But it did play a role - only in the headlines title.
Read Umpire strike back here and the response in Who let the dogs out?
In short hockey match official very fed up with the Umpiring Committee, Technical Commitee and Disciplinary Board meted out light sentences.
Following in the letter, signed by all umpires, to the respective committees.
1st October, 2011
Technical CommitteeTNB MHL 2011
The ChairmanUmpiring CommitteeMalaysian Hockey Federation
RE: DISSATISFACTION OF UMPIRES ON INCIDENTS RELATED TO THE CONTINUOUS ABUSE DURING AND AFTER MATCHES
Reference is made to the above matter.
We write to you, the above mentioned, to voice our dissatisfaction on the incidents that had taken place involving some of us, the umpires, during the ongoing TNB MHL League and also previously in other domestic tournaments organised by MHF and the way these issues had been addressed.
As you all know, the umpires are always at the receiving end of all the faults that take place in the pitch. Never once the team officials and/ or players are blamed just because they spend hundreds of thousands of ringgit preparing for every tournament and when things are not favourable to them, we get the blame.
Every year the same issue is raised that there is no consistency in umpiring, etc, etc…. We would like to ask, how consistent are the players?! Do they make the right passes everytime? NO! Do they score a goal everytime from every shot on goal? NO! Do they manage to make a correct tackle everytime to get the ball back? NO! Do the players execute all the instructions give to them by their coaches? NO!
So what are they talking about consistency!!!!!
Yes! We have umpires of different grades umpiring and with the experience that they have, we run the show. Not all of them get the opportunity to umpire high level matches but we still manage to do it. As the saying goes, “there is no perfect umpire”.
We are highlighting below a few of these incidents that had taken place during the TNB MHL League and a few other tournaments before this involving players who verbally and physically abuse umpires and get off lightly as follows:
1. Razak Cup 2010 – Kuantan – Terengganu and current national player, Faisal Saari who ran from the opposition’s half and physically pulled umpire Ravinderpal Singh’s t-shirt after the umpire had awarded a penalty corner against his team. When he did that the umpire flashed him a yellow card and upon receiving the card, the player uttered foul word to the umpire, afterwhich he was shown the red card.
This player was referred to the DB, without the umpire concerned being called. He apparently apologised and got off without any punishment meted out on him. Being the “blue- eyed boy” of the hockey team, the officials felt that they needed his services more than to instil discipline in him.
He went on playing for the country and received the same treatment from international umpires for similar behaviour but our officials kept a blind eye.
This matter was also brought up in the MHF council meeting and highlighted to the President. The DB head said that since there was no physical abuse (hitting and/ or bleeding) we could not take any action on the player. What rubbish!!!! Do they expect the umpire to be hit and only then action will be taken!! The President asked the UC to write to DB to re open the case but sadly this was never done.
Faisal Saari now plays for TNB and is a hero for the national team. Bravo! But what about umpire Ravinderpal??? What did he get out of it? He followed procedures, made a report and at the end got nothing……..not even an apology.
2. TNB MHL Premier League 2010- Keevan Raj of Nur Insafi approached and pushed umpire Lingam when the umpire awarded a PC to Maybank. He sayed that the umpire had been bought over by Maybank. Lingam gave Keevan a Green Card to which the player abused using foul language repeatedly on him and then spat on the umpire.
The umpire immediately showed him the Red Card. He too followed proper procedures by making a report and waited for the outcome. Action was only taken after 2 – 3 weeks wherby Keevan was banned for 21 months.
3. TNB MHL Premier League 2011 - Player No.2 from ATM came up to umpire Illango after the match, abused him, threatened him, pointed his stick towards him and called him out of the stadium for a fight. The said played had to be taken away by his fellow team mates.
Once again, a report was made and submitted to MHF but action was not taken immediately. This player played 2 more matches and in one of those 2 matches he again after the match approached umpire Anba and abused him.
Another report was made against this player. This time he was suspended for 2 matches. These 2 matches were the last 2 matches before the completion of the preliminary round. It wouldn’t have mattered to the player because they were at the bottom of the table anyways and would not have made it to the knockout stages.
Our question is “Why was he allowed to play for the next 2 matches and again continue to abuse the umpires after each match” ?
4. TNB MHL Premier League 2011 – Quarter final match between Sapura and Nur Insafi. Sapura captain Kuhan was red carded by umpire Anba for using foul words on him. After the match, the said played approached the technical bench and continued to hurling more foul words on the umpire in the presence of MHF officials and technical officer of the match.
The umpire submitted his report, the technical officer submitted his report. We feel that this is a very serious offence by a former national captain. This incident took place on 12/10/11 (Wednesday).
Having received a red card, the player is automatically suspended for 1 match pending the DB hearing. What baffles us is that, yes! He was automatically suspended for 1 match but to our astonishment, the technical committee did not meet to take further action and / or refer him to DB.
The technical committee in a press statement said that the matter could not be deliberated because a certain person was not available and therefore it will be held on Monday, 17/10/11.
We beg to differ to the excuses given. What would have happened if the umpire was hit and hospitalized and in a coma? Would the technical committee then sat immediately to deliberate on the mater???
And yes! Sapura lost 1- 2 in the 1st leg.
We strongly believe that this delay was to determine if Sapura were to qualify for the semi finals and to see the outcome of the 2nd leg match which was played on Sunday 16/10/11. True enough, Sapura won 2-0 and qualified.
Kuhan was given a mere 2 match suspension on Monday 17/10/11, which makes him eligible to play in the 2nd leg of the semi finals on Friday, 21/10/11.
For all that abuses and outburst Kuhan received only 2 matches. For the ATM player who did not receive any card, abused the umpires after the match was also suspended for 2 matches.
For your information, the above incidents are only a tip of the iceberg. There are many umpires who have been subject to all this and have given up, retired due to frustration because their plight was never looked into.
We would like to ask…
Where is justice?
Why are there double standards?
Why is it that the players’ welfare is taken care of and not of the umpires?
When are we going to be protected?
When will the abuses stop?
Let us tell you this!!! IT WILL ONLY STOP IF YOU WERE TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTIONs, METE OUT IMMEDIATE AND APPROPRIATE PUNISHMENTS TO THESE PLAYERS AND/ OR OFFICIALS.
Send out the message loud and clear to them that you will no longer condone such behaviour. This has been going on for far too long
Sadly but true to the every word that this has not happened and will not happen in the near future. Please prove us wrong!!
Some of us have been umpiring for more than 15 years. We get to see the same players and officials year in and year out. We have swallowed a lot of rubbish. We are still swallowing a lot of rubbish. We have new, younger umpires coming up the ranks and they too are facing the same problems.
How do you expect the country to produce more umpires when the rot is still there??
We, the undersigned (attached list of umpires’ name and signature), together and collectively would like to inform you that we want this to stop. Take the required measures now.
We do not want to have a situation where you will not have anymore umpire to officiate your tournaments.
Thanking you in advance for our future in umpiring.
The following is an email to my inbox
I got your email and phone number from (name withheld). Thanks for highlighting the plight of the Umpires last week. It has made an impact to rectify the situation. But now the blame game has started as to the mastermind of the letter and fingers pointed as to who leaked it out to the press.
Now at a panic situation, the Umpires Committee has called all the umpires who signed the letter to face them for a dialogue session instead of addressing and finding solutions on the queries. To make matters worse, this session is called on Sunday 6th November not taking into consideration it is on Hari Raya Haji and the long holidays. The rush is also because the MHF Council Meeting is on the 12th November in Johor Baru at the final day of the Sultan Of Johor Cup Hockey Tournament whereby the Umpires Committee has to explain the whole episode to HRH Tengku Abdullah and the rest of the delegates. There are 4 Muslim umpires and an Umpires Committee member who celebrate the Hari Raya and if they are going to particiapte in this dialogue is another question and rest to be seen. How effective is this dialogue session going to be then? Religious festivals how big or small are sensative previledges for the multiracial community in this country.The question then again arises, could meetings of such nature be held during Chinese New Year or Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa or Christmas? Is this an excepted norm in this country?
Vijhay, I wish to remain annonymous and if you need and clarification, please feel free to contact me.