Indian women’s hockey team lost 0-3 in the shoot-out to four-time champions Australia after both the teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time in the semifinal of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Friday.

But the match was marred by controversy, when the referee ordered the first penalty in the shootout to be retaken. India’s Savita Punia had already made a save off the first attempt by Ambrosia Malone but the official told the Aussie to take it again since the stopwatch had not started. Malone scored off the second attempt.

This didn’t go down well with the fans, who are furious with this poor management at a big event like the Commonwealth Games. Even cricketer Virender Sehwag shared his disappointment on twitter. He wrote, “Penalty miss hua Australia se and the Umpire says, Sorry Clock start nahi hua. Such biasedness used to happen in cricket as well earlier till we became a superpower, Hockey mein bhi hum jald banenge and all clocks will start on time. Proud of our girls”.

AAP National council member regarded the incident as ‘shameful’. He wrote, “What the hell was that!! First shot was very well stopped by GK Savita Punia.. But the Refree claims that “The Clock didn’t start!” So another chance given?? This can’t be happening in an important match!! Shameful.”

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Other people also shared their disappointment and anger on the social media platform.

The India team coach Jannekke Schopmann said that the team lost their momentum after the incident but they don’t want to use it as an excuse.

“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, and that’s not an excuse, just a simple fact,” Schopmann said.

“It affected our momentum. [The retake] 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,” she added.

The coach also said that she has never seen anything like this in her career.

“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,” she said.

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