Ind vs Aus Semi-final was dramatic. The officials realized that the clock wasn’t on after a penalty is missed. It may sound like a movie plot. But, this actually happened in the Women’s Hockey semi-final at the Commonwealth Games 2022. The India vs Australia semi-final match time ended with a draw at 1-1. Therefore, the match went on to a penalty shoot-out. Australia missed their first chance as keeper Savita Punia skilfully guarded the goal. However, they were given another chance as the ‘clock’ was apparently not started. Resultantly, India gained a setback and lost the match by 3-0. Such a big blunder is not acceptable at an event as big as CWG 2022, the ‘clock’ controversy was looked at as bias towards India Women’s Hockey team.
“All Clocks Will Start On Time” Virender Sehwag calls out umpiring bias at CWG 2022 ‘clock’ controversy
Virender Sehwag showed his disappointment as he tweeted “Penalty miss hua Australia se and the Umpire says, Sorry Clock start nahi hua. Such biasedness used to happen in cricket as well earlier till we became a superpower, Hockey mein bhi hum jald banenge and all clocks will start on time. Proud of our girls.” However, this was not just Sehwag’s but the entire country’s reaction.
CWG 2022 ‘clock’ controversy, India Women’s Hockey team heartbroken
Girls are really upset: Coach Janneke Schopman
Similarly, coach Janneke Schopman talked about how it impacted their momentum. “After that, we lost a little bit of our momentum. Then it did go in, and everyone is deflated. I’m not using it as an excuse, but when you make the save, that’s an enormous boost for the team and you turn the decision around and the girls are really upset about.”
The two-time Olympian added, “the official’s hand was up, but I didn’t really know and the umpires — A Church and H Harrison of England — also did not. So, that’s why I’m frustrated because the umpires said we have to retake it. I tried to calm them down. In hindsight it’s 50-50 but I’m sure their focus was lost a little bit after that moment.”
“It’s all human and all emotion. Should we be better? That’s what I was trying to say, ‘girls it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter’. But of course it does matter and of course I am angry also because I don’t think even the officials understood what happened. They said it’s not our decision. I said ‘Australia are not complaining, they know they’ve missed it, it was easily 10 seconds and they got the opportunity to score’. I think those people just don’t understand the game and the emotions that are involved,” she added.
This played a part in the players’ psychology: captain Savita Punia
“Maybe it was our hard luck in the shootout. We saved the first goal in the timeout but we’re told that the timer didn’t start only. This definitely played a part in the players’ psychology. But we have learned from our coach that all these things are part of the game. We tried to bounce back. Definitely, I’m sad about this. But I’m proud of the girls for making a comeback from being 0-1 down against a team like Australia. We had decided at half-time to go for that one goal and the team executed it perfectly. Of course, we are human beings. Yes, the next moment we realize that we cannot change it, can’t give an excuse, and can’t fight for it. It happens sometimes. It was tough and we had to move on. But when we came to know about this, we thought how could this have happened? It has never happened in my career. It was a first for me.”Savita Punia, captain, India Women’s Hockey team
FIH issues an apology
International Hockey Federation has called for an extensive investigation. They’ve acknowledged the big blunder at the Commonwealth Games 2022 and assured us that they will ‘thoroughly review’ the entire situation. FIH said, “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. 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.”
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