The immediate fate of five players charged with match-fixing has been left in the hands of their clubs after an emergency meeting of the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) council last night. After a behind-closed-doors meeting lasting 45 minutes, HKFA officials emerged to confirm they would not suspend the registrations of Kevin Lok Kar-win, Lee Wai-man, Chan Chi-keung, Wai Kwan-lung and Lau Chi-yuen, who all denied match-rigging charges at a court appearance on Tuesday. HKFA chairman Victor Hui Chun-fui said it would be 'inappropriate' for the body to take action before the conclusion of criminal proceedings. 'We have discussed this issue in depth, and after considerable deliberation, we have decided that it really is not for us to take action at this stage,' Hui said. 'We have to bear in mind that the matter is now being dealt with by the ICAC and the courts. We feel it would be inappropriate to take any sort of formal action before their case is dealt with,' said Hui, who had initially been in favour of freezing registration of the players. Although the HKFA declined to take action against the five accused, association officials are urging local clubs to take advantage of section 11 of the Employment Ordinance and prevent the players from turning out in local leagues until after their trial. 'It is our understanding that the clubs can take action, if they feel it is necessary, under the Employment Ordinance,' said HKFA secretary Jackson Yu. Section 11 states that an employer may suspend an employee without notice for a period not exceeding 14 days pending the outcome of any criminal proceedings against the employee arising out of, or connected with, his employment. 'The legislation is there,' said Yu. 'We hope the clubs take advantage of it.' The charges against Lok, Lee, Chan, Wai and Lau come six months after Hong Kong international Chan Tsz-kong was jailed for pleading guilty to accepting a bribe to fix the outcome of last year's Hong Kong-Thailand World Cup qualifier.