India hockey coach Harendra Singh received an official reprimand from the International Hockey Federation’s for his comments criticising the match umpires after India’s loss to Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the ongoing Hockey World Cup in Bhuvenshwar.
The FIH Technical Delegate decided that Harendra had committed a breach of the Code of Conduct Level 1, 2.2 k which deals with public criticism of or inappropriate public comment during international events.
An upset Harendra had accused the umpires of bias after India’s 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.
“[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,” he had said.
According to the FIH statement, Harendra admitted in the hearing that the statements were unacceptable in his hearing. The decision also said that this official reprimand will be recorded by FIH and can be taken into account if he breaches the Code of Conduct at another event in the future.
On Saturday, FIH President Narinder Batra and CEO Thierry Weil had also rebuked Harendra’s comments against the umpires after his team’s quarter-final loss.