Two Pakistan players suspended for obscene gestures; India threatens to severe all ties with PHF

Updated 14 December 2014
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Two Pakistan players suspended for obscene gestures; India threatens to severe all ties with PHF

BHUBANESWAR: Two Pakistani field hockey players were suspended and one was reprimanded for making obscene gestures after their team’s semifinal win over hosts India in the Champions Trophy semifinal, the sport’s governing body said on Sunday.
Muhammad Tousiq and reserve goalkeeper Ali Amjad were handed a one-match ban that sidelined them from the final of the eight-nation tournament against Germany.
Shafqat Rasool was reprimanded for the same offense, the International Hockey Federation announced after conducting a hearing with Pakistan coach Shahnaz Sheikh and the players earlier in the day.
“The above-mentioned players were seen making gestures that are considered to be obscene,” the FIH said in a statement without elaborating. The body had earlier cleared Pakistan of any wrongdoing.
As the final hooter sounded in Saturday night’s 4-3 thriller, excited Pakistani players took off their shirts and made rude gestures toward Indian fans at the packed 7,000-capacity Kalinga stadium.
Shahnaz, a former international, also walked out of the post-match press conference in a huff after Indian reporters persisted in asking questions about his players’ behavior after the game.
Tournament director Wiert Doyer, who investigated the incident soon after the match, had let the players off without any action after Shahnaz apologized for their actions.
The FIH U-turn on Sunday came a few hours after Hockey India chief Narinder Batra demanded an unconditional apology from Pakistan and called for strict action by the governing body.
“I am instructing my CEO to inform FIH that in case this kind of behavior by teams is within normal and tolerable limits of FIH, then we may not be interested to host any more tournaments in India,” Batra said in a statement.
“The tournaments may be shifted to countries which tolerate this kind of nonsense and uncouth behavior.”
India are due to host the 2018 World Cup.
Batra also threatened to severe all ties with the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) unless they issued an unconditional apology.
In a separate statement released by the FIH on Sunday, Shahnaz issued a fresh apology on behalf of the PHF.
“The incident.....contained behavior that is considered unacceptable to Pakistan Hockey Federation and the entire hockey fraternity,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.
“As the result, I have spoken to my team and explained to them that they are guests in India and as hosts they have been very hospitable to the team.”
The semifinal win helped Pakistan avenge their defeat by India in the Asian Games final in South Korea in October. That loss denied them a direct entry to the 2016 Olympics.


Amir Khan says agreement made for Manny Pacquiao Riyadh bout in November

Updated 6 min 57 sec ago
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Amir Khan says agreement made for Manny Pacquiao Riyadh bout in November

  • The two boxers came close to a fight in 2017, but negotiations fell through
  • The two boxers are known to be good friends and spent years sparring with each in the US

LONDON: British boxer Amir Khan said on Tuesday that a deal has been agreed for a fight against Manny Pacquiao on 8 November in Saudi Arabia.
Speaking at his gym in the British city of Bolton the former world champion said the fight would happen in Riyadh, adding that the bout had been “signed by both parties.”
Pacquiao, 40, has a scheduled fight with American Keith Thurman in Las Vegas on Saturday and, barring any potential rematch, would be available to fight Khan in the Kingdom.
“It’s on, unless he gets injured or he says he is going to retire after the fight and then the fight won’t happen, but he is interested in the fight as well,” Khan told Boxing Social.
The two boxers came close to a fight in 2017, but negotiations fell through and the bout never materialized.

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READ MORE: Amir Khan beats Billy Dib in Jeddah on ‘fight night of the year’

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“It is going to be amazing, because it’s been a long time we’ve been chasing that fight. I’ve been chasing the big names like (Floyd) Mayweather and Pacquiao for a long, long time but those fights never happened.
“But now it has come to a stage where we both signed on that dotted line, so hopefully he is going to be the next (fight).
“To have him sign that dotted line is brilliant and no matter how he does against Thurman, I still think it’s a big fight.
“Hopefully he comes out of it in one piece in his next fight against Keith, which is a hard fight and not an easy one for him, and we will take it from there.”
The British boxer, 32, scored a stoppage win over Australia’s Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia last Friday and soon after his win was talking up the prospect of landing Pacquiao as his next fight.

Eight-division world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao smiles as he arrives for a workout in Hollywood, California on July 10. (AFP/File Photo)

On the prospect of returning to Saudi Arabia, Khan said his experience in the Dib fight had been “amazing” and that it was hard to turn down a deal to fight in the Kingdom.
“I was little bit nervous, because I did not know what to expect — whether it would be full or not, or if people would turn up to support — but it was amazing. I think the next one is going to be even bigger.
“The experience was awesome, I was looked after by the GSA (General Sports Authority) and the Saudi government took good care of us, the gyms were amazing. I would love to go back over there.”
When asked if he ever doubted whether his dream fight against Pacquiao would happen, Khan agreed.
“I’ve waited so long but you cannot really put all your eggs in one basket, and definitely say this is going to be the next fight.

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READ MORE: Gloves off as world champion boxer Amir Khan dreams of ‘more fights in Saudi Arabia’

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“I hope it is him but we will have to look at back up plans. I’ve always wanted to fight him. It’s the biggest fight out there for me,” he told the BBC.
The two boxers are known to be good friends and spent years sparring with each in the US while training under the mentorship of trainer Freddie Roach.
The Filipino legend has not yet officially announced any bout with Khan and on social media appears focused on Saturday’s fight.
“When I sparred him he was at his peak,” Khan said. “I got good rounds with him and did really well. I have probably sparred between 200 and 300 rounds with him. He has slowed down a bit.”
Pacquiao has 61 wins, seven defeats and two draws in a 24-year professional career, while Khan has 34 wins and five defeats.