Monday, July 22, 2024

FIH apologise after GB Hockey women field 12 players in Olympic qualifier

Hockey Ireland have made no official complaint to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) after Great Britain women fielded 12 players during their win to secure Olympic qualification.

The FIH apologised for the incident, which occurred in the third quarter of the match, while tournament rules state that no protest or appeal can be lodged. GB’s goals, in their 2-1 win, came in the second and fourth quarters.

It is understood that GB fielded 12 players for nearly one minute, which went unnoticed by the technical director overseeing the bronze medal match and final ticket on offer for Paris 2024.

“We are aware that for 50 seconds within the final two minutes in the third quarter of the FIH Hockey Women’s Olympic Qualifier match between Great Britain and Ireland held in Valencia on Saturday, Great Britain had 12 players on the field of play,” The FIH told The Hockey Paper in a statement.

“This followed a multiple player substitution and was unfortunately not noticed by either team or the Technical Officials.


“The FIH expresses its apologies for this incident and a review is being conducted on the circumstances leading to the incident. According to the Tournament Regulations, such a match incident cannot be protested or appealed.”

It is not the first time the issue has arisen in key matches.

Read More: ‘Incredible feeling’: Ireland men secure final Paris ticket in classic

England men lodged a complaint when Argentina fielded 12 players for more than two minutes during their 2-0 victory in thei bronze medal play-off defeat at the 2014 World Cup.

England were made aware of Argentina’s extra player when the match was still scoreless. With world ranking points on offer – England were world No.4 side at the time – England Hockey decided to lodge a protest.

The FIH interviewed both teams after viewing relevant video footage.

Under FIH rules, it was decided that the result would stand after the incident was deemed “unintentional”, though Argentina’s captain will be banned for one match.

Total Hockey



  1. Somehow I don’t think an apology or not being able to protest or appeal it quite justifies the FIH’s position, especially when you remember that the Rules of Hockey state the Captain picks up a yellow card if this infringement is picked up. Could Ireland have taken advantage of a 10 player GB? In a game that tight who knows and there could have been a completely different outcome.

    Sorry FIH, but you severely dent your credibility as impartial arbiters of the sport in favouring the higher ranked team. Why should any team ever play with 11 players when you effectively sanction playing with 12?

  2. I support GB and if this had happened to GB we would be calling for replay

    Article above does not say for how many minutes did this happen between 1 and 15

    I am surprised that Ireland players or staff in hutch did not notice and bring it to umpires’ notice and why did umpires not notice ?

    Bit of shambles and not good for game especially as on TV and why did Simon Mason notice as he comments on everything else that happens ?!

  3. Rewatched Q3 and it’s the last minute, was also taken off within 10 seconds so the gb bench must have noticed. The rest of the game they played with the correct numbers
    Not saying it is right that it happened just it wasn’t for a prolonged period

    • I counted 50 seconds, the sanction for having additional players on the pitch is a yellow card for the team captain, so how us this inconsequential?

      • Nope it is not a YC. A card is only given against the captain if something like a goal has happened. In fact even then, rule 2.1 only talks about personal penalties against the captain, says nothing about what that is.
        So the rules of hockey are clear what happens if a team has too many players and so are the tournament regulations.
        As per previous incidents like this, there will be no changes to the result.
        If we do start to apply retrospective actions, then what should we do about the BEL-GB game where BEL scored off a players body? Should that be replayed?

  4. So it was a technical mistake, it happens – the FIH can’t do anything about it, and it will just be a learning point for the tech table. Ya’ll think its easy trying to track everything?
    It lasted what, 10 seconds and had no impact on the game.

    • I counted 50 seconds, the sanction for having additional players on the pitch is a yellow card for the team captain, so how us this inconsequential?

    • I counted 50 seconds, the sanction for having additional players on the pitch is a yellow card for the team captain, so how us this inconsequential?

  5. If 12 man had any affect on this match than it should be replayed. Don’t forget Maradona’s hand of god goal Brits still cry on that after 30 plus years.


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