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Ireland's Olympic agony goes on as hockey chiefs refuse to review video processes



Ireland goal: Callum Robson

Ireland goal: Callum Robson

�INPHO/Bryan Keane

Ireland goal: Callum Robson

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has rejected calls from Ireland for the world governing body to commission an independent review of their video referral processes following the Olympic qualifier controversy in Canada last October.

The video umpire awarded Canada a penalty stroke in the final second of the game when the hosts were trailing 6-5 to Ireland on aggregate in the double-header in Vancouver.

Having made a successful referral, they scored from the spot and went on to win the penalty shoot-out, denying Ireland a place in Tokyo.

Hockey Ireland claimed that they had not received an adequate response from the FIH to their query concerning the number of camera angles available to the video official and suggested an external review of the technology be conducted going forward.

In television replays, it appeared that the video umpire had only one wide angle view of the incident to help him arrive at what was a hugely controversial decision.

However, FIH Chief Executive Thierry Weil stated that the umpires "had all the angles they needed to make their decision".

"When we talk about video umpires, we have one of the best systems around," he said.

"You should always develop the technology if you can, but the discussion is 'was there something wrong in the quality which was given to the umpires and we clearly say there is nothing wrong.

"There is a never-ending story and, as long as human beings are involved in umpiring, there will be some mistakes and that needs to be accepted (but) that doesn't mean I am saying now it was a mistake."

Ireland captain Jonny Bell was angry about the FIH's strong stance.

"I was very disappointed to hear that they aren't listening to our concerns and are unprepared to review how video referral processes are deployed in international hockey," he said.

"If hockey is to have credibility as an Olympic sport, then areas like this need tightened up so the FIH should be listening," he added.

Meanwhile, at the European Indoor Championship in Santander yesterday, Ireland opened with a 2-2 draw with Wales and then crashed to an 11-3 defeat against Scotland.

Ireland, who face Slovenia and Spain today, twice came from behind to salvage a point from the Wales game, with goals from Ulster men Callum Robson and John Jackson.

Jackson and Ross Canning (2) got the consolation goals against the Scots.

Belfast Telegraph