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Asia Cup hockey: 'Wrong decision by the umpire cost us the game'

Last updated on: September 02, 2013 17:40 IST

Mervyn hails India's Asia Cup hockey showing, slams umpiring

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Former hockey ace Mervyn Fernandis slammed the umpiring in Sunday’s Asia Cup hockey final, which India lost to South Korea, while hailing the team’s showing in the tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Did bad umpiring decisions cost India Asia Cup crown? Tell us!

The three-time Olympian said considering that legendary Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans took over the reins of the squad just two months back “it was a very impressive performance”.

“Youngsters like Mandeep Singh, Ramandeep and Nikkin Thimmiah, who replaced seniors like S V Sunil, did pretty well. But bad umpiring cost the team in the final," he said.

India, led by Sardar Singh, lost to Korea 3-4 after trailing 0-2 at half-time.

Fernandis was referring to the umpire's decision to award a penalty-corner to Korea following a tackle by India's Rupinderpal Singh that led to the title-deciding goal.

According to the former inside-right, who watched the match on television, Rupinder did nothing wrong.

"It was a clean tackle that should not have been penalised. That wrong decision by the umpire cost us the game," said India’s Moscow Olympics gold medal-winning team member.

The resultant penalty-corner proved decisive as Kang Moon Kweon scored from it two minutes from the end.


Image: The Indian Hockey team after the Asia Cup hockey final on Sunday
Photographs: Hockey India/Facebook

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'Raghunath kept his cool, tackled and re-tackled brilliantly'

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Fernandis, who also represented India at the 1984 and ’88 Olympics, praised the performance of goalkeeper P R Sreejesh, the team's vice-captain, and defender V R Raghunath, while also giving the thumbs-up to Oltmans for effecting refreshing changes in the Indian players' playing styles.

"Raghunath, in the past, would take cards needlessly, but it seems someone has impressed upon him how important is his presence at all times on the field. In this tournament, he kept his cool, tackled and re-tackled brilliantly and was outstanding," opined Fernandis.

Raghunath was declared the player of the tournament.


Image: V R Raghunath


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'Raghunath kept his cool, tackled and re-tackled brilliantly'

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"Sreejesh was fabulous and showed his class like the goalkeepers of other top teams. He rescued the team with brilliant saves time and again in the league phase," he said, lauding the player who was named best goalkeeper in the tournament.


Image: P R Sreejesh

Tags: Raghunath

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'Raghunath kept his cool, tackled and re-tackled brilliantly'

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Praising Oltmans, Fernandis said the Dutchman's valuable tips could be seen in the manner in which the players moved away to create spaces after passing the ball while also keeping it close to the stick when dribbling deep in the rival area.

"These are little things, but make a big difference," he said.

"We also had our lucky mascot M K Kaushik with the team; and after he joined it (as Oltmans's deputy) I expected India to win the title like they had done in the Asian Games (at Bangkok in 1998)," added Fernandis in a lighter vein.

He was quick to suggest that it is vital that the junior coaches learn from Oltmans and inculcate his methods in India’s younger players.


Image: Roeland Oltmans


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