Court rules against Asian Tour in restraint of trade case
Court rules against Asian Tour in restraint of trade case
Australians Terry Pilkadaris and Matthew Griffin, Manila-based Dutchman Guido van der Valk and Malaysian Anis Helmi Hassan brought the case against the Asian Tour after being suspended for refusal to pay $5,000 fines imposed for playing events on the rival OneAsia circuit.
The players argued that the penalty was unfair and they should be allowed to play elsewhere if the Asian Tour did not stage a tournament the same week.
Pilkadaris said in a statement he was delighted with the verdict and felt vindicated in his stance.
“This situation was simply unfair. Even when the Asian Tour didn’t have a tournament, we were being prevented from playing on OneAsia — and as a professional golfer this clearly is an infringement of trade,” he said.
“I was a very loyal Asian Tour member. Even when I was on the European Tour, I used to come back to Asia to play their events, so to be accused of disloyalty was not very nice. “I earned the right to play on the Asian Tour — and OneAsia — and so I am glad that this has been resolved.”
In the High Court ruling yesterday, the judge wrote that the Asian Tour’s regulations regarding the release of players to take part in events on other tours was “unenforceable and null and void for being an unreasonable restraint of trade.”
The ruling ordered the Tour to repay the fines levied on players and pay their costs.
The Asian Tour, which has accused OneAsia of stealing events, had said it was simply following its rules and regulations in suspending the quartet for failing to pay.
Other Tour members had agreed to pay the fines and gone on to play rival events, it had said.
A statement from the Asian Tour yesterday said: “Our lawyers are reviewing the court judgment and we will make further comments at an appropriate time.”
Sang Y Chun, chairman and commissioner of OneAsia, said it had been “illogical” for the Asian Tour to stop its players from competing in other competitions, particularly when there was no conflict of dates.
“We have always had a much more open policy — if you are qualified to play, you should be allowed to play,” he said in a statement.
“OneAsia wants to see the best golfers in Asia competing for the richest purses and we hope this ruling opens the way for more players to take part in our events without fear of punitive fines or banning.”
While the Asian Tour has been keen to help its players on to the bigger European and PGA Tours, it has been concerned about the growth of the rival OneAsia circuit and introduced fines to deter members from playing on it.
OneAsia launched its first season in 2009, promising $1 million events with full fields of Asian players. It now has 10 full-field stroke play events this year after starting with five in its first year.
Van der Valk incurred a $5,000 fine for playing in OneAsia events in 2010 but the world No. 600 told Reuters earlier this month that he could no longer afford to take the risk of paying them as he has no guarantees of making money from competing.
Griffin played in the Chengdu Open, Maekyung Open, SK Telekom Open and Indonesian Open on the OneAsia Tour between April and July 2010, with Pilkadaris playing in three of the events, Van der Valk two and Anis just in Indonesia.
Pilkadaris, Griffin and Anis have dropped their membership of the Asian Tour.
‘We want to make Saudi Arabia proud’: Pizzi promises better showing against Egypt
- Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday
- Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious
ROSTOV-ON-DON: “Keeping possession of the ball seems to be the absolute and most important thing, but then when you sometimes find issues in getting the ball into your opponent’s half, you have to find other movements and ways of doing that,” said Oscar Tabarez after watching his lackluster Uruguay rely on a solitary Luis Suarez goal to eliminate Saudi Arabia from the World Cup.
Tabarez was talking about his own team’s struggles, yet the assessment is considerably more applicable to the Green Falcons, who dominated possession and retained the ball with ease in midfield, yet for the second match running looked absolutely bereft of ideas in the final third. With Uruguay and Russia now on six points, Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday.
The Green Falcons coach Juan Antonio Pizzi confirmed he intends to stay at the helm of the side for the long-haul, yet is only too aware that the potential of this team is being hamstrung by its inability to score. He called it “our weakness”, adding that his side enjoyed “good ball possession, but no effectiveness”. They, he said, did not have the sufficient “weapons or tools” to equalize.
Pizzi’s side have found the net now just twice in their past five games and against Uruguay managed only three shots on target in 90 minutes — two of which came in added time and were so tame they would hardly have troubled the opposition goalkeeper Fernando Muslera had he been relaxing at his far post sipping a drink. In the 5-0 defeat to Russia last week, they failed to muster a single shot on target.
Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious. One passage of play in the opening exchanges saw Saudi Arabia complete 16 passes untroubled without the ball entering the opposition penalty box. When Uruguay finally won possession, they required only four quick exchanges to find Edinson Cavani on the left wing drilling the ball across the front of goal.
“I don’t share that assessment,” said Pizzi, when it was put to him that his team was too slow to attack. “We played at the speed that was necessary. We need to be accurate, but if you step up the speed you lose accuracy with your passes. We had control of the game and that was why.”
Striker Mohammed Al-Sahlawi had been the focal point of much criticism from Turki Al-Sheikh, the head of Saudi’s General Sports Authority, after the Russia “fiasco” and was dropped from the side against Uruguay. So too was goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf, another who Al-Sheikh name-checked as having been at fault.
Pizzi, asked whether the scathing assessment from his bosses had forced his hand when it came to team selection, calmly dismissed the suggestion. He also ruled out the notion that administrative issues between the players and the country’s football federation had caused unrest in his squad.
“I have a list of 23 players here and they are all available to play. We are here together and pushing in the same direction.
“I wanted — and still want — to make the Saudi Arabian people feel proud of our energy and the desire we show in matches. Unfortunately we were unable to do that against Russia and will be playing our next match without any hope of progressing. I hope now they will feel a little more proud even though we are out of the World Cup,” he said.