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Thursday April 25, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday April 26, 2013 MYT 12:47:14 AM
Bigger assignment: Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Abdul Jalil (right) is required to
represent Malaysia in the World League semi-finals.
KUALA LUMPUR: Six national hockey players studying in local universities will not be allowed to feature in the World Student Games in Kazan, Russia, from July 7-15.
The six are Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim, Mohd Sukri Abdul Mutalib, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Nabil Fiqri Mohd Nor, Mohd Faiz Helmi Jali and Mohd Fitri Saari.
Twelve teams – Malaysia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Poland, South Africa, Ukraine and hosts Russia – will feature in the World Student Games.
This is the first time that Malaysia are featuring in hockey in the Games.
Malaysian Hockey Confede-ration (MHC) secretary Johari Aziz said that the services of the six players were needed in the national team, whose priority is the World League semi-finals in Johor Baru from June 29-July 7.
“The tournament in Johor is very important as it offers teams a chance to qualify for next year’s World Cup in The Hague, Holland,” said Johari.
“We want the national players to focus on the World League semi-finals ... we can send other players to the World Student Games.”
Eight teams will feature in the World League semi-finals and the top four will qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
Besides 13th-ranked Malaysia, the other teams are world No. 1 Germany, England, Argentina, South Korea, Pakistan, South Africa and one more team that will be decided later.
Malaysia last qualified on merit for the World Cup in 1998 in Utrecht, Holland and they last featured in the 2002 edition when Kuala Lumpur was the host.
If Malaysia fail to finish in the top four in Johor, they’ll have another chance to qualify for the World Cup – by triumphing in the Asia Cup, to be held in Ipoh in August.
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