Pakistan, lurching from one controversy to another at this World Cup, got two big reprieves ahead of their final Pool D clash against Netherlands on Sunday. Both vice-captain Ammad Butt and assistant coach Danish Kaleem were let off with only reprimands in two different cases of breaching protocol.
Firstly, Butt’s one-match suspension was reduced to a reprimand on appeal, making him available for the crucial game. Later, Kaleem was also let off with an official warning after he apologised for breaching the code of conduct.
Butt was punished for rash play during a penalty corner in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Malaysia, and the four-time champions lodged an appeal the next day. With their skipper Muhammad Rizwan ruled out of the tournament after a toe fracture suffered in the game, the reprieve comes as a big relief for Pakistan.
The Pakistan vice-captain was sanctioned for injuring a Malaysia player with a rash challenge while defending a penalty corner. In a statement, the FIH jury of appeal said it found Butt guilty of breaching the code of conduct by ‘carelessly, but not recklessly’ running into Malaysia’s Faisal Saari. However, the jury accepted the additional evidence that Butt subsequently showed concern for Saari’s welfare.
However, Butt treads thin ice. Should the midfielder receive a yellow card (minimum of five-minute suspension) in the remainder of the World Cup, the FIH technical delegate will have to immediately suspend him.
Later in the day, Kaleem received a reprimand from the FIH after the assistant coach admitted the breach of conduct and apologised. During the same game on Wednesday, Kaleem moved within the stadium without wearing the mandatory tournament accreditation and was found to have “inappropriate behaviour towards security officials”.
“If any further misconduct happens regarding the security rules which are set up for this tournament, it is likely that this will result to a suspension for the rest of the tournament and the removal of accreditation,” said an FIH statement.
In Sunday’s second Pool D match, Malaysia will take on Germany.
First Published: Dec 09, 2018 08:59 IST
Credit: Source link