KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians continue to give scant attention to indoor hockey.
And due to a lack of response, Malaysia have decided not to send a team for the Indoor Asia Cup in Kazakhstan from May 13-17.
Only five teams will take part in the meet. Defending champions Iran are joined by hosts Kazakhstan, Tajakistan, Uzbekistan and Qatar. This is the sixth edition of the tournament.
This is the first time Malaysia are not competing. The Malaysians were runners up in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014. They finished third in 2012 while Iran won all five editions.
In 2003, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) introduced the Indoor World Cup which is held every four years.
The Iranians finished fourth behind champions Holland, Austria and Germany. The Dutch won the world title again this February, after beating Austria in the final.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) hold an indoor championships every year but the affiliates and clubs hardly give it the attention it deserves.
A state secretary said there is no glamour in indoor hockey and thus not many states can attract players to take it up seriously.
“They failed to realise that by playing indoors it will improve their performance when they play on the turf. If Iran can win at Asian level what is stopping Malaysia who have a strong hockey history?
“And it is also surprising that top Asian teams are shunning the game,” he said.