Hockey coach Harendra Singh handed reprimand by world body for outburst against referees

A few days after India crashed out of the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup in Odisha after a loss to Netherlands. Going into the match, India had hoped to bag their first World Cup title in 43 years, However, the men in blue lost 1-2 to the Netherlands in the fourth and last quarterfinal even as the crowded Kalinga Stadium cheered them on.

After the match, Indian coach Harendra Singh had some strong words to say about the referee decisions in the match and, unsurprisingly, his comments did not go down well with the international Hockey Federation (FIH). Both Singh and analytical coach Chris Ciriello were called in for a hearing by the FIH earlier yesterday.

“The FIH Technical Delegate has decided that India’s coach Harendra Singh committed a breach of the Code of Conduct (Level 1.2.k: Public criticism of, or inappropriate public comment in relation to an incident at the press conference following the match between India vs Netherlands,” the FIH said in a statement on Sunday. “As a result of this breach, Harendra Singh received an official reprimand. The FIH Technical delegate indicated that the statements from India’s coach at the press conference regarding umpires were unacceptable.”

Harendra Singh had earlier cited the incident of Amit Rohidas being handed a 10-minute suspension for a foul while no action was taken for when captain Manpreet Singh was pushed by the Dutch.

FIH President Narinder Batra, however, staunchly defended the umpiring standard at the World Cup saying that the losing team must always be graceful in loss as required by the unwritten laws of sportsmanship. As quoted by the Indian Express, he said: “They (umpires) have only two eyes… what Thierry already said is they are doing a job, a thankless job. They will get criticised by anybody who loses. Be graceful whether you win or lose. Finding fault is very easy.”