Pakistan blasts umpriring at Asia Cup

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KARACHI, Sep 18 (Reuters) Pakistan hockey officials have slammed the standard of umpiring at the recent Asia Cup in Chennai, which was won by India.

India beat Asian Champions South Korea 7-1 in the final, though the Koreans walked off the field at one point to protest the umpiring.

Pakistan finished sixth in the 11-nation tournament after losing to Japan and China and drawing with Malaysia.

''Umpiring was at its lowest ebb in this tournament and some of the appointments for crucial matches smacked of bias,'' Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Altaf Sabir said in a statement today.

''Such was the umpiring that at one time the Korean team walked off and refused to proceed further because the umpire from Ghana had disallowed their goal, which could have put them back into contention.'' Hockey relations between Pakistan and India have worsened in recent weeks after the International Hockey Federation (FIH) last week decided to shift the prestigious Champions Trophy from Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore.

The FIH says it took the decision because of safety and security concerns, but Pakistan blames Australia and India for engineering the shift.

REUTERS BJR VC1532

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