Even if they find it unfair, the Ucclois have decided to comply with the judgment rendered by the Control Committee in the general interest of hockey and in order to make the values of fair play take precedence over its individual interests.
The Brussels club has decided to put an end to all proceedings in the case of its 2 Argentinians (Federico Monja and Agustina Albertario). Sentenced by the Control Committee of the Belgian Federation (ARBH) to an enforceable forfeit for all the matches played with these players during the first round of the Division d’honneur competition. A decision that deprived the Uccle club of the men’s playoffs (and which forced it to stay in DH via 2 play-off matches) and which propelled its women’s team to Division 1. In a press release sent at the end of the day, and signed by Philippe Verdussen, the Chairman of the SA, the Léopold first recalled that he considered this decision “profoundly unfair” and that the decision of 28 April last took up “excessively serious remarks against the Léopold which are not yet unfounded.
And while the Ucclois had decided to appeal and the hearing had been set for the ARBH, this Wednesday evening, they finally chose not to continue the procedure. “This shocking situation has caused serious and irreparable damage to Leopold, which is why we initially heard of action in response to this decision.” In the wake of our call, many voices were heard to encourage us to question the attitude of certain actors involved in this affair, quick to accuse Leopold of certain rumours (however unfounded) but nevertheless making the subject of the same rumours. However, we believe that such a deleterious climate is unworthy of our sport, and Leopold does not intend to indulge in the same dubious practices that have been directed by others against them. (…) Under these conditions, and even if the club considers that it was imperatively obliged to exhaust all possible remedies, it judged that such an attitude would be likely to generate conflicts, confrontations and conflictual processes which could not lead only to a dislocation of our sport that no one could be happy about. They, therefore, consider that the general interest of hockey and the values of fair play which are his must take precedence over individual interests and partisan struggles. Clashes and conflicting processes could only lead to a dislocation of our sport that no one could be happy about. He, therefore, considers that the general interest of hockey and the values of fair play which are his must take precedence over individual interests and partisan struggles.
Initiate a reform to remedy shortcomings and dysfunctions
The most successful club in the Kingdom (28 titles among men), even if it continues to contest loud and clear the decision of the Control Committee, has therefore decided to withdraw its appeal before the Appeal Committee. But the Ucclois club still specifies that it will do everything in the coming months to prevent such a situation from happening again. “Leopold intends to act for the preservation of the general interest of hockey and the values which are specific to it, and, rather than pursuing its recourse, prefers, in consultation with other clubs, to initiate a process of reform aimed at remedying deficiencies and dysfunctions that have been identified both at the level of ARBH and THL, so that others do not have to go through what we have unjustly suffered and that our sport can ultimately emerge from this situation. »
A sensible and intelligent appeasement decision by Leopold who is well aware that he will have to restore his image with the general public after several weeks of the storm. The values of fair play, respect and sporting integrity have certainly been shaken, but the fervour and the sporting spectacle offered throughout the weekend of the playoff finals organized masterfully by the Louvain- la-Neuve have already revitalized the heart of the small world of Belgian hockey.