The influx of foreign players seems to always be an issue in Malaysia, whether it’s football or even hockey, for that matter. But right now, there’s a brand new suggestion to increase the level of participation within hockey.
MHL currently allows each team to feature six foreign players, but Sapura head coach Tai Beng Hai believes that it needs to be reduced to five – a number that will include both foreigners as well as local players that are part of the national set-up.
“Yes, I admit that foreign players help us but if we have too many foreign players, our local players will not get a chance to show their talent,” he told Harian Metro.
“For example, I think we should even limit the amount of national players in a specific team. Personally, I think it should be five players per team, which includes national and foreign players.
“This would mean that players within the national set-up would have to be separated from one another and they would play for different clubs in the league, instead of having them concentrated within a few sides.
WHAT DO WE THINK?
It certainly does make sense. Limiting the amount of national players would reduce the domination of certain sides, and make the teams far more competitive. More teams would be interested in competing, if they can be promised the allocation of several national team stars. But question is, how will these teams fill the rest of their roster? Is the talent pool big enough? Do we have enough hockey players within the country, to compete professionally? Also, limiting the amount of foreigners will continue to increase the salary demands of local players. As it is, the local players earn bigger than their foreign counterparts, so the trickle down effect of Beng Hai’s suggestion needs to be analysed carefully before jumping to any conclusion.