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Biased umpiring won India Asia Cup: PHF
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September 18, 2007 18:02 IST

Pakistan has accused India of winning the just-concluded Asia Cup hockey tournament in Chennai because of biased umpiring decisions.

In an unusually hard-hitting statement, Pakistan Hockey Federation spokesman Altaf Sabir said India can gloat over its victory but the result could have gone in favour of other teams if the umpiring had been fair and just.

India won the 11-nation tournament after beating South Korea 7-1 in the final although the match was marred by a walk-out by the Koreans, who protested the umpiring.

"The final between Korea and India was the glaring example of this show which was tainted by biased decisions," he said.

"Such was the state of umpiring that at one time the Korean team walked off the field and refused to proceed further because the umpire from Ghana had disallowed their goal which could have put them back into contention," he added.

Sabir claimed umpiring was at its lowest ebb in the tournament and it was quite apparent that there was some understanding between the FIH appointed Technical Director and the Indian hockey officials that a weak umpire from Ghana was given such an important assignment.

He noted that a South Korean delegate had to come down from the VIP stand to exhort his team to resume the final.

Sabir alleged that Pakistan had also suffered at the hands of poor and biased umpiring.

Pakistan were beaten by Japan [Images] and China and held to a draw to finish a disappointing sixth.

Giving examples of the biased umpiring, Sabir said, "The appointment of a raw hand Korean umpire in Pakistan's crucial match against Malaysia smacked of intrigue to oust the three-times Asian champions.

"This worked according to plan -- the debutant Korean first denied Pakistan a penalty stroke and then in the dying moments of the match when Pakistan were assured a semi-final place, flouted all rules and awarded a penalty stroke which was not at all there at the first instance."

Sabir said this decision effectively put Pakistan out of contention.

The PHF said it had strong reservations over the way the Asia Cup was organised.

Tension is simmering between the Pakistan and Indian federations after indications that the International Hockey Federation would allow India to organise the Champions Trophy, which was shifted from Lahore [Images] by the FIH on security grounds.

"Effusive in their praise, the Indian media put a blind eye to these facts since Indian hockey had tasted victory after decades and they didn't want to spoil the show.

"But unfortunately the rest of the media didn't care either. At least there should have been some words written to expose the Indian manipulations that paved the way for their team's victory," Sabir said.

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