[img_assist|nid=3873|title=Ric Charlesworth outraged about early games at 2012 Olympics|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=200|height=139]Ric Charlesworth said the world number one team had been disadvantaged by the scheduling of the games, while key competitors would benefit.
Australia will play three 8.30am games against, Spain, Argentina and Pakistan, while world number two and biggest rival Germany play no early games.
“I don’t expect special treatment, I expect not to be disadvantaged, out of five matches you may expect one 5am start for our athletes not three,” Charlesworth said.
“It interfers with momentum, as major finals won’t be played at that hour and it interrupts our routine over two weeks. Early games should be fairly distributed between all teams.”
Charlesworth said the schedule was clearly unfair when you compared it to the number one ranked women’s team, the Netherlands, draw.
“It’s not that they are number one, again it’s just that it’s not equally shared when some teams have to play three early matches and others none,” he said.
Charlesworth, who took over at the helm of the Kookaburras in 2009, after leading the Hockeyroos to two gold medals at Atlanta and Sydney, also found the order of when teams will play Australia as puzzling.
“Regulations require teams to play each other according to their ranking, but that hasn’t been followed because of when we play Spain,” he said.
Hockey Australia Chief Executive Mark Anderson also expressed his disappointment following the announcement of the draw.
“When you look at the schedule it is patently unfair in our opinion. None of the teams want to play in this early morning time slot,” he said.
“We have been scheduled to play at this time on three occasions. The world ranked number two, three and four teams do not have any matches scheduled for this time. The fifth and sixth ranked teams feature once.
“Out of the 12 teams in the competition, only 6 teams play at this time and Australia features three times. We are not looking for an unfair advantage, we just want to compete on a level playing field.”
We wait to hear the FIH response.