Comparing pineapple and guava

This appeared in the column 'Haresh Says' in The Malay Mail today

Can we equate the national football team and the national hockey team?

The debate has been making its rounds as some justify the logic of drawing comparisons to both sports.

Let's look at the similarities. Both teams tend to start off well only to fumble in the later stages. The football lads are guilty of such an attitude many a times while the national hockey team wasted a 4-1 lead against Pakistan on to settle for a 4-4 draw during the curtain raiser of the World Hockey League on Saturday.

Then we have the poor dissemination of information by both national bodies. The FA of Malaysia and Malaysian Hockey Confederation have websites with minimal news. One is able to obtain better updates through social media or betting websites!

Both associations enjoy a huge number of officials, committees and subcommittees - some never heard or seen before.

There is also a new trend among football and hockey fans - lighting up flares!

Now the major difference - money.

Football may seem to enjoy better perks and financial assistance - either from corporate bodies or state governments - simply because it is played throughout the year unlike hockey which is seasonal.

But some argue that despite the huge funding Harimau Malaya are ranked 159 in the world while hockey is placed 13th in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) standings? Is it even fair to compare both national teams for there are more than 200 counties listed in the Fifa rankings as opposed to only 73 hockey playing nations ranked by FIH?

During a brief chat with The Malay Mail's editor-in-chief Datuk Syed Nadzri Syed Harun, we spoke about the huge number of football fans that flock the stadium these days.

"During my time, 80,000 fans at the stands was almost unheard of. Today, it's so common," said Syed Nadzri who was a former sports journo. "How are we capitalising on this market? Are we looking at the economics? What is the national body doing to repay the faith of the fans?" he questioned.

It is not all about the money spent. One can spend big bucks on a Ferrari 458 Italia but still be beaten in a 1 mile drag race by a way cheaper Nissan GT-R.

It is about the development, strategies and reaching objectives within a certain time frame. It is about reaching out to the right audience and providing the desired results.

Personalities serving agendas should be kicked out. Whether football or hockey, each sport should be treated with respect and dignity. So let's not compare pineapple with guava, shall we.

HD says: I will always make it a point to stop at Tapah for some nice guavas on my way home from Taiping


  1. bigger number of teams in soccer does not justify anything when u compare with hockey numbers. How many countries play badminton n squash?
    we have played and hosted hockey world cup, also played at the olympics to justify hockey is a more successful sport even than squash who is struggling to be recognised...

  2. Haresh, the common denominator why both sports fail internationally is the administrator. Both are being managed by the same person i.e. The President of MHF and the Dep President of FAM (who is actually the de-facto President) is the same person...ahaaks

  3. Mike was a great administator ask everyone they will support bawa diabalik lah. Mhc sudah koyak tanpa dia,

  4. And we are complaining that we are not getting anything by lettin in Singapore in the league? If they can become champions, they are better than the rest; the other teams should be thankful that they get to play against the AFF Suzuki Cup Champions ....


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