Thursday, March 11, 2010

Referral system not perfect, admits FIH

NEW DELHI: After much criticism from all quarters, the International Hockey Federation, on Wednesday, accepted that the newly-introduced referral system has some grey areas which need to be ironed out before making it a permanent part of the game.
In a media summit organised on the sidelines of the hockey World Cup, FIH Umpires' Manager Clive McMurray said the referral system would be analysed after the ongoing mega event.
"The referral system has come up with some issues but it is very much in trial stage. The system has some grey areas and we (FIH) completely understand that," McMurray said at a city hotel.
"Any rule can be problematic while interpreting. That is happening here. The referral system is not to make the game error free but to eliminate gross errors and decision which can change the result of a match," he said.
The South African umpire, however, came in support of his colleagues and said the field officials are doing their job with utmost sincerity.
"The umpires are here to serve the game and not to be bullies. They are here to promote the game of hockey. They are here to make it more attractive and entertaining spectacle. They are here to ensure that the teams play their part in all decisions," McMurray said.
The referral system, introduced for the first time in a World Cup here after making its debut in the Champions Trophy in Australia last year, has been under the scanner right from the start of the tournament.
Not only India coach Jose Brasa and his Australian counterpart Ric Charlesworth were the strong protesters of the system, it also irked South African captain Austin Smith who termed it "bizarre and imperfect".

The Times of India