MHC confident league will run smoothly

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are confident that the 2021 Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) to be conducted under the sports bubble concept from yesterday will run smoothly.

MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal said this was based on the detailed planning done by the Competitions Committee.

“I am excited to see what will happen throughout the entire month-long season of the MHL, which will end on April 3. I am also confident the players will display a high level of competitiveness and quality.

“This is because the players are in high spirits and raring to prove their capabilities after not playing for so long… this will rejuvenate the sport in the country,” he told reporters during a meeting with the media here yesterday.

The last time hockey players took to the field was in the Tun Abdul Razak Cup last September, when Perak (men’s category) and Pahang (women’s category) emerged champions.

Asked if the sports bubble concept would be used for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in June, Subahan said it was too early to think of the invitational event.

“I hope and pray that the Covid-19 situation will improve by June… if cases rise, then we will be forced to (use the sports bubble), but it is up to the National Security Council and Youth and Sports Ministry,” he said.

Meanwhile, he played down the issue of fans being allowed to return to stadiums, saying that it was more important that players are given the opportunity to compete and improve their performance.

“I do not think that (allowing fans in stadiums) an issue because the MHL will be broadcast live on television,” he said.

Eight men’s teams will vie for glory in the 2021 MHL. They are defending champions Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Terengganu Hockey Team (THT), Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), TNB Thunderbolts, Maybank, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Nurinsafi Hockey Team and Sabah.

PKS UniTen, PDRM Blue Warriors, Mutiara Impian, Sabah, Young Tigress and UniKL Ladies will compete in the women’s category.

— Bernama

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