As if crashing out of final contention was not enough, the Indian under-21 hockey team suffered another setback when its forward Talwinder Singh was handed a two-match suspension for being involved in a scuffle with Malaysian players during a Sultan of Johor Cup match.
The 17-year-old Talwinder was red-carded in the match against Malaysia due to which he already stands suspended from today's bronze medal playoff against South Korea.
Talwinder was involved in a scuffle on Friday in the tense match against Malaysia. Both teams had high stake as the winner would enter into the today's final.
The scuffle that took place in the 10th minute of Friday's match saw Talwinder red-carded instantly by the Australian umpire Den de Young. India played the remaining 60 minutes of the game with a man less, and lost the match 1-5.
"Yes, we have been informed of this suspension. We were shown the video and we have accepted the decision of the tournament director," said Niranjan Reddy, manager of the team.
Chief coach Mukesh Kumar felt the players should remain calm minded in such matches and it is a lesson for them.
Tournament Director Munir Md took stock of the situation on Saturday, and called Harpreet Singh and Talwinder for interrogation.
Harpreet Singh was also red-carded yesterday. Indian coach Mukesh Kumar and Manager Niranjan Reddy were also present in the meeting.
In Friday's match, Indian colts' got as many as five cards -- two yellow, two red and a green. At one point of time, India were seen playing with just eight players due to suspensions. Only recently, three senior Indian players and two officials were suspended for 1-5 matches for a similar scuffle at Busselton, Australia.