FOLLOWING on from a number of Cork clubs decision not to play EY Irish Hockey Leagues and Irish Senior Cup games Hockey Ireland have issued the following statement:
The Irish Hockey League Sub Working Group (IHL SWG) met on Monday last to consider the failure of the following teams to fulfil fixtures on the outlined dates:
Cork Harlequins (ladies) to fulfil the EYHL fixtures v Muckross, on Saturday, September 26, and v Belfast Harlequins, on Saturday, October 10.
Cork Church of Ireland (ladies) to fulfil the EYHL2 fixtures v Monkstown, on Saturday, September 26.
UCC (ladies) to fulfil the EYHL2 fixtures v Trinity, on Saturday, September 26.
Pembroke Wanderers (men) to fulfil their fixture v Banbridge, on Saturday, September 26.
The IHL SWG, while acknowledging the concerns raised by each Club, are of the opinion that the following fixtures should have been fulfilled: Cork Harlequins v Muckross; Cork Harlequins v Belfast; Church of Ireland v Monkstown and UCC v Trinity.
The opinion is based on:
The clearance received from Sport Ireland for the league to proceed under current Covid-19 restrictions.
The clarification received in relation to travel.
And the Covid-19 Protocols undertaken by each hosting club to ensure as safe an environment as possible, under the circumstances, for the participating teams.
On each of the above occasions Cork Harlequins, Church of Ireland, and UCC were instructed that the fixtures should proceed and on each occasion these Clubs declined to comply with the instruction.
The IHL SWG, as per Irish Hockey League – Regulations 2020/21: Covid-19 Appendix, has agreed on the following action, where the club refers to Cork Harlequins, Church of Ireland, and UCC.
1. The club are in breach of regulations and should face the prescribed sanction.
A 5–0 defeat to be applied to the fixture and home advantage to be forfeit for the return fixture later in the season.
2. The sanction shall not be applied immediately.
3. The sanction is to be suspended and only applied should there be a subsequent breach of the regulations by the club in the current season. This sanction shall be applied immediately upon the club being found to be in breach of the regulations plus any additional sanction the IHL SWG may deem appropriate for a repeat offence.
4. The Fixture Secretary, IHL SWG, will reschedule this fixture and it must be played on the date appointed. The fixture may be played on an earlier date if agreed by both clubs and the EYHL.
As per Hockey Ireland bye-laws, the club, and the relevant opposing team of each club, have 14 days from the date of this notification, in which to appeal this decision to Hockey Ireland.
On the matter relating to Pembroke Wanderers' decision not to travel following instruction from the HSE for the panel to self-isolate pending the results of the contact tracing procedure, the IHL SWG has decided that this was the correct decision in the circumstances.
It is the decision of the IHL SWG that the fixture be rescheduled. The IHL SWG will liaise with both clubs in relation to agreeing a suitable date.
As per hockey Ireland bye-laws, Banbridge Hockey Club and Pembroke Wanderers Hockey Club have 14 days, from the date of this notification, to appeal this decision to Hockey Ireland.