ZURICH – The IIHF Disciplinary Committee decided that Turkish club Baskent Yildizlari Ankara will be disqualified from the 2012/2013 IIHF Continental Cup and will not be eligible to participate in the competition in the 2013/2014 season due to irregular transfers.
The club transferred the players Pavel Civarek, Jan Svacha and Filip Velechovsky from the Czech Republic for just one month and violated article 6.3 of the IIHF Continental Cup Regulations, which stipulates that transfers only or primarily related and/or restricted to the participation in the Continental Cup competition are considered irregular.
The trio played all three games in the 2012/2013 IIHF Continental Cup Group A in Miercurea Ciuc, Romania, in which Baskent Yildizlari Ankara finished in second place. The players were transferred back to the Czech Republic less than two weeks after the tournament.
The club explained during the investigation that it signed one-year contracts with the players with the aim of keeping all foreign players for the full season and never had intended a temporary transfer. But during the Continental Cup tournament, the three players discussed their playing period with the team coach and declared that they did not want to play in Turkey. Both sides agreed to cancel their contracts in a peaceful manner.
The deciding panel of the IIHF Disciplinary Committee is convinced that the transfers were irregular in view of the IIHF Continental Cup Regulations and that all three players were transferred just in time – between 16 and 22 days before the start of the tournament – to meet the conditions for a participation in the tournament. Neither the statement from the club nor the the contracts provided convincing arguments for a different view.
The panel concluded that it is not sufficient to stipulate a longer duration of the contracts if the other provisions of the contracts are aimed for temporary employment only. In particular, no payments were mentioned in the contracts. The panel sees it as very strange that players would sign a contract for a whole year without negotiating a salary in addition to the basic living requirements.
The panel considers the infringement a gross violation of the good order of the sport of ice hockey. By signing players for the purpose of the Continental Cup alone, the club tried to gain an advantage over the other participating clubs in an extremely unfair and unsportsmanlike manner.
Considering the possible impact on the results of the tournament and the possible disadvantages for the other participating teams resulting from this unfair behavior, the panel is of the opinion that Baskent Yildizlari Ankara has to be disqualified. This means that all scores involving the team are annulled. Baskent Yildizlari will lose the prize money of CHF 4,000 and is subject to a fine of CHF 1,000. Baskent Yildizlari will not be eligible to play in the IIHF Continental Cup during the 2013/2014 season. The club is currently ranked in first place of the seven-team Turkish Süper Lig.
The panel also decided that the Turkish Ice Hockey Federation, which approved the transfers to Turkey and back to the Czech Republic, is not subject to any disciplinary measure in this case because it could not take action in order to prevent the transfers according to the IIHF International Transfer Regulations. However, according to the IIHF Bylaw 1100, member national associations are urged to try and bring the participating clubs to strictly observe the Continental Cup Regulations.