Hockey WC: India Coach Likely to Face FIH Action for Umpiring Rant
India’s loss to Netherlands in the World Cup quarter-final prompted an angry reaction against umpires from coach Harendra Singh.
India’s loss to Netherlands in the World Cup quarter-final prompted an angry reaction against umpires from coach Harendra Singh.(Photo: Hockey India & PTI/Altered by The Quint)

Hockey WC: India Coach Likely to Face FIH Action for Umpiring Rant

Harendra Singh’s outburst against the umpires after India’s quarter-final exit at the 2018 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup hasn’t gone down well with world governing body FIH, with President Narinder Batra hinting at strict action against the coach in Bhubaneswar on Saturday, 15 December.

India’s bid to reach a first World Cup semi-final since 1975 was denied by a 2-1 defeat to Netherlands in the last of the quarter-finals on Thursday, 13 December, in front of a packed Kalinga Stadium.

After the defeat, Harendra had lashed out at the umpiring, blaming incorrect decisions for India’s ousters not only at the World Cup but also at the Asian Games, while urging the FIH to address the issue.

But the Indian coach’s vitriolic outburst has come back to haunt him, with the FIH chief saying teams need to be graceful in defeat.

“Being the FIH President I have to follow certain protocols and I have my strong reservations against this kind of behaviour. A sport has to be played in the right spirit.”
Narinder Batra, FIH President

“One should be graceful whether you win or lose. Finding a fault is very easy. You should rather appreciate and respect. They (umpires) have only two eyes. They are doing a job, a thankless job. They will get criticised by anybody who loses,” Batra said at a press conference on the sidelines of semi-finals day at the World Cup, also attended by FIH CEO Thierry Wiel.

Weil, who came on board in March this year, too felt it was not wise to blame umpires after a defeat.

“Respect in (and) fair play is such a nice thing. When you lose, what (do) you have to do? You have to look forward to play better and win next time. To blame umpires is not the hockey style. I would just recommend (that) and definitely say umpires have a tough job. It (questioning umpires) is not acceptable.”
Thierry Wiel, FIH CEO

The FIH CEO added that the world body is no mood to review any umpiring decisions.

“We will not review anything. We will review the teams who have made such complaints made against the umpires. That is not acceptable. If you lose, you have to accept it and look forward.”

Indian players seen protesting in the background as Netherlands celebrate their second goal during the World Cup quarter-final.
Indian players seen protesting in the background as Netherlands celebrate their second goal during the World Cup quarter-final.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Hockey India)

Also Read : Robbery at Kalinga? India Slam Poor Umpiring After Hockey WC Exit

Double Whammy for Harendra?

Defeat in the World Cup quarter-finals has also raised doubts over the future of Harendra Singh as India coach.

Harendra’s role has been under the scanner since the team’s shock failure to defend its Asian Games title in Jakarta, and Hockey India is reportedly mulling a drastic decision on the matter after the conclusion of the tournament.

Batra, who has served as chief of Hockey India, further indicated that radical changes are in the offing in Indian hockey. Batra still holds considerable influence on the national federation.

“I am here till the 17th December and then I will return to Delhi. After 17th I will give my statement on the issue as NOC (National Olympic Committee) President,” said Batra, who also heads the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

“You are being unfair to people on the grounds, sometimes umpires themselves ask for referrals. Other games have also adopted (video referrals).”

(The Quint is now available on Telegram and WhatsApp. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to our Telegram and WhatsApp channels)

Follow our Hockey section for more stories.

    Also Watch