FIFA asked South Korean and Japanese players at the U-20 Women's World Cup "to refrain from taking political action" during their quarterfinal match Thursday, according to YONHAP. The Korea Football Association said that FIFA officials held meetings with both teams and told players on each side "not to incite the crowd with any politically-charged celebration or action." The game, which the Japanese won in Tokyo, came "amid heightened diplomatic tensions between the neighbors over Dokdo, rocky South Korean outcroppings in the East Sea to which Japan has frequently laid claims." FIFA Security Advisor Deborah Doe said that the governing body will also try to prevent fans from displaying "political messages through banners or placards" (YONHAP, 8/30).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
The total prize money for the Malaysia Hockey League, which begins on Saturday, has been raised to RM410,000 ($130,000) -- an increase of RM50,000 ($16,000) from last year, according to Aftar Singh of THE STAR. Malaysian Hockey Confederation Secretary Johari Aziz said, “The increased prize money will make the six-week league more competitive and interesting.” He also said that 13 foreign players will feature in the MHL, which will end its field hockey season on Oct. 10. After the completion of the league matches, the top four teams in each division "will compete for their own overall titles." The top four teams from the Premier Division will compete for the TNB Cup, while the top four from Division One will vie for the Presidents Cup. The prize money for winning the Premier League is RM60,000 ($19,000), while the winner of the TNB Cup will also receive RM60,000 (THE STAR, 8/30).
Hockey India Secretary General Narender Batra announced the field hockey governing body’s decision "to appoint a high performance manager to whom the National coaches would report," according to THE HINDU. It was also decided "to continue with the services" of Coach Michael Nobbs and Physiologist David John. Batra maintained that the appointment of the HPM "would not curtail Nobbs' authority in any way." Batra said, “Call him a high performance manager or director, many top hockey playing countries have this concept. He will oversee both men’s and women’s teams. We are in discussion with a chosen few and will make the appointment by mid-October.” Batra presented a list of tasks for the HPM, which include: strategic management, planning and financial management, national senior/junior high-performance program, regional talent program, high-performance facilities and infrastructure, staff development and management, monitoring and reviewing all major competitions while gaining inputs from all relevant stakeholders (THE HINDU, 8/30).
The German Hockey League (DEL) "wants to break the European attendance record for outdoor hockey games" with its inaugural DEL Winter Game. The game will be played at the Nuremberg football stadium, which has a capacity of more than 50,000, on Jan. 5. The current "attendance record for an outdoor hockey game in Europe is 36,444," which was set during the Finnish derby between Jokerit and IFK Helsinki in '11. The ticket sales for the DEL Winter Game 2013 started Wednesday with ticket prices varying between €9-69 ($11-86) (SID, 8/29). ... Pakistan Cricket Board Chair Zaka Ashraf has said that Pakistan's "plans to launch the country's own int'l Twenty20 premiere league have been shelved to next year." Ashraf told reporters that although a lot of planning had already gone into the proposed premier league event, "it would not be possible to hold it this year" (PTI, 8/29).