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MHF and AHF did enhance their Image this time arou (5/31/2009)
--K. Arumugam
Asia Cup My last word Part II

MHF and AHF did enhance their Image this time around

Editorial: I have not seen many Asia Cups unlike some others in the media. However, to the extent I saw, this edition of the Asia Cup might well go down in the history as a poor show, a forgettable one.

The technical conduct was not upto the mark, the draw and duration of the tournament too left much to be desired.

There is no need to spend full eight days to stage mere 12 matches!! It seems vested interests are at play to prolong the duration. Two rest days and then just a match in one of those working days. In this highly professional world, this is sheer waste of time.

The Asian Hockey Federation could assemble only seven teams compared to 11 last time which speaks poor of this body which needs a whiff of fresh air.

It was rumoured that countries like Oman and Sri Lanka pulled out after they came to know the tariff of the official hotel, though the official version of their pull out was something beaten track.

The tariff at the official hotel is certainly a deterrent for long. Teams should have freedom to fix their hotels based on their pocket, as they can directly bargain and choose hotels of their choice. Why to spend the like of USD 100 per room and 55 for food per day in such a small city as Kuantan when you can get the same at half the price in some other hotels in some other locality? Why all the teams should be put in a single hotel is also a topic that needs study.

On technical side, matches were restarted at least four times after matches stopped in conformity with the score board timing (which it self is surprising), and then restarted to comply with the official timing. The one minute Koreans played after the match was stopped could have changed the complexion of the game, as they took the lead only 67th minute, but thankfully the Koreans managed to avert that.

In one of the match sheet, a goalkeeper was credited with goals, what a joke. Can’t the three officials sit in the table be cautious? Media was not given any corrected version. In another occasion, Rehan Butt was credited with three goals though coach and manager of the team emphatically declared in the press conference that Rehan’s tally was only two. This was brought to the notice of the Technical Director, a shy guy, with no response. Is it below dignity of someone to issue corrections?

I don’t think any visiting journalist would have returned with a happy frame of mind from Kuantan. A veteran journalist from Pakistan even felt this is the worst managed media event. Everyone agreed with him. Kuantan was perhaps the only occasion where there was no official media officer!!. It is unfortunate no official from MHF or AHF found it worth to interact with the foreign media, or made a courtesy call.

It is not to say service was not provided, but only to score the soul was missing. Match sheets were distributed in no time after the match, wireless was provided, coaches /captains were brought for interviews. Local media persons were extremely warm, co-operative, but the point is why not to have a system in place? Stadium was in the outskirts of the city, did any official from the orgnizers side did take note of that?

AHF should think why only a dozen foreign journalists turned up, when the previous occasion attracted the triple? Strictly speaking no invitation was sent out making the foreign media a gate crasher genre) and fittingly media cards issued on arrival carried neither journalist's photo nor name.

Whether it is the duty of AHF or MHF but both failed to get the matches telecast, perhaps the first Asia Cup was not telecast live in the recent memory.

As happens in India most of the times, every organizer is busy in bringing and taking care of VIPs!!!, sometimes introducing them in half time, before the match and what not.

I think the MHF is becoming casual in organizing events, perhaps they have been overloaded with so many tournaments for which they are eager but not competent or equipped.

I don’t know what lies in store for the Junior World Cup, our hope lies with the FIH who can enforce and maintain benchmark standards in each aspect of the game.

MHF have long been considered as the good host which we don’t doubt even now, but unfortunately Kuantan did not endorse the tradition.

Note: Asia Cup related articles ended

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