Punjab Police, PNB in ugly fight

The brawl started in the third quarter of the match while PNB was on the attack inside the Punjab Police circle. Both teams were locked at 3-3 at that point of time.

In a big embarrassment for Indian hockey, players of Punjab Police and Punjab National Bank on Monday got involved in an ugly brawl during the final of the 56th Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey tournament, prompting the organisers to impose bans on both the sides.

Hockey India also sought a detailed report from the tournament organisers. The brawl started in the third quarter of the match while PNB was on the attack inside the Punjab Police circle. Both teams were locked at 3-3 at that point of time.

The players exchanged blows and fought with sticks inside the turf for a while before the tournament officials rushed to douse the fire.

The match continued following a brief interruption with eight players on each side after the on-field umpires showed red cards to three players each from both teams.

Besides, the Punjab Police manager was also shown the red card for instigating his players. PNB, eventually, lifted the title by winning the match 6-3.

Both teams banned

Dismayed and disturbed by the incident, the managing committee of the Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament Society decided to impose bans on both the teams.

“It is therefore decided to suspend both the teams from participating in the tournament. Punjab Police has been suspended for a period of four years while PNB has been banned for two years,” the tournament orgainsers said.

Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra, who is also the chief of International Hockey Federation (FIH), also called on HI to take strict action against the teams.

“Such irresponsible teams and their careless and uncensored managements, such players and weak and spineless organising committees spoil the name of the game and bring bad reputation to the sport,” a fuming Batra said. “I urge Hockey India to take maximum strict action,” he added. 

Hockey India immediately sought a detailed report from its Tournament Director, Mahesh Kumar.

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