LAHORE - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Thursday reduced the six-month ban of full back M Irfan to one month but gave no relaxation in his fine of Rs 100,000.

Irfan made a mercy appeal to PHF president Qasim Zia against the ban and the fine imposed by PHF’s disciplinary committee for his indiscipline of skipping the national team’s training camp to prepare for the champions trophy without a justification. The banned player appeared before the PHF chief who heard his point of view during half an hour long meeting here on Friday at the National Hockey Stadium.

“The PHF president gave a sympathetic consideration to his case and reduced his ban to one month but maintained the fine,” said PHF secretary Asif Bajwa.

Bajwa said the PHF had zero tolerance against players’ misconduct and indiscipline and that was why no soft corner was being shown to any player regardless of his need for the team or standing in the game.

“Keeping in view his track record and assurances not to involve himself in any sort of indiscipline, the PHF has decreased the ban which will end on December 5 and the player will be available for selection of Pakistan senior team,” said the PHF official. He made it clear if the player committed the same offense, he could be banned for life.

Irfan said he regretted the whole incident and vowed to exhibit a higher standard discipline. “Whatever happened was painful and unfortunate and an eye opener for me to show exemplary discipline as long as I am associated with the team,” he said.

The full back said the PHF chief showed a big heart and minimized his ban for which he was grateful to him. “I have learnt a lot from this punishment and it is a turning point in my hockey career,” he added.

Irfan said he would do his best to maintain his fitness and form to win back his place in the national team. “Hockey is my passion and whatever happened is now a part of past and I will be looking into the future with a positive hope to play my due role in enhancing teams performance,” he concluded.