Pakistan hockey team’s World Cup campaign suffered twin blow on Thursday with skipper Muhammad Rizwan Sr ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with an injury while vice-captain Ammad Butt banned for their last Pool match against the Netherlands because of a serious on-field offence.
However, Butt’s suspension 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,” 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.”
Sardar said Pakistan had appealed against the banning of Butt and hoped the sanction would be lifted and he would be able to play against the 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.