Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Malaysian head coach K. Dharmaraj dares MHC to sack him over World Cup wooden spoon finish



Malaysia’s national men’s hockey team chief coach K. Dharmaraj has taken a belligerent stand following the team’s disastrous wooden-spoon finish at the 2014 World Cup in The Hague. Dharmaraj was quoted as saying in Malaysian newspaper The Star that he has dared the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to give him the chop if they deem 13th ranked Malaysia’s showing in the World Cup as a ‘failure’.

The Malaysian coach, whose father expired during the World Cup, also questioned MHC’s move to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the team World Cup performance. Former national coach R. Yogesweran would head the committee.

Dharmaraj, who earlier this year had courted controversy over non-payment of salary, does not believe that the wooden spoon finish at Hague was an absolute disaster.

The Malaysian coach stated that the World Cup performance showed that Malaysia’s gap in standards against the “top teams was just too wide. He added that Malaysia have done to make it to the World Cup after a hiatus of twelve years and people should not react as if the team was capable of making a podium finish.

He said the players are under severe pressure with stinging criticism from various quarters given the fact that the team has two important tournaments - Commonwealth Games and Asian Games coming up shortly.

The writer can be contacted at: suhridbarua@gmail.com
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