No video referrals in FIH Series Finals
The events are part of the Tokyo Olympics qualification process and the finalists will take part in the FIH Olympic qualifiers in October-November.Updated: Apr 13, 2019 17:31 IST
In an era when sports bodies worldwide are adopting technology to cut out human error and enhance TV viewership experience, the international hockey federation (FIH) has decided to do away with video referrals at all six FIH Series Finals.
The events are part of the Tokyo Olympics qualification process and the finalists will take part in the FIH Olympic qualifiers in October-November.
“The FIH has taken the decision that there will not be a video referral system in place at the FIH Series Finals events that will be taking place over the coming months. The system is directly linked to broadcast production, therefore, where there is no broadcast production, there is no video referral,” FIH said in response to a query by this paper.
The Series Finals will be held from April to June. The men’s events will be held in Bhubaneswar, Kuala Lumpur and Le Touquet (France) while the women’s tournaments will be played at Banbridge (Ireland), Hiroshima and Valencia. Only the two men’s events in India and Malaysia are scheduled to be televised live. All events will be streamed live on FIH.live.
“In a determined effort to achieve consistency and fairness with the tournament regulations that will be used at all six of the upcoming FIH Series Finals events, and taking into consideration that not all of the competitions have a broadcaster in place, there will be no video referral at any of the events,” FIH added.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) has criticised the decision and plans to appeal to FIH to let them use video referral. It will host the tournament from April 26 to May 4. The other five events will be played in June.
“It has come as a shock to us, not to mention a big disappointment, as we have made all the necessary arrangements for the video referral to be in place. At this level of competition, it is not fair if there is no video referral. We will most definitely make an appeal to FIH,” MHC president Subahan Kamal was quoted as saying.
“The FIH Men’s Series Finals is not a small tournament. This is an Olympic qualifying event. FIH must pay serious attention to this tournament like they have done to all others.”
Video referrals were on trial at the 2009 men’s Champions Trophy. It was approved and used at the 2010 New Delhi World Cup before being adopted at all top hockey events.
The Indian men’s team will take part in the Bhubaneswar leg from June 6-16, while the women will play in Hiroshima (June 15-23).
First Published: Apr 13, 2019 16:26 IST