In a huge jolt to the India men's hockey team's chances in the Commonwealth Games, captain Sardar Singh has been suspended for the semi-final match against New Zealand on Saturday following his second dangerous offence in the tournament.
Sardar, who has already been reprimanded for
dangerous play against an Australian player, received a yellow card in Thursday's pool A match against South Africa - which India won 5-2 - and the jury originally slapped him with a two-match suspension as it was his second offence of the tournament.
After an appeal by the Indian team management, the appeal jury reduced the suspension to one match.
The appeal jury held a hearing to consider Singh's latest disciplinary lapse, for which he was sent to the 'sinbin' for 10 minutes.
Team coach MK Kaushik told PTI that it was an unintentional tackle and since he has already been reprimanded, Sardar received the suspension.
"It was an unintentional tackle for which Sardar got the yellow card. Since he has already been reprimanded, he received a two-match suspension. But after we appealed it was reduced to one match," he said.
Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra said that the team was satisfied with the one-match suspension and it will not appeal further.
"Sardar committed an offence and we are satisfied with the one-match suspension. We are not going to appeal further," he said.
A two-match suspension would have ruled Sardar out of either the final or bronze-medal match also.
"He (Sardar) has already been reprimanded on Wednesday over an incident during India's match against Australia on Tuesday. Singh was deemed to have been guilty of 'inappropriate physical conduct" after Australia's Eddie Ockenden was hit in the face," the organisers said.
"Following a review by the appeal jury after India vs South Africa match on Thursday, the jury decided to suspend Singh for two matches. That was later reduced to one game after India submitted a protest."
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