The shootout controversy in India’s defeat to Australia in CWG hockey semi-final-Sports News, Firstpost

The shootout between India and Australia in the women’s hockey semifinal was marred with controversy as the former won 3-0 at the Commonwealth Games.

India lost to Australia in shootout in the women’s hockey semi-finals of 2022 Commonwealth Games. Image: Hockey India

The Indian women’s hockey team’s quest for a berth in the Commonwealth Games final ended in heartbreak with powerhouse Australia defeating them 3-0 in the shootout in Birmingham.

The Savita Punia-led India team fought valiantly in the semifinal in the regulation time which ended in 1-1 but missed out on converting their attempts in the shootout. Ambrosia Malone, Kaitlin Nobbs and Amy Lawton scored goals for Australia in the shootout.

Rebecca Greiner (10th min) scored the solitary goal for Australia while Vandana Katariya (49th) was the lone scorer from the Indian side.

Notably, the penalty shootout was marred by controversy as the first penalty was ordered to be retaken by officials due to a shot-clock error.

Commonwealth Games: India schedule, Results, Medals tally

What actually happened?

During the penalty shootout, Australia’s Malone missed her first attempt with a fine save from Indian captain and goalkeeper Savita. However, the officials gave the Aussie another go as the clock timer had not yet started. And she scored in the 2nd attempt.

Why was the penalty retaken?

Australia’s Malone, who missed her first attempt during the penalty shootout, was gifted another chance as the eight second countdown on the scoreboard hadn’t started.

As per the rules, a technical delegate standing next to the pitch has to signal for the stopwatch to start and simultaneously, a referee is supposed to indicate to the striker that he/she can advance with the penalty.

However, during the India vs Australia penalty shootout, the referee gave the signal to Malone to start her penalty shootout attempt, while the technical delegate tried to alert the player and the umpire that the clock had not started.

However, Malone was already off, taking a shot towards the Indian goal and as it got saved by Savita Punia, the officials asked Malone to retake the penalty corner because the clock had not officially started counting down.

It is worth noting that, each player gets eight seconds to put the ball into the net in the shootout. Hence, starting the stopwatch is an integral part of penalty shootouts.

How did the decision affect the result?

In her retake attempt, Malone scored to help Australia take a 1-0 lead. As the shootout advanced, all three Australians scored, while all three Indians missed. Hence, Australia won the shootout 3-0 to enter the CWG 2022 final, where they will lock horns with England. On the other hand, India will now take on New Zealand in the bronze medal match on Sunday.

How did the Indian team react to the controversy?

“We’re not using it as an excuse, but we are human,” Savita said after the match. “It definitely affected us psychologically.”

Coach Jannekke Schopmann echoed the same thoughts and said, “I’m not using it as an excuse, but you know, your goalkeeper makes a save, that’s an enormous boost for the team and you turn the decision around… the team was really upset about it. I’m sure their focus was lost a little bit after that, and that’s not an excuse, just a simple fact.”

“It affected our momentum. [The retake] went in, and everyone is deflated, we don’t need to be but it’s human emotion… It would be better to have the strength to shake it off and think it doesn’t matter, but of course, it does matter. “

“I am angry, also because the umpires don’t understand it either.” She then explains the crux of her annoyance. “The Australians were not complaining. They know they’ve missed it. There was easily ten seconds that they got the opportunity to score, so why do you have to [retake it]?”

“I think those people [the delegates] just don’t understand the game and the emotions that are involved.”

“I’ve never experienced anything like this [in her playing and coaching career]she said.

FIH ‘sorry’ for clock howler, will review incident

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Saturday apologized for the clock controversy, saying it would ”thoroughly review” the incident.

”In the semi-final match of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games between Australia and India (Women), the penalty shootout started mistakenly too early (the clock was not yet ready to operate), for which we apologize,” FIH said in a statement.

”The process in place for such situations is that the penalty shootout has to be retaken, which was done. This incident will be thoroughly reviewed by the FIH in order to avoid any similar issues in the future,” the statement added.

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