MHL ‘bubble’ flouters will be blacklisted

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Competitions Committee chairman Datuk Seri Anil Jeet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) has issued a stern warning to the players and officials involved in the 2021 Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) to strictly adhere to the quarantine-based approach standard operating procedures (SOPs).

MHC Competitions Committee chairman Datuk Seri Anil Jeet Singh warned that anyone found to have breached the MHL “bubble” by going out, will be blacklisted from the league and required to immediately leave their quarantine base.

As the men’s league is set to start on March 11 and March 15 for the women’s, before concluding on April 3, Anil Jeet said around 600 players, team members and officials will be placed under the MHL “bubble” at a hotel or hostel to be confirmed soon.

“A task force will be responsible to monitor the teams and officials, once they enter the bubble, they’re not allowed to go out. It is not easy for us to get permission and run the league amid the Covid-19 pandemic, so we hope everyone will adhere to the rules, we do not want any problems when the league is underway.

“However, exemption will be given if there is an emergency situation like death or wife giving birth, the task force will look into it,” he told a press conference at the confederation’s office at the National Hockey Stadium here, today.

Anil Jeet added that every team member is required to clear the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test three days before entering the “bubble” on March 10, while Rapid Test Kit Antigen (RTK) tests will be conducted by MHC during the league.

He also confirmed that MHC will bear all costs for the “bubble”, including accommodation, food and transportation to the National Hockey Stadium, estimated to be around RM300,000.

“So far all the teams have agreed with the dates and the SOPs. We would like to thank the government for allowing the league and the MHC Executive Board to bear the extra cost,” he said.

The 2021 MHL previously had been scheduled from Jan 14 till Feb 20, but had to be postponed due to the movement control order (MCO) 2.0 imposed since Jan 13 to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The men’s teams that have confirmed their participation are defending champions Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Terengganu Hockey Team (THT), Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), TNB Thunderbolts, Maybank, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Nurinsafi Hockey Team and Sabah.

The women’s league will consist of PKS UniTen, Police Blue Warriors, Mutiara Impian, Sabah, Young Tigress and UniKL Ladies. – Bernama