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FIH not biased against Asians: Negre

Source: PTI
March 04, 2010 08:37 IST
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International Hockey Federation president Leandro Negre on Wednesday dismissed allegations that the two-match suspension of Indian striker Shivendra Singh for injuring a Pakistani player in the ongoing World Cup was a reflection of FIH's bias against the Asian players.

Negre said tournament director Ken Read was within his power to review the video footage of Shivendra lifting his stick and injuring Fareed Ahmed without the notice of umpires and complaint by Pakistan as it can be done under FIH rules if a player is injured.

"We follow a fair and open procedure without any bias. We follow the rules and guidelines. It is very clear from FIH rules that if a player is injured, the tournament director will have to review it without any complaint from anybody," Negre said.

"Hockey is a fast paced game. The umpires may not notice certain things and Pakistan may not have complained. But if any player is injured we have to review and find out what had happened," he said.

"Personally I feel that the incident was not intentional and accordingly the decision was handed," he added.

Negre said that nobody should doubt the fairness of FIH.

"It is important to have fair decisions and at the same time we should also have faith and confidence in the technical officials. Officials of different countries work together and take decisions in FIH," said the Spaniard.

Negre agreed that the video referral system, introduced for the first time in a World Cup here, needs improvement but said it would be continued with.

"It is a new system being used for the second time in a top-flight competition (after the Champions Trophy in Australia last year). But the FIH will continue supporting the system. Hockey is a fast-paced game and the umpires may not able to see everything. So I think we need this system," he said.

Asked if the system would be reviewed after this World Cup, he said, "There is no immediate plan to review it. There is a procedure to follow. The competition director will make a report and submit it to the technical committee, which would then report it to the FIH executive committee if there is any need for changes or improvements," Negre said.

The FIH chief also said that the federation is strictly following the doping guidelines under the World Anti-Doping Code in this World Cup.

"Hockey is one of the cleanest sports despite the players requiring a high level of fitness and physical strength and I am very happy with that. We are strictly WADA compliant," he said.

"I don't know the details of the dope testing procedure here. But we are strictly following the procedure. I think one or two players from each team are being tested after every match," he said.

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