The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday reduced the three-match ban on Indian forward Shivendra Singh, for “deliberately” hitting a Pakistani player during his team’s World Cup opener in New Delhi, to two.
The verdict of the FIH jury means that Shivendra, who scored a goal against Pakistan on Sunday, will miss tonight’s crucial game against Australia and the one against Spain scheduled for Thursday.
“We have just been told about the FIH’s decision that his ban has been reduced to two matches,” Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra said.
“We are not at all happy with the decision because the foul was not intentional. We are disappointed with the jury’s verdict but we don’t have any option now and he will have to sit out,” he added.
Tournament Director Ken Read had stated that Shivendra “deliberately” hit Fareed Ahmed by lifting his stick in the 39th minute of the match which the hosts won 4-1, leaving the Pakistani player with a small cut above the eye.
The Pakistan team management did not make any complaint but Read concluded that Shivendra breached the FIH’s Code of Conduct and was guilty of a level 2 offence – physical assault without serious injury.
“The action of lifting the stick was deliberate. A four-match suspension is appropriate but given the (good) history of Shivendra, I consider three-match suspension appropriate,” Read said.
Shivendra had argued that he had no intention to hit the Pakistani player after the jabbing and just wanted to run faster.