Hockey: Two-match ban for Shivendra

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The team has appealed against the suspension and a final decision is expected around noon today.

Updated: March 02, 2010 10:25 IST
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New Delhi:

Indian hockey striker Shivendra Singh, who scored the first goal against Pakistan, has been suspended from three matches, for hitting Pakistani player Fareed, which according to the officials was 'deliberate'.

The World Hockey Federation accused him of dangerous play and physical assault without causing serious injury. The team has appealed against the suspension and a final decision is expected around noon today.

The incident where Indian hockey striker Shivendra Singh's stick hit Pakistan's Fareed Ahmed above the eye on Sunday has earned the Indian a 3 match suspension. Shivendra claims it was not intentional but the FIH Tournament Director thinks otherwise.

Ken Read, Tournament Director, said, "This is deliberate contact by a stick with the head of a player. The critical facts in this case was that the ball was on the ground. The player struck was upright. The distance between both the players was approximately 5 feet. The ball was much further away. There was absolutely no reason at all for the stick to be where it was."

Shivendra, who launched the first attack on Pakistan has a clean record, after having played 110 matches. Interestingly, there were no complaints from the Pakistanis. The suspension came on the basis of the referee's statement.

"Whether or not there was a complaint from the Pakistanis is not important. What is important is the standard and behaviour of the players in this tournament. If for some reason a breach of code of conduct is brought to our attention then I am obliged to act on it." added Tournament Director, Ken Read.

Understandably the decision is a huge setback for the team, who could miss him for the next 3 games against Australia, Spain and England. His family too is shattered.

J S Choudhury, Shivendra Singh's father said, "The referee did not card him during the match but it all happened later. Big setback for the team and the family."

The team has appealed against the ban and a decision is expected just a few hours before India takes on Australia in a crucial game on Tuesday.

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