Indians' fury over rematch

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 April, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 April, 1995, 12:00am

KHALSA have come out with their strongest condemnation yet of last week's decision by the Hong Kong Hockey Association (HKHA) to replay the Holland Cup semi-final against Pakistan Association on April 18.

The disillusioned club believe the tie should have been awarded to them after the association admitted 'irregularities' in the first game which Pakistan Association won 2-0 last month.

The replay was ordered after Pakistan Association were discovered to have fielded an ineligible player and an extra player for several minutes during the second half of the semi-final.

Khalsa have attacked the HKHA decision saying it was unjust and unfair since they were expelled from a previous tournament for a similar offence.

The Indian club, who last won the Holland Cup - the territory's most prestigious knock-out trophy - in 1990, strongly believe the HKHA should not have ordered a replay.

Khalsa committee member and umpire, Jagdev Singh Gill said that according to the rules and by-laws of the game, Pakistan Association were guilty of foul play and the game should be awarded to Khalsa A.

He said: 'The HKHA council was in recognition of the breach of the regulations, but did not take appropriate action. I am very disappointed with the decision made by the council.

'As an umpire for almost 12 years, I am disgraced by their unjust decision.' Gill said Khalsa B and C had been 'kicked out' of the HKHA Cup last year for a similar breach of the rules because they had fielded 'ineligible' players whereby the players failed to 'miss' a certain number of games before joining a new team.

'Last year, we had both our teams disqualified because we broke the rules. We did not complain about our punishment because we knew we were in the wrong.

'But now they have allowed the game to be replayed even though they [the HKHA] admitted that the rule had been broken,' said Gill.

The HKHA admitted last week that there were 'inconsistencies' with the by-laws of the game and that they needed to be amended.

But they stood by their decision and ordered a replay of the match.

'We thought it was in the best interest of the game to have the game replayed because there have been inconsistencies with the by-laws of the game here.

'A replay is a fair decision,' a HKHA spokesman said.

Pakistan Association, who have been the centre of controversy since the incident came to light last week, have insisted they are innocent of any wrong doing.

Pakistan Association convener, Rahil Ahmed, said there was never 12 players on the pitch, as suggested.

'I think it was a misunderstanding because the player in question sat down on the bench and changed to his track suit and may have been mistaken for another player.

'On the ineligible player, we knew there was a problem with his eligibility so we sought permission from the umpire before the game and the umpire said there was no problem.

'The player had played in the Holland Cup all season although he had played in only two league games for the A team.

'Ordering a replay might have been the best thing to do because the HKHA could have either taken the blame and forfeited the game to Khalsa or ordered a replay,' he said.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong under-19 women's squad began their west coast US hockey trip with a confident 1-0 win over the experienced Los Angeles team, Bonita.

The Hong Kong girls played solidly and enjoyed the majority of possession scoring from a penalty corner through Rebecca Hawkes.

The Hong Kong team then drew 1-1 with the Camarillo Cougars state team with Rebecca Ford scoring for Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong under-15 team also enjoyed success, beating the same club 6-0 with Phillipa Morrice claiming two and Maria Williams, Kira Brownlee, Philippa Wilkinson and Rachel McMillan scoring one apiece.