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FIH apologises for shootout gaffe during India-Australia women's hockey semifinal
Birmingham, Aug 6 - The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has issued an apology over the gaffe committed during the shoot-out between Commonwealth Games women's hockey semifinal match between India and Australia, which resulted in the Hockeyroos re-taking a shot that was saved by Indian goalkeeper Savita.
India goalkeeper Savita had saved the shot taken by Ambrosia Malone but the umpires soon stepped in and asked it to be re-taken as the timer had malfunctioned and did not start.
Australia took the shot again and this time they scored and went on to win the shoo-out 3-0, ending an impressive comeback by the Indian team that had trailed 0-1 for a major part of the match before coming back to equalise in the fourth quarter.
"In the semifinal match of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games between Australia and India (Women), the penalty shootout started mistakenly too early (the clock was not yet ready to operate), for which we apologise," the FIH said in a statement on Saturday.
The FIH however defended the decision to re-take the penalty but promised to thoroughly review the incident to avoid similar issues in the future.
"The process in place for such situations is that the penalty shootout has to be re-taken, which was done.
"This incident will be thoroughly reviewed by the FIH in order to avoid any similar issues in the future," said the FIH in its statement.
The decision by the umpire has come in for heavy criticism in India with the hashtag #cheating trending on social media.
Janneke Schopman, chief coach of the Indian women's hockey team, and goalkeeper and skipper Savita Punia have expressed their displeasure over the umpire's decision. The coach was scathing in her comments and said "people who don't understand sport who make those decisions".
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