'Happens when India plays...' Hockey India slams FIH over CWG clock fiasco
Stating that the FIH should not just sidestep the matter by terming it a 'human error', Hockey India chief executive Elena Norman said doing so gives more opportunities and excuses to the Technical Officials to be unaccountable and not concentrate or focus.
A fuming Hockey India has asked the world body (FIH) to immediately amend the regulations and take strict action against technical officials who were responsible for the 'timekeeping' fiasco that rocked the Commonwealth Games.
A horrendous stopwatch faux pas by technical officials in the shoot-out against Australia in the CWG women's hockey semifinal impacted the Indian team on Saturday. India lost 0-3 following a 1-1 stalemate after 60 minutes.
A timekeeping error saw Rosie Malone getting a second chance after missing Australia's first attempt in the penalty shoot-out. India skipper Savita Punia could not prevent Malone from scoring on the second attempt. That changed the game's momentum.
Following an uproar over the incident, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) apologised immediately for the human error and ordered a review.
However, Hockey India chief executive Elena Norman lamented that India was always on the receiving side of such errors.
In a strong letter to FIH CEO Thierry Weil, Norman said India had been denied "meaningful results" in key events like the Champions Trophy 2016, the Junior Women's World Cup 2021, the Tokyo Olympics 2022 and now the CWG 2022 due to errors during penalty shoot-out situations.
She claimed that the irony is that all the above instances have happened when India is playing.
Urging the FIH to address the matter on a priority basis, Norman said that there is nothing concrete in the regulations that need to be followed by the participating team to ensure a 'fair and correct' decision is provided in case of a failure from the team of Technical Officials.
Further, the HI executive said that the technical officials whose errors have denied 'fair & correct' decision to a participant should not be allowed to officiate in major competitions.
Stating that the FIH should not just sidestep the matter by terming it a 'human error', Norman said doing so gives more opportunities and excuses to the Technical Officials to be unaccountable and not concentrate or focus.