HKHAMS 18-19 Circular No. 34 - Championship of the Premier League 2018/19 and the related visiting p
The purpose of this circular is to inform all that:
A) the Premier League 2018/19 has ended with KNS A winning the Championship with a total points of 48;
B) the MS Committee had earlier ruled that KNS A had violated the visiting player rule, and the team should forfeit those games in which the player concerned had played; and
C) the MS Committee's decision was overruled by the Council upon the appeal from KNS. As the Council's decision is final, no further action will be taken by the MS on the Championship. KNS A will be presented with the Premier League Champion Trophy in due course.
In late February 2019, the MS Committee was notified that one of the visiting players of KNS A would be unable to meet the five-leagues-match requirement for the 2018/19 season, under the Competition Bye-laws as he was not allowed to play the last three league matches of KNS A (ie. another visiting player rule under the Competition Bye-laws).
In response to the MS Committee's enquiry, KNS informed the MS Committee that the player concerned was injured and therefore unable to participate in KNS A's games between December 2018 and February 2019. To support its claim, KNS submitted medical reports issued by a medical practitioner not registered with the Hong Kong Medical Council. KNS also requested the MS Committee to waive retrospectively the related requirement under the visiting player rule on the ground that the player was unable to play due to injuries.
Meanwhile, the MS Committee also received evidence showing that the player concerned had played top-level competition matches in India during the period December 2018 to February 2019.
At the MS Committee meeting held in March 2019, the MS Committee agreed that:
A) it would be unreasonable to reject the medical reports submitted by KNS purely on the ground that they were not issued by a medical practitioner registered with the Hong Kong Medical Council as per the requirement of the visiting player rule under the Competition Bye-laws, because it was not practicable for the player to obtain such report when he suffered injuries outside Hong Kong;
B) the application by KNS to waive the five-league-match visiting player requirement retrospectively could not be allowed, as there was evidence showing that the player concerned had participated in top level competition games in India in December 2018 and February 2019. The MS Committee considered that the evidence had shown that the player concerned should have been able to play at least five matches for KNS A; and
C) KNS A should forfeit all those games in which the visiting player concerned had participated according to the related Competition By-laws. KNS subsequently made an appeal to the Council. In April 2019, the Council informed the MS Committee that it had ruled that the appeal should be allowed.
The MS Committee respects that decision of the Council on the matter but is deeply concerned about its impacts on the effectiveness of our visiting player rules. As the term of the current MS Committee is coming to an end, any further action to tighten or amend the visiting player rules would have to be deferred to the next MS Committee. I shall be most grateful if you can share with us your input as much and as far as possible to facilitate the consideration of the next MS Committee on the subject at the MS AGM in June.