New Delhi:Taking a swipe at Joaquim Carvalho, top umpires of the country today lashed out at the Indian coach's excuse that the team suffered because of poor umpiring in the Olympic qualifiers in Chile.
India failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in 80 years after losing to Great Britain 0-2 in the final of qualifying tournament in Chile and Carvalho had blamed poor umpiring against the Indians as one of the reasons for the debacle.
He was critical of the umpiring standard in the tournament, saying his boys were at the receiving end of "unnecessary booking".
"We played with ten players for 25 minutes (against Great Britain) and got cards, which was not deserving. The umpires reprimanded even those players who did not get a card," Carvalho told reporters just after the team landed in Mumbai this morning.
But top umpires laughed off Carvalho's excuse, saying the erring players deserved to be punished.
"I was shocked to hear Carvalho blaming poor umpiring for the team's defeat. It is incorrect. The two yellow cards in the final to Sardara Singh and Prabhjot Singh were correctly given," Kukoo Walia, an umpires' manager of the International Hockey Federation, told PTI.
Walia said the coach should have warned the players to ensure a card-free final for India.
"In the round robin stage, two players were given yellow cards and the coach should have taken corrective measures and ensure that no player receive a card in the final," he said, adding "it's most important for any team to play with discipline and no top team in the world get yellow cards in crucial matches."
Walia said the undisciplined approach of the Indian players in domestic games was affecting them in international matches.
"Indian players do not get cards at domestic level as they put pressure on the umpires. Even if they get any, they do not understand its seriousness. The Indian Hockey Federation should adopt a strict policy and hand out severe punishment to undisciplined players and make them respect the match officials," he said.
"Unless and until the standard of umpiring and respect for umpires increase in the country, it would affect the overall standard of the game," he added.
FIH World Panel umpire Satinder Kumar, who had officiated in 99 international matches, said the country ultimately suffered because of the erring players.
"After getting two yellow cards in the group stage, it is strange that we got another two in the final. The country ultimately paid for the players' mistakes."
He said the domestic set up should be strict to ensure that players behave well with umpires.
"At domestic level, they do not let the umpires perform their duty properly. The IHF should take some strong steps, the cards of the erring players should be circulated in all tournaments. It's a big issue," he said.
FIH Grade One umpire Virendra Bahadur said Carvalho has too big a stature to give such a lame excuse and blame the match officials.
"He is an Olympian and it's not an excuse you expect from him. He should have admitted that the team played badly and lost. I have seen all the matches and the cards were given correctly," he said.
Bahadur said the Indians should have been more cautious in the final.
"If you cannot play only six games cleanly then you deserved to be punished. Especially to get two yellow cards in the final speaks about the foolishness of the players," he said.