Argentina men have been forced to field only 15 players for their next match against hosts Japan after Lucas Rossi was handed a one-match suspension following the end-of-match fracas in the Argentina-Spain Pool match at the Olympic Games.
In accordance with FIH competition rules, his Code of Conduct suspension means that Argentina will be denied a full 16-strong match day squad – which could have an effect given the high heat and humidity in Tokyo.
The Argentina-Spain match ended in bizarre fashion on Saturday after Lucas Rossi took exception to Spain’s David Alegre receiving treatment from, bizarrely, one of Rossi’s team-mates who was aiding his cramp-suffering opponent.
Rossi, 36, had raced over and prodded his stick into Alegre’s head, perhaps thinking that he was feigning injury.
The Spanish players took exception to this and a scuffle followed as Rossi, 36, was pushed away with a hand around his throat.
“When you are in the Olympic Village it is like Euro Disney, but when you go onto the pitch it is like a normal game,” Alegre, contesting his fifth consecutive Olympics Games, had said afterwards.
“The nerves, you must take them off the pitch and try to play hockey.”
Spain were heading for their second draw of the Games on Sunday against New Zealand before Jake Smith scored a late winner to beat the Reds 4-3.
Elsewhere in Pool A, Australia put on a strong showing against India to announce themselves as gold medal contenders.
Australia galloped to a 7-1 win as Blake Govers scored a double and Tim Brand netted a superb seventh for the Kookaburras from a typically pugnacious break.