Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Federation Internationale de Hockey (FIH) on Saturday suspended French player Raife Gonessa for a match for breaching the FIH code of conduct immediately after Friday’s semifinal match between Argentina and France.

“Due to the suspension, Gonessa will not be able to play in the third/fourth play-off match against India on Sunday,” stated a FIH press release today.

“Gonessa has been suspended as per the investigation and recommendation by FIH technical delegate Adam Webster from Australia. Moreover, the case will be referred to the FIH CEO for further consideration,” the release further read.

Notably, Argentina and France players got involved in a fight soon after the keenly-contested first semifinal match ended in favour of the champions of the 2005 edition of the tournament.

What had happened?

After converting three of the first four chances in the shootout, Argentina were leading 3-1 against France. French players needed to score on their fourth opportunity at least to stay afloat in the game. Lucas Montecot took the strike and unfortunately found the pole on the right corner of the goalpost as France got out of contention.

While Argentina players started rejoicing the victory, some of the players got into a scuffle with France players as they were allegedly abused by them. The issue soon became serious after many players from both sides got involved in the scuffle. Match referees and security staff were soon pressed into action to control the situation.  However, better sense prevailed and normalcy was restored soon following the intervention of the officials. While Argentina players started shouting in joy once again, France players were found breaking in tears.