Ulster clubs face deadline on All-Ireland League
Irish Hockey Association seek confirmation from teams on their intentions for 2015/’16 season
Irish men’s hockey is facing its biggest controversy in years.
As this season comes to a close with the current Irish Hockey League finals taking place next week and the qualified clubs emerging, the Irish Hockey Association (IHA) have issued an invitation to those clubs throughout Ireland to take part.
In an email sent out this week, the IHA state: “We are writing to you on the back of your success this season to seek confirmation on whether your club intend taking up a place in the IHL for 2015-16.”
It adds that the newly-structured 10-team IHL, in which Ulster have urged their clubs not to take part, needs to be planned now and has asked all relevant clubs to confirm their intentions to play in what has become the biggest controversy to hit the sport in years.
“With this [timetable] in mind please can you confirm by Friday 3rd April, via email, whether your club intend taking up your qualification position in the IHL next season,” says the IHA request.
Those Ulster clubs that do take part face expulsion from all other Ulster Hockey competitions. The Ulster Branch also voted not to take part in any of the administration of the new IHL and have essentially rebelled against their parent body, the IHA.
The Ulster Branch stopped short of setting up an independent association.