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Champions Trophy controversy: Never seen such a thing in hockey, says Tom Boon

In the aftermath of Pakistani players' lewd celebrations, Belgian striker Tom Boon says players need to represent their nation well

Belgian hockey striker Tom Boon has criticised the way Pakistani players celebrated their semi-final win over India in the Champions Trophy at Bhubaneswar recently.

Tom Boon (left) and Dabang Mumbai Strategic Advisor Viren Rasquinha sport the franchise's new jerseys at MHAL Stadium yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Tom Boon (left) and Dabang Mumbai Strategic Advisor Viren Rasquinha sport the franchise's new jerseys at MHAL Stadium yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble 

The Pakistanis hurled abuses and made lewd gestures towards the home fans resulting in two of their players — Amjad Ali and Mohammad Tousiq — getting banned for one match (the final), while Shafaqt Rasool was reprimanded.

"I thought it (Pakistani players' behaviour) was bad. I don't think it can happen in the heat of the moment. This is the first time I have seen such a thing in hockey. All I can say is that when players put on their national jersey, they represent their country.

We always want to be at our best when representing the country. You have to represent your country well," the 24-year-old told reporters on the sidelines of an event to unveil Hockey India League(HIL) outfit Dabang Mumbai franchise's jersey at the MHAL Stadium yesterday.

Boon became the highest paid player in the HIL after the Mumbai franchise splurged a whopping $103,000 (approximately R65 lakhs) on him during the auction last month — a figure that even Boon and his family found difficult to digest.

"The amount came as a shock. I didn't expect a lot (of money in the auction). They (my family) are really proud, but they couldn't believe me when I first said it (the amount)," Boon revealed.

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