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2007 CT Reports
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Pakistan Coach slams umpires (9/5/2007)
Usually calm and quiet Pakistan coach cum manager Islahuddin Siddique was furious and blamed umpires for his team’s defeat in their crucial tie against Malaysia today in the Asia Cup in Chennai. Pakistan needed half a dozen goals against Malaysia in order to qualify for the semifinals on better goal aggregate. When Pak scored three goals without reply at the end of first half, it seemed they were cruising along for the target. However, a resurgent Malaysia posted three goals in the next half to neutralize whatever the advantage their rivals had.

“We have come here to promote hockey. We are utterly disappointed the way umpires had done us in. I openly blame the umpires. And I wish that whenever major tournament is held the Tournament Director should be from neutral country, not from the one of the participating teams”, Isla fumed. TD for the Asia Cup here is a Malaysian.

Echoing his coach’s views, captain Rehan Butt said that in his long international career he had seen such a bad umpiring as it is here, and had hardly seen the umpires before. Is the Asia Cup, such a big tournament, is testing ground for third grade umpires. Recently European Cup was held, and I think these umpires here won’t come nowhere near there. If hockey has to be promoted and grown, quality umpires are also needed.

Isla further said that while his team surely was denied stroke twice, the Malaysians were given an easy stroke. “You also saw the match and you will report or speak on that, but you will support me at your heart. It’s not that we were confident of making as many goals as required for making the grade, that too Malaysia is a good side. But the point is the wrong award of stroke changed the tempo of the match. From 3-0 to 3-3. Had it not been we could have built on the initial efforts. Today the ground was heavy on account of rain, still we could outplay and scored three quick goals. The umpire intentionally played to their tune. (who apna kam kar liya hai)”

Rehan also said the umpiring in the another crucial match of the day, between China and Korea. “There was partiality there also, but luckily the Chinese managed to score and equalize. I again repeat the umpires here are sub-standard, such things won’t held hockey to grow, play on level playing fields”.

Islahuddin regretted that neutral umpires were not posted in the match.

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