Indian defender Surender Kumar will not play any role in the ongoing fourth Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament after being suspended for two matches following a deliberate foul during the game against Malaysia.
Asian Hockey Federation's Technical Delegate Ramesh Appoo, on Thursday, conducted a disciplinary hearing under the Code of Conduct and found Surender guilty of a serious foul, warranting suspension for two matches.
The Indian defender, whose good performance in the Champions Trophy earned him a place in the squad for the Olympic Games, will have to sit out of the knockout round, starting with the semi-final on Saturday.
"Surender was shown a yellow card by the umpire for an off-the-ball incident in which Surender lifted his stick in an appropriate manner, thereby causing his stick to hit the chin of a Malaysian player," Appoo said in a statement.
"Having considered the evidence before me, including the explanation given by Surender, I have imposed a two-match suspension," the Technical Delegate said.
Surender was sent off in the 49th minute of India's last league match, which they won 2-1 to take the top spot in the round-robin league and now await the last couple of preliminary matches before knowing who they play in the semi-final.
After Surender got the yellow card, India had to play the rest of the match with 10 players but managed to ward off Malaysia's rapid attacks.
India managed to get a late match-winner off a penalty corner from Rupinder Pal Singh with just two minutes left. A one-match suspension was also imposed on Malaysian player Ashari Firhan.
"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," Appoo said.
"I have imposed a one-match suspension on Ashari," he said.
Image: Surender Kumar
Photograph: Alex Morton/Getty Images