Umpiring cost India the Olympics: Carvalho

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Mumbai, Mar 12: Indian hockey coach Joaquim Carvalho, who returned this morning with the vanquished Indian team from Chile, with the dubious distinction of being the first ever Indian team not to qualify for the Olympics in 80 years, said that substandard umpiring was one of the reasons for India not being able to qualify.

Carvalho, who has decided to resign owning moral responsibility for the fiasco, averred that the preparation of the team for the qualifiers was one of the best but the team did not play up to the potential they could in the crunch situations and therefore ''we are here out of the Olympics''.
India lost to Great Britain 0-2 in the final of the qualifying event in Santiago, Chile, and the disappointment was evident on the face of the players who looked grim and tired after the long flight home.

''The preparation went on the right lines and even now we have a very good team. I am not giving lame excuses, but it is just that we did not play to our potential and we lost the final,'' Carvalho told reporters at the airport just after the team arrived.

The coach was critical of the umpiring standard in the tournament, saying his boys were at the receiving end of ''unnecessary booking''.

''We played with ten players for 25 minutes (against Great Britain) and got cards, which was not deserving. The umpires reprimanded even those players who did not get a card. They issued letters and called the players from hotel rooms after the matches at 11 pm at night. And after that the boys were kept waiting for more than one hour by the umpires,'' he added.

Carvalho recalled a match in which the umpires issued warnings against his boys that if they commit a foul in one match they (players) will be pulled up in the next one.

He said that he would state all these matters in the report which he would be submitting to the Indian Hockey Federation and it will be upto the hockey federation to take things up with the world body.

On whether he would reconsider taking back his resignation, Carvalho said, ''I will have to consider with what the Federation decides. I haven't spoken to Gill (IHF President) yet. But certainly with the resignation, the morale in the team is very low,'' he admitted.


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