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Umpires trying to get used to referrals, says FIH

Sports Reporter

NEW DELHI: The video referral system, introduced for the first time in the ongoing hockey World Cup, has received bouquets as well as brickbats. Amidst the debate about the usefulness of the system, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Wednesday sought to put things in perspective.

The FIH Umpires' Manager for the World Cup, Clive McMurray, said the system would take some time to settle down.

“The umpires' aim is to conduct a game that is skilful and flowing. They encourage fast and open action…The referral is in the initial phase. The umpires are trying to get used to it,” he said at the first ever FIH media seminar here.

“The referral system is to eliminate the gross errors, to correct those decisions where the umpires have got it horribly wrong and it materially affects the result of the game,” the South African added.

McMurray tried to project a cleaner picture of the umpires. “The umpires are here to serve the game and make it more attractive and entertaining,” he said.

Among other things, the FIH said it would try to popularise the sport and generate more revenue through it. The international federation agreed that there was a need to “move to the next level” as far as preparing the official scoresheets was concerned.

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