Indian hockey stooped to a new low on Monday when an embarrassing incident happened during the 56th Nehru Hockey Tournament final. Players of Punjab Police and Punjab National Bank got involved in an ugly fight after the scuffle broke out during the title clash in Delhi. It forced the national federation – Hockey India to seek a detailed report from the tournament organisers.
The brawl started while PNB was on the attack inside the Punjab Police circle. Both teams were locked at 3-3 at that point of time. The players exchanged blows and fought with sticks inside the turf for a while before the tournament officials rushed to douse the fire.
The match continued following a brief interruption with eight players on each side after the on-field umpires showed red cards to three players each from both teams. Besides, the Punjab Police manager was also shown the red card for instigating his players.
PNB, eventually, lifted the title by winning the match 6-3.
The incident didn’t go down well with Hockey India, which immediately sought a detailed report from its Tournament Director, Mahesh Kumar. “We are waiting for the official report from the tournament officials and on its basis Hockey India will take necessary action,” HI CEO Elena Norman said.
Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra, who is also the chief of International Hockey Federation (FIH), also called on HI to take strict action against the players and officials involved in the ruckus.
“Such irresponsible teams and their careless and uncensored managements, such players and weak and spineless organising committees spoil the name of the game and bring bad reputation to the sport,” a fuming Batra said.
“I urge Hockey India to take maximum strict action,” he added.