In a major relief for Pakistan, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has let-off vice-captain Ammad Butt with a reprimand for carelessly running into a Malaysian player during its last match, which means the striker is eligible to play in its crucial last Pool D match against Netherlands on Sunday.
Pakistan's campaign at the ongoing men's hockey World Cup went from bad to worse after the team suffered a twin blow Thursday.
While skipper Muhammad Rizwan Sr was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with an injury, his deputy Butt was banned for their last Pool D match against Netherlands because of a serious on-field offence against Malaysia’s Faizal Saari.
The suspension was, however, revoked after Pakistan appealed against it with the FIH stating that Butt's offence was not "reckless" but a "careless" one.
The suspension was invoked on Butt after Malaysia's coach Roelant Oltmans lodged an official complaint with the tournament's Technical Delegate Christian Deckenbrock of Germany.
While lifting the suspension, the FIH, however, warned that if Butt receives a yellow card in future matches of the tournament, the suspension can be invoked by the Technical Delegate.
"Following an incident in the 40th minute of the game between Malaysia-Pakistan on December 5 Pakistan player Ammad Butt had been suspended for one match by the FIH Technical Delegate. The Pakistan team had appealed against this decision," a statement from the FIH read.
"The FIH Appeal Jury found the appellant, Ammad Butt, breached the Code of Conduct carelessly, but not recklessly, running into the Malaysian players. The Jury acceptedthe additional evidence that the appellant did subsequently show concern for the Malaysian player's welfare," the statement read.
The FIH further stated that: "Ammad Butt is reprimanded for carelessly running into an opponent. Should Ammad Butt receive a yellow card in the remainder of the tournament, the FIH Technical Delegate is recommended to suspend him."
Meanwhile in another good news for Pakistan, the FIH had approved Arslan Qadir as injured Rizwan Senior's in the 18-member squad for the remainder of the tournament.
"Muhammad Rizwan Sr has withdrawn from the Pakistan squad due to an injury. The team captain will be replaced by Arslan Qadir. Pakistan sought approval from the FIH and the request was assessed and evaluated before being approved," the world body said.
Rizwan Sr was ruled out after fracturing the little finger of left leg during the match against Malaysia.
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