he Malaysian Hockey League is fast becoming the butt of jokes amongst the hockey fraternity.
While the initial intentions were noble – to create another platform for hockey players to be involved in competitive hockey throughout the year plus to introduce a Women’s Hockey League, it has obviously not been done with much thought and handled in a manner that cast serious aspersions on the ability of the MHC Competitions Committee.
The rules seem to be ambiguous, as there is no clarity on the eligibility of players, for instance can those involved in coaching the various national teams be allowed to play in the Division One.
Then there is the case of the womens league eligibility of players – if a player who is a national trainee but has yet to earn a single international cap be deemed as a national player.
But the crux of the problem is the constant, and last minute change of fixtures that have many stumped.
From the beginning the MHL was besieged by problems, as the fixtures for the Women’s League showed that it will be all over by April 12, hardly before anyone becomes aware of it. The Women’s League was being done to akin a “pasar malam” trader who comes one night, sells his wares and never to return, knowing that its sub standard items that were sold.
The teams were told off at the managers meeting on March 9, in simple words to adhere to what the Competitions Committee had decided, with no room to voice their displeasure. What was more baffling was that MHC Senior Vice President Prof Dr. Shamala Subramaniam was present and said or did nothing to protect the interest of the women.
And now the fixtures have mysteriously been changed, extending the leage to end of April, when really that could and should have been decided much earlier if due care and planning was in place.
It gets better as matches scheduled for Sunday March 23 have now been postponed, with the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup cited as a reason. All of MHC was well aware that the final was on that day, so why schedule matches in the first place. As a matter of fact why can’t the Division One start after the Azlan Shah Cup, what was the big rush?
The MHC Competition Committee has to shoulder the blame for the state of affairs as it clearly showed poor planning and a total disregard to the importance of doing things the correct way, with decisions being made by a select few.
As an early notice to the Competitions Committee, are you aware that you have scheduled matches during the Champions Challenge period?