HKHA 22-23 Circular no. 1 - Council’s Decision on Singh Sabha Sports Club
To: Convenor of Affiliated Club (MS and WS)
Registered Umpires and Coaches
C.c. HKHA Council Members
HKHA Section's Committee Members
Dear Club Convenors,
I would like to report to all Clubs on the latest development and the Council’s decision with regard to Singh Sabha Sports Club (SSSC).
The HKHA Disciplinary Committee (DC) hearing for a serious incident involving physical assault on a match official by SSSC players during a Premier Division match in the 2021 season was concluded on 14 June 2022. The disciplinary proceeding took longer than anticipated to complete due to other criminal investigation and legal proceedings.
The HKHA Men’s Section Committee charged four players and the team manager of SSSC involved in the incident for misconduct which brought the game of hockey into disrepute. Two players were acquitted as their charges were unproven or given benefit of the doubt. The DC’s decisions on those guilty were as follows:
i) Harveer Singh Sidhu and Lovepreet Singh, players of SSSC were found guilty of assaulting the match official and were suspended from all hockey activities for eight years and five years respectively; and
ii) Jasbir Singh, team manager of SSSC was found guilty of verbal abuse of the match official and was suspended from all hockey activities for one year.
In August 2021, a number of Clubs conveyed to the Council their views that there were grave concerns among the hockey community and the integrity and value of the game had not been protected. The Clubs felt that SSSC had made no efforts in remedying the ill-feeling among the community arising from the incident. In response to these concerns, the Council took action to cancel all SSSC matches of the 2021-22 season until all DC proceedings were finished.
For the new season 2022-23, the Council invited SSSC to a meeting on 12 August 2022 to discuss the future participation of SSSC in local hockey competitions. The Council was informed that SSSC had implemented a series of changes internally to improve discipline and conduct of its members.
Despite the reassurance of SSSC on the improvement of its club management, the Council was very disappointed to learn that Lovepreet Singh violated his suspension by participating at a hockey event on 14 August 2022 and there was also publicity of his participation on various social media afterwards.
The Council considered that the suspension violation was totally outrageous, disrespectful and unacceptable, and SSSC had no effective control over its members’ conduct. The Council resolved that it would not be appropriate to extend membership invitation to SSSC to join the league and other hockey competitions as the club culture and actions or inactions of SSSC and its members in preserving the spirit and integrity of the game and displaying due respect to rules and regulations were not at a level that was reasonably expected of a Club of the HKHA. Notwithstanding the non-invitation to SSSC, the Council did not impose any restriction on player transfer of SSSC members apart from those on suspension.
Clubs are invited to take note of the important information of this circular.
Hon Secretary General