The Pakistani hockey team's World Cup campaign suffered a twin blow on Thursday, 7 December, with skipper Muhammad Rizwan Sr ruled out of the remainder of the tournament due to an injury and vice-captain Ammad Butt banned from their last Pool match against Netherlands because of an on-field offence.
"Rizwan Senior fractured his little finger so unfortunately he won't be able to play any further part in this tournament," Pakistan’s manager Hasan Sardar said in a video message.
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. The reprimand has not gone down well with the Pakistan team management with Sardar terming the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) decision as "bias".
"About Ammad Butt, we weren't informed yesterday (Wednesday) 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," Sardar said.
"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.
Although not in as many words, Sardar wasn't happy that Butt's suspension was handed by a Dutch technical delegate, the country against whom, they will play their last pool match.
"I think this is an afterthought but we have to play a match against the Netherlands 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."
Butt Ban Appealed
Sardar said Pakistan had appealed against the ban on 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," Sardar alleged.
. Read more on Hockey by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsRajasthan Polls: Voters Create Ruckus in Jalore District Booths . Read more on Hockey by The Quint.