Biased umpiring helped India to win Asia Cup: PHF

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Lahore, Sep 18: Deprived of staging the Champions Trophy, the showpiece event of International hockey, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) today launched a scathing attack on India saying it won the Asia Cup tournament in Chennai because of biased and partial umpiring decisions.

''India can gloat over its victory but the result could have gone in favour of other teams if the umpiring had been fair and just,'' the PHF said in rather unsavoury statement.

''The umpiring was at its lowest ebb in the tournament and it was quite apparent that there was some understanding between the FIH appointed Technical Director and the Indian hockey officials that a weak umpire from Ghana was given such an important assignment,'' the statement alleged.

The PHF's hard hitting statement stems from its impression that India has been instrumental in influencing the FIH's decision to shift the Champions Trophy from Pakistan to some other country.

Earlier this month, India won the 11-nation Asia Cup tournament held in Chennai by beating South Korea 7-1 in trhe finals.

The PHF said it had strong reservations over the way the Asia Cup was organised.

''The final between Korea and India was the glaring example of this show which was tainted by biased decisions,'' the PHF statement said, adding, ''Such was the state of umpiring that at one time the Korean team walked off the field and refused to proceed further because the umpire from Ghana had disallowed their goal which could have put them back into contention.'' This is perhaps the first time in recent memory that PHF has come out with such an acerbic statement against its Indian counterpart.

The decision to shift the six-nation Champions Trophy from Pakistan came after Australia, South Korea and Spain pulled out their name from the December-slated tourney citing security concerns.

PHF spokesman Altaf Sabir also alleged that Pakistan had also suffered at the hands of poor and biased umpiring.

''The appointment of a raw hand Korean umpire in Pakistan's crucial match against Malaysia smacked of intrigue to oust the three times Asian Champions,'' he said.

''This worked according to the plan. The debutant Korean first denied Pakistan a penalty stroke and then in the dying moments of the match when Pakistan were ensured a semi-final place, flouted all rules and awarded a penalty stroke which was not at all there at the first instance,'' he added.

Pakistan were beaten by Japan and China and held to a draw by South Korea to finish a disappointing sixth position in the Asia Cup.

UNI

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