The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) criticised the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) decision not to allow video referrals to be used for the Kuala Lumpur leg of the Men's FIH Series Finals, taking place from April 26th to May 4th.
According to the international body, the decision was taken to standardise the entire competition because other countries hosting the FIH Series Finals were unable to have the referral system in place.
Besides Kuala Lumpur, the Men's FIH Series Finals will be taking place in India and France, while its female edition will be in Ireland — where the Malaysia women's team will play — Japan and Spain.
Both offer tickets for national teams to potentially qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
For the Kuala Lumpur leg, the two finalists will join 12 teams in the Olympic qualifying round, where they will be drawn into six pairs and play in a two-match series for Olympic spots.
Due to the significance, MHC president Subahan Kamal suggested that the video referral system could make or break a national team's Olympic chances.
"We need the system not only for Malaysia but also every competing team because it is very important to determine results," he said.
The Speedy Tigers' coaches and players also agreed with the MHC's stance, believing not using the video referral system could put the team at a disadvantage.
"We will adhere to the FIH's ruling, but the absence of the system can have an effect on the team," said national goalkeeper coach Nasihin Nubli.
"The system has been helpful and [without the system] it could be a huge stumbling block for the national team at the upcoming Series Finals," said national captain Meor Muhammad Azuan Hassan.
"The video referral system helped Malaysia a lot at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, but [in its absence] we will work hard to find the best way to ensure Malaysia progress," added defender Faiz Helmi Jali.
In the group stage of the FIH Series Finals, Malaysia are in the same group as Brazil, China and Italy in Pool B.
Austria, Belarus, Canada and Wales made up the other group.
Seng Foo Lee
Fri Apr 12 2019
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