The Indian women’s hockey team lost 0-3 to four-time champions Australia in a shoot-out after the two teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time in the semi-finals of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Friday.
But the match was marred by controversy when the referee ordered the first penalty in the shootout to be retaken. India’s Savita Punia had already saved Ambrosia Malone’s first attempt, but the official asked the Aussie to take it again as the stopwatch was not started. Malone scored in the second attempt.
This did not go down well with the fans, who are angry with the poor management in a big event like the Commonwealth Games. Even cricketer Virender Sehwag shared his disappointment on Twitter. He wrote, ‘Penalty missed from Australia and umpire says sorry clock didn’t start. Such partiality used to happen in cricket earlier also till we become superpower, in hockey also we will burn and all the clocks will start on time. Proud of our girls”.
The penalty was missed from Australia and the umpire said, sorry clock did not start. Such partiality used to happen in cricket earlier also till we become superpower, in hockey also we will burn and all the clocks will start on time. proud of our daughterspic.twitter.com/mqxJfX0RDq
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) 6 August 2022
A member of AAP’s National Council called the incident “shameful”. He wrote, “What was that!! The first shot was very well blocked by GK Savita Punia.. but the referee claims “The clock didn’t start!” So one more chance?? In a crucial match It can’t happen!! Shameful.”
what the fuck was that!!
GK Savita Punia blocks the first shot very well.
But the referee claims that “the clock didn’t start!”
So given another chance?? This can’t happen in an important match!!
— Gaurav Rai (@IacGaurav) 5 August 2022
Others also shared their frustration and anger on the social media platform.
— Anantyagi (@anantyagi_) 5 August 2022
Dismiss the umpires and shootout again. This video shows the grand robbery! It was apparently 10 seconds from the first whistle to the last. Why was the video referral not taken? at least sorry @FIH_hockey And @thecgf It is necessary. must oppose #cheat #hockeyindia @ianuragthakur @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/sdTOvoYKnD
— sanjeev gupta (@sanjg2k1) 6 August 2022
It’s just absurd. How can India be punished for “the clock not starting”. https://t.co/CEejGuJKIn
— sanjeev sanyal (@sanjeevsanyal) 6 August 2022
— Kashyap Kadgattur (@iamkash_kr) 6 August 2022
— Joed Almeida (@Joed_Almeida) 6 August 2022
Chin up girls!
We are proud of you !
I don’t know how one cannot start the timer for such a crucial moment in such a big international match.
— amitesh kumar (@belikeamitesh) 5 August 2022
India Team coach Janneke Schopmann said the team lost momentum after the incident but did not want to use it as an excuse.
“I’m not using it as an excuse, but you know, your goalkeeper makes a save, it’s a huge incentive for the team and you change the decision… I was upset. I’m sure her attention was a little off after that, and that’s not an excuse, just a simple fact,” Shopman said.
“It affected our pace. [The retake] Went in, and everyone is disappointed, we don’t need to be, but it’s the human spirit… better have the strength to shake it off and think it doesn’t matter, but of course, it matters Keeps up,” she added.
The coach also said that he had never seen anything like this in his career.
“I think they [the delegates] Just don’t understand the game and the emotions involved. I’ve never experienced anything like this,” she said.