(Photo: FIH)

It is with deep sadness that FIH acknowledge the very recent passing of Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, President of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) and FIH Executive Board Member.

His Royal Highness passed at the age of 86 after being the leader of the AHF since 1990. With Sultan Azlan Shah as President, the AHF showed significant growth, improving from 20 to its now 31 members. In addition, Sultan Azlan Shah was pivotal in the start-up of the Raja Ashman AHF-MHFC Academy, which is now the leading centre for hockey officials and coaches in Asia.

“Sultan Azlan Shah was an important and passionate member of our Executive Board and we are very saddened by this news,” said Leandro Negre, President of FIH. “Our condolences go out to his Royal Highness’ entire family and especially his wife, Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Bainun, his son, Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah and three daughters, Dato Seri Raja Azureen, Raja Eleena and Raja Yong Sofia.”

Sultan Azlan Shah was a talented hockey player and also a distinguished lawyer. In 1965 he was elevated to the High Court of Malaysia and at 37 years old became the youngest High Court Judge in the Commonwealth. He ascended the Malaysian throne to become the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1989 and reigned until 1994.

“This is a great loss for the hockey world as Sultan Azlan Shah was an icon in hockey,” added Kelly Fairweather, FIH CEO. “His commitment to grow hockey and his dedication as an ambassador for the sport will truly be missed.”

Moments of respect will be paid during the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands.