Indian officials protest against negated penalty

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

Officials accompanying the Indian women's hockey team have taken strong exception to the English umpire's decision to negate a penalty stroke for time delay dur

Indian officials protest against negated penalty

Manchester:

Officials accompanying the Indian women's hockey team have taken strong exception to the English umpire's decision to negate a penalty stroke for time delay during the semi-final encounter against New Zealand.The officials were incensed by the controversial decision by umpire Dawn Henning which robbed the Indians of a vital penalty stroke, and alleged that that normal procedure was flouted while refusing to lodge an official complaint.Umpire Henning awarded a penalty to the Indians but disallowed Jyoti Kullu, who stood ready to take the stroke, from going ahead with her attempt on the ground that she was delaying the stroke.The umpire claimed that Kullu, who only speaks Hindi, had not confirmed she was ready to take the stroke even though she stood over the ball.The Indians eventually scripted a 2-1 victory to romp into the final for the first time in the Games but coach Gurdial Singh Bhangu has not been too amused with the penalty stroke fiasco."The penalty stroke was rightly awarded. The normal procedure is that the umpire blows the whistle and then the players takes the stroke," a livid Bhangu explained. The rules state that the umpire must satisfy himself or herself that both players are ready."The player who was to take the stroke did not hear the whistle. Normal procedure was not followed. The player does not have to say she is ready," Bhangu said.He said the incident served as a blessing in disguise in some way as it charged up the players to give their best."Once the players missed the chance to win, naturally they were fired up. It gave us a boost." All the post-match discussions were centred around the controversial decision with many in the Indian contingent feeling the decision was too harsh.The player in question Jyoti Kullu seemed totally dumb-founded as the umpire overruled the penalty stroke and she kept looking helplessly at the team bench, where the coach and officials were seated, for instructions.Captain Surja Lata Devi took a little while to walk upto the umpire to protest the decision and was soon joined by her other teammtes but to no avail. All the captain got was a green card.The Indians, who have brought themselves within sniffing distance of a gold medal for the first time, will clash with England in the final tomorrow. (PTI)



Topics : Hockey
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