For any foreign player to be eligible to play in the Malaysian Hockey League , they need to produce a Non Objection Certificate from their national Hockey association,
This is the requirement of the International Hockey Federation and not some local regulation. This has always been the case since the MHL commence in 1987 and this rule is etched in stone.
Therefore the furore of a player from India Gurbaj Singh now is the subject of interest as the registration of players for the MHL closed last month, when the teams were given a one week extension to formalise their signings.
The final list of players was then circulated by the MHC upon the closing of registration and everyone assumed that the 23 foreign players had their non objection certificates as per the rule.
Let's get one thing clear - if there was no clearance from the home country of the player, then he cannot be registered to play in the MHL.
Now the question is was the release letter in lay mans terms attached to the registration in the first place?
If there was none then the player did not meet the regulations and should not have been registered.
There is no such thing as register first and letter to follow as that document is akin to the international transfer certificate in Football.
MHC has now clarified that there some foreign players who did not attach the release letter from their home nation.
And MHC further stated that these clubs are now given until 24 hours before their first match to provide the no objection certificate failing which the player cannot play or be replaced.
So why have a registration date in the first place? Why have rules when some can change them to suit others? Was it a level playing field as some clubs fulfilled the requirement while two clubs did not? Will the rule be further extended to allow the other clubs to search for quality players?
The questions linger on but importantly the rule was not followed, period.
Put aside the issue of Hockey India and their grouses, what we want to know is why regulations are not enforced or was there a slip shod manner of registration?
Those who neglected their duties should be punished and if clubs cannot adhere to rules after 29 years of the MHL in existence, then really they have no business playing in the MHL.
Rather then address the matter, the fire fighting trained its hoses on a non issue, but all forget that we need to have rules and to adhere to rules, the same way we expect others.
Expect more bending to come.