By Ajitpal Singh
NATIONAL player Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor was handed a five-match suspension by the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) technical committee yesterday for manhandling an opponent in a Premier Division match last weekend.
A fight broke out between three players, including Nabil Fiqri, in the match between the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) after the final whistle.
Nabil, who was initially not involved in the scuffle, ran towards an YNS player and held his jersey after an argument broke out between his teammate Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi and Vivek Gupta.
Megat, a former international and Vivek, who is India's junior international, were each slapped with a two-match suspension.
Technical committee chairman Hashim Yusof said Nabil was given a heavier punishment as his action could have provoked a bigger problem.
"We studied the reports submitted by the technical match official and the umpires. The three players were punished based on the match officials' reports and also local newspaper reports," said Hashim yesterday.
"We will notify the concerned teams tomorrow (today) and they can appeal within 14 days."
The absence of Nabil Fiqri will be a big blow to KLHC in their quest to retain their Premier Division title. He has been instrumental in KLHC's fine run last weekend.
Meanwhile, Division One side, Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) will field a weakened side in their encounter against Malacca Municipal Council (MMC) on Friday.
This is because six of their regulars have been suspended by the school authorities for assaulting five students, who are also hockey players, last month.
Police reports were lodged and though the matter was said to have been amicably resolved between the parents of the abusers and victims last week, there is still the matter of internal investigations.
And with the report only due next week, BJSS will not field the affected players against MMC.
BJSS, who are currently fourth in the standings, will have only 14 registered players for the match.