Hockey: Malaysian chief threatens to pull struggling team from Asian Games

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysian Hockey president Sultan Ahmad Shah has threatened to pull the men's national team from next month's Asian Games because of a lack of discipline as the fallout from a poor Commonwealth Games performance continues.

The Malaysians, runners-up at the last Asian Games, were humbled by lowly Trinidad and Tobago at last month's Commonwealth Games in Scotland as they exited in the group stage.

That followed a last-place finish at the 12-team World Cup in June, with head coach K. Dharmaraj being replaced by A. Arulselvaraj on Monday following a council meeting into the showings.

The sultan said a report into the two tournament failings had also highlighted issues with player discipline and warned the squad he would not put up with any repeats. "I am willing to pull the team out for the Games if there are no improvements," he was quoted as saying by Malaysian media.

"If the players are not able to give 100 per cent to the team they should say so and leave. There is no point in sending a team to the Asiad if the players are not disciplined enough to work and give their best."

Arulselvaraj said he would tackle the issues raised but warned there was not much time before the Asian Games, which will be held in Incheon, South Korea from Sept 19 to Oct 4.

"One of the things that I will do is to look at the players in the squad. Then, I will work on the areas that have been identified as our weaknesses," he said. "I am familiar with the players as I have worked with them before. But with a short period of time left, it will be an uphill task for all of us."