Ex-hockey chief warns of more disaster, wants CID to enter the fray | Sunday Observer

Ex-hockey chief warns of more disaster, wants CID to enter the fray

20 August, 2023
Murad Amirdeen speaking at the interview
Murad Amirdeen speaking at the interview

Hockey is a game that is gradually fading away into the doldrums and disillusion. It is not played as regularly as it used to be and with the only two Astro turfs in the country that are neglected and going beyond repairs the game too is being played only on grass pitches as in the good old days and is gradually dying.

Murad Amirdeen the former president of the Galle Hockey Association and presently the vice president of the Matale Hockey Association revealed the sad plight in the governance of the game.

“The Federation is not functioning properly as those at the top are not familiar with the smooth running of affairs in office. They do not seem to understand that without turf pitches the game cannot improve further,” said Amirdeen.

“The Astro turf field is now about 25 years old and not being repaired. Money is being paid to the Sports Ministry for the use of these turfs and it is their duty to repair and maintain them.

“International tournaments are being played on Astro turf fields and the game moves very fast. If Sri Lankan players do not get used to this they will be routed in international tournaments. In one such instance, Malaysia beat Sri Lanka even though they did not field a goal keeper. What a sad plight is this,” said Amirdeen.

“The Sri Lanka Hockey Federation should get funds from the Hockey International Federation (HIF) and the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) annually if they only request for it.

“Sixteen district associations are not getting any funds. Sometime back the Sri Lanka Hockey Federation (SLHF) received some materials from the HIF but they were not distributed among the district associations. These materials were allegedly sold and the money shared among the officials,” Amirdeen charged.

There is only one association for the schools and they have to handle all tournaments organized among schools teams.

“The inter-district and National hockey tournaments must be played on Astro turf pitches. All teams from the forces also join in to participate in tournaments. Sadly, no sponsor comes in to support the game anymore,” noted Amirdeen.

When asked whether the financial accounts are audited and submitted to the Sports Ministry, Amirdeen said that it is done but they are not in proper order.

“The supporters of the high ups in office just raise their hands and pass the audited accounts at the AGMs. But I think this must be put forward to the CID to investigate further,” warned Amirdeen.

It is also noted that there is an international hockey tournament being conducted and Sri Lanka is not represented.