Sunil warned for finger gesture, escapes ban
SV Sunil showed his middle finger after scoring the winner against Pakistan at the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament.
Ipoh: Indian striker SV Sunil was on Saturday reprimanded but escaped a ban for showing his middle finger to spectators after scoring the match-winner against Pakistan in the ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here.
Tournament Director Sarinder Dillon of Hong Kong issued an "official reprimand" after a disciplinary hearing at the team hotel where Sunil and the Indian team manager Manoj Bhore were present.
Sunil's action of throwing a punch in the air with his middle finger raised in Thursday's encounter with Pakistan was caught by television cameras. The matter then came to the attention of the Tournament Director, who summoned Sunil and the Indian team manager for a hearing after viewing the video of the incident.
"Sunil accepted that he was wrong and has been officially reprimanded," Dillon said. The decision means Sunil will be able to play in India's last match on Sunday.
Sunil's match-winning goal for India came in the penultimate minute when the teams were tied 1-1. The victory kept the five-time champions India, currently lying in the third place, in the contest for a medal. India have rounded off their league engagements with nine points from six matches.
India's opponents for the playoffs and whether they would feature in the gold- or bronze-medal match would be finalised later on Saturday evening after the last round of league matches.
New Zealand have confirmed their entry into the final by logging 12 points in five match. Argentina (nine points from five matches) and pre-tournament favourites Great Britain (eight points in five matches) are the other teams still in fray.