Hockey World Cup 2018: Pakistan hit by ban, injury

Ammad Butt has been charged with deliberately jumping on and hurting a Malaysian player while Muhammad Rizwan Sr has been ruled out of the tournament due to an ankle fracture suffered in the same game.

Germany's Dieter Linnekogel and Pakistan's Ammad Butt in action during their Pool D match.   -  Getty Images

Pakistan might have been hoping to continue further in the World Cup but things have taken a turn for the worse for the side.

Midfielder Ammad Butt, one of the key players in the side who has played a crucial and impressive role in its two games so far, has been hit with a 1-match ban after the draw against Malaysia.

Ammad has been charged with deliberately jumping on and hurting Malaysia’s Faisal Saari while rushing to defend a penalty corner in their Pool D match on Wednesday. The decision was taken by the technical official after receiving a writing complaint from Malaysia coach Roelant Oltmans.

 

“We are not just happy but disgusted with this clearly biased decision. There was no foul or even a warning given by the on-field umpires at that moment. Neither was there any serious injury for Saari and he played the rest of the game as well,” Pakistan coach Rehan Butt told Sportstar.

"We cannot understand what the official saw to justify this sanction. All this is simply to ensure Pakistan is out of the tournament since Malaysia’s situation is worse than us and they are desperate to survive," he added.

He also said the team would protest against it with the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Rizwan out of the tournament

That is not the only bad news for the team. Captain Muhammad Rizwan Sr, one of the few players to not just impress on the field but also a key figure in keeping the team in control and united, has been ruled out of the tournament due to an ankle fracture suffered in the same game. Rizwan had been limping after the game but the management had insisted it was not serious.

Sources though confirmed Pakistan has already put in an application for a replacement but it is unlikely to be approved before its last league match, against Holland on Sunday. Even if it does, there isn’t enough time for the team to process a replacement and get him to Bhubaneswar in time.