Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's governing body for field hockey has sacked the entire national team after its dismal performance at the Doha Asian Games, where it finished sixth, a news report said Wednesday. The Malaysian Hockey Federation has picked a new squad, comprising mostly national juniors, and a new coach with a goal to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, the New Straits Times reported. The federation's management committee decided at a recent meeting to disband the national team and ask new coach Sarjit Singh to call up 40 players for training. "We will be looking at young players, especially those who took part in the Rotterdam Junior World Cup to form the core of the national team," the federation's deputy president, Abdul Majid Sultan Iskandar, was quoted as saying. Shocking move The report could not be independently confirmed and Abdul Majid could not be immediately reached on the phone. "The committee has decided to rely on youth, but if Sarjit wants, he can call up a few seniors to attend his camp," Abdul Majid was quoted as saying. The committee decided not to set the goal of qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics for the new team because it would have been too taxing. Therefore, it was decided "the immediate target would be qualify for the 2012 Olympics, Abdul Majid said. The decision was greeted with shock by the government's National Sports Council, which is the main provider of funds for the national team, the Times said. It quoted NSC director-general Ramlan Abdul Aziz as saying that while he respected the decision of the MHF, he felt that disbanding the team was too drastic. "We (the NSC) do not want to interfere in the decision of any association but personally, I believe that hockey's slide is not that bad," he was quoted as saying. He indicated that the decision might affect the funding for the team.
Topics : Hockey