In a shameful incident that casts a very bad light on Indian hockey, players of Punjab Police and Punjab National Bank teams had an all-out brawl during a match at Delhi's Major Dhyanchand National Stadium. The game was the final of the prestigious Nehru Cup tournament and was at a crucial juncture with both teams level at 3-3 when the fight broke out.
It all started when two players got into an altercation inside the D which caused both of them to swing their hockey sticks at each other. This led to complete pandemonium as other members of the two teams got involved and tempers flared.
This is not the first time violence has afflicted Indian hockey. In the past also, players have been guilty of getting physical on an off the field in domestic competitions. Following the incident, Hockey India took strict action against the two teams, banning the Punjab Police side for four years and the Punjab National Bank for two years from the tournament.
Both sides are accusing the other team's members of initiating the fight. According to one member of the Punjab Police team, the reason for the fight was an offensive comment made by the defender of Punjab National Bank. On the other hand, the PNB team says there was physical aggression from their opponents.
The authorities have not only imposed bans on the two teams but have also withdrawn the prize money from them. They have also promised more action after further investigation. Some of the players suffered serious injuries as well.
Watch the shocking video of the incident here: