Fan who invaded pitch in brawl may be player from another club
The encounter between the two unbeaten teams at Happy Valley was stopped for more than 10 minutes after incensed fans stormed on to the pitch
An investigation into the "deplorable" pitch invasion by spectators during the top-of-the-table hockey clash between Punjab and Khalsa in the Premier Division on Sunday took a twist when it was discovered that one of the main culprits was a player from another club.
"We are still carrying out investigations but it appears the pitch invasion was not instigated by Punjab fans but rather a player from another club who has a bad disciplinary track record," said Hong Kong Hockey Association official Billy Dillon yesterday.
Dillon refused to disclose which club the player belonged to until a full inquiry was completed.
The encounter between the two unbeaten teams at Happy Valley was stopped for more than 10 minutes after incensed fans stormed on to the pitch following a rude gesture from Khalsa's Harpreet Singh, who taunted fans - apparently from Punjab - after scoring a goal that gave his side a 3-2 lead in an enthralling game.
Singh, a new signing for Khalsa and playing only his second game in Hong Kong, used his whole right fist provocatively after converting a disputed short corner. It was enough to inflame the passions of a group of spectators who ran on to the pitch after the player.
"It was a deplorable incident and we will investigate it fully and take appropriate action," said Dillon, who was one of the technical officials at the match.
Hong Kong Hockey Association president Sarinder Dillon promised swift action. "I wasn't at the match when the incident took place, arriving later. But I heard what happened and it was shocking. This is a serious incident and we will take whatever is needed to root out this problem.
"The association's men's section will investigate it and they will be bound to take action. Normally we have to wait for a report from the umpire but six of the eight members of the committee were present at the game and would have seen for themselves what happened," said Sarinder.
The game ended 3-3.