Tuesday January 8, 2013
Not enough players so Sabah Juniors withdraw from MJHL
By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah Juniors have withdrawn from the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League (MJHL), citing insufficient players.
Sabah HA secretary Aftar Singh Bhal said that most of the players selected were students “and they can’t get leave to play in the MJHL”.
“We can’t raise a team as the Sabah Education Department would not allow the players to be away for the league,” he said.
The MJHL starts on Thursday and ends on Feb 7. The knockout stage will then be held, with the final set for March 3.
Sabah Juniors, slated to play in Division Two, would only be involved in the knockout stage if they finished in the top two.
Aftar claimed that the department only informed them of the decision a few days ago.
“We can’t find replacements in such a short period and are withdrawing from the competition,” he said.
“We understand there could be repercussions and we hope that the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will understand our predicament.”
MHC secretary Johari Abdul Aziz said they were still awaiting an official letter from Sabah.
Sabah Juniors were placed in Group A in Division Two and were set to play against Anderson Juniors of Ipoh on Friday.
Group A will now have nine teams while Group B will have 10.
The tournament’s regulations state that any team withdrawing after the entries are closed will be fined RM500 and may be referred to the disciplinary board for further action.
With Sabah out, this year’s MJHL will have 27 teams.
Division One will have eight teams.