Harpal Singh Bedi / Bhubaneswar
Four time champion Pakistan for survival in the 14th hockey World Cup suffered a twin blow Thursday with skipper Muhammad Rizwan Senior ruled out of the rest of the tournament with an injury while vice-captain Ammad Butt banned for their crucial last Pool D match against Netherlands because of a serious on-field offence.
However, the banning of Butt didn’t go down well with the Pakistan team management with manager Hasan Sardar terming the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) decision as “bias”.
Butt was banned for one match after Malaysia lodged a complaint to the FIH against the player for a rough tackle in the 1-1 draw on Wednesday. “Rizwan Senior fractured his little finger so unfortunately he won’t be able to play any further part in this tournament, Sardar said in a video message.
“About Ammad Butt we weren’t informed yesterday that Malaysia had appealed. They (FIH) informed us later. We were called for hearing today. If we look at the video against which they had taken action taken action for a harsh dash, there wasn’t any such dash. If we look at the video everybody would agree that Ammad not only stopped the ball but the umpire also didn’t give any penalty corner against us nor the umpire showed any card to Ammad Butt,” he said.
.@PHFOfficial's Muhammad Irfan is multi-talented star. After singing, he pulls up the authentic Bhangra moves with Olly at the Fan Village in Odisha.#IndiaKaGame #HWC2018 #DilHockey pic.twitter.com/lhb7agQas2
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) December 6, 2018
“So, I think this is an afterthought. We have to play a match against Netherlands in our last game and this decision was given by a Dutch technical delegate. They lost to Germany and this is a do-or-die match for them as well as us. So I think they have taken this harsh decision against us.”
Sardar informed that his team had appealed against the banning of Butt and hoped the sanction would be lifted and he would be able to play against Netherlands in their crucial last pool match on Sunday. “We have appealed against this decision and I hope the FIH would listen to our appeal and give a decision in our favour,” he said.
“Ammad not only saved himself and a goal but also the Malaysian player. This is a biased decision,” the manager asserted