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'Umpires' decisions are final': FIH react to Ireland's controversial Olympic qualifying defeat to Canada

Ireland men's hockey team were left feeling hard-done-by after Sunday evening's defeat.
Ireland men's hockey team were left feeling hard-done-by after Sunday evening's defeat.

Ireland's Olympic hopes are over after the International Hockey Federation confirmed that no appeal will be possible after the controversial finish to Sunday's qualifier in Canada.

Ireland looked to have edged the two-legged tie 6-5 on aggregate when the match ticked down to full-time.

However, the beginning celebrations were halted in their tracks as Canada made an appeal for a potential infringement to be referred to the video umpire Diego Barbas.

When he returned a decision of a penalty stroke for what was deemed an intentional infringement by Ireland's Lee Cole, Canada's Scott Tupper found the bottom corner. That sent the game to a penalty shoot-out, which Canada won in sudden-death.

The feeling of injustice has been rife within and without Irish Hockey on social media.

However, when contacted by the Belfast Telegraph, the FIH confirmed that there is no right of appeal.

“Umpires’ decisions are final and, as a general principle, FIH does not comment publicly on individual umpiring decisions," read a statement.

This is in line with the FIH's Regulations for Top Tier Outdoor Competitions, including the 2019 Olympic qualifiers, and in particular article 16.3.

It reads: "A protest from a decision of an Umpire or Technical Official during a match or shoot-out competition may not be made to or considered by the Technical Delegate."

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