If you are a football fan, who saw India play against Netherlands in their Olympic opener, then you must have probably felt a little bit surprised and a little bit amazed from what you saw from that game. I haven’t got the least bit of idea what the rules are and who are representing India and what I have observed from the game is…
Penalty? Wait, what?
When Netherlands won their first penalty, I was stumped twice. In football, as we know, a penalty is awarded for a harsh foul or if the ball touches an opposition players hand inside the box. But in the hockey match yesterday, the ball hit an Indian player’s foot which the Netherlands appealed against and won a penalty. It took me some time to recover, but I guess that is how the hockey fans would have felt if they saw an offside.
Same goes to the Penalty Corner. It is apparently taken from a considerable distance, parallel to the goal.
If only the money was there…
Hockey is an exciting game and it certainly kept me on the edge of my seat. It is very fast paced and certainly very exhausting. With some more money invested in the game, and a hockey league like WSH, the fan base for the game could vastly improve. If they copied the system of the English Premier League, the sport would become a hit among masses. Maybe something like the Champions League Twenty20 could be very good for the game.
Very quiet, isn’t it?
If a team has to maintain its fast paced gameplay a supportive and vocal crowd is necessary. Football has arguably the best fans in any sport. Other than a few cheers of “INDIA, INDIA, INDIA”, the crowd was quiet for most part of the game. India got back two goals to level the game, only with self belief and could have probably scored another goal, had the Indian supporters raised their voices.
Goal-line technology! Yes, please!
Goal-line technology in football has been on everyone’s lips, who believe they have been cheated over the years due to dodgy referee decisions. I had no idea that hockey had a video referral system which can uphold or reject a decision, depending on what the replays show. I have learnt that the system has been in place since the 2010 World Cup. In the course of the game, India asked for video referral twice. It was upheld once, which saved India from conceding a penalty, and was rejected the second time as a player believed that he was pushed to the ground. It’s a very good system, and we hope that it will make its entrance into football as well.
Overall a football fan like me completely enjoyed the game yesterday, and I have been left craving for more. Even though I had no idea about the rules, hockey is a very enjoyable sport and I’m looking forward to follow India’s campaign at the Olympics. Another Hockey gold please!