KUALA LUMPUR: The Pahang Sports Council have lost their home ground advantage in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) while Johor Baru City Council (JBCC) have been given two weeks to get the water pumps at their hockey stadium working again.
The match between Pahang SC and Customs at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium last Friday was called off because of the poor condition of the pitch. Some areas were completely worn out.
Officials from the Malaysia Hockey Federation (MHF), including the secretary, S. Satgunam, inspected the pitch on Monday and concluded that the venues was no longer suitable for matches.
Some areas of the pitch are totally worn out and can cause injuries to players. We have to think about the safety of the players, said Satgunam after a MHL technical meeting at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
We have decided that the Kuantan Hockey Stadium will no longer be the venue for matches in the MHL.
He said that Pahang SC would have to play their remaining five home matches at their opponents' ground.
Satgunam also said that the Asian Schools Championships, scheduled for July 10-18 at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium, should be played elsewhere.
We doubt the pitch could be repaired in time for the tournament.
We will advise the organisers of the tournament, the Malaysian School Sports Council (MSSM), to change the venue, he said.
Meanwhile, JBCC will also lose their home ground advantage if they failed to get the water pumps at their stadium back in working order in two weeks' time.
The match between JBCC and defending overall champions Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) on Monday was called off because the pitch could not be watered properly.
We have given them two weeks to rectify the fault. If they fail to do so, they have to play their remaining match away, said Satgunam.
The water pumps at the JBCC Hockey Stadium broke down on Saturday.
But JBCC's match against Pahang SC the following day was played because the Fire and Rescue Services provided help to water the pitch with supply from a fire hydrant outside the stadium.
Satgunam added that in future all participating teams in the MHL would have to ensure that the pitches for their home matches were in good condition.
We will inspect the pitches and also other stadium facilities before the start of the MHL. If they are not up to the mark, we will fine the teams and they will also lose their home ground advantage, said Satgunam.