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Sports Talk Saturday, 3 August, 2002, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
The right result?
India defeat England with a controversial golden goal in the women's hockey final.

Should the result stand?


India's women defeated England 3-2 in extra-time, but it was an unsatisfactory end to a classic encounter.

The umpire initially ruled out the decisive goal as the hooter had sounded before the ball had been flicked into the England net.

But after complaints from Indian players and officials the decision was overturned and England abandoned any ideas of a second appeal.

Should England feel aggrieved?


This debate is now closed. A selection of your emails appears below.

The technical table should not get involved with on the field decisions. I was at the game and noted that India's second goal came from a short corner that should not have been awarded, but the English team did not have the luxury of appealing to the technical table at that time.

Therefore, the Indian team should not have been allowed to do it at the end. If you appealed that hard in a league game you would, most likely, be given a card not a goal. Congratulations India, sorry an FIH balls-up meant you couldn't enjoy your win on the day.
Paul Williams, UK

The umpires are there to adjudicate on the play in real time, and their decisions must be final, right or wrong. Having originally ruled that the goal did not stand the matter should unfortunately have ended there.

A subsequent loss for India would then have been desperately unjust, and the only possible satisfactory outcome would have been a subsequent Indian goal and victory.

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The sooner we adopt a rugby-style ruling that the ball must be dead before time can be up, the better
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Mick, UK

England may have been the better side in all aspects except the crucial finishing, however, from the moment the ball went into the net they could never be the moral victors.

Pressuring the umpires is unacceptable, full stop, regardless of the justness of the case - and by doing so India themselves took the shine off their victory. England's subsequent appeal was equally unacceptable.

I also umpire hockey occasionally, and the timing of the final whistle does sometimes bring controversy - the sooner we adopt a rugby-style ruling that the ball must be dead before time can be up, the better for all concerned.

Without the hooter, the half would have finished with the goal and there would have been no controversy, India would still have won, and both sides would still have honour intact.
Mick, UK

Oh boy, here we go again. Another "Hand of God" excuse from England for the next 100 years.
S Marsan, USA

The English were so frustrated after losing the game that they forgot all the rules. Didn't they know that a penalty needs to be finished, even if the hooter has sounded?

Now to save face they are claiming that they did not go for a second appeal because these were the friendly Games. Why then the first appeal? The media on the other hand, ruined the well-deserved Indian victory by tainting it with name of "controversy". The only controversy hitting the final was poor umpiring followed by pathetic English drama.
Virendra Pratap Singh, India

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Kudos English, you have kept the spirit of the Games up and running
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Ganesh S, Australia

I don't understand why the British media wants to present defeat in a palatable form to its audiences. A defeat is not an end of the world. It's not just in hockey, but football, cricket - take any game for that matter.

England hasn't got the spirit. Either they blame it on the poor performance of the winning team or bad umpiring or bad weather or bad something. At the end of the day, the British media is extra careful not to present their teams' defeat. It is appalling when BBC also joins such a bandwagon.
Gautham, India

The Indian girls did a great job, so did the English. Just imagine, if it were for another few minutes, there would have been no controversy and India would have romped home without any worries. But that's the way the Game goes. Kudos English, you have kept the spirit of the Games up and running. Good luck.
Ganesh S, Australia

I am surprised at all those who have been complaining about the way India got their final goal - saying it was illegal. Did they see the two goals that England scored? Anybody who knows hockey can tell that both these goals should have been disallowed - the ball was rising in the D on both occasions.

The match would not have gone into extra time then - and we would not have all the dirt flying around. At the end of the day, it is the referees' incompetence that is to blame. Well done India - it should have been 2-0.
Yashovardhana, India

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India should hold her head high and claim victory
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Ranjan Roy, USA

Why are people even debating about the decision when it's in the rule books that play has to continue if it's a penalty corner and the hooter goes off in between? It's obvious that the goal should be awarded to India, and the referee made a bad decision which was changed later on. Can't we be good sportsmen and congratulate the Indians on a great victory??
Matin, USA

A decision is controversial or disputed when there is a chance that the decision is not correct. The rules here are clear cut and if you are ignorant of the rules, then it is your fault.

I am sure if there was some scope for England to win the tie rightfully through the rules they would have appealed again. So by not appealing they have only done themselves a favour of not being disgraced once again. India should hold her head high and claim victory.
Ranjan Roy, USA

I feel the referee got it right first time, come on England, and forget about the loss, you did attack well but Indians defended well. Now concentrate on the world championships.

Despite the incompetence of the umpire at the time, the goal was fair and nobody can say that England stopped. When the whistle went there was no English player close enough to the ball to effect it's route to goal.

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England played a better game but India surprisingly had better finishes
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I watched the replay back on mute and ignored the actions of the umpire, when you can't hear hooter & whistle and with the known rule about the short corner being played to it's conclusion, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the goal.

I am glad that we chose not to lodge a second appeal; it wouldn't have changed the decision and would only have harmed further any future opportunity of televised coverage of our sport. We should also spare a thought for the Indian girls; they never really got to celebrate the gold, instead of the euphoria that they should have felt they were left with feelings of hollow victory.
Ian Sherwood,England

England played a better game but India surprisingly had better finishes. In the first half, the English players protested a penalty stroke, which was correctly changed to a penalty corner by the umpire. As for the extra time goof up by umpire and officials, technically the Indians scored the goal. So the umpire was right in changing her decision.

What happens if now or a week later the referee decides that she was wrong to overturn the decision? Who should the gold then be awarded to?

Surely decisions made on the field of play should be final. You can scream and shout about how unfair it is and how the decision is wrong but the decision has been made and that should be it.
Simon Kennedy,England

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I just feel sorry for the English team as they were the better team on the day
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Andy, UK

It is ridiculous to suggest that the Indians 'intimidated' the officials into giving the decision. First of all, the goal was perfectly valid. The fact that it was disallowed meant that the referee got it wrong the first time, not the second. And, how come no noises are being made about the 'controversial' first English goal? Don't cloud India's hour of glory with unfair accusations.
Nakul Raheja, India

Brave decision to allow the goal, disallowing it would be unfair and not right. The umpire and official got it wrong.
Serge, Netherlands

Why can't the Indian team dispute a decision according to the rules instead of harrassing and intimidating the umpires and delegates as the Indian team manager did? Then they also showed really bad sportsmanship by sending their players on a lap of honour when it wasn't clear either way whether they had won. I just feel sorry for the English team as they were the better team on the day.
Andy, UK

I think the Indians deserved gold after their fantastic performance. England should be good losers and accept defeat. India were the better Team.
Leon Bhatia, Austria

Watching the game on TV I thought the only person who got it right was Sean Kerly. He said that in the event of a penalty corner you ignore the hooter and play to the whistle which does not sound until a goal is scored or the ball leaves the D.

Everyone on here misses the point. The umpire's decision prior to intimidation was "no goal". I feel ashamed to be Indian this evening!
Dipak, UK

A very unfortunate and incompetent end to what was a brilliant display of gutsy and skilled hockey. The extra-time goal was technically correct, although the umpire's legitimacy to have been officiating needs to be questioned. The failure of BBC to show the complete medal ceremony was an appallingly misguided position.
Jat Sandhu, UK

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Why are the English such bad losers?
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Shubhranshu Patnaik,India

The level of refeering needs to be raised. If she was aware of the rules she should have decided the fate of the match minus the drama.
Abraham, UK

It is so typical of England. We pontificate without reading or understanding the rules. At the end of a game, if a penalty corner is in progress it proceeds until such time as the ball is dead. In other words, until the ball has crossed the line for a goal.

As s result, the goal India scored was genuine. Emotional reactions afterwards do not and will not change the decision. The fact that the umpire gave an incorrect interpretation of the decision in the first place and then corrected it is irrelevant.
Peter Talbot, England

Sorry England. Umpire's decision should be final. Congratulations India.

Why are the English such bad losers? Accepted, the goal went in 2-3 sec after the hooter but the English defence was well and truly beaten. Now they have to take the sheen away from India's victory.
Shubhranshu Patnaik,India

The winning goal might have been controversial, but the Indians thoroughly deserved to win. There have been many occasions when Indian sides have lost due to controversial decisions. So may we just say, it had to come around for once. But all in all, it was a great performance by the Indian girls. Well done, mates.
Anita K,India

Don't be a sore loser. The better team won.

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Well done India! You deserved it and you have done us all proud!
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Shailey, UK

What a farce to end what has been a brilliant tournament in which hockey has at last taken centre stage with the performance by England's women.

The technical table have made the error by blowing the hooter, but the umpires, who should also be timing the game, have made a mistake by not allowing the clock to run down before the penalty corner started.

The umpire certainly blew for half time and did not award a goal and the hooter went before the ball crossed the line. I have no doubt that the goal should stand. Unfortunately, England were the better team but they did not convert the possession into goals.
Julie Fenwick,UK

India outplayed England in finishing through the whole game. And they kept their nerves in the crucial period. India more than deserved the gold.
Shaun Mobbs, UK

Well done India! You deserved it and you have done us all proud!
Shailey, UK

As it was a penalty shot it is not affected by time. So it was a right decision.
Sivananda, India

Irrespective of which team should have won, how could the BBC be so discourteous as to show the whole of the presentation of silver to the English team but ignore completely the gold presentation?

Such a decision was shameful and brings discredit upon the impartiality of BBC reporting.
Michael Cole, England

Yes, India should have got the gold. The rule states that the ball must be out of play or in the net before the whistle blows, and players should play to the whistle. The umpire got it wrong, again.
G Monteiro, UK

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The referee clearly decided that the goal should be disallowed and it cannot possibly be right for this to be overruled
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Steven Richards,UK

This really doesn't have anything to do with when the hooter or the whistle sounded. It has everything to do with the fact that the referee made the decision to disallow the goal and the Indian players and coaching staff harassed and intimidated her into changing her decision. How can anyone be proud of a team who uses that to get their way?
Mark, UK

"It feels right that India have won gold" says Steve Rider, when it was clearly the wrong decision. The fact that England were forced to appeal after the Indians had influenced the referee and caused her to change her decision has surely got to raise questions over Britain/England's ability to host an Olympic Games in the future and is a very poor way to end what has otherwise been a great and hugely successful Commonwealth Games.
Chris Blore,England

Thanks girls you did it for the guys, who were hard done by earlier in the tournament.
Sastri Kodavanti,India

The referee clearly decided that the goal should be disallowed and it cannot possibly be right for this to be overruled.
Steven Richards,UK

To be partisan is one thing, and to be a bad loser is another.

An obviously biased TV commentator declared that the umpire had blown a whistle first. Then, as the replay demonstrated that was not the case, she insisted the hooter went off before the goal.

The second replay showed that hooter went of as the ball crossed the line. At a third attempt trying to justify her bias she said players had stopped the play. A third replay didn't show evidence of that either. Then she finished off saying that it was all unsatisfactory.

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The technical table made a complete balls-up
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Rules were read out in plain English which all suggested that the goal should have stood. The mistake was that the umpire disallowed the goal in the first place, not whether it was a valid goal or not.
Guru Aithal,UK

The technical table made a complete balls-up. They should have blown the hooter for full-time before the short corner was taken. It's a goal - well done India.

It's not the end of the world! Please learn to respect the referee's decision and have a little bit of sportsmanship. After all, your lodging of a protest did not help.
Rab Kool,USA

They should behave like professional sportsmen and forget about gold!
Pervez,Saudi Arabia

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England were only good against Australia
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The TV replay clearly shows the goal was given incorrectly and the appeals process can use TV replays. So, why not make the correct decision and continue play to get the just result - for which either side goes on to win?

Another point: why were India allowed to leave the field and why was the medal podium erected when the appeal hadn't been adjudicated? Talk about making decisions in advance.
Norman Kowski,UK

Controversial it may be, but we earned it. Sorry England, better luck next time.
Suraj S,India/USA

India deserved to win. They were the better side throughout the tournament. England were only good against Australia. India deserved the goal. Well done India!!!

Why can't the umpires use the benefit of the action-replay as in cricket? This would stop all the changes of decisions made by umpires. The Indian goal should not have been allowed as the umpire clearly indicated end of the half; the hooter was irrelevant at this time.
Janet Humphries,UK

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