KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultan of Johor Cup has been brought forward by two weeks so that it does not clash with the FIH Champions Challenge I in Argentina from Nov 24-Dec 2.
The new dates for the Under-21 international meet in Johor Baru are Nov 8-18.
Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) vice-president Manjit Majid Abdullah said yesterday that they had already made plans to have the Sultan of Johor Cup earlier when they learnt that the Champions Challenge I was being held at the same time.
The senior team will be playing in Argentina and a number of the juniors players from the Project 2013 team are likely to be involved.
Manjit added that the Sultan of Johor Cup for 2013 will be held in September as the Junior World Cup is slated for November.
“We have decided to fix the dates for both years early so that there is no clash with other assignments,” he explained.
Manjit said five countries have already confirmed entry for the seven-team tournament. Besides Malaysia, the others are India, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand. The organisers are still waiting for word from Holland and Argentina.
“The Argentines had earlier declined the invitation as it clashed with the Champions Challenge I. But now that we have changed the dates they might want to come.
“We do have some other teams on the invite list,” he said.
Australia, New Zealand, India and Pakistan took part last year. South Korea also played but are put on the list this time.
Manjit, who is also the coaching committee chairman, said the MHC would only officialy launch the Project 2017 team after the Junior World Cup next year.
“I want to clarify that Lim Chiow Chuan and Lailin Abu Hassan are interim coaches of the team as the project currently comes under the IMas programme. The full-time coaches for the team will be named once we have launched the project,” he said.
“That will be next year. Our junior projects take a four-year cycle as they are funded by the National Sports Council (NSC).
“They will not fund two projects at the same time. There has been some confusion over the matter.”