Pic: Olak-NurInsafi manager Joseph de Silva.
OLD La Sallians Asociation of Klang (Olak) are crying foul because they are not being allowed to change two players for the Junior Hockey League which begins end of March.
Olak, who have re-branded themselves as Olak-NurInsafi, are even ready to pull out of the tournament if they are not allowed to do so.
"We understand that the registration of players closed on March 15 and we did submit our name list. However, two of our players can't make it due to various reasons and I applied on compassion grounds to make changes.
"But the Tournament Director rejected it saying that he will follow the rules and we need to show a medical cert to make changes. This boys have different problems, and we feel victimised, as we have been given the run-around on a small matter," said Olak-NurInsafi manager Joseph de Silva.
De Silva is also peeved that after approving the JHL fixtures to start on March 31, he received an email stating that three matches on that day, including Olak's, will be postponed to allow sports school boys to play in the Asian Under-18 Schools Championship in India.
"I received the email on March 25, saying that March 31 matches will be postponed to the end of the JHL because of the Asian Schools tournament.
"We have already made bookings for accommodation and travel as we were slated to play in Johor Baru on Friday (at SSTMI) and on Sunday in Batu Pahat.
"I believe since they want us to cancel our bookings and travel arrangements and pay a fine, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) should also hear our case before making a blanket judgement.
"Olak are the JHL pioneers and we will be playing in our 22nd year in the JHL. if the MHC can't show some compassion towards us, we might as well withdraw," said De Silva.
Another team is also facing the same predicament, as they can't replace a player who went AWOL after signing the consent form.
JHL Tournament Director P. Kuganesan said he is just going by the book.
"As all are aware, registration closed on March 15 and players can only be replaced if the team management can provide a medical certificate to state that he is not fit, or injured and can't play.
"As for the Asian Schools, I was informed by the Ministry of Education that sports school players from BJSS Thunderbolts, Pahang SS-Thunderbolts, and SSTMI-Thunderbolts will be in India for the tournament.
"As such, we had to postpone three matches involving these teams on the first day of the JHL season.
"Olak or other teams with these problems can approach higher ranked officials in the MHC if they feel they are being victimised," said Kuganesan.