Huge brawl breaks out between Punjab Police, PNB during Nehru hockey final - WATCH
An ugly brawl between players of Punjab Police and Punjab National Bank during the final of the 56th Nehru Hockey (senior)—one of the country’s oldest and premier domestic tournaments—on Monday left several players injured. The match played at the National Stadium went out of the match officials’ control as players exchanged blows with hockey sticks. Trouble started in the 43rd minute with the teams level 3-3 and PNB on the move. Sumit Toppo of PNB and Hardeep Singh of Punjab Police pushed each other inside the circle. They hit each other with their stick and a scuffle broke out with players from the bench also rushing in.
PNB captain Jasbir Singh said three of his players were taken to hospital. “Two of them, including Sumit, received stitches on their head while Sukhjeet Singh has a fractured hand. Two Punjab police players were also injured in the brawl,” he said.
Three Punjab Police players (Hardeep, Jagmeet Singh and Kanwarjeet Singh) and two PNB players (Sukhjeet Singh and Toppo) were shown the red card. Skippers Jasbir and Dupinder Deep Singh – were also shown yellow cards. “We tried to control the fight but it had turned ugly. Nobody was listening anything,” Jasbir claimed.
The match was re-started with eight players each, and PNB went on to score three more goals to win 6-3 and collect the winner’s trophy. The organising committee said it was Hockey India tournament director, Mahesh Kumar’s call to resume and finish the game.
“Once the TD allowed the match to re-start we had to complete it. Had the match been abandoned, we would have had no choice,” said Nehru Hockey Tournament Society secretary, Kukoo Walia. He said: “We’ve banned Punjab Police for four years and PNB for two years. After the TD gives his report to Hockey India, they will take action.”
Former internationals like Gurbaj Singh and Sarvanjit Singh were playing for Punjab Police. Jasbir beamoned the indiscipline. “When any parents get to hear this, will they send their players to play hockey? It is our responsibility, such fights should never happen on the field. We’ve let down the fans.” Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra, also the international hockey federation president, said the Indian federation should take strict action.
“Such irresponsible teams and their careless and uncensored managements, such players and weak and spineless organising committees spoil the name of the game,” Batra said in a statement.
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