TRIBUTE: World Cup to observe moments of respect
Sultan Azlan Shah, who passed away on Wednesday, was the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) president as well as an Executive Board member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
“Sultan Azlan Shah was an important and passionate member of our Executive Board and we are very saddened by this news,” said Leandro Negre, president of FIH.
“Our condolences go out to his Royal Highness’ entire family and especially his wife, Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Bainun, his son, (Sultan) Raja Dr Nazrin Shah and daughters, Datuk Seri Raja Azureen, Raja Eleena and Raja Yong Sofia,” added Negre.
FIH ceo Kelly Fairweather said: “This is a great loss for the hockey world as Sultan Azlan Shah was an icon in hockey.
“His commitment and his dedication as an ambassador for the sport will truly be missed.”
The FIH press release also said: “Moments of respect will be paid during the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.”
Sultan Azlan Shah passed away at the age of 86 after being the president of the AHF since 1990, and saw the growth of AHF from 20 to its now 31 members.
In addition, Azlan Shah was pivotal in the start-up of the Raja Ashman AHF-MHFC Academy, which is now the leading centre for hockey officials and coaches in Asia.
Malaysian coach K. Dharmaraj said his players will wear black arm-bands as a mark of respect.
“The players and officials were all shocked when we heard about the passing of Sultan Azlan Shah, and on a personal note, he was a guiding figure when I was a national player, as well as when I became a coach.
“I remember with fondness when he came to watch my boys become champions in the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca (and qualified for the Junior World Cup),” said Dharmaraj.
Malaysia’s World Cup fixtures — Tomorrow: v Australia (4.30pm); Monday: v Belgium (11.30pm); Thursday: v England (7pm); June 7: v India (8.30pm); June 9: v Spain (8.30pm) — all Malaysian time.