Tuesday, 12 August 2014 | MYT 5:18 PM
Khairy unhappy with MHC for Dharma's removal
K. Dharmaraj was replaced by A. Arulselvaraj after a poor showing at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. - filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin took to task the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC)’s decision to replace their national coach.
Khairy questioned the timing to replace K. Dharmaraj on Monday as the Incheon Asian Games will start next month (Sept 19-Oct 4). A. Arulselvaraj, the Project 2016 coach, has taken over as the interim coach for the Games.
“To change the coach 40 days before the Asian Games is not an ideal state of affairs,” Khairy said on Tuesday as he presided at the flag-handing ceremony for the Youth Olympics starting in Nanjing this weekend.
“It is an example of poor planning. The MHC committee may be concealing certain things and did not reveal it to president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah when they made the recommendations.”
Khairy also questioned why the performance at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was used as the main reason to relieve the coach.
In Glasgow, Malaysia finished seventh and also lost 4-2 to minnows Trinidad and Tobago in a group match.
The hockey squad also performed badly at the World Cup, finishing last in the 12-team tournament in Holland in June.
“The Commonwealth Games was not the target but this should not be used as justification to fire him. The decision-making process is wrong,” added Khairy, who also hinted on a possible audit of the current four-year programme planning for multi-Games in light of Malaysia’s six-gold medal performance in Glasgow, one short of the targeted haul of seven.
“We have to get things right for the next Commonwealth Games in 2018 and the 2019 Asian Games.
“The level of planning and execution we have in place are not good enough.
“That is why we estimated we were only good for not more than eight golds in Glasgow although we came back with 12 from New Delhi.
“We are just being realistic, imagine if we had put 10 or 12 gold medals. There are just no returns based on investment and possibly, I may order an audit after getting feedback but it has to be independent.
“It cannot involve us (national sports associations, Olympic Council of Malaysia or National Sports Council) as we are stakeholders.”