Harendra Singh, the head coach of the Indian men’s hockey team hit out at poor refereeing in their quarter-final match against the Netherlands in the ongoing Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
India were handed a 1-2 defeat by the Dutch who progressed to the semi-finals. Singh was disappointed because of a poor decision by the referee to award a penalty corner to the Netherlands, off which they scored the winner when the things were locked at 1-1.
“I want to say that we can fight 11 versus 11 in a match but not 13 versus 11. The umpires cannot rob the World Cup from this team. It happened two times in the game, we got a card when we had done nothing wrong. Their decisions went against us,” he said.
“The outcome of a protest has never been good in my career. We will accept this gracefully but what we want is neutral umpiring. I expect both teams to be treated equally. One wrong decision can ruin the preparation of four to six years,” he further elaborated.
Captain Manpreet Singh said that they aren’t making any official appeal against the poor decision, as they have lost out on the main prize.
“There is hardly any use of appealing now. We have anyways lost the World Cup,” Manpreet added.
Despite ruing the fact that it was a good opportunity to win the World Cup, Manpreet lauded the effort of his team.
“The opportunity was good, there is no doubt about that but the team put a great effort. Being a young side, players were never on low confidence. There was a chance but we could not capitalize on the same,” he said.