Organisers brush India-Pak brawl aside

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> While a probe is on into the on-field fight between India and Pakistan hockey players, organisers say it was a minor incident in the heat of the moment.

Updated: August 14, 2008 16:20 IST
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Sports Minister M.S. Gill has slammed the national broadcaster Doordarshan for not telecasting Wednesday's Junior Asia Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan.

In a way, it's good they didn't, because the fight that erupted during the game would have set a wrong example for budding hockey players.

The tournament's technical director may be investigating the incident closely. Strangely enough, the new ad-hoc committee that governs Indian hockey isn't too bothered.

The brawl wasn't the advertisement for any sport let alone an India-Pakistan clash, in Hyderabad. Maybe it's because India won the match 3-1 that the organisers have dismissed the incident as one of those things that is part of the game.

Muhammad Aslam Khan, the chief organiser of the tournament was asked if the incident happened in the heat of the moment. He responded, "It has, absolutely. If you are a sportsman you will not ask this question. This happens in life all the time in sports."

He then said the incident couldn't be called a brawl.

"It was not a brawl," he said. "People, for a split second, lost their temper... a brawl would have been a few heads broken."

The technical director of the tournament, who is from Singapore, is still to announce his verdict after examining the video footage which doesn't establish clearly about who started the fight and why.

With the International Hockey Federation already peeved with India for its handling of the Ric Charleworth issue, no doubt there will be pressure on India and the Asian Federation to make sure they get their decision right.

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