Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Troubled Faizal giving MHC the run-around

KUALA LUMPUR: Nothing is straight-forward when it comes to dealing with national hockey forward Faizal Saari.

Malaysian forward Faizal Saari makes a goal attempt during the World Hockey League Round Two match against Japan in Singapore in January. - Filepic
Malaysian forward Faizal Saari makes a goal attempt during the World Hockey League Round Two match against Japan in Singapore in January. - Filepic


The prolific goal-getter was supposed to attend national team training on Monday morning.
Instead, it was learnt that he was in Hong Kong to feature for SSSC in the Premier Division there – without obtaining a release letter from the national governing body.

Then, out of the blue, he turned up for the national team’s evening training session.

MHC secretary Datuk Mohd Johari Abdul Aziz admitted on Monday that he was shocked to learn that Faizal had played in the Hong Kong league on Sunday despite agreeing to turn up for training.
“He had some issues ... we told him that the matter can be sorted out once he starts attending training. It apparently has to do with some bonus payment, but I’ve told him that it will be looked into and he agreed to join the team today (yesterday),” said Johari, who met the player in Kota Baru recently.
But Faizal, it is learnt, has insisted that his bonus payment be paid first.

“I don’t understand his stand and what really he wants. I went to Kota Baru and met with him recently. We have given him many chances but, if he does not want to toe the line, then there is nothing we can do. By not having a release letter (to play in HK), he has breached MHC’s discipline,” added Johari.

The problem with Faizal began soon after the World Hockey League Round Two ended in Singapore in January. The forward claimed that the MHC did not pay the players their match-winning bonuses as promised.

And he had stayed away from training since.

Malaysia, who have qualified for the World League Semi-Finals, are preparing for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which will be held in Ipoh from April 5-12.

It looks like Malaysia can now fully focus on preparing for the World League Semi-Finals now that their top hitman is back in training.

But then again, nothing is as it seems with Faizal.


 The Star

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