The slight over Dutchman Roelant Oltmans quitting the Pakistan hockey team as head coach in September was visible during their World Cup clash against Malaysia on Wednesday.

The frostiness became more apparent on Thursday after Pakistan vice-captain Ammad Butt was suspended for one match by the international hockey federation (FIH) following current Malaysia head coach Oltmans’ complaint.

“Following an incident in the 40th minute of the Malaysia-Pakistan game, Pakistan’s Ammad Butt has been suspended for one match by the FIH technical delegate. The Pakistan team has appealed this decision. The FIH appeal jury will convene on Saturday. FIH will communicate the appeal decision when available,” said an FIH statement.

The incident occurred when Malaysia’s Faisal Saari took a penalty corner in the 40th minute. However, Pakistan players alleged it was a Dutch conspiracy.

“They have suspended Ammad citing reckless play. If he played rashly against Malaysia, then the on-field umpires should have taken action right then. But nothing happened. The player and team manager (Hassan Sardar) were called by the FIH for a hearing and were told about the decision today,” said Pakistan head coach Tauqeer Dar.

“The complaint was filed by Malaysia coach Oltmans, who is a Dutch. The FIH technical delegate (Christian Deckenbrock) is a Dutch. But most importantly our next and final Pool D match is also against the Netherlands. How can this be a coincidence?” However, the FIH website states that Deckenbrock is a German.

In another setback, Pakistan captain Muhammad Rizwan has suffered a fracture in the small finger of his right hand and has been ruled out of the tournament. “Imagine the two best players in your team being unavailable ahead of the most important clash,” said Dar.

The Pakistan head coach said they have followed procedure and lodged an appeal for which they also deposited $600, the amount required for the appeal. “This is an afterthought. We were not told yesterday. They mailed me later and we had a hearing. If we see the video where he made a ‘harsh dash’ (during the penalty corner) then you’ll see he didn’t. There are 25 cameras; everyone will agree Ammad is innocent. He not only stopped the ball but there was no foul, no penalty corner, no card shown to him by the umpire,” said team manager Hassan Sardar.

First Published: Dec 06, 2018 23:27 IST

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