was Cindy Hack who is closing in on being the first African Indoor Hockey player to reach 100 indoor test caps, and with her charges will be looking to show that series wasn’t a flash in the pan, but rather a statement of how far Lennie Botha’s team have come since the disappointment of the last African Cup.
For SPAR South Africa it will be the first step of a three-pronged summer attack with this series followed by a home series against Ireland before the team heads off to Poland for a test series. All of this is as the team build towards the African Qualifier with the winning team winning Africa’s spot at the 2021 Indoor Hockey World Cup.
The Swiss side will be looking to bounce back from that series defeat to the South Africans and themselves will also have an eye on the Euro Hockey Indoor Championship 2020 in January in Belarus as they look to secure their spot at the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup.
The series starts in Durban with a match on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before heading to Cape Town for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All matches are being streamed by Digitv here https://events.digitv.co.za/2019/11/08/indoor-hockey-test-series/.
SA Hockey Association media release
2022 FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands, 2023 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup in India
Lausanne, Switzerland: On the occasion of its last meeting of the year today in Lausanne, the Executive Board of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has selected India to host the 2023 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup (13-29 January 2023) and Spain and the Netherlands to co-host the 2022 FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup (1-17 July 2022).
The venues will be announced by the host nations.
The schedule of the 2022 FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup will be as follows:
- 2 Preliminary phase pools in the Netherlands (including the Dutch team)
- 2 Preliminary phase pools in Spain (including the Spanish team)
- 2 crossover matches and 2 quarter-finals in the Netherlands
- 2 crossover matches and 2 quarter-finals in Spain
Final phase in Spain:
- Match for 3rd place
The competition format of the 2023 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup will be the same as in 2018.
FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: “FIH has received excellent bids to host these prestigious events. It was therefore a difficult choice to make. Since the primary mission of FIH is to grow the sport worldwide - which of course requires to make investments -, the income-generation potential of each bid has played an important role in the decision.”
Commenting on the organization of the FIH Hockey World Cups, he added: “We will work closely with the Local Organizing Committees on the sustainability and legacy aspects of these events.”
The Executive Board also approved the qualification process for both events:
- The hosts will qualify automatically
- The winners of the Continental Championships will qualify directly (5 teams)
- The remaining 10 teams will qualify through a home-and-away play-off; the 20 teams involved in these qualifiers will be determined by Continental quotas, based on the FIH World Rankings at the end of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the finishing positions of teams in the Continental Championships
India will host the Men's World Cup in Jan 2023
India will host the next men's World Cup. The much delayed host allocation of world cups has come out. Its India for men while The Netherlands and Spain will co-host the women's, five months before the men's which will be held in Jan 2023.
India will be the first country to host the World Cup for a record fourth time.
India successfully bid for the 1975 world Cup but due to internal bickerings, the FIH has shifted it to Malaysia. Ironically, India went on to win the title there.
World Cup was allotted to India in 2010 despite the Indian dispensation (Indian Hockey Federation) was lukewarm and even cold-shouldered towards the FIH offer. The allotment was part of Hockey India Project envisioned and executed by the then FIH president Els van Breda Vriesman.
Hockey India then made a strong bid for the 2018 number and got it on good financial returns to FIH.
Now, also it seems the Indian bid was financially stronger compared to other two who stayed in the fray till the end: Double time host Malaysia and fresher but defending champions Belgium.
Now also the financial bonanza the Indian bid carried seems to be the deciding factor if the following observation of the FIH CEO Thierry Weil is any indication.
On the allocation of hosts, the FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: “FIH has received excellent bids to host these prestigious events. It was therefore a difficult choice to make. Since the primary mission of FIH is to grow the sport worldwide - which of course requires to make investments -, the income-generation potential of each bid has played an important role in the decision.”
India to host 2023 men's hockey World Cup
After successfully hosting the 2018 men's hockey World Cup, India will once again stage the 2023 edition of the tournament
India will become the first country to host consecutive World Cups after being awarded the hosting rights for the men’s 2023 edition.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced the decision on Friday following recommendations of a Task Force formed to assess the bids for the same. While the men’s event would be held from January 13-29, 2023, the women’s event would be held from July 1-17, 2022. India edged past Belgium and Malaysia, which had expressed interest in hosting the men’s World Cup, and was the only candidate opting for the 2023 window.
The women’s World Cup would be hosted jointly by Spain and the Netherlands — also the first time the event would be held across multiple countries — in 2022. The FIH had proposed two windows for both events — in 2022 and 2023. The other bidders for the women’s event were Germany (in 2022), Malaysia and New Zealand (in 2023).
While the preliminary rounds, quarterfinals and crossover matches would be split equally between the two hosts, the semifinals, third-place playoff and final would all take place in Spain. The actual venues across the two nations would be decided by the hosts themselves. Spain last hosted the women's World Cup in 2006 and finished while the Netherlands had staged the tournament in 2014, the Dutch women winning the title both times. The format for the men’s event remains unchanged.
The break-up of games for the women’s World Cup:
Preliminary phase: Two pools each in the Netherlands (including the Dutch team) and Spain (including the Spanish team); Quarterfinals: two crossover matches and two quarterfinals each in the Netherlands and Spain; Semifinals, bronze playoff and final: In Spain.
“The FIH has received excellent bids to host these prestigious events. Since the primary mission of FIH is to grow the sport worldwide, which of course requires to make investments, the income-generation potential of each bid has played an important role in the decision,” Weil said.
The hosts would qualify directly, along with continental winners. The other 10 teams — nine for women — would be decided through playoffs in the same format as the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers with the 20 teams involved determined by continental quotas, based on World Rankings at the end of the Olympics and the finishing positions of teams in the continental championships.
The Task Force had submitted its recommendations to the FIH on Wednesday.
India to host men’s 2023 tournament for record 4th time; women’s event to be held in Spain, Netherland
Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 , Hockey India Twitter
After successfully hosting the Men’s Hockey World Cup last year, India are all set to play the hosts again for a record fourth time after winning the bid for the 2023 edition.
Spain and Netherlands will jointly host Women’s World Cup in 2022, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced on Friday. The venues will be announced by the host nations.
“On the occasion of its last meeting of the year today in Lausanne, the Executive Board of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has selected India to host the 2023 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup (13-29 January 2023) and Spain and the Netherlands to co-host the 2022 FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup (1-17 July 2022),” the FIH statement read.
Hockey India, alongside three other national associations, had submitted a bid to host the 2023 World Cup before eventually
The FIH Executive Board announced their decision in Lausanne, Switzerland on Friday after its task force thoroughly examined all bids and made a recommendation to the Executive Board (EB) on Wednesday.
India’s preferred the window to host the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup is between 13 January and 29 January 2023.
India had hosted the 14th edition of Men’s Hockey World Cup Last year which was held at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The nation had also hosted in 1982 (Mumbai), 2010 (New Delhi) and 2018 (Bhubaneswar).
Hockey India President Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad said, “We are all very delighted to have won the bid to host the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup. When we had made the bid, we wanted to give our country another reason to celebrate 75 years of independence adding to that the fact that our last win was registered in 1975.
"And what better way to celebrate than to witness a pinnacle global event of our national sport on our soil".
He continued, “After having hosted the 14th edition of the Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2018 which was recognized as one of the best hockey events ever, we were confident that we can host another Men’s Hockey World Cup, and we are all very delighted on the prospects of hosting the top hockey-playing nations in India.
"We have the opportunity to use last year’s experience to organize an even better Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2023.”
Daily News & Analysis
World Cup Qualifying process will be in focus
Predictably, India were named hosts of the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup. Not so predictably, Spain chipped in as co-hosts with fancied Netherlands for the Women’s World Cup to be held six months earlier. The FIH Executive Board selected the hosts of its showpiece events after its meeting on Friday, November 8, in Lausanne, Switzerland, and announced the same on its website.
The Men’s World Cup has been slotted for January 13-29, 2023. The Women’s event will be from July 1-17, 2022. Belgium and Malaysia lost out in the men’s race, having bid for the July 1-17 window.
Five aspirants expressed bids for the women’s competition with Germany (July1-17 window), Malaysia and New Zealand (Jan 13-29) throwing their hats in the ring besides Spain and The Netherlands.
With its expected financial clout, India brooked no challenge from Belgium nor Malaysia for the men’s event. The Men’s World Cup, however, finds itself squeezed between two behemoths – the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar which ends on December 18 and the Cricket World Cup which starts on February 9, a mere 11 days after hockey’s premier event.
India thus became the first country to host the World Cup for the fourth time after doing so in 1981-82 (Mumbai), 2010 (New Delhi) and 2018 (Bhubaneswar).
Equally crucially, the FIH also revealed the qualification process for the World Cups. In a move away from the Hockey Series events, the onus is now on the continental championships.
The hosts, as usual, qualify directly. So do continental champions to make up five more of the 16-nation World Cup.
However, the remainder of the field will now be filled up by winners of 10 playoffs on a home-and-away basis. Standings in the continental championships along with continental quotas based on FIH Rankings after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will determine who make the grade for the playoffs.
Significantly, the playoffs, according to the FIH communiqué, will not solely be a double-legged affair in the higher-ranked nation but will be shared by either contestant.
After a grand show at the 14th World Cup in Bhubaneswar and the ensuing financial spin-off, that India would host the 15th edition was perhaps a foregone conclusion.
The host cities, the FIH said, would be announced by hosting nations.
Both events will have four pools of four teams each in the league stage leading to the crossovers, quarterfinals, semifinals and final.
The competition format of the 2023 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup will be the same as in 2018 while the women’s event in 2022 has been tweaked to share pool and knock-out matches between Spain and The Netherlands. The semifinals, third place playoff and final, however, will be held in Spain.
FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: “FIH has received excellent bids to host these prestigious events. It was therefore a difficult choice to make. Since the primary mission of FIH is to grow the sport worldwide - which of course requires to make investments -- the income-generation potential of each bid has played an important role in the decision.”
OQ Format: Clear-cut after Clutter
There has never been an FIH Olympic Qualifiers format that pleases everyone. The latest was no different. The positives, however, are worth noting.
The do-or-die contests numbering seven double-legged playoffs for either gender created a buzz that drew more than a passing interest from the media and fans even from outside the hockey fraternity.
The month and a half build-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers also appeared to have drawn attention to the sport in many of the nations involved even though it was a singular tie in question and not a whole tournament.
It culminated in record attendances at Ireland’s Energia Park in Dublin (which drew attention and acclaim to a hockey pitch laid over a rugby surface) where 6,086 watched the first match and 51 more turned up for the second.
A whole lot of factors made for the technological first in Irish hockey – not least, reportedly, the uniqueness of the format.
Perhaps much attention for the tie accrued from the rallying cry after Ireland’s men suffered a cruel heartbreak at the hands of Canada in Vancouver in a second-leg match that is likely to be remembered for a video umpiring controversy.
But large interest also hovered around the Irish women, shock finalists at last year’s World Cup, who were poised to carve out a historical first and the double-legged encounter with Canada came under the spotlight. The match-ups were a semblance of the cross-continental FIFA World Cup qualifying playoffs, sans the “away” match and also had the UEFA Champions League draw-of-lots touch.
If the format drew flak, it stemmed from “Mission Impossible” that the bottom three ranked nations had to embark on as. And possibly the adverse cost-benefit ratio they grappled with as they (except Austria) jetted out to distant locations.
Fact is that all six ties (men and women) that were viewed as lop-sided presented takeaways for the bottom ranked teams.
Take for instance, India vs Russia. The 11-3 (4-2, 7-1) aggregate scoreline for India (World Ranking: 5) against Russia (WR: 22) may have held a we-told-you-so element but wasn’t exactly the case.
The Russians could well have induced India to press the panic buttons had they put away their chances in the first match.
In the second match, Russia took the lead after only 22 seconds into the match and fought gamely till the fourth quarter during which they conceded four goals.
Or consider Austria (WR: 20) who fought back from 1-3 to 3-3 against four-time Olympic champions Germany (WR: No. 6) in the second leg they lost 3-5 even though they were out of the contest after a 0-5 defeat in the first at the Warsteiner Hockey Park in Moenchengladbach.
Then, the quirk of The Netherlands (WR: 3) vs Pakistan (WR: 17) promised to be a cracker after the hosts scored a last-second equaliser to draw the first leg 4-4 – a result that nobody envisaged.
The Dutch got their A Game together to post a 6-1 win in the second leg but for a day visions of a Pakistani resurgence were vivid.
The women’s section wasn’t too different. Australia (WR:2) huffed and puffed over Russia (WR: 19) in a 4-2 first leg before cruising home 5-0 in Perth. Italy (WR: 17) kept Germany (WR:4) at bay 0-2 before succumbing to a 0-7 loss in the second while Chile (WR: 18) didn’t allow defending Olympic champions Great Britain (WR:5) have things all their way in a 0-3, 1-2 defeat.
The middle-cluster matches were by and large fiercely fought but curiously every tie ended in the home team’s favour.
Any criticism on the format that privileged higher-ranked teams to serve as hosts – even though results (all host nations qualified) seemed to suggest a distinct advantage – would not hold water. China (WR:10) fought back at the death to force a 2-2 draw on aggregate after losing 0-2 in the first leg. The Asian side then won the shootout against Belgium (WR:12) at the Wujin Hockey Stadium, Changzhou. Then, of course there was the unthinkable in Vancouver’s Rutledge Field, where the visiting Irish men (WR: 13) came within a second of upsetting hosts’ applecart, eventually losing in the shootout after a 5-3, 1-3 verdict against Canada (WR: 10).
In the very first men’s qualifier, hosts Spain (WR:8) didn’t quite hit the turf running as France (WR:12) took a 3-0 lead. But the Spaniards drew parity at 3-3 to take the second leg on even terms before breaking French hearts with a 3-2 win.
The most fascinating of all duels would have been India (WR:9) vs USA (WR:13) in Bhubaneswar where the hosts ran up an incredible 5-1 win in the first leg at the Kalinga Stadium.
The Americans, coping with the conditions, fought back sensationally to 5-5 with four first-half goals before Indian captain Rani Rampal slammed in a fourth-quarter winner.
The other middle-cluster ties were keen to an extent. Malaysia (WR:11) took the lead in the men’s match against Great Britain (WR:7) before bowing out 3-9 on aggregate in London’s Lee Valley. South Korea (WR: 16) went toe-to-toe with New Zealand (WR:9) 2-3 before losing 0-4 in Stratford’s Taranaki Hockey Club.
In the women’s section, Spain (WR:7) endured a taut 2-1, 2-0 battle against South Korea (WR:11) and the curtain came down on the qualifiers with a goalless battle between Ireland (WR:8) and Canada (WR: 15) before the hosts staged a remarkable rally after trailing 1-3 in shootout to book their tickets to Tokyo. The lead up to the qualifiers may have been complex as preceding formats may have been but this time around there was more transparency in the final stages.
There was no scenario of teams waiting on other results – like the Irish did in 2015 when they needed to watch the live stream of the Australia vs New Zealand Oceania final at the crack of dawn to either celebrate their qualification for the Rio Olympics or mourn their elimination.
The Olympic field was largely invitational till the 1988 Seoul Olympics where, one suspects, a contentious issue that kept the New Zealand men out and eight-time gold medallists India in, catalyzed the inception of the first qualifying tournament in 1991. Befittingly perhaps, it was held in Auckland, New Zealand, and was a league-cum-knockout tournament that endured until 2004. A format that broad-based the qualifying field then emerged. It produced three qualifiers from as many league groups in various locations around the world after nine made the grade as hosts, continental champions and teams making use of quotas based on ranking.
The Hockey World League then came into the mix in 2013 (ahead of the 2014 World Cup) to qualify the remainder of the field after continental champions and hosts were picked.
Finally, in 2018, the FIH Pro League, FIH Series Finals along with the FIH Rankings produced seven playoffs (for each gender).
The winners of the playoffs join hosts Japan (Asian men's and women's champions) and other continental champions who booked tickets to Tokyo directly.
Belgium, Australia, Argentina and South Africa in the men's section and Netherlands, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa in the women's were spared taking the tricky path via the qualifiers.
It wasn’t just the format but the streamlining of the calendar that facilitated the “do-or-die” battles that decided the final set of seven teams (for each gender) who would travel to the Japanese capital for a 12-nation tournament next August.
Intricate perhaps. But certainly not ambiguous when the final countdown began on October 25 at Valencia’s Estado Betero as Spain took on France who, as hosts of the next Olympics in Paris four years from now, will be spared the trials and tribulations of qualifying. Qualified teams:
Men: Japan, Belgium, Argentina, Australia, South Africa, Netherlands, India, Germany, New Zealand, Great Britain, Spain and Canada.
Women: Japan, Netherlands, Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Great Britain, India, China, Ireland, Spain.
Ireland overcome flashbacks of 2015 to reach Holy Grail – reaction to Olympic qualification
Chloe Watkins celebrates her shoot-out. Pic: Deryck Vincent
Chloe Watkins admitted “flashbacks of 2015 were coming into my head” as she stepped up for her vital shoot-out to keep Ireland’s Olympic hopes alive.
That most painful of memories, the one that denied a place at Rio 2016, were flooding back.
Trailing 3-2 with the final effort against Canada, a miss would have seen the dream die once more.
But she held her nerve – as she did last summer against India in the World Cup semi-final – twisting and turning to bamboozle Kaitlyn Williams to keep the tie going.
“I had to try to block out everything and what was at stake, think about just what I had to do,” she gasped. “There was no way we were going to leave it out there again. The game was tighter than we thought. Things never play out as you plan but we had so much heart, so much belief in ourselves and weren’t going to give up this again.”
Two minutes later, she was storming toward Ayeisha McFerran to celebrate and while a video review delayed things, the Tokyo ticket was assured.
“When you say it, it’s not even real. It’s completely surreal. We’re just over the moon, a dream come true and we now want to go for that medal in Tokyo.”
Shirley McCay – who hit the 300 cap mark in Saturday’s opening tie – concurred: “Very special, hard to put into words. We definitely wanted to make sure last summer wasn’t just a one-trick pony and prove we are good enough to get to an Olympic Games and we are just so proud to have done it.”
She also hailed the record crowd that came out to take in the spectacle, over 12,000 across two games.
“This is completely unique; it is so special. To have a home crowd last night and tonight in a rugby pitch in the middle of Dublin is so surreal. We can’t thank everyone enough for their support. We owe them so much.
“It was squeaky bum time for a few minutes but we know Ayeisha is so good and that is her bread and butter. So proud. She is a special girl, unique in so many ways and we trust her with our lives.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the team will have access to significantly increased funds as they plan their road to Tokyo 2020.
He was among the 6,137-strong crowd at Energia Park on Sunday to witness the side qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time.
Varadkar admitted he was jumping on the bandwagon, stating it was his first time watching the sport in 20 years since his sister played for Mount Sackville in her school days.
Shirley McCay – with her nephew – salutes the crowd. Pic: Deryck Vincent
“I hate to be political but Government has been putting money into women’s sport for a number of years,” he said. “It is paying off and we will continue to do that and give this team 100pc for Tokyo.”
Asked if that means a significant increase will be forthcoming if they ask for it, he replied: “They will be getting it too!”
World Masters Hockey brings all masters hockey under a single organization
Lausanne, Switzerland: FIH CEO Thierry Weil and World Masters Hockey (WMH) President Sean Curran signed on 6 November a ground-breaking MoU that will bring all the masters hockey under a single organization within the global FIH hockey community. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the FIH Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The WMH will organize the World Cups for all age groups from 35+ onwards and all the FIH National Associations are encouraged to join WMH.
The next WMH Masters World Cups for all age groups will be held in South Africa, England and Japan in 2020. England will host the 35+ and 40+ Men and Women competitions in August, South Africa will host the events in September 2020 while Japan will host its events in November 2020.
MHC election 'farce' continues
That saw incumbent MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal receiving 13 nominations and Kamarudin just two and, as a result, the latter was technically knocked out of the race. NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI
KEDAH Hockey Association (KHA) have lodged a complaint with the Sports Commissioner’s Office, claiming there was “fraud” involved in the nomination process for the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) elections.
The letter, which was sent yesterday, was also addressed to Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman as well as the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).
KHA claimed that their nomination form (submitted on Nov 1, a day before the closing date), had been altered.
“However, on Nov 6, when MHC announced the list of candidates, we were made to understand that our nomination list was altered.
“As such, we strongly believe there was fraud involved, and thus seek MHC to be compelled to nullify the entire electoral process and call for fresh nominations,” read part of the letter, which was signed by KHA vice-president S. Thaitchana Muruthi.
KHA claimed that they had nominated AirAsia Group executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, for the MHC president’s post but his name was “missing” from another list received by the national body.
Incumbent MHC vice-president Datuk Majid Manjit Abdullah had claimed at a recent press conference that “new nomination was sent in by KHA president Asmirul Anuar Aris on his own accord”.
That saw incumbent MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal receiving 13 nominations and Kamarudin just two and, as a result, the latter was technically knocked out of the race.
This is because the MHC constitution states that a presidential candidate must receive at least three nominations to be eligible to contest.
Subahan was then declared the winner “on a technicality”.
However, KHA are now disputing it, saying they had sent in Kamarudin’s name together with Johor and Kuala Lumpur.
A source, who is aware of the goings-on, offered this clarification.
“The KHA president had sent in a list one week before nominations closed. The KHA’s second list was received on Nov 1 around 2pm and was signed by their secretary, S. Sandra Gesan.
“For the record, Sandra as well as KHA deputy president S. Sathis Kumar, were in London during that period on a president-sponsored trip to watch Malaysia play Britain in the Olympic Qualifiers.
“So, Sandra must have sent in the second nomination list at about 6am London time.
“As such, KHA’s claim that their nomination list was altered or changed does not hold water as the president’s list was received much earlier.
“However, it must be noted that it is Kedah’s internal matter and it is up to them to find out what is happening in their association.
“The MHC received the nomination in good faith. If there is any hanky-panky going on in KHA, they should settle it among themselves,” said the source.
The MHC elections will be held on Nov 16 and the candidates had until yesterday to withdraw their nominations, otherwise, their names will be on the ballot papers.
The candidates, however, can still pull out of the race on election day.
There are two camps in this hotly-disputed elections.
One side, led by Manjit, are supported by Kuala Lumpur HA and KHA and comprise former national skipper Datuk Ow Soon Kooi, Lum Sau Fong and K. Maheswari as well as Datuk Che Khalib and Sathis.
The other camp have the support of 13 states and look set to win hands down.
So, will lodging a report with the Sports Commissioner’s Office change anything?
Probably not, said the source, adding that from experience, the Sports Commissioner’s Office would always advise the factions to resolve matters internally rather than meting out punishment.
Citing a recent case regarding a dispute by two factions on the nominations for the Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPM) elections, the source said the Sports Commissioner instructed MPM to go ahead with their AGM and to let the members decide on the next course of action.
The MPM members unanimously agreed to defer their AGM and elections to a later date.
“Yes, I believe the Sports Commissioner (Dr Wirdawati Radzi) will give the same kind of response. In the end, MHC members will decide whether to go ahead with the elections or defer their AGM and call for new nominations,” said the source.
For the record, 32 people were fully sponsored by Subahan to watch the qualifiers in London, where Malaysia were hammered 9-3 by Britain on aggregate. Malaysia last featured in the Olympics in Sydney in 2000.
Upon returning, some of the 32 labelled the free trip an “election bribe” and planned to lodge reports with the police as well as with the MACC.
New Straits Times
Women’s EYHL returns as clubs look to build on Olympic euphoria
Naomi Carroll in action in 2013 for Catholic Institute. Pic: Adrian Boehm
The Irish women’s EY Hockey League clubs will hope the euphoria of last weekend’s Olympic qualifiers in Energia Park can filter through to the premier domestic competition which gets underway on Saturday.
How many of the stars involved for Ireland will line out for their clubs remain to be seen, however, with Hockey Ireland leaving their inclusion up to a case-by-case basis but many will be rested.
Each international underwent a medical on Monday morning before going into a “regeneration period” until November 24th with players to have an “individual plan” put together ahead of a return to a national programme later in the month.
A new squad will be selected toward the end of December which will fall into line with the Sport Ireland carding system for 2020.
Roisin Upton is one player who will certainly not be in action today; she will miss Catholic Institute’s debut in the top tier having sustained a broken wrist against Canada.
The Limerick club will have the welcome services of Naomi Carroll following a year out with an ACL knee injury.
The 111-time Irish international has returned to her roots – the club she began playing with as a 14-year-old – after four years away: two at Cork Harlequins, one with Hermes while she spent last term on the sidelines due to the injury.
It came in innocuous fashion as she lined out for a ladies football match last summer in the aftermath of the World Cup, taking in a change of scene having narrowly missed selection for London.
“It was just a side-step, there was no collision and it just popped,” she told the Examiner. “It was heart-breaking to find out it was serious – my legs would be quite strong so the physios initially thought it might only be a minor injury and I might be back training within a week or two.”
Since then, she documented her physical progress with intense video blogs of her training while she says the support from her friends at Institute has provided an extra driver to get back to the top level.
“It was a long year; part of the reason I ran the blog was to show it was by no means easy and I wanted to show what was going on behind the scenes. Because of it, I feel I am maybe in stronger shape.”
Insta will line out on Saturday in their first EYHL game since promotion in May, a key tie against Muckross who finished ninth last term and only survived the drop via a shoot-out.
The Limerick side showed up well in their one Irish Senior Cup tie to date but were frustrated to fall 7-4 to UCD who netted five final quarter goals having trailed 4-2.
Carroll netted in that tie and also impressed for an Irish development side against Korea as she now bids to, potentially, make a run at getting back into the Irish squad for Olympic year.
“I really enjoyed that Korea game; I am going to work really hard with the club and see what that brings down the line.
“With Insta, we are ambitious and we want to show ourselves well. Against UCD, it was tit-for-tat kind of game and we showed we can be up there and we also want to show that Limerick can be a really tough for anyone to come to.”
Niamh Carey has been in fine form for UCD. Pic: Adrian Boehm
First on their agenda is a crucial date with Muckross who signed up Anna O’Flanagan as player-assistant coach for the campaign.
The Dublin 4 side only escaped relegation last term via a shoot-out, only scoring 11 goals in 18 league games, and so the striker will be a crucial addition when available.
Sinead and Jessica McGirr, along with Nikki Keegan, are other big signings from Loreto having won a number of All-Ireland titles between them.
UCD coach Miles Warren has prepared his side to have very limited use of Lena Tice during the season and they are already going well. While many other clubs have been twiddling their thumbs, his side won four rounds of the Irish Senior Cup and, last weekend, added yet another intervarsities title.
Niamh Carey has been going extremely well up front and could be a good shout for inclusion in the wider senior Irish panel. Their first outing is a trip to a decimated Cork Harlequins for whom Cliodhna Sargent and Yvonne O’Byrne are both out injured, Ingrid Burns and Olivia Roycroft have gone to Bandon and Caoimhe Perdue is now with UCC. With an incredibly young panel, Rebecca and Michelle Barry will be vital components.
Old Alex will be captained this season by Emma Russell and they have added Liz McInerney and Jeamie Deacon to their line-up, both of whom have won national titles before.
Their first league tie is up against Belfast Harlequins who have not included Barr twins Serena and Bethany in their line-up but elder sister Natalie is in line for an EYHL debut.
Pembroke host Loreto and Railway Union come up against Pegasus with all potentially missing international players for the games.
It’s day three of EYHL Division 2 with Corinthian travelling to Santry Avenue to face Trinity in a dust-off between two sides with perfect records to date in Pool A and Leinster Division One. The reds came from behind to beat Monkstown 2-1 in the domestic league.
Cork C of I and NUIG meet hoping to land their first victory and get into the race for the semi-finals.
In Pool B, Ards can strengthen their place at the head of the table if they see off Greenfields who are awaiting their first win at this level. Queen’s face Monkstown in a critical contest.
In the men’s EYHL, meanwhile, the two perfect records go head-to-head at Comber Road when the free-scoring Lisnagarvey and UCD meet. Between them, they have scored 35 goals already – whether the students can break down the Garvey defence who have conceded just once.
Prior to the season, you would get long odds on Corinthian being the unbeaten side and Banbridge yet to record a W after three rounds of matches. The reds will hope to continue their run at Whitechurch Park.
The winner between Monkstown and Glenanne will be in the top four on Saturday evening while Pembroke go to Wesley in another Dublin derby. Three Rock host Annadale with Ali Haughton, Sam Grace and Ben Walker potentially returning to action.
There is a full round of EYHL2 with former Olympians Mikie Watt and John Jermyn – two of Ireland’s all-time highest goalscorers – potentially facing off when Instonians meet Cork C of I in Pool A.
Railway take on Avoca in the other game there while Pool B pits Clontarf against Cookstown and Kilkeel face Cork Harlequins.
James Milliken in action for Lisnagarvey. Pic: Adrian Boehm
Saturday 9th November 2019
EYHL: Corinthian v Banbridge, Whitechurch Park, 1.15pm; Lisnagarvey v UCD, Comber Road, 2.30pm; Monkstown v Glenanne, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, 2.15pm; Three Rock Rovers v Annadale, Grange Road, 3pm; YMCA v Pembroke Wanderers, Wesley College, 1.30pm
EYHL Division 2
Pool A: Instonians v Cork C of I Shaw’s Bridge, 1pm; Railway Union v Avoca, Park Avenue, 1pm
Pool B: Clontarf v Cookstown, Mount Temple, 3.30pm; Kilkeel v Cork Harlequins, Kilkeel HS, 2.30pm
Leinster Division 1: Bray v Rathgar, Temple Carrig, 12.30pm; Kilkenny v Dublin North, Kilkenny College, 1.45pm
Munster Charity Cup – Round 2: Bandon v Ashton, Bandon GS, 2.30pm; Catholic Institute v UCC, Rosbrien, 3pm
Irish Junior Cup – Round 1: Banbridge v Glenanne, Havelock Park, 1pm; Corinthian v Cookstown, Whitechurch Park, 3.15pm; Cork Harlequins v UCD, Farmers’ Cross, 1.15pm; Monkstown v Lisnagarvey, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, 4pm; North Down v Mossley, Comber LC, 2.30pm; Portadown v Three Rock Rovers, Edenvilla SC, 1pm; Rathgar v NICS, The High School, 2.15pm; YMCA v Cork C of I, Wesley College, 3.30pm
EYHL Division 1: Catholic Institute v Muckross, Rosbrien, 1pm; Cork Harlequins v UCD, Farmers’ Cross, 3pm; Old Alexandra v Belfast Harlequins, Alexandra College, 2.30pm; Pembroke Wanderers v Loreto, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; Railway Union v Pegasus, Park Avenue, 3.30pm
EYHL Division 2
Pool A: Cork C of I v NUIG, Garryduff, 2pm; Trinity v Corinthian, Santry Avenue, 3.30pm
Pool B: Greenfields v Ards, Dangan, 2.20pm; Queens University v Monkstown, Malone Playing Fields, 1pm
Leinster Division 1
Wednesday: Monkstown 1 (C Byrne) Corinthian 2 (J Douglas 2)
Saturday: Genesis v North Kildare, St Raphaela’s, 2.45pm; Glenanne v Avoca, St Andrews, 1.30pm; Naas v Rathgar, Caragh Road, 12pm
Irish Junior Cup – Round 1: Belvedere v Railway Union, Ballincollig CS, 1pm; Corinthian v Cork C of I, Whitechurch Park, 1pm; Loreto v Ballymoney, Beaufort, 3pm; Muckross v Belfast Harlequins, Muckross Park, 3.15pm; Avoca v Cork Harlequins, Newpark, 3.30pm; Mossley v Old Alex, The Glade, 4pm; Lisnagarvey v UCD, Comber Road, 1pm
Sunday 10th November 2019
Leinster Division 1: Glenanne v Corinthian, Glenanne Park, 2pm
Munster Division 1: Ashton v Bandon, Ashton School, 2.45pm
Jersey Hockey Club thrilled with their new hockey home
Jersey Hockey Club
A dream that began back in 2015 became a reality for Jersey HC in September when three GB stars opened their brand new club facilities.
Former England and GB players Barry and Beckie Middleton were joined by Giselle Ansley to cut the ribbon and open the state-of-the-art clubhouse.
Beckie Middleton cuts the tape
The unveiling saw hundreds of islanders’ head to the facility to enjoy what will be their new home. The event continued throughout the weekend with tournaments against touring sides, including the England Lionesses, Clifton College and Guernsey Women.
The glorious space consists of four changing rooms, complete with shower and toilet facilities, on the ground floor. Meanwhile, the first floor has a top-notch terrace offering great views of the pitch where you can tuck in to some freshly cooked food from the kitchen or keep refreshed with a drink from the bar.
Speaking to the Jersey Evening Post, Tom Boswell said: “The bar and kitchen provide the ideal facilities for players to socialize after games and to come up and watch other games and to come up and watch other games taking place.”
Hockey in Jersey has a long and strong tradition, dating back more than 120 years when it was predominantly an activity for school pupils. A newspaper report from 1899 mentions the Jersey High School for Girls Hockey Club, while a Village College report mentioned a boys’ team in 1901.
A column in the Jersey Weekly Press on 24 February 1990 said: “Hockey has sprung suddenly into life in Jersey and, though but a few scratch matches have been played, a number of enthusiasts resolved to uphold the island’s colours in response to a challenge from the sister isle of Guernsey, sent by a team of the GAHC.’
Games have been played on both grass and sand over the years, with Greve d’Azette, Cheapside, St. Luke’s and West Park beaches each hosting a number of matches.
The first all-weather pitch was laid in 1991 and now 28 years later they are celebrating these brand new facilities.
Jersey Hockey are excited for the season ahead especially with their new home open for business.
Read more here.
England Hockey Board Media release
Scotland women win SWIS Team of the Year
The Scotland women’s hockey have won the Team of the Year Award at the Scottish Women in Sport (SWIS) Awards 2019.
The Awards were held at the GoGlasgow Hotel on Friday 8 November and the Tartan Hearts won the award in an excellent and competitive field of nominees.
It has been an incredible year for the Scotland women’s hockey team; they won Women’s EuroHockey Championship II in Glasgow in emphatic fashion securing promotion to the top division of European hockey. The Scots won every game at the tournament in front of a passionate home crowd and lifted the trophy after an excellent 2-1 victory over Italy in the final.
It was also a year in which the team beat World Cup silver medallists Ireland in Stormont as part of preparations for the Euros. There are also three athletes competing in the Great Britain women’s squad: Sarah Robertson, Amy Costello and Charlotte Watson showing the level of talent within the squad.
Scotland women’s captain, Kaz Cuthbert, said, “We’re absolutely buzzing. We’d like to say a big thank you to the team, the full squad, the management, and Scottish Hockey for making it happen. We had the most amazing Euros at Glasgow Green and this is the reward for it. Well done everyone.”
10 August 2019 at the National Hockey Centre, Glasgow Green. Women’s EuroHockey Championship II Final match:
Scotland v Italy. The Scotland team celebrate with the trophy
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Penn State stuns top-seeded Maryland field hockey in Big Ten semifinals, 1-0
Forward Madison Maguire looks on during Maryland field hockey’s 5-1 win over Michigan State on Oct. 25, 2019. (Gabby Baniqued/The Diamondback)
Maryland field hockey forward Madison Maguire lifted her arms, cracked a smile, and jumped for joy once she saw her late fourth-quarter shot rattle the cage, appearing to have given the Terps a hard-fought equalizer.
It had been a largely frustrating day for Maguire — the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year — and the Terps up to that point, having failed to break down a resolute Penn State defense. And it was the second straight game in which coach Missy Meharg’s squad failed to score in the opening three quarters of the game.
But Maguire’s smile quickly dissipated as she looked toward the referee, who signaled that forward Bibi Donraadt had fouled goalkeeper Brie Barraco, negating the goal and sending the Nittany Lions’ bench into a frenzy.
The No. 1-seeded Terps, on the other hand, were left in dismay, a microcosm of a frustrating performance in which they created plenty of chances but failed to get past Barraco, losing 1-0 to No. 5-seeded Penn State in the Big Ten tournament semifinals Friday.
Both sides’ attacking units looked sharp at the start, crowding the opposition’s shooting circle to create high-quality chances.
The Terps fired three shots at Barraco’s cage — all of which were dealt with by the Penn State netminder.
Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions recorded three shots of their own, eventually finding the net halfway through the opening frame.
The Terps struggled to clear the ball after an incisive Penn State run into the shooting circle, resulting in a bouncing ball ambling across goalkeeper Noelle Frost’s goalmouth.
Forward Bree Bednarski got the vital touch, sending the ball into the left side of the cage to give the Nittany Lions an early advantage.
As the game progressed to its second frame, the Terps began to enjoy more influence in the midfield and final third of the pitch.
Forward Mayv Clune and midfielder Linda Cobano saw their efforts ricochet off of Barraco, while a speculative effort from Maguire whistled outside of the post.
But just as Maryland’s attacking unit began to exert more control, the Nittany Lions shifted to a more pragmatic approach, dropping back in numbers to defend the threat — limiting their attacking creativity in the final third but making it difficult for the Terps to break down.
So, despite Maryland holding an overwhelming 9-3 edge in shots and a 3-0 advantage in penalty corners, the scoreboard read 1-0 in Penn State’s favor.
The third quarter paralleled the first, as Penn State — hoping to double its lead to kill off any chance of a Maryland comeback — began hoofing the ball up the pitch in an effort to get its attackers in one-on-one situations with defenders.
Consequently, Frost was forced into two saves, including a crucial intervention on forward Alexis Horst’s shot that forced the Terps’ netminder to drift beyond her shooting circle and kick away the flick.
Meanwhile, Barraco proved impenetrable, darting across her goalmouth to deny defender Bodil Keus of an equalizer.
Fifteen minutes separated top-seeded Maryland from an early tournament dismissal.
And the nerves were evident in the final period, as the Terps struggled to string together scoring chances, recording two shots in the frame.
When Maguire’s attempt flew beyond Barraco, it looked as if the senior had rescued Meharg’s squad, just as she has done time and time again this season.
As the referee’s whistle blew, though, it left Maguire and the rest of the Terps pondering what had gone wrong, and where to go from here as they try to pick up the pieces in time for the NCAA tournament.
Remembering Surjeet Singh Panesar, the hockey genius
By CHARLES OUKO
The hockey fraternity is mourning following the death of Kenyan hockey legend Surjeet Singh Panesar in Nairobi on November 6, 2019. PHOTO | FILE |
The hockey fraternity is mourning following the death of Kenyan hockey legend Surjeet Singh Panesar in Nairobi on Wednesday.
Known affectionately and popularly as ‘Junior’ or ‘Sindhi’, his passing on, has brought down the curtain on a true sporting colossus; not just Kenyan but a global figure.
A one-club man, he only ever played for his beloved Sikh Union Hockey Club, Nairobi, in an illustrious career that begun in 1957 and ended in 1980.
Comfortable at either centre-half or full-back, his astonishing 23 years of playing top class hockey, brought with it numerous accolades, that cannot possibly be done justice to in this brief article.
Together with Avtar Singh Sohal ‘Tari’ and the late Alu Mendonca, they represented Kenya in a combined 473 international matches, all documented.
Of these, Panesar’s tally was 165.
So who exactly was Panesar and why do I refer to him as a global hockey colossus?
Panesar was born in Nairobi on June 24, 1936 and took up the game of hockey during his early schooling days at the Duke of Gloucester, School, in Nairobi. His parents, Balwant Singh Lalton and mother Tar Kaur, had emigrated to Nairobi in 1918.
Upon graduating from the Duke of Glocester School, Nairobi, Junior returned to India, for his high school and University education. He graduated from Patiala University, in Architecture, specializing in interior architecture.
He thereafter returned to Nairobi in 1957 and put in an illustrious 23 year playing shift for his beloved Sikh Union Nairobi, hockey club.
He played over 1000 matches for Sikh Union Club, Nairobi, both locally and on overseas tours. His tours took him to among other nations, Tanzania, Uganda, Pakistan, Zambia , the United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Canada, USA and Zimbabwe.
At club level, he won every club competition of the time and was also honoured severally by his club. Cups won, were among others the D’Souza Gold Cup, the Kenya Cup, Ujjager Singh Rai Cup, Kesar Singh Cup, Aggarwal Cup and the prestigious Siri Guru Gobind Singh Cup.
Other than the national team, Junior also represented other select teams. These were notably Nairobi XI and Asian Sports Association. On the former team he played against England in Nairobi on September 19, 1958.
Panesar first represented Kenya on September 20, 1959 in their 4-0 win against Rhodesia in Nairobi. He scored a goal on his debut. The last time he donned the Kenya shirt was on September 7, 1972. This was in a match against Argentina at the 19772 Munich Olympics. Kenya also won that macth 2-1 and fittingly, his long time teammate, Avtar Singh Sohal ‘Tari’, scored Kenya’s winning goal.
This match was to later acquire historical significance and lend credence to my earlier remarks here, that he was a truly global hockey figure.
Upon returning home, Sindhi then played competitively for a further eight years for Sikh, eventually calling it a day in 1980.
Internationally, Junior’s playing highlights, would almost certainly have been the following. Becoming a four-time Olympian for Kenya and taking Kenya to fourth place in the world at the inaugural Hockey World Cup, in Barcelona.
Panesar represented Kenya at four consecutive Olympics. These were at Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, Mexico 1968 and Munich 1972.
Together with Alu Mendonca and Avtar Singh Sohal, they became the first Africans to represent their nations at four Olympics.
Sohal, who still lives in Nairobi, made the Guinness book of records in 1984 for his hockey exploits and was Kenya’s captain at the '64, ’68 and ’72 Olympics.
Pakistan played a three test series in Nairobi on their way to the Rome Olympics in 1960. Panesar put in such a cracking performance, that he was immediately called up for the games. He was thereafter never to relinquish the centre half or full back position, till retirement in 1972.
Mendonca had already represented Kenya at the Melbourne Summer Games in 1956.
I was privileged to sit down with both Panesar and Tari in late 2018. This was during the 50th Anniversary of their Mexico Games exploits. It was then that Panesar, informed me of the origins of the nick name ‘Junior’.
"When I joined the Kenya Olympics team in 1960 the returning captain from our inaugural Olympics appearance in Melbourne was Surjeet Singh Deol. He was still captain in 1960. So to differentiate between the two of us, I was nick named ‘Junior’ and Deol ‘Senior’."
During the same interview, Panesar, had a lot to say on his hockey odyssey. He spoke passionately on the current state of Kenyan hockey and also recollected his two greatest hockey playing moments.
“I had two unforgettable playing moments, even though one came with a tinge of regret. Beating India the reigning Olympic champions, in Jabalpur in 1964. We led 3-0 at half time and eventually won 4-0. We were on our way to the Tokyo Olympics and the Indian press at the time, went to town classifying me as the best centre half in the world.”
“At the inaugural Barcelona Hockey World Cup, we came through our pool games, pretty much unscathed. A suspicious refereeing call meant that Pakistan progressed ahead of us, to play in the final, against Spain. We thus took on the mighty Indians, for the bronze medal. They beat us 2-1 and only after extra time, with Tari our scorer.”
“We returned to Kenya as the fourth best hockey nation in the world, but we and the rest of the world knew, that for some biased refereeing calls against us, in our previous match, we would have met Pakistan in the final and undoubtedly taken them to the cleaners."
This bronze medal match was played on Sunday October 24, 1971.
On the state of Kenya hockey, Sindhi spoke with despair: "We have not been to the Olympics for 30 years now. During that time, teams that we routinely beat at the Olympics have since gone on to become either World or Olympic champions. Tragic."
The record books certainly paint a similar picture. Of the 31 matches that Kenya played at the Olympics between 1960 and 1972, we beat Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Argentina and the UK among others. All of these nations, have since gone on to taste Olympic glory.
At the outset of this story I alluded to the historical significance of Panesar’s last Olympic Games outing on September 7, 1972 against Argentina at the Munich Olympics.
It was his 31 consecutive match at the Olympics. It was also a milestone as no other person had till that date played 31 matches in field hockey at the Olympics. This record by Sindhi remained unbroken for 40 years, till the 2012 London Olympics.
Panesar was to African hockey what Joginder Singh Bhachu was to African motorsports, Kipchoge Keino to athletics and Jackson Omaido to rugby.
Upon hearing of the passing on of his great friend, Tari said: "Sindhi was a class act. Pure genius with the hockey stick in hand. At his best, he could have played, with distinction for any hockey nation on the earth. A great sports man and the perfect gentleman off the pitch. If you never saw Sindhi play, you missed out on a sporting spectacle. My unforgettable friend.”
Also mourning him was Del Mudher, the curator of the Sikh Union Nairobi, hockey museum. “Sindhi, uncle the most gentle of gentlemen, a softly spoken man of many stories. Loved all and was loved by all both in his hey days and in his twilight years. He will be greatly remembered as a phenomenal player but for me who never saw him on a hockey field, I will cherish his memories as phenomenal human being.”
Only slowed down by illness over the past year, Panesar was nonetheless still involved with his beloved Sikh Union Club, till the very end. He was an integral part of the management committee that put together all the hard work and unveiled their astro-turf pitch mid this year.
Junior is survived by his wife Kuldip Kaur ‘Deepi' and his two sons Dr. Jagpal Singh ‘Pali’ and Prithpal Singh ‘Bilo’.
His funeral service takes place Saturday morning at Sikh Temple Pangani from 11am, with his final rites at the Hindu Kariokor Crematorium from 12 noon.
Sindhi, unmatched and unforgettable, global hockey colossus. Thank you for the cherished memories, great man.
England Hockey was saddened to learn of the recent death of Brian Perks.
Brian, who hailed from Ipswich, was a great supporter of hockey, both locally within Suffolk and the East and at a national level.
Brian was a passionate advocate of indoor hockey and was heavily involved in the introduction of The Hockey Association national indoor championships at Crystal Palace in the 1970s as well as the England men’s indoor teams, who he served as a selector.
Brian was also a qualified coach and a technical official, acting as Tournament Director for domestic events and a Match Official in the England Hockey League.
Known almost universally as Perky, Brian was a man with a positive outlook and great sense of humour. Away from hockey he was a keen golfer, a hobby he enjoyed with his wife Carol, to whom send our condolences.
England Hockey Board Media release