Monday, June 13, 2011

Hockey bust-up Scu ffle at Gurdwara Cup match puts player’s modelling career in jeopardy. Ex-national coach allegedly involved in assault.

NOT LOOKING GOOD: Harwinder (right) and Harmesh with the report they lodged in Ipoh

HOCKEY player Harwinder Singh (pic) fears his modelling career is over as a result of injuries from an assault during a Gurdwara Cup hockey match in Ipoh last Friday.

Harwinder, who plays for Selangor, suffered a broken nose and hairline fracture on his forehead.

He was allegedly hit by Johor's Sarjit Singh, a former national coach and who had also previously served as captain of the national team.

All Harwinder did was go to the aid of his team-mate Harmesh Singh who was scuffling with Sarjit’s son, Manraj Singh.

“When I reached Harmesh and checked on him, I suddenly saw Sarjit swinging his hockey stick at me and it hit my face,” Harwinder claimed.

Harwinder, who bled profusely, was taken to Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh where he received eight stitches on his forehead and two on his nose.

“I am really worried that my modelling career may come to an end, as the doctors could not tell me what could be done about my broken nose and I also fear that I might get a permanent scar,” said Harwinder whose good looks had won him the FreshLook Inter-Campus Search 2008 title.

"Doctors told me to rest as my face is swollen and there is nothing they can do for my fractured nose until the swelling subsides."

He had modelled for the FreshLook contact lens products, and last year he obtained third placing in a Topman modelling competition.

“This year I had planned to join the Manhunt Malaysia 2011 competition but with my condition now I don’t think I will stand a chance,” he said, adding that he has to go for follow-up checks at a hospital in Klang, where he resides.

Harwinder said he was considering taking the matter to court and pursuing civil action against Sarjit.

Sarjit and his son Manraj also faces a possible lengthy ban from the sport for the incident.

Meanwhile, Harmesh claimed he was marked throughout the match by Manraj.

“At one point, Manraj started to hit me in the stomach and pushed his hockey stick into my stomach. He repeatedly did that to me until I confronted him and told him to stop doing that,” Harmesh alleged.

"But Manraj then swung his hockey stick and hit my arm. I was shocked when he did that and the umpire then stopped the game. I had bruises on my arm and that was when Harwinder came to my aid.”

Former national coach in trouble over Gurdwara Cup brawl

“I DID what any father would do.”

So said ex-national hockey coach Sarjit Singh, in defence of his actions at Friday's Gurdwara Cup match.

Sarjit claimed it was paternal instinct which drove him to intervene in a scuffle between his son and a player from the opposing team. He said as much as he regretted the incident, he was only doing what any father would have done.

"There was a problem between my son (Manraj Singh) and the Selangor player (Harmesh Singh).

And there was another player (Harwinder Singh) who ran from the other half of the pitch towards my son," claimed Sarjit.

“Harwinder was already swinging his stick and my son had his arm up to protect himself. I had to do something. If I had not hit that player (Harwinder), he would have got my son. I did what came naturally. It was self-defence."

Sarjit started his international career in 1982 when Malaysia hosted the Junior World Cup. He eventually became national juniors coach and took over the reins of the national senior team until about three years ago.

He claimed that Harwinder had no business getting involved as "he was not the captain of the team", adding that as a result, Harwinder's actions were provocative.

Harwinder had claimed he was Selangor's permanent captain, and that they regularly switched the playing captain from game to game.

Sarjit was livid that he and his son were being painted as the 'bad guys'.

"It is not fair that my son and I are being villified. My son was also hurt. He has a scar near his left eye. Why isn't anyone talking about that?

"Even my son reacted only after he was hit first."
Father and son may face ban

FORMER national coach Sarjit Singh and son Manraj Singh could face lengthy bans from the sport for an incident in a Gurdwara Cup hockey match in Ipoh on Friday which resulted in at least one player spending the night in hospital.

Selangor player Harwinder Singh suffered a hairline fracture on his forehead and a broken nose and was warded overnight at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital. He received eight stitches on his forehead and two on the nose.

Another player, Harmesh Singh, was suspected to have suffered a fractured left arm.

Gurmit S. Cheema, the secretary of the Malaysia-Singapore Sikh Sports Council (MSSSC), said the matter will be referred to the disciplinary board for further action.

"This is very serious. Players were badly hurt,” said Gurmit.

"It is not for me to say who was wrong or right. There will be reports from the match officials and technical delegate. These will be submitted during the disciplinary hearing."

As affiliate s of the Malaysian Hockey Federation, any decision taken by MSSSC will have to be enforced at every level.

Gurmit was present at Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium during the incident, saying, "I know exactly what happened".

Selangor team manager Sarban Singh said they intend to pursue the matter to ensure the penalties befit the offence.

"It is terrible what happened. This was an unprovoked attack on my players, and could have been fatal. We will definitely be pushing for a maximum penalty," said Sarban.

Selangor had also lodged a report at the Ipoh district police station.

Kuala Lumpur emerged champions after beating Perak 1-0.

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