Sunday, December 3, 2023

Barford Tigers win appeal after England Hockey accused of ‘institutional bias’

England Hockey was accused on Tuesday of a “shocking abuse of power” and a national governing body “riddled with institutional and structural bias” after a midlands club won its appeal against a 12-month suspended ban for breaching the sport’s code of conduct.

Charges had originally been brought against Barford Tigers after complaints in 2019 by Yardley HC and City of Birmingham HC that related to sexism and harassment offences.

Last year England Hockey’s disrepute panel handed the club a 12-month suspension, suspended for two years.

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  1. I played (mens) Hockey in the Midlands region for 15 years (2001-2016), including playing against Barford a number of times at junior and men’s level for three different clubs. They were a hostile club to play at, and at least two games stand out in my memory as particularly nasty. I still remember being threatened with physical assault in a M2 game by a Barford player directly in front of their umpire. A bit of ‘chat’ is normal but I remember this as the only time in 15 years I felt like I was being genuinely directly threatened. This was not my only bad experience playing them. Reading the intial report from Yardley really echos some of my experiences:

    Maybe England hockey is institutionally biased but I can’t imagine a circumstance where I can see Barford Tigers as an innocent victim.

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