Champions Trophy: India flex muscle after Pakistan show finger
Bhubaneswar: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) yesterday suspended two Pakistani players Amjad Ali and Mohammad Tousiq from playing in the Champions Trophy final after they were found guilty of making obscene gestures towards spectators following their semi-final win against India.
Pakistan's Mohammad Tousiq makes an obscene gesture towards the crowd at Bhubaneswar's Kalinga Stadium on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Pakistan eventually lost the final 0-2 to Germany, with Christopher Wesley (18th minute) and Florian Fuchs (57th) getting on the scoresheet for Germany.
Hockey India's imminent threat of boycotting all FIH events scheduled to be held in India during the next few calender years made the world hockey's governing body reverse their earlier decision of just letting the players with official reprimand.
According to the release issued by FIH, a third Pakistani player Shafaqt Rasool, got away with an official reprimand. All the three players have accepted their guilt. Amjad and Tousiq were guilty of making obscene gestures with their middle fingers towards a packed gallery.
"After the conclusion of the semi-final match between India and Pakistan, Amjad Ali was seen making obscene body gestures that are considered to be obscene, the evidence of which surfaced after the initial statement was issued on 14 December at midnight," the FIH said in a statement.
"Amjad Ali accepts the breach of the code of conduct. The attitude of the team member at the hearing was good, with Pakistan tendering a written apology to the community of hockey.
The seriousness of the offence falls within Level 1 of FIH rules and regulations and according to the Code of Conduct of Level 1 offence one match suspension is imposed on Ali Amjad.
"He is suspended for the next match that Pakistan will play in the relevant tournament," the statement read. The FIH further said that Tousiq committed the same offence and has been handed out the same punishment as Ali.
"Tousiq was seen making gestures that are considered to be obscene (raising the middle finger to spectators on the stands) whose evidence surfaced after the initial statement was issued on 14 December at midnight," it stated.
Rasool gets away
Incidentally, Rasool got away with just a reprimand for committing the same offence as Tousiq, but what went against the latter were the two yellow cards which he received so far in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Shahnaz Sheikh condemned the "shameless" behavior of his players and said his wards' conduct were "unacceptable" to the entire hockey community.
"The incident that occurred after the match between India and Pakistan contained behavior that is considered unacceptable to Pakistan Hockey Federation and the entire hockey community. Our opinion is that the behavior of a few of our players should not have occurred," Sheikh said in a statement.