MM carried this yesterday
Look at the man in the mirror
By GHAZ RAMLI
FORMER national hockey team manager Nur Azmi Ahmad slammed current national coach Sarjit Singh for not taking responsibility for Malaysia's failure to reach the Olympic qualifiers final in Kakamigahara, Japan, earlier this month.
In Monday's Mailsport, Sarjit said he should be absolved of blame for the team's failure to qualify for the Beijing Olympics and blamed the previous team management.
Malaysia finished third in Kakamigahara while Japan were second and Germany first.
Only the champions earned a ticket to Beijing but the national team's target was to finish at least runners-up.
Sarjit argued the previous management were to blame as they only finished sixth in the 2006 Doha Asian Games, thus relegating Malaysia to the qualifying tournament.
"As the former team manager, I have to protect my squad," said Nur Azmi, who was the team boss from March 2006 to January 2007, when he stepped down along with coach Wallace Tan.
"It is not fair to blame us. As the manager, I took full responsibility for the team's poor performance and the new management should take responsibility for their own failure.
"We finished third at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games but were given little or no praise.
"But when we failed at the World Cup qualifiers in China a few weeks later, it became a big issue.
"We, however, didn't point fingers at anybody."
He said complete reports were given promptly upon the team's return from competitions, regardless of the outcome.
"Reports should be handed in immediately," said Nur Azmi, who is a Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) vice-president.
"The current management should bear the responsibility as they are the ones handling the team, not us.
"We did not blame anyone for our failure but apologised instead.
"The current management should have apologised to the public first, then to the MHF. They should not give excuses.
"If the current management can't handle the heat, maybe they shouldn't handle the team."
Wallace maintained a dignified stance as he didn't want to make matters worse.
"What's there for me to say?" asked the 50-year-old from Malacca, who was the national coach from 2004-2007.
"I do not want to interfere, but I never blamed Paul Lissek, who was the coach before me, or anyone else."
Wallace took over from Lissek in 2004. However, after finishing sixth in Doha, he and Nur Azmi tendered their resignation as they took the blame for the team's poor outing.
Meanwhile, MHF deputy president Tunku Abdul Majid Idris Sultan Iskandar has indicated the national body will not ask the National Sports Council (NSC) for a pay hike for the national coaches.