Hockey World Cup | FIH President expresses displeasure after Harendra Singh’s comments on umpiring

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Hockey World Cup | FIH President expresses displeasure after Harendra Singh’s comments on umpiring

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SportsCafe Desk


FIH President Narinder Batra has slammed Indian coach Harendra Singh after the latter’s comments on the umpiring standard during the ongoing Hockey World Cup after India’s quarterfinal game against the Netherlands. The Dutchmen got the better of India by 2-1 goals to knock out the hosts.

Harendra and Indian captain Manpreet Singhwere not at all happy with the decisions of the two umpires during the crucial quarterfinal tie between India and the Netherlands on Thursday. Harendra had criticized the standard of umpiring and had mentioned about few of the decisions that went against the home team during the post-match press conference. Batra, who is also the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), has underlined the fact that he has some very strong views on the behaviour of the Indian coach.

"I have to follow certain protocols as FIH president. I have some views, very strong ones, on this kind of behaviour," Batra told reporters in Bhubaneswar.

"A sport has to be played and respected. After December 17, I will be in New Delhi and I intend to speak on the matter as National Olympic Committee (NOC) president." 

India’s defeat against the Dutchmen extended their 43-year long wait to get into the semifinals of a Hockey World Cup. India last won the coveted trophy way back in 1975 in Kuala Lumpur. Harendra had said after the loss that 11 Indian men were playing against 13 on the turf. 

"I want to say that we can fight 11 versus 11 in a match but not 13 versus 11. The umpires cannot rob the World Cup from this team," Harendra had said after the quarterfinal. 

Earlier on Saturday, FIH CEO Thierry Weil had also spoken about the incident and slammed the Indian coach terming his comments unacceptable for the world body.

"It (questioning umpires) is not acceptable. We will not review anything, what we will review is complaints made against the umpires. That is not acceptable for FIH. A level of respect has to be there. If you lose, you have to accept it and look forward," Weil had explained.

Roelant Oltmans and Sjoerd Marijne were recently removed from the position of the head coach by Hockey India before the appointment of Harendra this year. Harendra’s contract was till the end of the World Cup and after his comments and the reaction of both FIH president and CEO, Hockey India's decision is awaited. 

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