MHF fit two more in tight schedule

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation's (MHF) calendar is already congested with domestic and international tournaments and it is set to be further burdened with two tournaments more for the national hockey team. 

Singapore will host the inaugural SEA Cup for men and women from Aug 30-Sept 7 and the tournament is a replacement for the SEA Games where hockey is not on the programme of the biennial regional sports carnival in Vietnam in December. 

The MHF secretary, S. Satgunam, said that although it would pose a problem for them, they were committed to support the tournament. 

“We will send a team and at the same time we will ensure that it will not affect our other domestic arrangements,” he said. 

The tournament in Singapore will be held at the same time as the semi-finals of the Malaysia Hockey League. 

“We will have to work out a solution whereby the players in the semi-finals are not affected.  

“We need to pick players from the other clubs and also from the national junior side. We will not postpone the MHL,” said Satgunam. 

The second tournament is the Afro-Asian Games in October where Malaysia are one of the four Asian teams for the men's competition.  

The other three are India, who will host the Games, South Korea and Japan. 

On the MHF calendar in October are the Razak Cup tournament and national team's two-week tour of Australia. 

“We are not sure when the Afro-Asian Games will be held. It has been postponed twice. But India have informed us that they hope to stage it in October. We will make a final decision on whether to compete after we get confirmation on the dates,” said Satgunam. 

The national team is due to leave today for the Champions Challenge in South Africa. 

In September, they will take part in the Asia Cup followed by the tour of Australia. In December, the team will go to Madrid for test matches against Spain.  

En route to Spain they are expected to stop over in Pakistan for two matches. 

Meanwhile, Satgunam said that all the seven foreign teams for the Asia Cup, which will be played at the National Hocket Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Sept 20-28, had confirmed their participation.  

They are India, South Korea, Pakistan, Japan, China, Bangladesh and Hong Kong. 

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