KUALA LUMPUR: Serdang Hockey Club, who had earlier confirmed their participation for the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL), have pulled out of league, which is scheduled to start on Feb 7.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary S. Satgunam said Serdang Hockey Club, who confirmed their participation last week, decided to withdraw due to financial constraints.
“They were supposed to submit their players' names this week but instead informed me yesterday (Thursday) that they are pulling out because of money woes.
“This is the first time a team pulled out of the MJHL since its inception in 1995. We will discuss the matter during the competition managers' meeting next month to decide whether to take any action against the club,'' said Satgunam.
Serdang Hockey Club, who are coached by former international skipper Nor Saiful Zaini made their debut last year and finished sixth overall out of 22 teams in the league. They were supposed to play in Division One this season.
With the withdrawal of Serdang Hockey Club there are now 22 teams for this year's MJHL. The 22 teams will be divided into Division One and Two.
Meanwhile, defending overall champions Pahang Telekom have registered four national players who have been barred from playing in the MJHL by the MHF.
The four are Ismail Abu, Mohamed Sufian Mohamed, Mohd Sallehin Abdul Ghani and Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah.
Except for Ismail, the other three players were in the Malaysian team who finished runners-up to India in the Under-19 Invitational tournament last Sunday.
MHF have informed all the teams competing in the MJHL that players in the national squad preparing for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in March are not allowed to play in the MJHL.
With the four players barred, Pahang Telekom will have to play the entire league with 16 players.
Satgunam added that they made it clear to all the teams competing in the MJHL that they cannot register players who have been called up for national training.
“We definitely will not allow Pahang Telekom to use the four players in the league. We will also not allow them to register new players as the dateline for entry by names is over.''
Pahang Telekom are drawn to play in Division One. They made their debut last year and won the overall title by defeating Malaysia Sport School 1-0 in the final. In the semi-finals, they beat former champions Anderson 2-0.
Out of 22 teams, the newcomers are Perlis School Sports Council, Penang Free School and Sports School Juniors.