KUALA LUMPUR: Malacca High School have withdrawn – at the 11th hour – from the Champion Schools hockey tournament, which begins at the KL Hockey Stadium today.
The Malacca school authorities have asked the team to withdraw from the tournament after the school was closed for a week because of the influenza A (H1N1) scare.
“It is a precautionary measure but one that we must take seriously. It is the right decision and the MHA supports the school’s decision,” said Malacca Hockey Association (MHA) secretary Francis Leong.
The school’s withdrawal leaves only 10 teams in the fray.
Defending champions SMK Hamzah Machang of Kelantan will again start as favourites as they begin their campaign against SMK Impian Mutiara of Penang in the morning.
The Kelantan side head Group A with SMK Impian Mutiara, Sek Pertukangan Perantis of the Armed Forces, SMK Tunku Besar of Negri Sembilan and SMK Seberang Temerloh.
Group B comprise SAB College (Johor), SMK Anderson (Perak), SMK Khir Johari (Kedah), SMK St John (KL) and SMK Shah Alam (Selangor).