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Explained: Why Australia allowed to retake penalty shot against India in CWG 2022 hockey semifinal

Explained: CWG 2022 penalty controversy

Birmingham, August 6: Controversy erupted as Australia edged India in the women’s hockey semifinal at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in penalty shootout.

Australia's Rosie Malone, who missed her first attempt during the penalty shootout, was gifted another chance as the eight second countdown on the scoreboard hadn't started.

The forward did not miss the second time, putting her side in the lead.

The Indians eventually lost the semifinal 0-3 in the shootout after both teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time as the crowd booed the technical officials for the decision.

Here’s an explainer of the sequence?

What is the clock rule in a penalty shootout

In field hockey, The penalty taker starts on the 23-metre line with the ball and the goalkeeper starts on the goal line. When the whistle is blown, both can move and the attacker has 8 seconds to score a goal.

Unlike a penalty stroke or penalty corner there are no restrictions on strokes the attacker may use to score and a goal is scored in the usual way.

If the attacker commits an offence, the ball travels outside the field of play, or 8 seconds elapse before the ball crosses the line a goal is not awarded.

If the goalkeeper unintentionally fouls the attacker then the penalty shoot-out is re-taken; in the event the foul was intentional a penalty stroke is awarded.

What happened at CWG 2022

A technical delegate had drop the hand for the stop-watch to start indicating the start of the 8 seconds time to score the goal. The referee will then indicate to the players that the time for penalty to be taken will start.

But at Birmingham, the delegate did not drop the hand and the stop-watch did not start either. But the referee signalled the penalty to be taken despite the delegate not dropping her hand, even as the latter tried furiously to stop the penalty being taken.

Once India’s Savita Punia made the save, the delegate explained the situation to the referee and she ordered the penalty to be retaken.

Reactions to the controversy

As criticism from all quarters mounted, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Saturday (August 6) apologised for the clock controversy.

FIH: The FIH said it would "thoroughly review" the incident.

"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," FIH said in a statement.

"The process in place for such situations is that the penalty shootout has to be retaken, which was done. This incident will be thoroughly reviewed by the FIH in order to avoid any similar issues in the future,” the statement added.

"We're not using it as an excuse, but we are human. It definitely affected us psychologically,” said goalkeeper Savita after the match.

India coach Jannekke Schopmann said: “I'm not using it as an excuse, but you know, your goalkeeper makes a save, that's an enormous boost for the team and you turn the decision around. The team was really upset about it. I'm sure their focus was lost a little bit after that.”

“It affected our momentum. The second hit went in, and everyone is deflated, we don't need to be but it's human emotion. It would be better to have the strength to shake it off and think it doesn't matter, but of course, it does matter.

"I am angry, also because the umpires don't understand it either. I think those people (the delegates) just do not understand the game and the emotions that are involved. I've never experienced anything like this.”

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Story first published: Saturday, August 6, 2022, 12:47 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 6, 2022