Pau Ka-yiu has lost his appeal to commute his 10-match ban, meaning that the Happy Valley head coach will not coach again this season.
The Hong Kong Football Association’s Appeals Committee announced on Tuesday night that they have rejected Pau Ka-yiu’s appeal and thus, the original 10-match ban against the Happy Valley head coach shall be upheld. The decision brings one of the ugliest scandals in recent local football history closer to a conclusion.
Pau was banned 10 matches by the Disciplinary Committee after he was found in violation of Chapter 4, Article 15.2.1 of the Disciplinary Code for his comments after his club’s 21 March match versus Pegasus. Following the match, he was displeased with referee Gigi Law’s performance and suggested that the HKFA should stop assigning female referees to officiate men’s football matches. On 19 April, the DC found Pau guilty of sexual discrimination and fined the coach $3,000 in addition to his ban.
In their judgment, the AC ruled that they could not commute Pau’s ban because 10 matches is the mandatory minimum under Title II, Article 13 of FIFA’s Disciplinary Code. However, the Committee agreed to reduce his fine to $500.
As the ban has been upheld, Pau will be prohibited from entering any venue on matchdays for the remainder of the season, as well as for the first three matches of next season.
Lam Hin-ting ban reduced
Last Thursday, it was revealed the Happy Valley’s Lam Hin-ting’s 10-match ban had been reduced to five matches according to the HKFA’s weekly list of players under suspension. The full back had been banned for sexual harassment of Law during the same 21 March match against Pegasus.
Poon Man-tik, Valley’s director of football, confirmed after the club’s match on Sunday that management had decided to pay the fine on Lam’s behalf. The club paid the maximum fine of $25,000 to cut the ban in half which meant that the player would have been eligible to return in time for the club’s relegation round matches. But Poon insisted that Lam’s season was over and that the decision to pay the fine was made with next season in mind.
“We’ve said all along that his behaviour needs to improve and that he needs to mature so he will continue to be barred from playing,” the director said. “We’re still discussing internally about how to discipline him, but he will not play [again this season]. Because his ban would’ve carried over into next season, we bought down the ban so that we could start next season at full strength.”
Happy Valley currently sit seventh in the table with two matches to go until the final stage.