Bhubaneswar, Dec 14:
Even as Pakistan chief coach Shahnaz Sheikh tendered an unconditional apology for some of his players’ obscene gestures after winning Hockey Champions Trophy semi-final against India Saturday, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Sunday suspended Muhammad Tousiq and Ali Amjad for the final to be played later in the day.
“Ali Amjad and Muhammad Tousiq are suspended for the next match that Pakistan will play in the relevant tournament, Pakista-Germany, on 14 Dec, 2014,” tournament director Wiert Doyer said in his report.
Pakistan player Shafqat Rasool was let off with official reprimand for his behavior, said the report.
Doyer said evidence of the breach of discipline was found through photos on social media.
All the players accepted the breach of code of conduct. The report said that the seriousness falls withiin level 1 while the players’ action is the breach of code of conduct level 1 and of high level.
The players were seen making body gestures to spectators on stand that are considered to be obscene, said the report.
The Pakistan coach tendered unconditional apology for such behavior.
“I have written to the tournament Director Wiert Doyer and sincerely apologised for the behaviour of a few players in my team following the match,” Shahnaz said in a written statement here.
“I have also spoken with the president and secretary general of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and both of them agreed that the behaviour was not acceptable and they would also submit their regrets to our kind host Hockey India (HI) and Indian public,” Shahnaz said.
He said the incident after the semi-final match between India and Pakistan Saturday at the Kalinga Stadium contained behaviour that is considered unacceptable to the PHF and the entire hockey community.
“As a result, I have spoken to my team and explained to them that they are guests in India and as hosts they have been very hospitable to the team. Our opinion is that the behaviour of a few of our players should not have occurred,” said the Pakistan chief coach.
He said the entire team has decided to bring flowers to the ground for the spectators as an apology for the behaviour.
“We hope that this gesture will go some way to repair the relation that exists between HI and PHF. I hope that in the true spirit of the game, everyone will accept our sincere apologies without any reservation,” said Shahnaz.
Reacting to the incident, Indian interim coach Roelant Oltmans disapproved the behaviour of the Pakistani players. “The celebration looks little bit too much,” he said.
Indian captain Sardar Singh said: “They should not have celebrated in such a way. There were families inside the stadium and they shouldn’t have taken off their shirts. Even after winning the match against Pakistan in the Asian Games, we didn’t celebrate in this fashion.”
The green shirts will face 2008 and 2012 Olympic champions Germany in the final.