Germany coach Andre Henning admitted that he looked into the FIH rules on yellow cards after Christopher Ruhr picked up his second in the clash against England.
Under FIH rules there is no automatic match suspension for accruing more than one card at the World Cup, while it also depends on the nature of the offence.
It meant that key man Ruhr, 29, was able to play against Australia, having earlier picked up a late yellow in the group stage match against Belgium, their opponents in Sunday’s final.
“What I understood is that they always look at the package and if it would lead to taking someone out of the tournament,” said Henning. “It wouldn’t fit to what happened here and it’s how they did that in the past.”
During any FIH hearing on code of conduct, any decisions are based on history of the player, attitude at the hearing and the seriousness of the offence.
Henning admitted that Ruhr’s yellow against Belgium “wasn’t the smartest moment of his career” while the second against England was a stick tackle “a second too late”.
There was also an incident involving Ruhr and Liam Sanford in the England clash which failed to be picked up by TV cameras. However, The Hockey Paper understands that some teams have seen footage, which suggests that Ruhr’s stick made contact with Sanford’s upper body, as the Englishman was sent to ground.
Belgium will aim to become only the fourth nation to defend a men’s World Cup title, alongside Pakistan, Australia and Germany. With 11 players aged above 30 and three above 35, they are the second oldest team in India. They have scored 18 goals thus far, with Tom Boon netting seven.
Germany, two-time champions in 2002 and 2006, have twice come back from the brink in the last two matches, in the dying embers of games against England and Australia to claim a surprise place in this World Cup finale. They have five over-30s in their squad.
The contest promises to be a potential firecracker of a final, with some of the hottest names in world hockey lining up at the Kaling Stadium. Tactics will be fascinating, while Belgium will look to Boon for the goals and in Germany’s case, Niklas Wellen is proving to be one of the candidate’s for player of the tournament for his boundless energy and class finishing.
What they say…
“We want to be a hockey generation and that’s why we want to continue. We could say that we are happy with our world and Olympic title but we want more and we can do something really unique in Belgium, something that hasn’t been done with any sports team and that’s what drives us today.”
Florent van Aubel
“We are challengers in this final. They are the world champions and Olympic champions. They don’t seem to have any weakness in their team. We will continue with our high zonal press. The plan is to keep ball possession and also be offensive. It’s pointless to keep possession in defence, so we are ready to play brave, risky hockey.”
“We have a lot of respect for the German side who came out of jail twice in this tournament and won. That is something which is there in their culture.”
Belgium coach Michel van del Heuvel