IT’S OK FOR JOEL TO PLAY

Van Huizen’s son cleared by doc­tors

New Straits Times - - Sport -

JUGJET SINGH jug jet@nst.com.my

NA­TIONAL chief coach Stephen van Huizen will field his son Joel in the Sea Games as he has passed a med­i­cal test re­cently. Joel col­lapsed twice in the World League Round Two in Dhaka in March, and be­fore that he also suf­fered a sim­i­lar prob­lem while play­ing for Kuala Lumpur in the Malaysia Hockey League.

Af­ter Dhaka, Joel was rested and not fielded for the Azlan Shah Cup as well as the World League Semi­fi­nals in London where Malaysia fin­ished fourth and qual­i­fied for the World Cup in In­dia next year.

“Af­ter the Dhaka in­ci­dents, I rested him from two other tour­na­ments but kept him in the train­ing squad. He will play in the Sea Games be­cause the ISN (Na­tional Sports In­sti­tute) con­ducted tests on him and gave an all-clear,” said van Huizen.

“That was the first ques­tion NSC (Na­tional Sports Coun­cil) of­fi­cials asked me when I pre­sented the Sea Games list of 18 play­ers to them.

“And when I showed them the med­i­cal re­port, they agreed to field Joel.”

In Dhaka, Joel be­came a cen­tre of con­tro­versy when he sud­denly col­lapsed while play­ing against Sri Lanka in the quar­ter-fi­nals. And since he fell in an off-the-ball in­ci­dent, the um­pire flashed a red card to the near­est Sri Lankan player be­cause he thought the player had hit Joel on the head with his hockey stick.

The Sri Lankan protested but was sent off with 20 min­utes re­main­ing in the match.

Match of­fi­cials and um­pires man­ager Amar­jit Singh (a Malaysian) viewed the in­ci­dent on video and was shocked to watch Joel faint, and the Sri Lankan never touched him.

The red card was re­scinded but the drama did not stop there. In the semi-fi­nal against Egypt, Joel again col­lapsed and was stretchered out – but this time the um­pires were wiser.

Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor Terry Walsh had said in Dhaka then: “Nu­mer­ous tests have been con­ducted on this boy (Joel) but they still can’t find the rea­sons for his sud­den black-outs.”

How­ever, van Huizen is con­fi­dent the prob­lem will not af­fect Joel in the Sea Games.

“Well talk­ing as a fa­ther, if Joel was in any dan­ger, I will not field him. But since his tests with ISN did not in­di­cate any­thing and they gave him a clean bill of health, there is no rea­son why he can’t play in the Sea Games,” said van Huizen.

MALAYSIA (men’s field hockey): S. Ku­mar (goal­keeper), Hafizud­din Oth­man (goal­keeper), Razie Rahim, Sukri Mu­talib, Izad Hakimi, Faiz Helmi, Azri Has­san, Marhan Jalil, Fitri Saari, Na­bil Fiqri, Meor Azuan, Joel Sa­muel Van Huizen, Ra­madan Rosli, Shahril Saabah, Tengku Ah­mad Ta­jud­din, Rashid Ba­harom, Nik Ai­man Rozemi, Faizal Saari.

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