SAPURA wrote a two-page letter to the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) yesterday, and it had ‘No’ in every para graph to Nur Insafi’s request to play one leg of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division quarter-finals in Penang.
Nur Insafi club president S. Thaitchana, who is also their coach, had said that if MHF deny their request to play one leg in Penang, they will stage a walkover.
“I have been following this new development in the press, and on Sunday, I received a call from the MHF asking me if Sapura are wiling to play one leg in Penang, and I replied in writing today (yesterday).
“First of all, Nur Insafi manager attended the team managers meeting where it was decided that all the knock- out matches will be held in Kuala Lumpur.
“None of the team managers, including Nur Insafi’s, protested then, and Sapura’s view is that the MHF stick to that decision,” said Sapura team manager Abdulah Yunus.
Abdulah also said it will be too taxing for his players to travel to Penang immediately after the first leg, and this will be a disadvantage against them.
In the letter, Abdulah also pointed out that eight of his players, and two of his coaches celebrate Thaipusam, and travelling to Penang on Jan 30 is out of the question.
“The first leg is on Friday, while Thaipusam is on the next day. And we play the return leg on Sunday.
“The religious festival is a public holiday and my players have made plans to celebrate it with their families so travelling on Saturday is out of the question,” said Abdulah.
Sapura feel the request to play in Penang is a of personal nature, and not binding.
“We had also made a personal request to MHF to postpone our Jan 16 match in Johor Baru to Jan 17 because our player Jiwa Mohan was getting married on the 16th.
“All my players and support staff wanted to attend the wedding in Kuala Lumpur, but MHF turned it down saying it is personal in nature. We lost two players, including his brother Jivan for that match.
“However, we respect the decision taken by MHF then as it was a personal matter, and now I feel the MHF should also take a similar stand in Nur Insafi’s request.
“In short, we want to play both the matches in KL, as agreed in the team manager meeting,” said Abdulah.
Nur Insafi are expected to turn up for the first leg, and boycott the return leg if MHF deny their request, even though the consequences will be severe on the club.