India coach Harendra Singh was peeved with the umpiring in his team’s Hockey World Cup quarter-final defeat to the Netherlands on Thursday.
Thierry Brinkman, in the 15th minute, cancelled out Akashdeep Singh’s 12th-minute goal off a penalty corner, before Mink van der Weerden scored the winner off a crucial penalty corner in the 50th minute.
Harendra was not happy with the decision to award the Dutch the penalty corner that led to the winning goal.
“I can only say that we can fight 11 versus 11 and not 13 versus 11,” Harendra said in the post-match press conference. “[The umpires] cannot rob the World Cup from this team.
India were reduced to 10 men soon after Netherlands’ second goal after Amit Rohidas received a yellow card for making an early rush in the Dutch team’s earlier attempt.
“What about [Manpreet Singh] who was pushed from behind?” asked Harendra.
“Two times we got a card when we hadn’t done anything but when it happened against us, [the umpire] said nothing.
[The umpires] need to improve. We have lost two major tournaments [the World Cup and Asian Games because of poor umpiring]. Then, people ask, why Indian hockey is not improving.”
Asked if the team would launch an appeal against the decision, Indian captain Manpreet Singh replied, “What’s the use of appealing now? We have lost the World Cup anyway.”
Harendra added, “The outcome of a protest has never been good in my career. We will accept this gracefully but we want neutral umpiring.
“I expect both teams to be treated equally. One wrong decision you ruin preparation of four to six years.”