Ireland men pursue International Hockey Federation after play-off controversy

Media playback is not supported on this device

They think it’s all over! Ireland miss out on Olympics after penalty drama

Ireland men's squad have enlisted Sport Ireland help in complaining to the International Hockey Federation [FIH] after their controversial Olympic play-off defeat last weekend.

The Irish missed out on a Tokyo spot after the video umpire's last-second penalty call in favour of Canada.

The Irish team were already celebrating a 6-5 aggregate win when Canada asked for a referral.

"We will be pursuing this through the appropriate channels," said the squad.

The statement added that this would be in "conjunction with Sport Ireland and Hockey Ireland".

"We believe the FIH have a duty to take action to restore credibility in the Olympic qualification process, to renew trust in the conduct of international hockey matches and to protect the integrity of both players and umpires.

"Given the importance of the video referral process, it was disappointing to witness a series of flaws in how the video referral was handed throughout the weekend.

"We feel particularly aggrieved at how the final moments of the game were managed and in particular, the video referral system. We believe this is unacceptable in a fixture of this magnitude."

Media playback is not supported on this device

'The video umpire should hang his head in shame' - Ireland captain Jonathan Bell

'Players gave up relationships and careers'

Following his team's defeat, Ireland interim coach Mark Tumilty said players in his squad had given up careers and relationships to chase their Olympic dream.

Tumilty also revealed that attempts to discuss the decision with video umpire Diego Barbas after the game had proved unsuccessful.

Asked for a response to Sunday's controversy, the International Hockey Federation [FIH] released a one-line statement on Monday saying that umpires' decision are "final" and that the governing body does not "comment publicly" on them.

It is being estimated that team's heartbreaking failure to qualify for the Olympics could cost Irish hockey up to a £1m in funding that would have come from both Sport Northern Ireland and their southern counterpart.

Undoubtedly, several members of the squad will not be around for another Olympic cycle as Paris 2024 approaches while it remains to be seen whether Tumilty will be appointed on a permanent basis.

Top Stories