The International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) President Narinder Batra and its CEO Thierry Weil, on Saturday, rebuked Indian hockey coach Harendra Singh’s comments against the umpires after his team’s quarter-final loss.
“I can only say that we can fight 11 versus 11 and not 13 versus 11,” Harendra had said in the press conference, following India’s 1-2 loss to the Netherlands. “[The umpires] cannot rob the World Cup from this team.”
The coach was unhappy with the decision to award the Dutch the penalty corner that led to the winning goal.
Of Harendra’s comments, Weil said, “To blame umpires is not the hockey style. I would definitely say umpires have a tough job; the decisions have to be made within seconds. It [questioning umpires] is not acceptable.”
“We will not review [the umpiring], what we will review is complaints made against the umpires. That is not acceptable.”
Batra, the FIH President, reiterated Weil’s comments. “[Umpires] are doing a job, a thankless job,” he said. “They will get criticised by anybody who loses. Be graceful whether you win or lose. Finding a fault is very easy. You should rather appreciate and respect.”
Junior World Cup to be held once in two years
Weil also announced that the junior hockey World Cup will, henceforth, be biennial instead of taking place once in four years.
“We need to support youth and give every generation a chance to participate in Junior World Cup. If we don’t [conduct it once in two years], we might lose a generation of players not playing an important tournament,” he explained.
Weil also announced that FIH will simplify the ranking system that will “straight away tell you the rankings [after a tournament’s end].”
He also said that the world body will devise a new four-year international calendar to allow national hockey boards to plan better.