Shivender's punishment reduced

Shivender's punishment reduced

Shivender Singh

Shivender was suspended for three matches by the tournament director Ken Read on Monday for “deliberately” causing an injury to Pakistan’s Fareed Ahmed in their clash on Sunday.

But the international hockey federation’s appeal jury, comprising Antonia von Ondarza (Venezuela), Hari Kant (Canada) and Johan Wakkie (the Netherlands) concluded that the action of Shivender in raising his stick was reckless but not deliberate. But the jury considered that it constituted physical assault as referenced in the FIH Code of Conduct Guidelines of Offences and Penalties. Stating that it was a level 2 offence, the jury said it required the minimum penalty of a two-match suspension. As such, Shivender will miss the match against Spain on March 4, besides Tuesday’s game against Australia. He will be eligible for the game against England on March 6. With Read being an Australian, there were conspiracy theories flying around that the decision was taken to destabilise India ahead of the match against Australia. But FIH Communication Manager Arjen Meijer rejected the suggestions.

“We have the best teams here, and we have the best tournament director also here. Read is an experienced official, who did duty at the last World Cup as well as the Beijing Olympic Games. I can assure you that if the player had been an Australian, he would have taken the same decision,” said Meijer.

“We do not like to suspend players; we are here for friendship and fair play. But this case warranted punishment and if any team has any grievances it can always appeal. That is why we have the appeal jury in place. They can overturn a decision if they find it wrong. In this case, the jury found that while Shivender’s action was reckless, it wasn’t deliberate. Still it is a level 2 offence and that is why he has been suspended for two matches.”

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