Hockey: Watch what you say as suspensions galore

Those at the stadium watching the THT against TNB Thunderbolts would have noticed one key figure missing from the THT dugout.

Coach K. Dharmaraj was suspended for the match by the Tournament Director, hours before the match.

All due to his remarks in a portal of the official partner of the MHL!

For stating facts, Dharma was found guilty by the Technical Committee, in breach of the Code of Conduct.

But wait a minute, has anyone realises that the Technical Committee or for that the Tournament Director have no punitive power for such indiscretions.

Flashback to last season and the cases of Arul Selvaraj and Jiwa Mohan.

The duo were referred by the Technical Committee to the Disciplinary Board as they had no power to decide on the breach, also making press statements.

And it is not only Dharma that got a one match suspension.

Shockingly it is learnt that Timothy Deavin top received a one match suspension for merely begging for more protection from the match officials.

Another coach, Maybank’s Azrul Effendi Bustaman too was slapped a one match suspension , for abusive language on match officials.

However Azrul’s suspension is valid as it happened during a match and in direct relation towards ungentlemanly conduct.

Two others, Kieren Govers and Faizal Saari we’re reprimanded for their social media postings.

And Dr. Tachana of Nur Insafi was also given a one match suspension for an incident in a match at Sg Petani.

If the MHL was run by competent and experienced personnel, they would have held hearings for those charged to present their defence.

But they were merely given show cause letters.

In any FIH/AHF tournaments, it’s a norm to hold hearings, for the purpose of natural justice.

So why were these people denied their fundamental defence? A right to be heard.

Besides what appears in the press or websites may not be what they meant.

Benefit if doubt is vital in running a tournament as one must have had experience in handling situations that just react for the sake of it.

Already the league is a boring one, hardly getting any coverage and these kind of overzealous actions will only deprive fair comment that might lead coaches or players to zip up.

By the way, a Technical Official too received a show cause for highlighting the absence/delay of a fellow official for a said match.

Ironically though the official who was late/absent is still on the roaster and the whistle blower finds himself in hot soup.

Let’s hope that the TD will make a trip to Singapore for a refresher course in understanding regulations and his jurisdiction,

But there are many more senior officials here that were allegedly “ chopped” due to self interests of a few.

In the end the sport suffers and we end up as the laughing stock.