Sunday, 14 December 2014

No action against Pakistan players’ misconduct in India semi-final: FIH

No action against Pakistan players’ misconduct in India semi-final: FIH

Pakistan captain Mohammad Imran (L) celebrates with teammates after winning the Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2014 semi final match against India in Bhubaneswar. — AFP
Pakistan captain Mohammad Imran (L) celebrates with teammates after winning the Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2014 semi final match against India in Bhubaneswar. — AFP
BHUBANESWAR: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) said no action was needed against the misconduct of Pakistani players during their celebrations after winning a nail-biting Champions Trophy semi-final against India on Saturday.
After comprehensively winning the game 4-3, Pakistani players removed their shirts, started dancing in jubilation, and raised obscene gestures towards the crowd.
The FIH statement, as reported by Indian media, comes as Pakistan coach Shahnaz Sheikh had tendered an apology for wild celebrations by the players following their win which knocked out host India from the tournament.
“Shahnaz Sheikh has apologised and assured me that such behaviour will not occur again,” said a press statement by Wiert Doyer, tournament director of the Champions Trophy.
Initially, FIH had hinted of a possible action against the Pakistani team but matters were resolved after Sheikh’s apology.
“I tender my apology for what happened after the game,” Sheikh had said before boycotting the post-match conference for what he termed the unprofessional coverage of the match end by Indian media.
Indian media focused match coverage entirely on Pakistani players raising unruly gestures after defeating their arch-rivals. The Pakistani players were allegedly reacting to cat-calls by the Indian spectators who had come to watch the crucial game in large numbers.
Indian coach Roelant Oltmans termed the Pakistani celebrations “a bit too much”, disapproving of their behaviour. Their captain, Sardar Singh, had said that the reaction gave a wrong message to the people of the game, adding that such things should have been avoided in front of a packed stadium.
However, FIH has called in Pakistani players Shafqat Rasool, Amjad Hussain and Tauseeq Ahmed for an inquiry into the incident.

‘No action against Pakistan’ angers Indian hockey chief

Hockey India chief Narendra Batra was furious over FIH’s decision to not take any action against the misconduct of Pakistani players.
“We have decided we will not host any bilateral series with Pakistan until we get an unconditional apology from the Pakistani federation for the behaviour of their athletes,” Batra said.
“I wanted to congratulate Pakistan on their victory yesterday, but the post-match celebrations are totally unacceptable,” the Indian hockey chief said while talking to Indian media. “We lodged a formal protest with the tournament director and I am really disappointed with his decision.”
Batra claimed there was no provocation from the Indian crowd or media which could have prompted Pakistani players to resort to unruly gestures.
"[Pakistan players] were seen showing middle fingers and this goes against all norms of decency,” he said.
“If FIH thinks this is normal behaviour then as Hockey India we will have an executive board meeting [to discuss] this today. In 2018 we have the Junior World Cup and Senior Men World Cup happening in India, along with other events. I want to surrender all those events because this is totally not acceptable to us,” the Indian hockey chief said.

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