Asian Champion Trophy 2016: India's Surender Kumar suspended for two matches
The suspension of Surender Kumar for the next two matches will surely hurt the cause of the Indian defense as they progress to the business end of the tournament in the Asian Champions Trophy. In the last encounter against Malaysia, the defender was shown a Yellow card and sent off the field on account of an intentional foul.
According to Asian Hockey Federation's Technical Delegate Ramesh Appoo, Surender was caught by the umpire regarding an off-the-ball incident wherein he had lifted his hockey stick up in a technically unfitting manner due to which it hurt the chin of a Malaysian player.
Following this, a disciplinary hearing was held under the Code of Conduct, helmed by Appoo in Surender’s presence, after which the player was adjudged responsible for committing a serious foul that validated a two-match suspension.
"Having considered the evidence before me, including the explanation given by Surender, I have imposed a two-match suspension," the Technical Delegate said in a statement.
Surender had climbed the rungs of the national team post a good show at the Champions Trophy which earned him a berth in the Olympic team as well. However, this suspension will come as a major downslide for he will have to watch the knockouts from the sidelines, with the semi-finals set to take place on Saturday.
In the match against Malaysia, which was India’s last league stage match, Surender was shown the way out by the umpire in the 49th minute and India were reduced to 10 men on the field. Despite this, they put up a strong front against the rapid Malaysian attacks and went on to win the humdinger off a brace from Rupinder Pal Singh who scored from a penalty corner with under two minutes left for the close of play.
Malaysia’s Ashari Firhan was also handed a one-match suspension after the encounter. "Team India handed me a video in which Ashari was seen making a deliberate physical contact by extending his elbow into the body of Indian player Akashdeep Singh in an off-the-ball incident," Ramesh Appoo said.
India claimed the top spot in the league which is played in the round robin format thus qualifying for the main draw and will know whom they clash against in the semifinals only after the completion of the preliminary matches.