NEW DELHI : Sympathy continues to flow in for suspended Shivendra Singh with Pakistan`s hockey legend Hassan Sardar today terming as "injustice" the two-match suspension handed to the Indian striker.
Shivendra was first handed a three-match suspension by tournament director Ken Read for injuring Pakistani player Fareed Ahmed in their opening World Cup match here but an Appeals Jury reduced it to two-match ban.
"It was injustice to Shivendra. He did not do it intentionally. The suspension should not have been there. Had the umpires knew it and shown a green card for example it would have been a different matter," Sardar said.
Sardar was a key member of the Pakistani squad which beat India 7-1 in 1982 Asian Games final at the same Major Dhyan Chand Stadium where the World Cup is being hosted now.
Sardar, whose dribbling skills were famous in hockey folklore, said Indian midfielder Sardar Singh reminds him of former Indian player Rajinder Singh, the most prolific Indian scorer in World Cup with 12 goals.
"From what I saw, Shivendra is a very good player. But Sardar brings memories of Rajinder Singh," he said.
He said former Indian goalkeeper Mir Ranjan Singh who conceded seven goals against Pakistan in 1982 was a good friend of his.
"We scored seven goals against him but we were best of friends. I have lots of old friends here Zafar Iqbal, Ajit Pal, Suejeet Singh, MP Singh. We played our best at the field and were friends outside," said Sardar, who is the current selection committee chairman of the PHF.
Sardar said the Indian side had improved a lot and they are capable of reaching the semifinals.
"India have improved a lot. They played really well against Pakistan. They lost to Australia because they had conceded three goals in the first 15 minutes."
Asked about Pakistan being the first country to say that they have no security issues in the ongoing World Cup, he said, "We have no security issues here. There is no security threat. Any event hosted by India is organised well."