Thursday, July 7, 2022

Olympics Hockey: Great Britain’s ‘use referrals better’ note to self after controversy

If Team GB want to get past India and secure a semi-final men’s Olympic hockey berth, players concurred they’ll need to get better at using the referral system after they were denied a stonewall goal in Friday’s 2-2 draw with world champions Belgium.

Winning 1-0, when Jack Waller’s dribbled shot edged marginally over the line but Spanish umpire Francisco Vazquez ruled out a video referral, quietly Danny Kerry and his side were kicking themselves having wasted an earlier referral.

“If we’d used our referral better early doors we’d have referred it and it potentially might have gone (our way). We don’t know,” said defender Brendan Creed.

“That’s one we’ll look back on but at the end of the day it’s not really changed much in terms of the outcome.”

Belgian goalscorer Tom Boon agreed and said playing your referral card right was a huge aspect of the modern game.

“I was on the bench so I didn’t know if the ball went over the line or not but it’s part of the game. They lost their referral quite badly. 

“It’s an error from them as well. It’s just part of the game. I wouldn’t be happy if it was for me, but it is how it is.”

Creed at least saw the positives of a good result against the second-ranked and highly-fancied Belgians.

“The last three games we’ve played against them, whether it’s (as) England or GB (Great Britain), it’s been a pretty good battle. So from that point of view it’s a lot of respect from both teams.

“Playing and mixing it with the world’s best (is) kind of what we came here to do and we’ve done it.”

The match at the Oi Stadium had earlier seen corner dangerman Alexander Hendrickx helped off after being clattered by Chris Griffiths’ stick in the forehand. The Belgian required 10 stitches.

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