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Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Ice hockey body hits back at ‘unwilling and evasive’ attitude claims by top sports authority

Ice hockey body hits back at ‘unwilling and evasive’ attitude claims by top sports authority

The Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association said it has never been “unwilling and evasive” in response to the request of the city’s top sports authority over the national anthem blunder in February, as the HKIHA countered the allegations one by one in an 11-page report submitted on Thursday.
The blunder occurred on February 28 at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division III in Bosnia. The 2019 protest song was played after the Hong Kong team defeated Iran 11-1 in Group B, forcing players to pose the “T” sign to alert the organizers. The correct Chinese national anthem was played shortly after.

The Sports Federation & Olympics Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) then temporarily suspended the membership of HKIHA and ordered the association to submit a written report that comes up with all the facts and manageable corporate governance solutions by today (Thu).

SF&OC also threatened they may cut the funding allocated to HKIHA “in a way that won’t affect athletes.”

HKIHA first admitted team leader Annie Kwan Yuen-yee’s attempts in ensuring the correct Chinese national anthem during the game may not be sufficient “no matter how unintentional and how busily engaged” she was.

The association said Kwan had on several occasions tried to procure verification of the national anthem with the event organizer but in vain and listed out the unsuccessful attempts made by Kwan as references.

HKIHA then hit back at SF&OC’s allegations that it has never been “unwilling and evasive” when responding to authorities’ requests and it has never failed to communicate and cooperate with SF&OC.

“HKIHA has never placed insufficient importance to the misplay of the national anthem; and it has never placed insufficient importance to uphold the dignity of the country,” the report read.

The ice hockey body seriously refuted and protested the allegations, explaining that “insufficient attempts in procuring for verification of the national anthem is entirely not equivalent to failure in handling and presenting the national anthem in a dignified manner.”

HKIHA also opened fire at SF&OC for accusing it of not providing the necessary details, recalling an email reply and two more reports submitted following the incident as requested. HKIHA added how could they know if the particulars or details were needed if they were not asked.

“HKIHA must say it is neither administrative proper nor fair to allege HKIHA as providing ‘no necessary details’ when HKIHA was not even informed as to what such details were being requested.”

It pointed out that it has all along abided the spirit of proper respect to the Chinese national anthem as well as the national flag. “Therefore, any unjustified allegation against the HKIHA that it has presented the national anthem not in a dignified manner is considered as particularly offensive and will be protested vigorously.”

HKIHA ended the report saying that there is always room for improvement for its corporate governance and noted their reply on the solutions has been served to the SF&OC at the same time.
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