By Jugjet Singh
Published in NST 12/04/2019
NOTE: The last 7 paras strengthen reason why VR is needed in Series, after what happened in the 5th Test Mas v India women.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Hockey Confederation competition manager Brian Fernandez Friday confirmed that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is treating their video referral appeal as an urgent matter.
The FIH held a meeting Friday, and will let the MHC know in a day or two.
"It's an urgent matter and the FIH are holding a meeting today (yesterday) and will let us know early. We at the MHC strongly believe that as hosts, we need video referral for the Series," said Brian.
The controversy cropped up when the FIH denied Malaysia the right to use video umpiring for the FIH Series Finals which will be held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on April 26-May 4.
In a brief statement FIH competitions committee secretary Martyn Gallivan said: "Following protracted discussions with the different host broadcasters in Malaysia, India, France, Ireland, Spain and Japan it would not be possible to provide the appropriate television feeds in several of the tournaments.
"FIH has therefore decided that the Video Umpire will not be provided at any of the FIH Series Final."
A video referral will not only benefit the hosts, but all teams.
"Lets say another teams calls for a referral and then scores a goal against Malaysia, it works for every team and not only the hosts.
"It was a requirement in the bid paper, and we followed it to the dot and have arranged for the facilities.
"To tell us now that we can't use it because other countries can't have the same set-up is injustice to MHC.
"The last Test match between Malaysia and India (women) is a clear example on why we need video umpiring.
"India claimed the ball hit a leg after the hooter and so there should not be a penalty corner. But the umpires saw otherwise. Video umpiring could have solved the problem and India would not have to walk out without defending the penalty corner," said Brian.
It was an FIH recognised Test but still, hosts Malaysia let India off the hook by not pressing the umpires and Technical Desk to penalise India for not defending the penalty corner.
Instead, an accommodating Malaysian coach K. Dharmaraj called out his charges after a prolonged standoff, as a gracious host.
India coach Sjoerd Marijne also used vulgar words during the standoff, but still, Dharmaraj and the Technical Bench let him go off the hook.
For the record, it was Malaysia 0 and India 1, when Dharmaraj's charges won a penalty corner seconds before the hooter.
A video referral might have drawn the game, but nobody will know the real outcome now: "And this could happen in the Series Open if the FIH do not allow the use of Video Umpire," said Brian.